The Ulfa’s anti-talk faction, led by its commander in chief Paresh Baruah, on Friday reacted strongly to the peace initiative made by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, saying they are interested in participating in any forms of peace talks unless the central government is ready to discuss ‘Independence of Assam’.
“You (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) have repeatedly asked us to join in the false, biased and ridiculous peace talks held by the Indian government. We would like to decline your request again to join the ‘mainstream’ peace talks because we only follow the revolutionary stream that will lead to an Independent Asom,” said the elusive rebel leader.
“You have raised concerns over our armed struggle. We have picked up arms in order to protect ourselves and not to threaten any individual. Our struggles will continue until our ultimate goal is achieved. I urge you not to ask us to lay down our arms in hope of your empty promises. I suggest you to stick to your pretentious religion and let us continue our journey to freedom,” he added.
The spiritual leader, while addressing a conference of the indigenous people of the northeast region on Thursday, appealed to all the rebel organizations to shun violence and join the national mainstream. He had also stated that he has been in touch of several rebel organisations of India’s northeast to bring them to peace talks.
Meawhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal on Thursday evening met the spiritual leader and expressed his government’s intention of entering into an agreement with Art of Living Foundation for meaningful and purposeful rehabilitation of surrendered militants.
He also pitched for a tie-up with Art of Living for a Sports Academy in the state and sought Sri Sri’s help in this regard.