Tura, March 5: The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) today appealed United Church Peace Forum and advocate Sujit Dey to act as a mediator to facilitate peace talks with Meghalaya governor K.K. Paul.
A statement issued by its commander-in-chief, Sohan D. Shira said, “We urge the governor to approve the name of advocate Sujit Dey and United Church Peace Forum to facilitate peace talks.”
Sohan’s remark comes a day after the outfit’s political secretary Bikdot Marak said the GNLA was prepared for military action.
“We would like to officially start communication with the governor. Our chairman Champion Sangma will start his communication with the governor,” said Sohan.
The statement also said, “This press release should be treated as an official document for the purpose till the approval of the said mediator.”
On Monday, the GNLA had justified its demand by saying, “We have our own ideology and our ideology contains explanation of facts and history, justification of demands and faith in the ultimate truth of our causes.”
“The GNLA is demanding creation of a separate Garoland state and Bikdot Marak justified this demand. It is a political and social need,” Sohan said. He claimed that anti-Garoland rallies are sponsored by the government.
Bikdot Marak asserted that the GNLA stands for the cause of Garo hills. “If the government is not willing to hold talks with the GNLA, we are prepared to adopt military action. Mukul has underestimated our willingness to come forward.”
On February 24, Marak had said the GNLA was not afraid of any operation against it and its decision to come forward for peace talks was based purely on an appeal made by the governor.
On February 17, the GNLA had expressed its willingness to come forward for peace talks only after the release of its jailed chairman Champion Sangma. Mukul had said the government would examine the “situation and their demand”.
“It is important for the government to understand the situation and then take a call,” the chief minister added.