PRESS STATEMENT By People’s National Congress Reform Thursday 3 July 2008 Media Centre, Congress Place, Sophia




PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM CONGRATULATES SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES AT GRADE 6 EXAMS.

On the basis of results announced by the Minister of Education, Mr Shaik Baksh on June 30, the PNCR extends congratulations to the top ten students who successfully completed Grade 6 examinations. They are Yogeeta Persaud, Sayyid Rajab, Arianna Seeraj, Shahrazaed Khan, Ridwaan Safi, Crystal Ramdayal, Jonelle Europe, Zimeena Rasheed, Kavita Sawh, Cecil Cox, Sharmila Ramlall, Shaphan Hestick, and Eunice Hammond. In assessing these preliminary results the Party has made careful note of the fact that most of these students are not from the traditional top schools of the society. This could only mean that both parents and the institutions concerned had made sterling efforts to improve and strengthen the education of these students.

In extending its congratulations the Party wishes these students every success at the secondary level and is convinced that, as is traditional, they will go on to do well at the tertiary level. This should bode good for the future development of the country as Guyana will need to replace the massive loss of human resources and to have in place the required level of such resources to ensure its future long term development.

PNCR PRESENTS PETITION TO CARICOM

A petition signed by the joint Opposition Parties, the PNCR, the AFC, and GAP/ROAR presented a petition to the Chairman of the Caribbean Community when the Heads convened for their 25th Summit Conference in Antigua and Barbuda on the 1st July. The petition, which attracted more than eight thousand signatures, was handed over by the General Secretary of the PNCR, Mr Oscar Clarke. He was accompanied by Ms Africo Selman, MP

The petition was drafted against the background of a number of negative developments in the political, economic and social life of the nation. The cost of living has risen sharply since the introduction of the unconscionable 16% Value Added Tax (VAT);the attack on the right to the Freedom of Expression evidenced by the four month suspension of the licence of CNS TV6; the harassment of our citizens and the violation of their Human Rights; the incarceration of Oliver Hinckson on a trumped up charge of treason and the refusal to grant him bail; the refusal to enact freedom of information legislation; the improper extension of the life of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC); the use of torture by the security forces; and the general frame work of bad governance, among other issues. The PNCR held a series of marches on these issues.

This action was taken after consultations with the other opposition parties, civil society organisations and the trade unions. But the party felt that these issues should be codified, especially in view of the fact that the Jagdeo Administration has decided to go ahead with the hosting of CARIFESTA X at the cost of G500M in circumstances, which are unlikely to facilitate a successful holding of the event.

The Joint Opposition Parties believe that the petition will enable the CARICOM Heads to have a more realistic assessment of the current situation in Guyana particularly in the context of the hosting of CARIFESTA X in Guyana.

THE PNCR EXTENDS CONGRATULATIONS TO CARICOM.ON 35TH ANNIVERSARY

The PNCR has dispatched a message of congratulations to the Caribbean Community on the occasion of its 35th Anniversary.

In that message the Party reaffirmed its commitment to the integration process and stated its belief that the Community will fulfill the dreams and vision of the Founding Fathers, Founder Leader L.F.S. Burnham, Michael Manley of Jamaica and Errol Barrow of Barbados and the hopes and aspirations of the Caribbean people.

However in congratulating the Community the Party pointed out the need for the decision making process to be reengineered in such a manner that there could be speedy implementation of such issues as the Caricom single market and economy, the free movement of peoples, the regional development fund and the involvement of the people on a regional basis in order to propel the integration process forward.





JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION REFUSES TO BRING RELIEF TO THE GUYANESE PEOPLE

The Leader of the PNCR has criticized the Jagdeo administration for making Parliament a mere instrument of propaganda in relation to the spiraling cost of living in Guyana. The farcical sitting of Parliament on Tuesday last has confirmed the worst fears of the Party and its Leader. For during that session of Parliament Mr. Corbin was constrained to note that the motion brought by the Jagdeo administration lacked any comprehensive dimension and was merely propagandistic in intent and a calculated insult to the National Assembly. Mr. Corbin noted that the motion, as is typical of this administration, is long and promises and will be decidedly short on any practical content.

The PNCR’s disappointment over the Jagdeo regime’s motion in Parliament resides in the fact that while the cost of living continues to batter the Guyanese people the regime has all but close its ears to the agony and grief which has arisen from its lack of active and expeditious measures. The Party has said before and it repeats that the spiraling cost of living is not primarily due to external circumstances but rather to the poor implementation of the unconscionable 16 % Vat tax without a corresponding revamping of the existing tax regime. As a consequence food prices have spiraled out of control and have had an adverse impact on the poorer and vulnerable segments of the society.

And this is what the PNCR cannot understand. The suffering of the Guyanese people in the current economic circumstances seemed to have gone unnoticed by the Jagdeo administration. It has paid no attention to the many recommendations that workers in the public and private sector need to have their wages and salaries revised substantially upwards in order to cope with current cost of living. The Party has argued too that pensioners and the vulnerable elements of the society must have substantial increases in the sums paid to them. By hiding behind budgetary explanations, the Jagdeo administration is attempting to dodge the issue. In any case Jagdeo and his ministerial cohorts would have a hard time explaining to the Guyanese people why it cannot fund payments to the Guyanese workers, pensioners and those who receive public assistance from the wind fall of 37 billion it has garnered from the Vat tax.
Lastly, the Minister of Human Services and Social Security must get off her high political horse which she mounted during the recent debate in Parliament and implement the programme for assistance to single parents.


THE JAGDEO ADMMINISTRATION IS SEEKING TO DELAY INVESTIGATION INTO MASSACAR AT LINDO CREEK

Based on its previous experience, the PNCR is not surprised that the Jagdeo administration is doing all that is necessary to delay an independent inquiry into the massacre at Lindo Creek. After the PNCR and other political parties and the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) called for an independent inquiry into this matter, President Jagdeo retreated into his usual mode to deceive and delay. His response was that if he – the king and landlord of Guyana – decided to go the route of an inquiry he will have to consider including the Lusignan and Bartica Massacres to determine there was political involvement. If ever there was a political red herring this is it. The Lusignan and Bartica Massacres were not situations in which the security forces were accused of massacring citizens of this Republic. This is the first nonsense the PNCR must reject. Then Jagdeo claimed that he has asked the United States government for forensic expert to come and investigate the massacre but it is not strange that his Minister of Home Affairs or the senior officials of the government can say when this person is expected to arrive. This is nothing but a tactic for delay. The PNCR is very apprehensive that the massacre at Lindo Creek will remain one of those unsolved mysteries in the sordid history of Guyana that has bedeviled this country in the last 15 years. This would be a great disservice to the grieving families of the miners and a blow to the rule of law in Guyana.



THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION HAS CONFESSED TO KNOWING ROGER KHAN

The PNCR is a political party of approximately 50 years and can therefore quickly spot any effort at political distraction and diversion. In recent times the Jagdeo administration has been beating the drum about missing guns in the 70s and threatening to expose politicians who have allegedly consorted with criminals at Buxton. In the latter case Jagdeo has threatened to make the video recordings of this situation available to the public. He is however afraid that if he did so he will give away his “informers.” It has not occurred to Jagdeo that even in revealing that he got information from informers in Buxton he has already blown their cover. But that is a matter for Jagdeo and his informers.

The PNCR is convinced that the issued referred to above is nothing but a barely concealed attempt to cover up further evidence that the Jagdeo administration has been in bed with Roger Khan. The Guyanese public will remember that in newscast approximately a fortnight ago, Capitol News was able to produce evidence that Jagdeo himself had signed documents allowing Roger Khan to purchase land on the West Coast of Demerara. Face with this situation the Jagdeo administration’s principal spin master, Dr. Roger Luncheon, who had previously denied all association with Roger Khan, admitted that he was known to the government in a business capacity. It passes all understanding that Roger Khan would be known in his business capacity and suddenly become unknown in his criminal capacity. But the PNCR finds it strange that the Jagdeo administration seems blind to the dangers that it is facing. It is not any political party or organisation that is bringing evidence to light to the relationship between the Jagdeo administration and Roger Khan. It is the United States Government. And if a case can be made, and the PNCR believes that it will be made, that Roger Khan enjoyed the relation with the Jagdeo administration, then there will be far reaching consequences for this administration from the United States Government and the rest of the international community.