SHILLONG, MAY 17: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the formal peace talks with the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) will start by the first week of next month.
Speaking to reporters, Sangma said that the cabinet was informed that the deputy chief minister in-charge Home (Police) Prestone Tynsong had an informal meeting with HNLC political secretary, vice chairman and executive members on Tuesday, in the presence of the interlocutor PS Dkhar.
“It was decided and formally communicated that the formal talks with the HNLC will start in the first week of June,” Sangma said.
The chief minister said all the discussions with the HNLC are taking place with the interlocutor.
“Of course, they have mentioned certain points and obviously as a government we will try to ensure whatever steps to be taken to ensure that they are comfortable in terms and feel safe from all angles and other issues of concerns we will try to take them up. But obviously conditions that are beyond the state government’s jurisdiction and certain discussions which have to be taken place with Government of India, those matters will have to be taken up at that level. Hence, the talks are starting and hence we will see how it goes forward and we are hopeful that we are able to come to a positive solution,” he added.
When asked, the chief minister said, “The talks will start. Let the interlocutor discuss and the government will be there. It will not be proper for me to say that it is not for me. My point is there is a process, a procedure and the interlocutor will sit down and talk to them so all those points and whatever their concerns are as I said we have discussed a lot of them but let the formal talks start.”