TURA, June 11 - Altogether 66 cadres of United A�chik Liberation Army (UALA) bade farewell to arms at a historic disbanding ceremony which was attended by Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, interlocutors and others here on Thursday.
Formed in 2012, UALA had signed a peace agreement with the State Government in December last year.
The Chief Minister, in his address, lauded UALA�s decision saying that the programme would generate a lot of hope and should be taken as an opportunity to send a positive message to the others who are still in the jungle.
Sharing the concern of UALA chairman Novembirth Marak over negative remarks from certain quarters on Government�s rehabilitation package for militants, Sangma said the government was moving ahead with complete clarity to achieve the shared objective of bringing lasting peace in the region.
He said the approach of the government of providing such platform for peace should be adopted across the State as well as other States of North East as the menace of insurgency is a shared problem of the States in the region.
The Chief Minister urged cadres of the disbanded outfit never to lose hope and assured them that the government would continue giving them guiding support.
Home Minister Roshan Warjri in her address expressed her gratitude to all those who made it possible to bring UALA cadres back to the mainstream and called for continued support and counselling as they start their lives anew.
Ex-chairman of another outlawed militant group, Julius K Dorphang, who is now a legislator, briefly shared his past experiences and the peace he felt after coming overground.
He also spoke words of encouragement to the cadres of the disbanded organisation.
UALA chairman Novembirth Marak expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister and the interlocutors for facilitating their return to the mainstream.
The Bishop of Tura, Rev Andrew R Marak, also spoke on the occasion. � PTI