Gorkhatimes

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Meghalaya govt calls agitators for talks

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 30, 2009

GT Report: Roshan Rai

SHILLONG 28 Oct 2009(GT): After months of unrest and agitation by the various NGO’s opposing Uranium mining in Meghalaya, the Meghalaya Government has yet again decided to invite the agitating groups for talks to end the impasse over the uranium mining issue.
The KSU is spearheading a movement to mount pressure on the DD Lapang-led government to scrap its decision to allow UCIL to go ahead with its “pre-mining developmental projects” in the uranium-rich areas of West Khasi Hills district. ”We are ready to hold talks with the agitating groups, including the KSU and Coordination Committee of Social Organisation (CCSO), provided they suspend their agitational programmes,” Chief Minister DD Lapang told reporters after chairing the Cabinet meeting here on Tuesday. “We have invited them for talks and now we want the protestors to call off their agitations,” Mr Lapang said.
Despite invitation for talks, the students’ body, however, refused to withdraw the proposed night road blockade on October 29, but has however, rescheduled the timing of the night road blockade from 8 pm to 9 pm. Similarly, the CCSO, an umbrella organisation of five pressure groups, also announced to stage a hunger strike on October 30 here. The CCSO also decided to rope in church leaders to take part in the hunger strike.The Meghalaya Chief Minister said that after the governments meeting with the anti-mining group, he would also meet the pro-mining groups as they had also expressed the desire to have a dialogue with the government.
The government has proposed to hold a dialogue with the agitating leaders on November 3 after the Chief Ministers arrival from Mumbai. The government had earlier invited the students body for talks which failed to produce any result. It is worth mentioning that the issue of Uranium mining in Meghalya has opened a pandora box for the Non Governmental Organisations as there is an increase in the growth of NGOs either opposing or supporting the cause.

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