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Ball in Centre's court for peace talks: Meghalaya govt

Written by: Staff
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Shillong, May 1 (UNI) The Meghalaya government today said the ball was in the Centre's court to take ahead the proposed peace talks with the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

'' The HNLC rebels have made direct contact with the central home ministry. But the ministry is yet to respond to that. The ball is now in the center's court, '' Chief Minister D D Lapang told newsmen here today after a Cabinet meeting.

Admitting that he had telephonic talks with HNLC chairman Julius Dorphang on the issue, Mr Lapang said both rebel group and the state government were ready for the peace talks.

'' We want it to happen and we are very much optimistic about the peace move, '' he said.

Dismissing reports that the HNLC was considering to withdraw from the proposed peace talks on the issue of uranium mining in the state, the Chief Minister said the outfit has not sent any communique to the government in that regard.

Recently, Rev P B M.Basaiwawmoit, mediating with the HNLC, had accused the central government of lack of sincerity for expediting the ceasefire agreement with the insurgent outfit.

The church leader lashed out at Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil for his alleged failure to honour the commitment of unconditional dialogue with the HNLC.

'' So far, I have been defending the role of the centre, but now it appears that it is not sincere enough and using me for other designs instead of holding talks with the HNLC, '' he said.

UNI SG SJC AB YA BST1914

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