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[Source: Hueiyen News Service/Agencies/e-pao]

AIZAWL, July 18 2009: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla yesterday (July 17) said the state government would not provide any support in the form of cash to the surrendered cadre of Sinlung People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to show others that being an insurgent did not have any benefit.

Speaking at the 'Home Coming' ceremony of 64 SPLA cadre, who formally surrendered with their arms to the state government, Lal Thanhawla said, "non-payment of rehabilitation would show others that being an insurgent does not have any dividends".

"The army would conduct training to the former militants so that they can join the mainstream and work honestly in the overground," he said.

Taking a pot-shot at the former Zoramthanga-led government, Thanhawla accused the Mizo National Front (MNF) government of instigating the SPLA members to go underground with intentions to disrupt the state assembly polls held last December.

A home coming ceremony was held today in Aizawl for 64 cadres of Sinlung People Liberation Army SPLA who had surrendered to 57 Mountain Division in Manipur in the last week of May.

Todays function was held at Vanapa Hall in Aizawl where 64 Cadres of SPLA laid down their arms and formally surrendered to the State Government of Mizoram in the presence of the State Chief Minister Pu Lal Thanhawla, State Home Minister Pu R Lal Zirliana and Major General Shakti Gurung, VSM, General Officer Commanding, 57 Mountain Division.

Among the Surrenderees, 53 Cadres belong to Mizoram and 11 are from Manipur.

Speaking at the function, State Chief Minister Pu Lal Thanhawla said that the state has been ravaged by 20 year long insurgency from 1966 to 1986 due to the cessationist movement and peace was finally restored after he himself and his council of ministers stepped down in order to make the erstwhile insurgency group into power.

'Peace in Mizoram was had earned peace, and we will not allowed anybody to threatened it' he added.

The State Home Minister Pu R Lal Zirliana also stressed the need to joint hands together to curb insurgency in the future.

Two Years ago in May 2007, 54 year old T Z Hrangchal founded the Sinlung Tiger Force, recruiting young men between 18-25 years from the Mizo tribes of Pachuau, Hmar, Chhakchhuak, Ralte and Sailo.

The ideology was that the cadre would take up the struggle of the indigenous Sinlung people affected by hydel projects of Tuirial and Tipaimukh based in Manipur.

The ultimate aim of the founder Hrangchal was his new underground outfit could join SHDC in the Barak Valley and work towards the creation of Greater Mizoram.

None of the youths recruited amongst the employment starved tribes were ever told they would form an underground organization, instead the lure was they would be part of the Mizoram Police.

Often behind such recruitments are untold stories of vulnerable youth steeped in poverty, with limited basic education, few avenues and economic opportunities of bettering their lives.

With mistaken dreams of improving their lot to be able to climb out of endemic poverty the young volunteers, roughly 100 of them, were transported to training camps in Myanmar.

Intelligence sources believe that the training of these young men was undertaken by the United Peoples party of Kangleipak (UPKK).

It was a isolated training camp in Myanmar that this group took on a new avatar and began calling themselves the Sinlung People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

The last known strength of their cadres was put at 93 .

For the UPPK, the fledgling SPLA was a perfect front that could operate in the ethnically similar Hmar area of Tipaimukh where they would face to opposition from the local community.

Through the SPLA the UPPK hoped to be able to siphon money from the estimated Rs.542.16 crores Tipaimukh Dam Project.

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