Ahead of 35th raising day, HNLC upbeat on peace

SHILLONG, Aug 12: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Friday, the eve of its 35th raising day, hoped the peace process would bring about political changes and benefits to empower the indigenous population.
“Our struggle is a political one. We need to bring about a political solution in order to ease the difficulties faced by our people from time to time,” HNLC general secretary and publicity secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a statement.
The HNLC was formed on August 14, 1987.
Nongtraw thanked each HNLC member of its military and political wing and the leaders who have been entrusted with the job of pursuing the peace talks. He also thanked all the NGOs and pressure groups for making the talks possible.
“We will keep rendering our services and work for safeguarding the interests of the indigenous community in the best possible way,” he said.
The HNLC also paid a tribute to its former leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, aka ‘Bah Che’ ahead of his first death anniversary on Saturday. “Security forces killed him on this day in 2021 but could never extinguish the flame of the love that he ignited in the hearts of the indigenous people. Whoever is ready to die defending his land from illegal occupation and oppression is a martyr, whoever is ready to die defending the rights of his people is a martyr and whoever is ready to fight and sacrifice for the freedom of his own nation is a martyr,” Nongtraw said.
Don’t create law-and-order situation: Tynsong
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has asked the Mawlai-based groups to do whatever they want to Thangkhiew’s memory but without taking the law into their hands.
Reacting to a query, he said the report of the judicial inquiry into the killing of the former HNLC leader would be tabled on September 9, the first day of the autumn session of the Assembly.
“I requested them to wait as we have to follow the rules and acts,” Tynsong said.
The groups have asked the Mawlai residents to display black flags on their vehicles besides their houses, especially on August 13 to mark Thangkhiew’s first death anniversary. Black balloons are also expected to be released to mark the day.
Tynsong said the government has given necessary instructions to the police in view of the black flag programme. On the demand of the groups not to deploy police personnel in Mawlai, he said the government respects their views but expects them to abide by the law.
“Peace must be ensured at any cost,” he said.

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