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HNLC raises permit pitch

Shillong, Feb. 19: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) today gave an open invitation to all youths to join hands with the outfit while welcoming the stand taken by a Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) leader to unite with the group.

The vice-president (central body) of the KSU, Frederick Kharmawphlang, yesterday sent his resignation letter to the student union’s president Daniel Khyriem, informing him that he was joining the HNLC.

In the letter, Kharmawphlang said as a KSU leader he felt that the Congress government in Meghalaya was only buying time on the issue of inner-line permit (ILP) by asking the pressure groups to study 52 existing laws, as 2014 is a “political year”.

The KSU and other groups have been demanding implementation of the permit regime to check influx into the state.

“The HNLC welcomes the stand taken by Kharmawphlang and 13 others under his leadership to join the council. These youths were victims of the political system. They were hunted by police for many months as if they are terrorists just because they supported the implementation of ILP,” HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a statement issued today.

He said there were “many others” from several NGOs who had joined the council to support an armed political struggle to “retain the Hynniewtrep sovereign state”.

Nongtraw said the Centre had turned a blind eye to implementation of the ILP in Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur.

“This is also a clear indication of discrimination. The Centre has failed northeastern states. This so-called democracy has failed the Hynniewtrep. We have the right to self-determination. If India does not want us to be anti-India, then (it should) stop violating our human rights,” Nongtraw said.

The outfit appealed to all pressure groups to expand the ILP struggle into a human rights issue “as it is our legitimate right to protect the interests of our nation”.

Stating that no other country would come to the rescue except the United Nations, Nongtraw said the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (Unpo) is there to safeguard the interests of small nations.

“The Naga movement is also a part of this organisation and hence it is protected under the umbrella of Unpo. The HNLC has faith in the UN. If the UN can intervene into the affairs of Syria, East Timor, South Sudan, Kosovo, why not in our homeland?” he asked.

Pointing out to the recent visit of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to the state, Nongtraw said: “The Indian government had shown keen interest on the Tibet issue but has forgotten that the Northeast had so many national questions. India should first try to solve its own created problems rather than mingling into affairs of other countries. Sixty-seven years have passed and the seven sisters have always been the victim of Indian-ism.”

He said the HNLC “would struggle for separation”.

“Several revolutionary groups are of the same opinion. If we integrate with India, discrimination towards our brothers and sisters will not reduce and the situation will worsen,” he added.


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