PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Saturday, January 29, 2005




It is now Day 14 of the flood crisis in Guyana. The Government of Guyana has not seen it fit to brief the National Assembly on the matter or to institute a debate of the alternative strategies, which are available, or to give account for the crisis and the management of our response. The Parliament is the highest forum in a democracy and it will not do to have President Jagdeo and his Ministers giving us selective information on their servile television station. The Members of Parliament must be briefed on the matter and the opportunity must be provided for full and serious discussion at this time when our nation is gripped by this devastating crisis.

The People’s National Congress Reform is urging an immediate sitting of Parliament. It is highly unacceptable that in a modern democracy, the chaos which the government calls crisis management is being run from the President’s residence, compounded by the fact that the ministers do not see it fit to report to the body which has ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the Guyanese people.

Accordingly, the Leader of the Opposition has written the Speaker of the National Assembly the Honourable Hari Ramkarran on Saturday, January 28, 2005 proposing that Parliament be convened on Tuesday, February 1, 2005 to discuss the serious state of affairs in the country. Further, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mrs Clarissa Rhiel, MP has written the speaker asking for an urgent meeting of the Management Committee of the Parliament to be summoned to facilitate the arrangement for the summoning of the emergency session of Parliament.

The PNC Reform is confident that the Speaker and all Members of Parliament will be able to make the sacrifices necessary for the parliament to do its duty to the people of Guyana and the constitution of Guyana.

Copies of the letters are attached.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Saturday, January 29, 2005





January 28, 2005

The Hon. Hari N Ramkarran, SC, MP
Chairman
Parliamentary Management Committee
Parliament Office
Public Buildings, Brickdam
Georgetown

Dear Mr. Ramkarran

As you may be aware the President has declared Regions 3, 4 and 5 as National Disaster areas. Thousands of people are suffering. In the circumstances, we expect the National Assembly to be convened to discuss this matter of urgent national importance.

Towards this end, I am requesting that a meeting of the Management Committee of the Parliament be summoned with the utmost urgency. The PNCR members of the Committee are prepared to meet at short notice.

Yours sincerely,

……………………………..
Clarissa Riehl, MP
Member of the Parliamentary Management Committee



cc. The Hon. Mr. Reepu Daman Persaud , OR, JP, MP
The Hon. Mr. Feroze Mohamed, MP
The Hon Dr. Henry Jeffery, MP
The Hon Carolyn Rodriques, MP
The Hon. Manzoor Nadir, MP
Mr. Winston Murray, CCH, MP
Mr. Vincent Alexander, MP
Mrs. Sheila Holder, MP
Mr. Ravindra Dev, MP





January 28, 2005

The Hon. Hari N Ramkarran, SC, MP
Speaker of the National Assembly
Parliament Office
Public Buildings, Brickdam
Georgetown

REQUEST FOR AN URGENT SITTING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARLIAMENT

Since January 15, 2005, the coastlands of Guyana have been inundated with floodwaters resulting in the tragic loss of personal property to more than 200,000 people. The President, on Tuesday January 18, 2005 declared a State of National Disaster in Regions 3, 4 and 5 and several unco-ordinated activities are in progress to combat this crisis.

In the circumstances, I believe that it is necessary for the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana to be convened immediately to discuss this serious state of affairs in the country. The need is urgent in view of the apparent reluctance on the part of the Government to establish a truly National Disaster Task Force that could co-ordinate efforts to relieve the sufferings being experienced by thousands of Guyanese.

I propose Tuesday February 1, 2005 as an appropriate date because I am confident that all patriotic Members of Parliament will be willing to respond at short notice.

Yours sincerely


…………………………………
Robert H O Corbin, MP
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform &
Leader of the Opposition


c.c His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo
President of the Republic of Guyana

The Hon. Reepu Daman Persaud, OR, JP, MP
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs

Mr Ravindra Dev, MP
Leader, ROAR

Ms Sheila Holder, MP
Representative, GAP-WPA