ULFA discusses charter of demands for peace talks

Nalbari: The pro-talk ULFA faction, led by Arabinda Rajkhowa, is deliberating on the charter of demands to be taken up during its peace talks with the Centre.

A closed-door meeting of the outfit`s executive body at Helasa in Nalbari district since yesterday studied the proposals, handed over to them by Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA), a group of intellectuals to facilitate talks, a top ULFA leader said today.

The meeting will also discuss issues raised by SJA, reflecting aspirations of the Assamese people, before submitting its own charter of demands to the Centre, the leader said.

The SJA charter demands constitutional amendments to give Assam greater control over their natural resources, revenue generation, participation in the planning process, ensuring a secure demographic situation, besides accelerated and balanced development.

Handing over the document to the ULFA chairman at a function in Guwahati last Saturday, SJA convener and Sahitya Akademi winner, Hiren Gohain, expressed hope talks would lead to positive results.

Gohain said, "I am hopeful the talks will be fruitful as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that the Constitution was flexible and necessary changes could be made to fulfil the aspirations of the indigenous Assamese".

Rajkhowa told reporters at the Guwahati function the outfit would press for a time-bound dialogue with the Centre so that talks did not drag.