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India: Talks between the Government and the Maoists, the only way forward

Statement by Citizens for Peace

by Citizens Initiative for Peace, 24 November 2009

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We welcome the reports that the Government of India and the CPI (Maoist) are agreeable to the idea of talks. In the present situation talks are the only way to come to a resolution of any problem, however difficult it may be.

We reiterate that the talks should be unconditional, and that they should be held at the central level. We propose the following steps to expedite the dialogue:

1. Security forces should not move forward and should cease all operations.

2. Maoists should cease all operations.

3. This ceasefire should take place immediately.

4. In order to enable villagers to resume their normal life the security forces must withdraw from schools, dispensaries and other civilian buildings, as recommended by the NHRC. The Maoists must also give a commitment that government institutions like schools, ration shops etc. will be allowed to function.

We hope and trust that both sides will carry on the talks with an aim to finding solutions to the concrete problems faced by the people of the affected regions. Any disagreement in the first round should not lead to the breakdown of talks. There should be a series of talks to arrive at mutually agreed solutions.

Rajindar Sachar Manoranjan Mohanty

(on behalf of the Citizens Initiative for Peace)