(March 31, 2011)
The Hmar Peoples’ Convention (Democratic) is deeply concerned with the strategic impediments the Government of Mizoram has purportedly been putting in the run-up of the Hmar-Government of Mizoram political talks by insisting new and narrow pre-conditions and interpretations in clear violation of the mutually agreed ground rules. HPC (D) considers the repeated attempts on the part of Government of Mizoram to dictate terms and conditions outside the purview of Suspension of Operation (SoO) Agreement as an attempt to sabotage the peace process and nip the prospect of a democratic dialogue in the bud.
The HPC(D) has been earnestly reminding the Government of Mizoram to respect, adhere to and uphold the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement to all intents and purposes. However, the overblown pre-conditions set by it have not only betrayed the spirit and mutual trust but also seriously tarnished the credibility of the Government of Mizoram and its presumed seriousness for the talks. HPC (D) views and condemns the attitude of the Government as divisive and a sinister attempt to further thwart the political aspirations of the Hmar people.
HPC(D) will not, in any manner, accommodate the divisive design of the Government of Mizoram. HPC(D) firmly reiterates its desire to open a dignified democratic platform to realize its political aspirations within the framework of the Constitution of India. HPC(D) also firmly holds that, in the interest of the nation as a whole and the marginalized Hmar people of Mizoram in particular, the Government of Mizoram and the HPC(D) ought to collectively work together, in the spirit of mutual trust, confidence and respect, to find a lasting solution to the political aspirations of the Hmar people in Mizoram.
It is in pursuit of the stated HPC(D)’s policy and demand that talks have to be held, not to divide the country but to unite with a stronger bond by accommodating the marginalised interests of the Hmar people as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. To ensure successful deliberations, HPC(D) has advocated the necessity of signing Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement for building trust, confidence and goodwill so that the talks are held in a peaceful environment. This resulted in the signing of Suspension of Operation (SoO) which provides space for the preparation of ground works and for wider consultations for achieving lasting peace and solution. It is in the backdrop of this preparation that the HPC(D) has asked the Government of Mizoram to first extend the term of SoO and then let HPC(D) know the date convenient for the talks so that mutually agreed convenient date and place for the first talk could be worked out. Official reply from the Government of Mizoram to this démarche is still awaited. HPC(D) holds that any issue raised by the Government of Mizoram within or outside the purview of the SoO agreement is to be discussed and sorted out when talks are held and therefore, strongly condemns any unilateral statement in public or through the media in violation of the mutual understanding as irresponsible and immature.
While saying that, the HPC(D) is surprised by the recent statement of Pu Lal Thanhawla, Chief Minister of Mizoram, and Pu Lalmalsawma, Secretary to the Government of Mizoram, who publicly announced their assumption that the HPC(D) was trying to rope in “Americans” to represent its side at the Hmar–Government of Mizoram talks. The HPC(D) has not, even once, revealed the names of its delegate for the incoming Hmar-Government of Mizoram talks. More importantly, the HPC(D) is fully aware of and sensitive to the constitutional proprieties and norms and has, at no time, any intention of engaging any foreigner to represent them at the Hmar-Government of Mizoram talks. The Government of Mizoram should banish such thoughts as a product of demonic calculations and stick to its commitment. The glorified statement contains no element of truth.
Both the engaging parties ought to envision a balance and lasting political solution so as to secure the future of Mizoram. HPC(D)’s demand for a political solution of the Hmar people in Mizoram is within the power and prerogative of the Government of Mizoram to fulfill and implement within the Constitution of India. It is embedded in the agreement signed between the Government of Mizoram and HPC in 1994. It is a debt of work the Government of Mizoram has to fulfill in return for long. The HPC(D) strongly condemns any repetition of divisive prod to fragment the Hmar people and deprive them of realizing their Constitutional rights. It is the desire of the HPC(D) that the Government of Mizoram is honest with its commitment for the upcoming Hmar- Government of Mizoram talks.
(JOHN F. HMAR)
Information and Publicity
Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic)
General Headquarters, Sinlung