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Mizoram Assembly to take up Sinlung Hills Council Bill this month

Mizoram

Mizoram Assembly to take up Sinlung Hills Council Bill this month

Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Formation of interim  Sinlung Hills Council (SHC), which was agreed upon by the Mizoram government and Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) as per Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed on April 2, though still uncertain, is likely to take place in early May, sources from HPC(D) said on Monday.

Lalthalien, a Hmar leader and spokesperson of HPC(D) during the peace negotiation said that the interim council would soon be formed, most probably in early May.

As per the peace accord between the Mizoram government and Hmar militants, an interim council would be formed for a period of six months.

Mizoram chief secretary Arvind Ray and HPC-D chairman H. Zosangbera sign a historic peace accord in Aizawl on April 2, 2018.

Lalthalien, who arrived in Aizawl on Sunday along with HPC (D) working chairman Lalthanglien (LT Hmar) and ‘army chief’ Lalropuia on Monday met Lalrinmawia Ralte, political adviser to the chief minister, who headed the government delegation in the political level talks, over the formation of the interim council.

“The government wants the formation of the interim council to take place as soon as possible and one-day special assembly is likely to be summoned in early May to legislate Sinlung Hills Council Bill,” Ralte was quoted as saying.

Speaking to zoramobserver.com, Lalthalien said they gave priority to the enactment of laws under the proposed SHC act than the formation of the interim council.

“We want the bill to be passed and enacted with immediate effect. We appealed the government to take action immediately to gain the confidence of the people and I hope the honorable government will take into account our proposals,” he said.

He said that the SHC bill has been drafted and was approved in principle during the fourth round of official level talks in April last year.

He added that the bill was referred to law department for verification.

REASON FOR DELAY

According to Lalthalien, the process of interim council formation got delayed as files have been mistakenly sent to General Administration Department (GAD) while it was supposed to be sent to the home department.

He said that the home department was chosen as the nodal department in place of GAD for processing the file to expedite the process.

He added that the HPC(D) is yet to intimate proposals for the formation of interim council including list of councilors to the state government.

The leader further said that efforts would be taken to complete all formalities for conduct of general election to the council during the six months interim period.

Meanwhile, Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) chairman Hmingchungnunga said he would vacate his office by the end of May.

In a tete-a-tete with The Telegraph, the former rebel leader said he will resign from his post along with his 17 councillors including 3 nominated members, by the end of May to give room to the HPC(D)leaders.

As per the peace agreement between the Mizoram government and HPC(D), the SHDC would be accorded more autonomy and rechristened as SHC

Hmingchunghnunga, who occupied office as chairman of SHDC for three times since its inception in April, 1997, strongly welcome the peace accord between the state government and HPC(D).

He urged both the state government and the militants to stick to their agreement and work together under mutual trust.

He also appealed to the state government to immediately implement the peace accord and enact laws under the SHC act for the welfare being of the people in SHC area.

After a series of peace talks starting from August, 2016, the Mizoram government and HPC(D) signed a peace accord on 2 April this year that ended more than the two-decades-long insurgency. About 114 HPC (D) cadres including its chairman H. Zosangbera and other leaders laid down arms during a homecoming ceremony held at Sesawng village near Aizawl on 13 April.

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Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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