ULFA names 10-member team for talks

People’s consultative group:
Mamoni Raisom Goswami, Rebati Phukan, Ajit Bhuyan, Hyder Hussain, Diganta Konwar, Hiranya Saikia; Brojen Gogoi, Mukul Mahanta, Arup Borbora, Lachit Bordoloi and Dilip Patgiri.
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The proscribed ULFA today named a ten-member people’s consultative group headed by literatteur Mamoni Raisom Goswami to enter into a dialogue with the Centre to carry forward the peace talks between it and New Delhi.

In a release mailed to the media by ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, the organization has asked former Assam footballer Rebati Phukan to assist Dr Goswami in the peace process.

Others who form part of the entourage are journalists Ajit Bhuyan, Hyder Hussain, Diganta Konwar; sports organizer Hiranya Saikia; Dr Brojen Gogoi; engineer Mukul Mahanta, lawyer Arup Borbora; MASS adviser Lachit Bordoloi and Dilip Patgiri, adviser Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chattra Parishad.

Meanwhile, ULFA’s announcement of nominating a team for a dialogue with the Centre has meet with a warm reception in the State. (The comments below were solicited from them before the above names were announced by the ULFA.)

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that the decision bodes well for the State. He said that soon the State will be able to solve the problem of insurgency. He also welcomed other ultra groups to come to the negotiating table.

Dr Hiren Gohain said: \\"We all must welcome the ULFA’s decision.\\" He said that the list of persons nominated would hold the key to a solution. \\"If those nominated could take the peace process further then we will hit a solution\\", he said, adding that dialogue should start with the Centre without delay.

Former Chief Minister Sarat Singha said that the decision to lay the ground rules for talks between the Centre and the ULFA indeed augurs well for the State.

Dhirendra Nath Chakraborty, Editor of Dainik Asom, while welcoming the announcement, asked the Centre to seize the initiative and show the same level of sincerity as it had shown to the NSCN(IM).

Former Axom Xahitya Xabha president and Editor of Amor Asom said that if the initiative can clear the way for a formal dialogue with between the Centre and the ULFA, one can ask for nothing more.

AJYCP president Putul Dutta said that the ball was in the Centre’s court. He said that the Centre must respect the ULFA’s proposal and initiate steps to clear the decks.

Kanaksen Deka, president, Axom Xahitya Xabha, said that it augurs well for the State. \\"Let us be optimistic\\", he said.

All Assam Students’ Union president Shankar Prasad Roy said that the underlying thing is that there should be peace in the State. He said that the AASU has always advocated peace through dialogue only.

Social scientist Amalendu Guha said that if the intent was peace ‘we should all welcome the move’.

AGP president Brindabon Goswami also echoed the same sentiment and welcomed the ULFA’s initiative and said that the Centre should play a proactive role in this regard.

Our Dibrugarh staff correspondent adds:

Intellectuals and leading public figure in Dibrugarh also welcomed the ULFA’s initiative.

Bhuban Barua, former professor of Dibrugarh University and a columnist, said that the ULFA’s decision has brought a ray of hope. He said that the people of Assam are positive on the outcome of the encouraging initiative of the ULFA. Bharti Rajkonwar, widow of Dimba Rajkonwar, brother of ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, said that she was waiting to hear this news for years. \\"I am looking forward to a lasting solution\\", she said.

Noted journalist and columnist Dr Deba Ranjan Dhar welcomed the positive approach.

Panindra Barua, a bank employee and a columnist, said that the issue of importance was that they have agreed to talk and not who all would talk. Jyoti Dutta, Principal of Lahoal College, said that he was all for it since it was in the interest of the people of the State, who have not seen peace for well over two decades now.

Uttam Barua , secretary, Assam Printering Press Association, also welcomed the move saying that this could be the harbinger of peace in the State.

(The Sentinel, 09/09/05)