PRESS STATEMENT By People’s National Congress Reform Friday 21 December 2007 Media Centre Congress Place, Sophia




SUMMARY:
• The PNCR takes this opportunity to wish all Guyanese, in general, and the media corps, in particular, a peaceful, comfortable and Happy Christmas;
• Mr. Ganga Persaud is the least qualified individual to be a member of the Judicial Service Commission;
• The PNCR, once again, calls on the security forces to do whatever is necessary to find Ishmael Archer;
• The PNCR believes that the actions of elements of the GPF, who are guilty of snuffing out the life of young Ronald Anthony Parris, have also conducted themselves in manner calculated to raise suspicion;
• The PNCR remains adamant that the major source of the rising cost of living is the unconscionable 16% Value Added Tax which must be reduced, without any further prevarication, to 8%, in order to bring some relief to the Guyanese people;
• During the month of December, the People's National Congress Reform, along with the help of some caring citizens, brought Christmas Cheers to many children, senior citizens and other needy persons.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL GUYANESE AND PARTICULARLY MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA:

For this our last Press Conference before Christmas, the PNCR takes this opportunity to wish all Guyanese, in general, and the media corps, in particular, a peaceful, comfortable and Happy Christmas.

The Party takes this opportunity to express its appreciation and thanks to the members of the media who have been attending its Press Conferences and who, in the general discharge of their duty, have made discernable efforts to be fair and honest in presenting the message of the Party.

The PNCR is of the view that, most members of the media understand the vital national need for an alternative perspective and view, of the political, economic and social realities in Guyana, to that which the state managed and controlled media presents to the Guyanese public.

The meaningful participation and effective involvement, of all of the people of Republic of Guyana, for the development of this, our Dear Land, requires that the public is well informed about matters critical to our lives and well being. In any functioning democratic society, there is need for a plurality of views and opinions so that citizens can make decisions in their best interests. That is why the PNCR will continue its struggle: for the end of the State monopoly of radio; equitable access for all stakeholders to the State owned media; and, most important of all, the independent management of the media in Guyana, through the long overdue establishment of a National Broadcasting Authority.

It is unhealthy for any society, especially a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society such as our own, that the State owned media, financed by the taxpayers in Guyana, should be used as a partisan propaganda tool by the Government. This should not be allowed to continue.

The media has a critical role to play in ensuring that we can have a truly functioning democracy in Guyana. In the exercise of their legitimate functions, they can be assured of the understanding and support of the PNCR.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA!

THE APPOINTMENT OF GANGA PERSAUD TO THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION: A CONTINUING EXAMPLE OF POOR JUDGEMENT AND POOR GOVERNANCE:

The announcement of the appointment of Ganga Persaud to the Judicial Service Commission is reflective of the fact that the PPP/C Administration has no interest in the creation of a truly independent Judicial Service Commission.

The people of Guyana, and persons and institutions wanting to do business in Guyana, must have the confidence that instrument for important judicial appointments is without any political or prejudicial taint.

Mr. Ganga Persuad is not a fit and proper person to head any constitutionally mandated Service Commission, as he does, unfortunately, at the present time and, more importantly, to be a member of the Judicial Service Commission, which has the mandate to select, appoint and discipline the highest judicial officials in the land.

At a previous Press Conference, the PNCR pointed out that, in consonance with the provisions of the Guyana Constitution, Mr. Ganga Persaud was improperly appointed as Chairman of the Public Service Commission. Moreover, the Party referred to the several allegations made against Mr. Persaud when he was Permanent Secretary. These allegations have, as is now the norm, gone uninvestigated by the Jagdeo PPP/C Administration which is characterized by its brazen manipulation of Governmental systems to protect and cosset its errant Party hacks.

All things considered, Mr. Ganga Persaud is the least qualified individual to be a member of the Judicial Service Commission. It is tragic that, at this time, when there are serious question marks of the integrity, probity and legality of the judicial establishment, the Jagdeo PPP/C regime would make the situation worse by appointing a person of the ilk of Mr. Ganga Persuad to the Judicial Service Commission.

WHERE IS ISHMAEL ARCHER?

Almost three months ago, 22 year old Ishmael Archer, of Buxton, was snatched from his village by four heavily armed, but unknown individuals, in a dark blue car. Since that time, nothing was heard about the well being or whereabouts of this young man. We cannot pretend that we live in a democratic, or rule of law governed society, when individuals can be abducted and made to disappear with seeming impunity.

The manner in which Ishmael Archer was abducted and the claim to innocence by the security forces, would suggest that the phantom gangs, which visited mayhem and violence on this society, might be emerging from the dark holes to which they belong.

The PNCR, once again, calls on the security forces to do whatever is necessary to find Ishmael Archer. Their failure to do so would suggest that they are unable to counter the activities of these gangs and uphold the rule of law and the security of our citizens.

Lest we remain complacent or forget, Guyanese need to be reminded, of what occurred in recent history, in Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Columbia.

THE KILLING OF RONALD ANTHONY PARRIS:

The People’s National Congress Reform wishes to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the killing, of twenty two year old Ronald Anthony Parris, by elements of the Guyana Police Force, at Old England, Upper Demerara, on 13 December 2007, and the equally dastardly attempt to cover up this illegal act.

There must be a thorough investigation into this matter and, if members of the Police Force are guilty of murder, they must be charged and placed before a court of law. An investigation is imperative because, as on previous occasions, there are two versions of the circumstances surrounding the death of Ronald Anthony Parris.

According to information available to the PNCR and the relatives of the young man, a party of policemen opened fire on a group of young men who were loading a boat with manure. Ronald Anthony Parris was shot in the back, even as he tried to escape the murderous assault. The Police, for their part, have claimed that they were looking for a suspected car jacker. The Police also claimed that, during a search of a house in Old England, they found a shot gun. This too is regarded, by residents, as a concoction.

The PNCR believes that the actions of elements of the GPF, who are guilty of snuffing out the life of young Ronald Anthony Parris, have also conducted themselves in manner calculated to raise suspicion. The Party has learnt that one of Parris’s cousins who filmed a part of the incident was arrested and detained at the Wismar Police station, her camera having been confiscated. If the incident occurred as the Police alleged, then there would have been no need to arrest the young woman and confiscate her camera.

Guyana seems to be returning to the times, as in the recent past, when the Police held themselves to be Judge, Jury and Executioner. The society is still paying the price for such lawlessness.

There is no place, in a democratic society, for this kind of practice. The PNCR believes that an Inquest must be held into the tragic death of Ronald Anthony Parris and calls on the Government to order the holding of such an Inquest, with the least possible delay.

VAT IS KILLING THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT:

As many observers and citizens have affirmed and, as this Party has predicted on several occasions, the rising cost of living is putting a damper on the Christmas mood and spirit.

Even the most casual survey of the business situation in the city reveals that the average consumer is reeling from the impact of.
0 higher prices across a variety of commodities and products. The average Guyanese cannot spend with the freedom that they would like to at this time of the year.

The PNCR remains adamant that the major source of the rising cost of living is the unconscionable 16% Value Added Tax which must be reduced, without any further prevarication, to 8%, in order to bring some relief to the Guyanese people. We have pleaded our case and our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. But this will not dissuade the Party from continuing to demand a reduction in the Value Added Tax, coupled with the unnecessarily delayed reform and restructuring of overall of the tax system, which would ensure that some measure of relief is brought to the lives of the long suffering Guyanese people.

ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTY AT CHRISTMAS:

During the month of December, the People's National Congress Reform, along with the help of some caring citizens, brought Christmas Cheers to many children, senior citizens and other needy persons.

Christmas parties were held and gifts handed out to the children of the Sophia Literacy Project, at Congress Place, Sophia, on 8 December 2007. At Anna Regina, the women’s arm of the Party, the National Congress of Women (NCW), held their annual Christmas Party for children. The Party also gave Christmas luncheons to senior citizens at Plaisance and Linden.

Attending these activities were the Leader of the Party, Mr. Robert Corbin, and his wife, Mrs. Carol Corbin, and Members of the Central Executive Committee of the Party, the National Congress of Women, the Regional Democratic Councils, the Guyana Youth and Students Movement and the Human Services Department of the Party.

On Sunday 16 December 2006, the Leader of the People's National Congress Reform, Mr. Robert Corbin, and his wife, Mrs. Carol Corbin, hosted a Christmas luncheon for just about 200 Senior Citizens at the Christiansburg Primary School in Region 10.

This is an annual event, which is held in Linden, in tribute to the memory of the parents of the Party Leader.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Friday 21 December 2007