GUWAHATI, Sept 7 - Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today expressed his optimism that he would be able to convince all the outlawed outfits, including the Paresh Baruah-led ULFA(I) and the NSCN(K) for peace parleys.
The Art of Living founder, while talking to media persons here today, informed that he is already in touch with leaders like Paresh Baruah and that efforts are on to bridge the trust deficit between the stakeholders of the peace process.
�Trust deficit is the primary reason behind the existence of militancy. We, through the conference, want to provide them a platform where they can express their views,� he asserted.
Ravi Shankar is here to take part in the North East Indigenous People�s Conference where leaders of various indigenous organisations from various states of the Northeast, including Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura, took part.
Representatives of various surrendered militant groups of the region, including ULFA leader Anup Chetia, who is also the convenor of the conference, attended the conference that was formed to stitch up an alliance among all the indigenous communities to safeguard their own identities.
�It is kind of a breakthrough as we have been able to bring various militant leaders to the table after working for more than a decade here in the Northeast. We also need to bring the youths, especially those who are still outside the country, to the mainstream, i.e. from conflict to cooperation. The response has been positive,� Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said.
Replying to a query on the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, the spiritual leader said, �It is a Catch-22 situation. It is only after peace is restored that the Act could be withdrawn.�
On the issue of illegal migrants, Sri Sri said that the problem of illegal migrants is a political issue, which will have to be resolved diplomatically.
Similarly, expressing his views on the Rohingya Muslims, he opined that refugees must be treated with dignity no matter where they come from.