~ Henry L Khojol (Reporter-The Mizoram Post & Newslink)

Aizawl, 15 September, 2016, Virthli (ONP): The date and time for next round of talks between Mizoram government and Manipur based Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) which is scheduled to be held within September is not yet fixed, state home department said.
Officials of home department said that the next round of HPC(D)-Mizoram talks is scheduled to be held within this September as per an agreement of both sides in the first round of talks held on August 10. “HPC (D) delegation has recently submitted their charter of demands to the state government. Officials of home department would first sit over the charter of demands after which the date for next round of talks will be decided,” home department officials said.

HPC (D) delegation has submitted their charter of demands to Mizoram government on 5 September. The leader of HPC (D) delegation Lalthalien told media that the five point charter of demands was sent by an e-mail to Mizoram government. As agreed in the first round of talks held on August 10, the charter of demands include strengthening and upgradation of the MoS signed between Mizoram government and the erstwhile Hmar People Convention (now political party) in 1994.

Sources also said that HPC (D) has demanded the creation of Autonomous body to be known as Sinlung Hills Autonomous/ Territorial Council (SHAC) which shall have legislative, executive and financial powers in respect to subjects transferred to it. The autonomous body shall comprise 14 elected members and 2 nominated members preferably from minority communities to be headed by Chief Executive Member.

HPC (D) delegates Dr. John H Pulamte said that the HPC(D) has not decided or selected members of delegation to represent the outfit in the next round of talks and it is likely to be decided when the government intimate the actual date for talks.

Whether any member of the HPC (D) leaders would participate in the next round of talks was not yet known as the state government had not demanded the participation of the members of the outfit till date, Lalthalien had earlier told media.

As the parleys were held on mutual trust, the HPC (D) delegation till today did not raise the issue of signing Suspension of Operation (SoO), he added.

The peace talks between Mizoram government and HPC (D) was resumed on 10 August, 2016, three years after a stalemate in 2013. While the 6 member HPC (D) delegation was led by Lalthalien, a church leader from Imphal, Manipur, the government side was led by Lalbiakazama, Additional secretary for home.

Both Mizoram government and the HPC (D) had made several efforts to find amicable solution to the Hmar political imbroglio through negotiations and the last talks held in 2013 fizzled out due to disagreement over the period of extension of SoO.

Formed after the signing of peace accord between HPC and Mizoram government in 1994, the HPC (D) has been demanding a separate autonomous district council in the northeastern part of Mizoram under the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India and had been indulging in violent activities to press their demands from across the Manipur border.

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