TURA, Feb 7 � The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) today said it wants talks on a separate State for the Garos only with New Delhi and not the Meghalaya Government. If the talks failed, it would make the outfit raise the issue in the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Forum in New York.
The outfit has reacted sharply to Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh�s press statement in Shillong on Monday wherein he had announced the government�s decision not to hold talks with the GNLA.
The political secretary of the GNLA, Bikdot Nikjang Marak, called up media persons here to strongly criticise Lyngdoh�s statement.
�Why should we hold talks with the Home Minister who has been in the post for just two years and whose political fate in the upcoming Assembly elections remains uncertain,� claimed the GNLA leader.
He added that the power of granting a separate State rests solely with the Centre and not the State and the demand for a separation from Shillong is �genuine� given that the Garos are keen to be within the framework of the Indian Constitution and are not demanding secession.
�We shall see the reaction of the Central Government to the demand of several lakh Garos and if Delhi is cold to the idea, then we will be compelled to knock on the doors of the United Nations,� said Nikjang.
The militant leader also said, �We knew all along that those holding the reins of power in Shillong would never allow power to slip away from their hands and thereby concede to our demands. Why would the Khasis be keen to see the Garos having their own State? That is simple logic,� he said.