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ULFA-government talks not likely soon
K Anurag in Guwahati | August 26, 2006 13:21 IST
The much-awaited peace talks between the banned United Liberation Front of Asom and the central government has remained a far cry, despite the government of India's effort to send 'positive' signal by declaring temporary 'suspension' of Army operations against the militant outfit.
The banned militant group has refused to budge from its demand for the release of its five jailed leaders before deciding to participate in direct peace talks with the central government.
This has, again, dimmed hopes which had been raised in the wake of the suspension of Army operations.
On August 13, central government representatives who talked with the ULFA-nominated People's Consultative Group members Rebati Phukon and Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami, agreed in principle to release the jailed ULFA leaders. The condition was that ULFA agrees to hold negotiations on a specific date and name its representatives for direct talks.
However, the government's assurance has failed to mollify the banned organisation, which has remained adamant in its demand for the leaders' release.
ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa informed the media that they were not game to commit anything on direct talks with the central government until the leaders are released. He reiterated that this is necessary because the group requires the presence of at least half of its central committee members to take a decision on direct talks with the government.
Meanwhile. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has supported the central government's decision not to release the leaders without a written commitment from the militant group to hold peace talks.
"There is nothing wrong on part of the Centre to ask the militant group to commit itself for direct talks through a direct communiqu�," the chief minister stated.