SHILLONG, June 9: The United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA), a rebel outfit of Meghalaya, was formally disbanded at a public ceremony at Tura today.
A total of 66 cadres of the outfit bade farewell to arms in the presence of the Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma and Home Minister Roshan Warjri at SMELC building in Tura.
The UALA, which was floated in 2012, signed a peace agreement with the Government on December 18, 2015 after a series of dialogues in the past one-and-a half year.
The general secretary of Garo Baptist Convention Rev. Jang R. Sangma, Pastor of Hawakha Church, Rev. FD Sangma and Rev. Fr. Januarius S Sangma were un-official interlocutors, while
MBOSE chairman and Commissioner & Secretary, Education, EP Kharbhih served as the facilitator from Government side.
Chief Minister Sangma in his address lauded the bold decision of the organization saying that the programme would generate a lot of hope and should be taken as an opportunity to send a positive message to the others who are still in the jungle.
Reiterating that discrimition was the cause of frustration and loss of hope among the youth resulting in militancy, he called for collective and concerted efforts of all concerned to complete turround in the system.
Sharing the concern of the UALA chairman Novembirth Marak over negative remarks from certain quarters on Government’s rehabilitation package for rebels, who give up arms, the Chief Minister said that the Government was moving ahead with complete clarity to achieve the shared objective of bringing lasting peace in the region.
The Chief Minister urged the cadres of the disbanded outfit not to lose hope and assured them that the Government would continue giving them handholding and guiding support.
Home Minister Warjri in her address expressed her gratitude to all those who made it possible to bring UALA cadres back to the mainstream and called for continued support.
She also emphasized on the dignity of labour and called for their participation in working together for peace and development in the State.
Mawhati legislator Julius K Dorphaner, who was the chairman of now-disband HNLC chairman, briefly shared his past experiences.
Chairman of the disbanded organization Novembirth Marak highlighted the background of the organization, the objective for which it was formed and the decision taken by them to come and join the mainstream.
He expressed his gratitude to Chief Minister Sangma and the interlocutors for facilitating the talk-process.