GUWAHATI, Oct 22 � A Joint Peace Mission Team, comprising church leaders of Assam and Nagaland, met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at his official residence here on Tuesday evening, stated an official press release here this evening.
The church leaders from Catholic and Protestant churches, while apprising the Chief Minister about the peace initiatives undertaken by them in the trouble-torn areas along the Assam-Nagaland border, said status quo has to be maintained at any cost and that the problem has to be viewed from humanitarian perspective. The Chief Minister, while agreeing, said the State government is for maintaining status quo along the inter-state border and that the people displaced during violence must be rehabilitated.
The church leaders said the peace process has to be carried out at the grass-root level and the involvement of the gaon burahs (village headmen) is a must for reconciliation and ushering in durable peace along the inter-state border. They opined that while an early political solution to the disputed areas would take more time, the reconciliation process among the people living along the border is of utmost necessity for peace to prevail there.
The Chief Minister while echoing their sentiments said it is high time for better sense to prevail and to acknowledge the fact that �one has to live together, no one can live in isolation.�
The church leaders told the Chief Minister that efforts are on to facilitate harvesting by the displaced Adivasi people.
Hailing the move as a step in the right direction, the Chief Minister said the displaced people should not only be allowed to harvest but also to re-settle in the places where they belonged to. �The task of rehabilitation of the displaced people living in the relief camps should be completed as soon as possible. We seek the cooperation of one and all, including the church leaders towards this end,� he added.
The Chief Minister stressed on confidence-building measures for complete restoration of peace and normalcy in the affected areas. He lauded the peace initiatives of the church leaders and hoped that their efforts would help to restore normalcy by rekindling the age-old ties between the people of both the States living along the border.
A peace prayer was held on the occasion and it was joined in by the Chief Minister, wherein the church leaders prayed for early restoration of peace and normalcy in the affected areas.
The delegation of the Joint Peace Mission team consisted of Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, Reverend Dr Kavito Zhimomi, Reverend Kari Longchar, Reverend Amos Humtsoe, Reverend Soloman Rongpi, Reverend R Lalnunzira, Fr Romanus, Elder FJ Mairom, Atango, Meru, Satyajit Das, Amrit Goldsmith and Allen Brooks.