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ULFA hopeful of talks next year
December 26, 2006 12:27 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom has expressed hope of negotiation with the Centre next year for a 'political solution' to the insurgency problem in Assam but insisted that 'sovereignty' should be the core issue.
In an e-mail to local media, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa hoped that the process of political dialogue for resolving the 'Assam-India conflict', which was stalled in 2006, would be resumed and completed in the new year.
'Restoration of sovereignty of Asom would be the only political solution to the conflict', the ULFA leader said and called upon all political parties, non-political organisations and the people of Assam to play their role in reaching a political solution.
Greeting the people on the occasion of New Year and Bihu, Rajkhowa alleged that in 2006, 'political leaders failed to realise the gravity of the problem of people of Asom who faced police and army atrocities'.
The Centre also did not give a written assurance to discuss the issue of sovereignty as demanded by the outfit and thus derailed the peace process, he alleged.
Without mentioning the offer of safe passage to top ULFA leaders made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, the ULFA chairman alleged the 'Centre was not sincere on the (talks) issue and not able to disclose the whereabouts of ULFA members who went missing after the Bhutan operation in 2003'.
'The Centre had also rejected the fear of the people on the proposed seismic survey by OIL on River Brahmaputra and did not address to the problem of encroachment of Assam land by Nagaland', he said.
On the demand for greater Nagalim, Rajkhowa alleged that political leaders of Assam 'remained silent while vast areas in eight districts of the state were proposed to be included in that territory'.
The ULFA appointed People's Consultative Group, which has backed out of the peace process due to alleged insincerity of the central government, has rejected the prime minister's offer for safe passage saying it was not 'relevant'.
The People's Committee for Peace Initiatives, a conglomerate of several organisations sympathetic to the ULFA cause, have called for immediate resumption of dialogue to end the stalemate.