Meghalaya: Centre apprised of HNLC’s keenness for peace talks, says Tynsong

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SHILLONG | JUNE 25, 2020:

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Thursday said that the State Government has already apprised the Centre on the keenness of the proscribed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) to hold talks.

Talking to reporters here today, Tynsong said that the stand of the State Government is very clear. "They should shun violence and then only the doors for the peace process will be opened," said Tynsong. "On one hand, they (HNLC) want peace talks but on the other, their violent activities continue. It is not fair," added the Dy CM.

Tynsong asserted that they should first put a stop to their violent activities and then talks can happen.

"The Centre will decide Government whether it is conditional or unconditional. The peace talks will be as per prescribed norms," Tynsong said.

When asked about the appointment of an interlocutor, he said that it is too early to say anything on this. "Let the Centre first examine the issue. May be they will call the State Government to discuss and then only modalities will be finalized," he said.

Will there be Cabinet Reshuffling?

The Deputy Chief Minister and NPP leader, Prestone Tynsong maintained that the party has no plan to include any new faces in the cabinet.

He said this while reacting to a question on whether the NPP is planning to bring in new faces if cabinet reshuffling is effected after the MDA completes its two and a half years in office this August.

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Hawkers' cry for attention

On the problems faced by street hawkers, Tynsong said that the Government has entrusted the Chief Secretary and the Urban Affairs department to identify a place for the street hawkers to resume their daily business adding that the Government fully understands their problem since it is an issue that concerns their livelihood.

"We cannot say unless we are able to identify a designated place," he said. According to him, the Government's priority at the moment is to reduce the congestion to contain the pandemic and also to ensure the safety of the people.

Will Meghalaya go for aggressive testing and contact tracing?

The Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister has ruled the possibility of adopting the Andhra Pradesh-model to go for aggressive testing and tracing in the fight against COVID-19.

He said that there is no point in testing unless the Government strengthens the entry and exit points.

Tynsong, however, said that given the prevailing situation, the message is very clear as the interstate movement is not allowed adding that people should avoid coming to the State at the moment.

Deputy Chief Minister maintained that the present testing for the COVID-19 which the Government is doing is good enough. "But we are not complacent. We will review and take a decision on how to meet the challenges. Right now the priority is to prevent people from entering the State by way of strengthening the entry and exit points," he said.

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