Centre-UPDS talks soon

(Assam Tribune)
Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 13 – The cloud of uncertainty surrounding the peace talks with the United Peoples’ Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) is likely to disappear by mid-February, the tentative date fixed for holding the next round of parleys with the Centre. So opined the top leadership of the UPDS while talking to The Assam Tribune. The leadership, presently at a designated camp, however, maintained that it would not compromise on the four revised parameters it had framed and placed before the Government of India to facilitate signing of an accord with the Government aimed at ensuring permanent peace in Karbi Anglong district.

The four basic parameters sent by the outfit are – granting self-rule in the hill district, putting in place a mechanism to ensure direct funding from the Centre without any involvement of the State government, control over the functioning of officers and bureaucrats in the district and protection of land and natural resources.

On the possibility of the UPDS and KLNLF coming together for talks, UPDS joint secretary (political affairs) W Mukrang said that the outfit had been telling the Centre since the fourth round of talks that it had no problem in sitting for talks with the KLNLF.

“We have and we are still making an appeal to the KLNLF leadership to sit for talks and work for the welfare of the district. However, we are yet to get feedback from the other end,” Tung-eh Nongloda, joint secretary, UPDS said.

Interestingly, the UPDS has also highlighted the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration to the district as a sensitive problem, which it believes could be solved only by ensuring the right on land and natural resources to the indigenous people.

The UPDS leadership also pointed out it was only after peace interlocutor PC Halder took over that the peace talks began in the right sense. The UPDS has been involved in eight rounds of talks with New Delhi, the latest having taken place in mid-December in Guwahati.

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