ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bangladesh-Mounting Conflicts

Mizoram was not exactly a haven of peace, it is possible that the spokesman's reasons for the calling off of negotiations do not tell the whole story. Though the Government of India has officially remained silent about the differences between what it promised to the MNF leader and what the MNF leader demanded in return, there have been, as so often in the past with regard to negotiations with the MNF leader, enough inspired leaks to provide a fair idea of these differences. According to these reports, the Government was prepared to accommodate the demands of the MNF leader only to the extent of agreeing to the grant of full-fledged statehood for Mizoram, which then would mean the automatic dissolution of the present assembly and loss of office for the Sailo government, and fresh elections. The MNF leader on the other hand is reported to have insisted on immediate dismissal of the Sailo government, appointment of himself as the head of a caretaker government, or as an 'adviser' with power to supervise elections. Other 'untenable demands' include the insis- 'ence that the MNF should be allowed to retain its weapons, the demand for a 'greater Mizoram' including areas which are presently part of Assam, Tripura, Manipur (and even Bangladesh and Burma), as well as a demand for 'constitutional guarantees' to ensure a special but unspecified status for Mizo- rann. The MNF leader was also supposed to be encouraging violent activities on the part of his supporters, especially the recently formed student body called Mizo Zarlai Pawl, which has been accused by the government of extortion, arson and worse in the last few months.

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