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Centre willing to amend statute

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Feb 11 � The Government of India is even willing to amend the Constitution, if need arises to solve the problems of Assam, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram conveyed this to the ULFA delegation.

Revealing this, chairman of ULFA Arabinda Rajkhowa said that the conduct of governments of India and Assam was satisfactory. �We wanted a just, honourable and acceptable solution to the problems of Assam,� he said.

Though he didn�t specify the problems, he gave enough indications to suggest that illegal migration from Bangladesh could be the focus of their attention. �That Assam�s identity is under grave threat is a universal truth and the ruling dispensation is responsible for this,� he observed.

This is the reason for the conflict between Government of India and ULFA, the chairman said, adding that they have been raising this issue since a long time.

The chairman was addressing Assamese students at a felicitation function organised by Assamese Students� Association, Delhi (ASAD) to greet the ULFA leaders here this afternoon.

The function was attended by ULFA vice chairman, Pradip Gogoi, ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain, Pranati Deka, Mithinga Daimary, Chitrabon Hazarika, Raju Barua, Sashadhar Choudhury, besides the chairman himself.

The function addressed by a number of the ULFA leaders, saw Rajkhowa break into one of his self composed �revolutionary songs�. Despite repeated requests from the students, Mithinga Daimary however, declined to recite his poems.

The ULFA leaders had a word of advice for the students though: �Do not ever pick up guns. You should never take the path we had adopted.�

Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of the function, one of the leaders said the proposed coordination committee was an informal proposition. He also hinted that government may be looking at the option of ceasefire pact.

�We are perhaps the first militant organisation to enter into a formal dialogue process with Government of India without signing a ceasefire pact,� he said.

The Centre has constituted a seven-member coordination group to take forward the peace process. The group is to look into the issue of designated camps, surrender and other related issues.

The ULFA leaders also insisted that officially they were still outlawed and liable to be put behind bars if they violated the bail provisions.

Meanwhile, the ULFA leaders have sought an appointment with UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and are scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on Monday.

Addressing the students, Rajkhowa said for last 30 years they have been fighting for sovereignty and because of the pre-conditions set by both the sides, a political solution could not be arrived at. �Now both sides have come forward to hold talks without any pre-condition,� the chairman said giving full credit to Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA) for taking the initiative.

Though the chairman did not dwell much on yesterday�s formal dialogue with Government of India, he mentioned about the letter written by the Prime Minister on May 25, 2005 offering to discuss everything including the core issue.

Criticising a section of the media for stating that the dialogue yesterday was over in 20 minutes, Rajkhowa said discussions have only started and it would conclude with the signing of the accord.

Speaking at the function, deputy C-in-C Raju Barua stressed that they need the support of the people and have given more importance to the wishes of the people than their own constitution. However, he cautioned that a section was out to sabotage the process and identity of these elements should be noted.

Pranati Deka said that the State�s indigenous people and tribal groups faced threats to their identity and their right to live honourably should be respected.

ULFA was born because of certain compulsions because nobody likes to take up guns. But now people of the State want peace, she added.

The function was also addressed by vice chairman, Pradip Gogoi, finance secretary, Chitrabon Hazarika, and Bhimkanta Buragohain.

Meanwhile, the ULFA leaders faced a volley of questions from students. One wanted to know why they took so long to apologise for the Dhemaji blasts, another wanted to know whether the peace process would succeed, and if there is a division within the outfit.

Sashadhar Choudhury, who answered the questions, said that in the changed global scenario, militancy cannot survive. But he added that it was difficult to spell out whether the dialogue process would succeed, as it is a political process. On Dhemaji blast, he said the outfit has already clarified its position.

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Centre willing to amend statute

NEW DELHI, Feb 11 � The Government of India is even willing to amend the Constitution, if need arises to solve the problems of Assam, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram conveyed this to the ULFA delegation.

Revealing this, chairman of ULFA Arabinda Rajkhowa said that the conduct of governments of India and Assam was satisfactory. �We wanted a just, honourable and acceptable solution to the problems of Assam,� he said.

Though he didn�t specify the problems, he gave enough indications to suggest that illegal migration from Bangladesh could be the focus of their attention. �That Assam�s identity is under grave threat is a universal truth and the ruling dispensation is responsible for this,� he observed.

This is the reason for the conflict between Government of India and ULFA, the chairman said, adding that they have been raising this issue since a long time.

The chairman was addressing Assamese students at a felicitation function organised by Assamese Students� Association, Delhi (ASAD) to greet the ULFA leaders here this afternoon.

The function was attended by ULFA vice chairman, Pradip Gogoi, ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain, Pranati Deka, Mithinga Daimary, Chitrabon Hazarika, Raju Barua, Sashadhar Choudhury, besides the chairman himself.

The function addressed by a number of the ULFA leaders, saw Rajkhowa break into one of his self composed �revolutionary songs�. Despite repeated requests from the students, Mithinga Daimary however, declined to recite his poems.

The ULFA leaders had a word of advice for the students though: �Do not ever pick up guns. You should never take the path we had adopted.�

Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of the function, one of the leaders said the proposed coordination committee was an informal proposition. He also hinted that government may be looking at the option of ceasefire pact.

�We are perhaps the first militant organisation to enter into a formal dialogue process with Government of India without signing a ceasefire pact,� he said.

The Centre has constituted a seven-member coordination group to take forward the peace process. The group is to look into the issue of designated camps, surrender and other related issues.

The ULFA leaders also insisted that officially they were still outlawed and liable to be put behind bars if they violated the bail provisions.

Meanwhile, the ULFA leaders have sought an appointment with UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and are scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on Monday.

Addressing the students, Rajkhowa said for last 30 years they have been fighting for sovereignty and because of the pre-conditions set by both the sides, a political solution could not be arrived at. �Now both sides have come forward to hold talks without any pre-condition,� the chairman said giving full credit to Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA) for taking the initiative.

Though the chairman did not dwell much on yesterday�s formal dialogue with Government of India, he mentioned about the letter written by the Prime Minister on May 25, 2005 offering to discuss everything including the core issue.

Criticising a section of the media for stating that the dialogue yesterday was over in 20 minutes, Rajkhowa said discussions have only started and it would conclude with the signing of the accord.

Speaking at the function, deputy C-in-C Raju Barua stressed that they need the support of the people and have given more importance to the wishes of the people than their own constitution. However, he cautioned that a section was out to sabotage the process and identity of these elements should be noted.

Pranati Deka said that the State�s indigenous people and tribal groups faced threats to their identity and their right to live honourably should be respected.

ULFA was born because of certain compulsions because nobody likes to take up guns. But now people of the State want peace, she added.

The function was also addressed by vice chairman, Pradip Gogoi, finance secretary, Chitrabon Hazarika, and Bhimkanta Buragohain.

Meanwhile, the ULFA leaders faced a volley of questions from students. One wanted to know why they took so long to apologise for the Dhemaji blasts, another wanted to know whether the peace process would succeed, and if there is a division within the outfit.

Sashadhar Choudhury, who answered the questions, said that in the changed global scenario, militancy cannot survive. But he added that it was difficult to spell out whether the dialogue process would succeed, as it is a political process. On Dhemaji blast, he said the outfit has already clarified its position.

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