PRESS STATEMENT By the People’s National Congress Reform To the Press Conference on Thursday, March 9, 2006 In the Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia.




SUMMARY:
 The PNCR will not stand idly by whilst Jagdeo and his corrupt Government take our country further into the cesspool of drugs, corruption, money laundering and runaway crime;
 The PNCR has been reliably informed that Omai will retrench approximately, one hundred (100) of its employees at Linden, commencing from Monday, March 6, 2006;
 The PNCR is presently in consultation with the other Parliamentary Opposition Parties and will shortly be informing the Nation of the course of action it will be pursuing to ensure the verification of the 2001 Official List of Electors (OLE) as a basis for the preparation of the New National Register of Registrants.

JAGDEO AND THE PPP SHOULD RESIGN

Jagdeo and the PPP are now reaping what they sowed over the past fourteen years: racism; discrimination; rampant corruption; marginalization; death squads; uncontrolled issuance of gun licenses; and worst of all, brazen partnership with the drug lords /king pins, fostering and facilitating their economic and criminal dominance.

Now that the festering sore is erupting and other influential voices are finally speaking out, Jagdeo and the PPP/C are scampering for cover and, true to form, attempting to hide behind their favourite scapegoats, the PNCR and Buxton.

Jagdeo, very recently - in a most despicable, immature and irresponsible outburst - tried to link the PNCR to the disappearance of weapons from the Army’s bond. This is so typical of this weak and inept President that the comical spectacle he made of himself, in addressing the audience at Babu John, would have been a source of great amusement if this were not such a serious matter with far reaching consequences to our Nation. Jagan, under whose name the event was organized, must have shivered in his grave at the jumbie politics being invoked and vile desecration of his legacy by the present ruling clique in Guyana today.

The PNCR will not stand idly by whilst Jagdeo and his corrupt Government take our country further into the cesspool of drugs, corruption, money laundering and runaway crime. They must no longer be allowed to hide behind smoke screens of wild accusations against everyone else. They must answer the glaring revelations documented in the US Drug Report, matters which the PNCR has been publicly proclaiming for several years. Our public exposure of these matters appears, for the most part, to have fallen on deaf ears, while Jagdeo and his PPP/C clique steadily became more brazen in their relations with their obvious masters and financiers. Jagdeo has taken our country into economic upheaval and created a national security situation which threatens the lives and well-being of all who live and dwell in Guyana.

The conscience of the Minister of Home Affairs was finally awakened when she agreed to expose her boss in what has been described as, “the things that bother me” statement. Some political observers have remarked that her apparent spontaneous outburst was deliberately planned to avoid the same fate as her predecessor, especially since, it is widely believed that she still carries a Canadian passport and would like to make use of it when the present mess that the PPP has made of Guyana hits the proverbial fan. Whether the Minister planned her remarks or put her proverbial foot in her mouth when she asked the nation to boycott the businesses of the Drug lords, is irrelevant.

The questions which now arise are:

 Where was the Minister on week-ends when her boss President Jagdeo regularly frequented the favourite haunts of these same drug lords enjoying himself in their company and their hospitality in public view of many Guyanese?

 Where was the Minister when a prominent businessman packed up his business and left Guyana after turning up at the Presidential Complex one evening to an appointment with President Jagdeo and discovering that two well known drug king-pins had an earlier appointment and were leaving as that businessman arrived?

 Where was the Minister when officials of her Government were busy transferring the Nations Prime resources to these blood suckers?

 Was the Minister blind, deaf and dumb all this time?

This Minister was, until recently, the Head of the World Cup Stadium Committee when neither that Committee nor any designated Government Agency, including Go-Invest and the Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism, could explain the secret award and permission to build a Hotel in the compound of the Stadium without any public advertisement or a competitive bidding process. Surely the Minister must have known, since then, that only her boss, President Jagdeo, could have given such approvals.

Surely the Minister, being so close to Freedom House must know of the sizeable contributions of these Drug lords to the Party Election Campaign Fund on the basis that they will be allowed to continue their nefarious activities if the PPP , with their assistance, returns to Government.

The Minister, now under real pressure from her Cabinet colleagues for her “indiscretions,” is now trying to back peddle and do damage control with respect to her recent utterances. The Nation, as a whole, would be much more impressed if, in addition to the regular raids on the homes of the poor people, in places like Buxton, Sophia and Agricola, we could all see similar exercises carried out at the business places and/or homes of the known drug lords whom she advises the Nation to boycott.

Come on Madam Minister, demonstrate your earnestness, we will all applaud you if we see more than the apprehension of a few hapless drug mules at the Airport when it is quite evident that their arrests are stage-managed to divert attention from the real drug shipments.

Jagdeo and the PPP will not get away with the propaganda that they are busily spinning that the out of Control crime now ravaging the Nation is no fault of theirs and that the Police Force is responsible for stemming the tide of crime and implementing effective crime fighting measures to protect our citizens. How is the Government helping those efforts when, in addition to starving the Force of resources to do a proper job, the highest officials of the State are partners with those who are creating all the conditions for a criminal society. Indeed, Guyana is already experiencing all the ill effects of the drug trade which has already entrenched itself fully in the very fabric of our economy.

It is in this context the PNCR and all Guyanese must take seriously the dangerous and racist remarks of President Jagdeo at Babu John last Sunday. We have obtained a copy of the recording and, after analyzing it, believe that it should be sent to the Ethnic Relations Commission for investigation and censure. Further, it is a clear violation of the principles underlying the Media Code of Conduct and the Memorandum of Understanding for the holding of Free, Fair and Transparent Elections in Guyana.

The frenzied Jagdeo, in a visible state of panic, has unashamedly publicly displayed behaviour which is puerile and un-presidential, as he seeks to foist on the PNCR what is yet another of the seriously embarrassing episodes of his Governance. To think that the Panicking President would state that the guns, which were stolen from the Army, would be given away to bandits by another Administration is despicable and reveals the true state of the President’s mind.

It is this same President that ordered the Police and army to shoot to kill. It is this same Government that has been arming its supporters with illegal guns. Does Jagdeo believe that the people of Guyana have forgotten the discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition at Enmore in the possession of the PPP supporter Nicknamed “Beast”?

Has Jagdeo forgotten that it was his Government which covered up the incident and caused the log book at the Vigilance Police Station to disappear when Eusi Kwayana brought private criminal charges? Has Jagdeo forgotten that the Police Officer who sought to do his job and bring charges was unceremoniously transferred all over the country since that incident? Has Jagdeo forgotten the arms which the PPP specially imported from Venezuela to arm its supporters? Has he forgotten the fiasco with the Good Hope trio? By the way where are the bullet proof vehicle and the laptop computer?

Jagdeo ought to know, however, or, if he is too young to know, he should be advised that the PNCR is capable of defending and protecting its own supporters and do not have to depend on criminals to do so. If he wants to be taken seriously, he ought to act Presidential and deal with the crime, corruption and drug-running that have become an integral part of his Administration. But, it is obvious that he is helpless, impotent and unable to carry out the onerous duties of his Office.

It follows that from all of this that both he and his government should resign forthwith.

GOVERNMENT’S PIECEMEAL MEASURES INSUFFICIENT TO PROVIDE RELIEF TO THE PEOPLE OF REGION 10

The people of Region 10, more particularly, Kwakwani and Linden continue to experience the harsh effects of the low performance of the Bauxite sector and the discriminatory policies of the PPP Administration. So incensed were the people of Kwakwani over the PPP’s callousness with their welfare that they engaged in a two-day protest on Monday and Tuesday last at Kwakwani.

The advent of the new Bauxite Company, RUSAL, far from bringing comfort, took greater distress to the community. The residents had received information that, when RUSAL takes over the operations at Aroaima, on 1 April 2006, all of the employees would be made redundant and approximately eighty (80) of these employees would NOT be rehired.

This lack of job security was the main reason for the protest, but the residents were also protesting: the continued deplorable condition of the internal roads in the community, as well as the road linking Linden, Ituni and Kwakwani; the recent state of unreliability in the supply of electrical power; and the proposed discontinuance of the pontoon ferry-crossing at Kwakwani.

It is understood that some 90 of the 250 employees of Aroaima will be retrenched as soon as RUSAL takes over. What is more worrying to the residents, however, is the fact that the persons targeted for retrenchment are the residents of that area, while those who were employed at a later period from elsewhere are going to be retained. Consequently, there are strong feelings of anger at this injustice.

Officials of the state made several grandiose promises when they intervened to try to restore normalcy. The PNCR will be monitoring their implementation. Residents were told that the company would continue to operate the pontoon ferry for the next three months, after which, the Guyana Forestry Commission would take over the service. Residents were also advised that road repair works would commence immediately. It is significant, however, that, despite the great promise of the new Jagdeo employment scheme, no efforts have been made to find other employment for the jobless at Kwakwani. The ability and sincerity of the PPP regime in solving the unemployment situation in Guyana is, therefore, quite questionable.

The situation is no different in Linden where much fuss was made by President Jagdeo last week of the new jobs under his D & I initiative in the Regions where people were being employed for community clean-up activities. The PNCR has been reliably informed that Omai will retrench approximately, one hundred (100) of its employees at Linden, commencing from Monday, March 6, 2006.

Omai’s rationale for this move is said to be because of the re-entry of the Chinese into the Calcined Bauxite market, selling this material at a cheaper price. Omai is said to have to restructure its bauxite production and revise its production figures downward, and so will retrench these one hundred Lindeners.

This is a cause for grave concern, since the residents are already facing such high unemployment in this area along with all of the other socio-economic challenges facing Linden at this time. Of note too is the Government’s continued refrain of the positive impact of Omai’s operations on Linden, which we know to be a fallacy and which will now be truly exposed with this massive loss of employment among Linden residents.

The PPP regime has amply demonstrated that it is totally incompetent to deal with the serious problems of development in Guyana and that the people of our country will have to ensure that they leave quickly to avoid further catastrophe in this Our Dear Land of Guyana.



CHAIRMAN OF GECOM, DR. SURUJBALLY HAS SHOWN HIS HAND

Not surprisingly, the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr Steve Surujbally, having failed to convince the Commissioners that there should be no verification, has now shown his hand. He has attempted to side step the entire issue by simply telling the Commission that there is no time to undertake such an exercise.

Fortunately, there are Commissioners who are not intimidated by Surujbally`s callous and high handed approach to matters of national import. The PNCR has, over the years, explained its position on verification. It is an essential prerequisite for the compilation of a New Registrar of Registrants from which a new Voters` List will be extracted.

The PNCR is presently in consultation with the other Parliamentary Opposition Parties on this matter and will shortly be informing the Nation of the course of action it will be pursuing to ensure the verification of the 2001 Official List of Electors (OLE) as a basis for the preparation of the New National Register of Registrants.

The PNCR is also conducting an analysis of the conduct and results to date of the Continuous Registration exercise. This exercise is intended to inform the PNCR`s position in relation to the proposed conclusion of this round of registration on 19 March 2006. While the PNCR is keen on having the Elections held by its constitutionally due date, it will not be party to the sacrifice of the essentials for a Free and Fair Election which satisfies internationally acceptable standards for the conduct of such elections.


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Thursday, March 9, 2006