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Chetia sees Centre�s sincerity in resolving ULFA issue

By Ron Duarah

JERAIGAON (DIBRUGARH), May 22 - ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia today told a big gathering of martyrs� families that he believes the present dispensation at the Central Government appears sincere to resolve the so-called �ULFA-India tangle� and that the right moves are being made by all the stakeholder parties.

A big get-together of ULFA martyr families of the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts was organised here today by the Jatiya Swahid Porial Oikya Mancha, Asom. Of course, Chetia is taking a special initiative in bringing together the splinter groups of the ULFA to be a single cohesive group. He said the struggle of the organisation has taken a new turn, and that there is a good chance that a negotiated settlement to the ULFA issue now seems a possibility. He assured that the charter of demands would be what the people of Assam want, and not a secret understanding among a few individuals.

Chetia said one has to learn from the Assam Accord experience. According to him, the Assam Accord is yet to be fully implemented because there was lots of space for transparency and clarity in the Accord. Towards this end, he is reorganising all factions of active and ex-ULFA members to avoid future complications arising out of splinter group activism.

The best part is that Anup Chetia is a highly respected leader of all these groups. Everyone is ready to listen to him. He is �Chetia Sir� to all present and former ULFA members, whether they are the old surrenderees, the pro-talks group, whatever. It was noticed today that even the family members of the martyrs� families (all ULFA members who died unnaturally are ordinarily referred to as martyrs) reposed their faith in Chetia and in the ongoing peace process that is being led by Arabinda Rajkhowa and other senior leaders of the organisation.

Chetia today announced the plan of the Oikya Mancha to have a memorial trust for the welfare of the martyr families. The trust has already been registered at the Gauhati High Court and is operating two bank accounts. The trust plans a memorial park-cum-museum, to be called a �Swahid Kshetra� near Guwahati, where the people will be able to learn about the ULFA�s genesis and movement.

Chetia said members of the public are welcome to contribute to the trust which will be looking after the welfare of the martyr families to the extent possible. One activity to start immediately is a students� scholarship programme for the martyr families. He said the trust would also look to be of help to the ULFA-like outfits of the Bodo and Karbi communities, in an attempt to jointly negotiate the interests of Assam.

In a major announcement, Chetia said all sections of the people of the State would have to move forward by forgetting and forgiving the �mistakes of the past�, committed by various sections, including present and former ULFA activists.

In another major policy statement, he said the ULFA would strive to have the governments formulate a land policy where interests of the natives are protected, and land transfers regulated, so that natives do not become landless due to poverty. He said that in all the major urban centres of the State, land ownership is no longer with the ethnic communities, and pointed to this as a major heartburn among natives.

Today�s martyrs� families meeting was presided over by Dr Mridul Gogoi. Oikya Mancha president Debajit Gogoi explained the working of the organisation. The Dibrugarh and Tinsukia district committees of the Oikya Mancha were constituted on the occasion.

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Chetia sees Centre�s sincerity in resolving ULFA issue

JERAIGAON (DIBRUGARH), May 22 - ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia today told a big gathering of martyrs� families that he believes the present dispensation at the Central Government appears sincere to resolve the so-called �ULFA-India tangle� and that the right moves are being made by all the stakeholder parties.

A big get-together of ULFA martyr families of the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts was organised here today by the Jatiya Swahid Porial Oikya Mancha, Asom. Of course, Chetia is taking a special initiative in bringing together the splinter groups of the ULFA to be a single cohesive group. He said the struggle of the organisation has taken a new turn, and that there is a good chance that a negotiated settlement to the ULFA issue now seems a possibility. He assured that the charter of demands would be what the people of Assam want, and not a secret understanding among a few individuals.

Chetia said one has to learn from the Assam Accord experience. According to him, the Assam Accord is yet to be fully implemented because there was lots of space for transparency and clarity in the Accord. Towards this end, he is reorganising all factions of active and ex-ULFA members to avoid future complications arising out of splinter group activism.

The best part is that Anup Chetia is a highly respected leader of all these groups. Everyone is ready to listen to him. He is �Chetia Sir� to all present and former ULFA members, whether they are the old surrenderees, the pro-talks group, whatever. It was noticed today that even the family members of the martyrs� families (all ULFA members who died unnaturally are ordinarily referred to as martyrs) reposed their faith in Chetia and in the ongoing peace process that is being led by Arabinda Rajkhowa and other senior leaders of the organisation.

Chetia today announced the plan of the Oikya Mancha to have a memorial trust for the welfare of the martyr families. The trust has already been registered at the Gauhati High Court and is operating two bank accounts. The trust plans a memorial park-cum-museum, to be called a �Swahid Kshetra� near Guwahati, where the people will be able to learn about the ULFA�s genesis and movement.

Chetia said members of the public are welcome to contribute to the trust which will be looking after the welfare of the martyr families to the extent possible. One activity to start immediately is a students� scholarship programme for the martyr families. He said the trust would also look to be of help to the ULFA-like outfits of the Bodo and Karbi communities, in an attempt to jointly negotiate the interests of Assam.

In a major announcement, Chetia said all sections of the people of the State would have to move forward by forgetting and forgiving the �mistakes of the past�, committed by various sections, including present and former ULFA activists.

In another major policy statement, he said the ULFA would strive to have the governments formulate a land policy where interests of the natives are protected, and land transfers regulated, so that natives do not become landless due to poverty. He said that in all the major urban centres of the State, land ownership is no longer with the ethnic communities, and pointed to this as a major heartburn among natives.

Today�s martyrs� families meeting was presided over by Dr Mridul Gogoi. Oikya Mancha president Debajit Gogoi explained the working of the organisation. The Dibrugarh and Tinsukia district committees of the Oikya Mancha were constituted on the occasion.