4th round of Mizoram peace talks postponed

21 Feb 2017

The fourth round of peace talks between Mizoram government and Hmar People's Convention (Democratic), which was scheduled to be held in mid February has been deferred and is now likely to be held in March.
State home department officials today said efforts were being made to speed-up the peace process and two other government departments were to be involved. Earlier, additional secretary to the state home department, Lalbiakzama had said the peace talks had made tremendous progress and were nearing conclusion with both sides optimistic about finding an amicable solution to the Hmar imbroglio. Implementation of the proposed framework agreement would necessitate a legislation by the state assembly for establishment of a revamped council called 'Singlung Hills Council' by replacing 'Sinlung Hills Development Council', he had said. Provisions for the proposed legislation would have to be vetted by the state law and judicial department which would take time, he said.
The finance department's approval also was being sought as expenses for rehabilitation of the HPC(D) cadres would have to be worked out before they come overground after signing the proposed peace agreement, he added. The Hmar community who are concentrated in the north eastern part of Mizoram adjoining Manipur have been demanding autonomy along the lines of the autonomous district councils of the Maras, Lais and Chakmas in the southern part of the state. HPC(D) went underground in 1989 demanding a separate autonomous district council and signed an agreement with the state government in 1994 which resulted in the formation of the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC).
HPC(D) was formed by former HPC cadres who were unhappy with the agreement and launched armed insurrection for a separate autonomous district council for the Hmars. However, they agreed to abandon the claim and give more power to SHDC during the peace talks in August last year.