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Bhutan rejects ULFA call for a ceasefire

Sukhendu Bhattacharya in Samdrup Jongkhar (Bhutan) | December 18, 2003 20:04 IST

Bhutan on Thursday rejected a ceasefire call by the United Liberation Front of Asom and vowed to continue the ongoing "short but decisive" military operation till the Indian insurgents are evicted from its soil.

"We are not prepared to believe them (on the call for a ceasefire) and our battle will continue till the end result of flushing them out from our soil is achieved. We are prepared to face the consequences," Yeshey Dorjee, Director in the Bhutan Foreign Ministry told a visiting PTI correspondent in this town on the India-Bhutan border.

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Dorjee said the insurgents were given enough time and "there is a limit to our patience. We cannot allow armed militants to openly parade on our soil flouting the law and order machinery."

He said ULFA's appeal at this stage has no value as the Bhutanese government had been talking to them for the last six years without any success. "Now they are coming up of the ceasefire idea without mentioning anything about leaving our country."

Dorjee declared that the operation to evict over 3,000 insurgents would be short but decisive and said as long as the militants were on Bhutanese soil "they pose a threat to our national security".

He said both sides have suffered casualties but refused to give details.

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