PRESS STATEMENT By The People’s National Congress Reform Thursday 12 June 2008 Media Centre, Congress Place, Sophia




SUMMARY:
• The PNC Administration had seen it fit to grant a pension to the inmates of the Palms. Without pity or reason, this was withdrawn by the Jagdeo regime;
• The Party believes that, in view of all of the economic hardships and difficulties the local population is facing, GUYSUCO must state unambiguously whether it has any difficulties supplying the local market;
• The Leader of the PNCR, at the time, Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, had taken the trouble of researching the means by which such a sophisticated piece of equipment could be imported into Guyana. It was then discovered that, this equipment could not be purchased by an individual but only by a Government;
• The Party is convinced that the Torture Report is being doctored because, in a previous article carried in the Stabroek News of 21 January 2008, sources within the GDF informed the Newspaper that three officer, attached to the army’s Criminal Investigation Department (MCID), were likely to be demoted for torturing several soldiers during the investigation into a missing AK47;
• The Party finds it most disturbing that, in an era of supposed democratic polity, the discredited concept of guilt by association is being be utilised as a tool to harass a citizen of this Republic.

PPP ASSAULT ON THE OLD AND VULNERABLE CONTINUES:

The Jagdeo regime is yet to state its policy on what it will do to enable the old and vulnerable to cope with the crippling rising cost-of-living even though it is a well known fact that the sums paid to them are derisory and insufficient.

The old age pensioners are paid the scandalous sum of $6,000 a month, while vulnerable persons are afforded a miserly $4,500 a month as public assistance. It is, therefore, easy to understand the very difficult and desperate circumstances under which our elderly and vulnerable citizens are forced to live.

All right thinking Guyanese recognize this to be an unacceptable situation that should have driven any Government, possessed of a modicum of decency and concern for the welfare of its citizens, to remedy this situation with urgency and dispatch. However, the assault on the old and the vulnerable has been a distinguishing attribute of the Jagdeo PPP/C Administration

The PNC Administration, for example, had seen it fit to grant a pension to the inmates of the Palms. Without pity or reason, this was withdrawn by the Jagdeo regime. We are left to wonder how this very Administration can claim to have the concerns of the elderly and vulnerable, of this society, at heart. Stripping the inmates of the Palms of their pension and refusing to budge on the question of an increase for the elderly and the vulnerable has marked the Jagdeo regime as callous, uncaring and lacking in charity. It has no soul!

The new Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Ms. Priya Manickchand, in her campaign mode, had promised that she would restore pensions to the inmates of the Palms and other Indigent Homes. The PNCR would like to see, though it is late in the day, the Minister keeping her promise to these vulnerable Guyanese citizens.

Does she or her Ministry have any immediate plans to upwardly revise the sums paid to the elderly and the vulnerable?

We are all still anxiously awaiting the trumpeted, but so far mysterious, programme, for immediate relief, which this Jagdeo PPP/C Administration promised suffering single parents.

IS SUGAR BEING IMPORTED IN GUYANA?

The PNCR has received credible information that four large containers of sugar were uplifted by the GUYSUCO Corporation to satisfy local demand. This information seems consistent with the fact that GUYSUCO is clearly hard put to balance its external commitments with meeting the demands for the local market.

The Party notes that GUYSUCO, in a press release sometime ago, had denied that the Corporation was considering importing sugar, in light of the production challenges here and expanded EU Market it was supplying. However, the Party had noted then that the Corporation cautioned Guyanese “To exercise prudent management of their stocks.” This was a clear indication that the Corporation had recognised that supplying the local market had become a problem.

The Party believes that, in view of all of the economic hardships and difficulties the local population is facing, GUYSUCO must state unambiguously whether it has any difficulties supplying the local market.

In order to help, the already punishing populace, to plan for yet another possible emergency, resulting from a disruption of supplies of sugar to the market, the GUYSUCO response must not be conditioned by the anxieties and fears of the PPP/ Freedom House political directorate.

JAGDEO REGIME DENIAL OF GRANTING PERMISSION FOR ROGER KHAN TO IMPORT SPY EQUIPMENT NOT CREDIBLE:

When Roger Khan was arrested, along with Haroon Yahyah and Sean Benfield, a serving policeman at the time, by the GDF, at Good Hope on the East Coast in December 2002, he was found with a laptop computer which was capable of recording telephone conversations.

The Leader of the PNCR, at the time, Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, had taken the trouble of researching the means by which such a sophisticated piece of equipment could be imported into Guyana. It was then discovered that, this equipment could not be purchased by an individual but only by a Government.

When confronted with this fact, the Jagdeo regime denied knowledge of the computer and informed the public that the laptop computer had been handed over to the Police, in the wake of the freeing of Roger Khan, after the Magistrate, here in Guyana, found him and his gang not guilty of the charges preferred against him.

The revelations, in the pre-trial hearing, in the Eastern District of New York, continues to undermine the credibility and veracity of the Jagdeo PPP Administration, which is protesting that they had no knowledge of Roger Khan’s narco-trafficking activities or the laptop computer he was found with at Good Hope in 2002.

One of the defence lawyers for Roger Khan, Mr. Roger M. Simels, in a subpoena, dated 28 April 2008, stated that, following Khan’s arrest, “FBI agent, Justin Krider, investigated Khan’s purchase of the computer telephonic surveillance equipment from the Spy Shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and found Khan had permission from the Government of Guyana to purchase and possess this equipment.”

The PNCR never had any doubt that the Jagdeo regime had a hand in helping Roger Khan to purchase the equipment in question. The statement, by Khan’s defence counsel, provides independent conformation of what the Party has long known.

The PNCR, and no doubt the Guyanese public, has taken note of the fact that, the usually all knowing Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee, bolstered by the statement by the General Secretary of the PPP, Mr. Donald Ramotar, has denied that Government of Guyana permission was given to Khan. However, given the fact that Mr. Clement Rohee has been previously repudiated and rebuked by the Office of the President, we await an unambiguous statement on this matter from New Garden Street, after they have had the opportunity to check their records and statements in 2002.

In any case, the facts which have emerged, from the pre-trial hearing of Roger Khan for several drug related offenses, only strengthens the case for an Independent Inquiry into the Phantom Squad which, the American evidence has acknowledged, had been responsible for the deaths of over two hundred(200) of our citizens, under the leadership of Roger Khan.

THE CONTINUING DELAYED RELEASE OF THE TORTURE REPORT CONFIRMS THAT IT IS BEING DOCTORED:

The PNCR has noted that, some three weeks ago, the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best, publicly informed that the Report, on allegations of torture by ranks of the GDF, had been completed and submitted to the Defence Board. The Party assumes that this course of action was a direct response to the observation, made by President Bharat Jagdeo, that the report had not been properly submitted to the Defence Board. Mysteriously, the Report cannot yet see the light of day.

The Party is convinced that the Report is being doctored because, in a previous article carried in the Stabroek News of 21 January 2008, sources within the GDF informed the Newspaper that three officer, attached to the army’s Criminal Investigation Department (MCID), were likely to be demoted for torturing several soldiers during the investigation into a missing AK47.

It is well known that two of these officers, if not all of them, are close to the Jagdeo regime and took orders directly from the Office of the President. The delay in publishing the Report is clearly an attempt to protect them.

The PNCR has already stated that the delay in the publication of the Report undermines its credibility. In any case, the Party stands by its position that only an independent inquiry, into the allegations of torture in the GDF, must be held.

Mrs. Janet Jagan, who, by no stretch of the imagination, can be considered a friend of the PNCR, gave the following advice, in the weekend Mirror, of 26-27 January 2008, “the sooner the investigation (into torture by the GDF) concludes the better for this nation. A nasty allegation like that can harm Guyana’s name and integrity.”

PNCR CONDEMNS RAID ON HOMES OF HINCKSON’S BROTHER AND FRIENDS:

The PNCR condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the raid on the home of Oliver Hinckson’s brother and his friends, Augustus Stuart and Winifred Archibald, by the Joint Services. The PNCR sees no justification for these raids except, that they represent yet another brazen and provocative attempt to drive fear into the hearts of those who have been close to Mr. Hinckson and who have enjoyed his friendship.

The Party finds it most disturbing that, in an era of supposed democratic polity, the discredited concept of guilt by association is being be utilised as a tool to harass a citizen of this Republic.

The raids, on the homes of Hinckson’s brothers and his friends, are consistent with the general pattern of harassment that the Hincksons has been experiencing.

Apart from the unconscionable delays in the court system and the unjustified denial of permission for Olive Hinckson to sit exams at the University of Guyana, the ongoing campaign of harassment of Hinckson is compelling testimony that the allegation of sedition, for which he has been charged, is but a flimsy and transparent pretext to silence him for his political views and his opposition to the Jagdeo regime.


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday, June 12, 2008