After a series of “official level talks” held between August 2016 and September 2017, the Mizoram government and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) will hold the first “political level talks” on Wednesday, March 7, to find a “final solution” to the vexed Hmar political problems.
The peace talks will be held at State Guest House here which will begin from 11 a.m., a senior officer in the State Home department said. The talks initially scheduled for March 5 was deferred at the request of the HPC (D) and both sides remain optimistic for a positive outcome from the ongoing peace negotiations, he added.
The Mizoram government delegation will be headed by political adviser to the chief minister and MLA Lalrinmawia Ralte. Other members will include Mizoram Law Commission chairman and MLA John Siamkunga and Home department officials who had taken part in the “official level talks”.
Meanwhile, an eleven-member HPC (D) delegation led by the group’s working chairman Lalthanglien alias LT Hmar arrived in Aizawl on Tuesday evening. The HPC (D) team comprises of four Hmar leaders from Manipur and seven from Mizoram.
The Hmar leaders expressed hope that the peace talks will bring solution to the long standing Hmar problems.
The Mizoram government and the H. Zosangbera-led HPC (D) faction have been holding series of peace talks starting from August 10, 2016. So far, the two sides have had held five rounds of talks between August 2016 and September 2017. The talks mainly revolved around autonomy to the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC), which came into existence after signing of peace accord between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile rebel group Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in July 1994.
The council has been proposed to be rechristened as Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) which would be based in Sakawrdai as headquarters and shall have 14 members including 2 nominated members preferably from minority communities.
During the last “official level talks” held on September 22 last year, both sides had approved in principle regarding the draft legislation for the proposed SHC and Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) draft.
HPC (D) spokesperson Lalthalien said the Hmar Inpui, the apex body of the Hmar people, has approved the draft legislation and suggested some ratification which will be tabled in the “political level talks” on Wednesday.