JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION MUST HOLD AN IMPARTIAL INQUIRY INTO THE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE OF ROGER KHAN--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 24 April, 2009




SUMMARY:
• The PNCR wishes to extend condolences to the families, friends and relatives of Mr. Dennis Gouveia and Reverend Oswald Best;
• The PNCR is convinced that the approach of the Jagdeo Administration, to the foreign policy of Guyana, would not effectively promote and protect the national interests of Guyana;
• The Party calls on the Jagdeo Administration to be forthright with the people of Guyana and let them know which contractors are awarded these massive contracts;
• It is the confirmed belief of the Party that more than sufficient evidence have existed for some time for the Commissioner of Police to have ordered criminal investigations into the activities of Roger Khan in Guyana;
• An investigation into Globe Trust could have been held a long time ago had it been the wish of President Jagdeo and his Administration.

PNCR EXPRESSES CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF DENNIS GOUVEIA AND REVEREND OSWALD BEST:

The People’s National Congress Reform has dispatched a letter to Mrs. Cicely Gouveia, wife of the late Dennis Gouveia, a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In that letter, which was written by the General Secretary of the Party, Mr. Oscar Clarke, the Party recalled Mr. Gouveia’s service to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the nation itself. It was noted that Mr. Gouveia moved from teaching to the realm of diplomacy and that he did so with considerable success.

At the same time the Party wishes to extend condolences to the family of the Reverend Oswald Best, A.A., who died last week. Reverend Best, who retired as Head of the St. Andrews Kirk, was known for his brilliant sermons and his dedication to the service of his congregation and the less fortunate members of our society.

He was a fixture in the religious establishment of this nation and he earned the respect not only those of the religious community but the nation as a whole.

May God grant them eternal rest.
THE 5TH SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS:

The People’s National Congress Reform commends the Government and the people of Trinidad and Tobago for hosting the complex and complicated event of the 5th Summit of the Americas. While the final document was only signed by its Chairman, Mr. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of the other heads of Government, it was generally agreed that the summit was a success. It was a success in so far as it seems to have created a new spirit of co-operation and understanding between the states of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In contrast, however, the PNCR finds it necessary again to criticise the Jagdeo Administration for not being candid with the people of Guyana. The Administration did not announce its delegation before it left these shores and only the photographic evidence of the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Health, Mr. Leslie Ramsammy, and Ministerial Advisor on Empowerment, Mr. Odinga Lumumba, gave the nation some idea of the composition of the delegation.

The PNCR is convinced that the approach of the Jagdeo Administration, to the foreign policy of Guyana, would not effectively promote and protect the national interests of Guyana. It is unfortunate that the Jagdeo Administration seems to feel that he only has to turn up at a Summit to achieve his objectives, while failing to undertake the required diplomatic work, at the various levels, before the Summit. Little wonder, therefore, that Guyana did not attract the level of support for its initiative to be compensated for maintaining standing forests.

The PNCR does not believe that the best approach is to appear to be begging the President to be part of the Guyana delegation to any conference. However, the PNCR is of the view that there should be the institutionalisation of a well structured approach, to consultation and involvement of the Opposition and other national stake-holders, on critical foreign policy and other national issues, with the aim of promoting and protecting our national interests. President Jagdeo should not be selective in utilising the mechanism of consultation with the Opposition political parties.

We believe that an ad hoc request to the President, or vice versa, would only result in the undesirable use of the process for narrow partisan political objectives.

THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO AWARD CONTRACTS WITHOUT NAMING BENEFICIARIES:

In the past, the PNCR has raised the question of the Jagdeo Administration continuing to award massive contracts to contractors whose names are withheld from the Guyanese people. The Party considers that such an approach lacks transparency and is a further indication of the Administrations contempt for the Guyanese people.

The defenders of the Administration have claimed that there is no need to mention the names of contractors as these are already published on the Government website. If this is true, then it is very strange that Dr. Roger Luncheon finds it difficult to give the details of such contractors. However, the PNCR did visit the Government website and was unable to obtain any details about the contracts or the contractors.

In the meantime, the Jagdeo Administration refuses to bring into being the Public Procurement Commission which would ensure a transparent and equitable method for the award of contracts. Instead, the Administration continues to rely on its own specially contrived and flawed procurement arrangements. This Government controlled process is dominated by persons partial to the Jagdeo Administration whose decisions tend to favour contractors who are loyal to the PPP. In this regard, it would be relevant to quote the recently released Report of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues:

“Serious allegations were raised of discrimination and corruption in government procurement of goods, services and public works contracts. There is a widely held belief that government contracts are systematically awarded to companies supporting the Government, Indo-Guyanese companies, and those in which government officials have personal interests. In lieu of a functioning and independent public procurement commission, the tender process is the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. Sources indicated to the independent expert that it lacks adequate regulation, accountability and transparency, leaving it open to substantial abuse.”

The Party, therefore, calls on the Jagdeo Administration to be forthright with the people of Guyana and let them know which contractors are awarded these massive contracts. In addition, the Jagdeo Administration must cease its continuing manoeuvres to prevent the early appointment of the Public Procurement Commission.

JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION MUST HOLD AN IMPARTIAL INQUIRY INTO THE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE OF ROGER KHAN:

If there is any doubt that Dr. Roger Luncheon lives in a parallel universe, his recent statement on the Roger Khan issue has laid that to rest. Maybe, it is because of his habitation of this parallel universe that Dr. Roger Luncheon is given to making some of the most zany of statements. The latest of these is in relation to Roger Khan.

At his last Press Conference, Dr. Luncheon pronounced that no local probe would be held into Roger Khan’s criminal activities unless “conclusive evidence” of illegality is provided.

The PNCR contends that conclusive evidence exists and is already in the public domain. Court records, from Khan’s preliminary hearing into charges made against him for trafficking in cocaine to the United States, have detailed the criminal and illegal activities of Roger Khan. Indeed, in these records the American courts have alleged that Khan was responsible for the deaths of Donald Allison and Dave Persaud. The court documents in fact named Khan as head of a “paramilitary squad that would murder, threaten and intimidate” other Guyanese citizens. They underscored that Khan was responsible for “at least 200 extra-judicial killings” in Guyana between 2002 and 2006.

It is the confirmed belief of the PNCR that more than sufficient evidence have existed for some time for the Commissioner of Police to have ordered criminal investigations into the activities of Roger Khan in Guyana. The PNCR is concerned that this investigation has not been undertaken as yet. Every indication suggest that the Jagdeo Administration is doing its best to frustrate such an investigation, by making intimidating statements of the kind made by Dr. Roger Luncheon at his last Press Conference.

This is not the first occasion on which the Jagdeo Administration has frustrated efforts to hold Roger Khan accountable for his crimes. Guyanese will readily remember that, when the previous Commissioner of Police, Mr. Winston Felix, decided to put an end to Khan’s criminal activities he was hounded from office and sent into retirement.

The Party understands why the Jagdeo Administration is afraid of such an investigation. The simple reason lies in the fact that the very court records specify that at least two Ministers, one former and one current, of the Jagdeo Administration, have had close contacts with Roger Khan. The PNCR must infer, from this revelation, that other members of the Administration, possibly at the highest level, had similar contacts with Roger Khan.

Given the foregoing facts, the PNCR restates its position that an independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry must now be launched, into the criminal enterprise headed by Roger Khan, which was responsible for the deaths of more than 200 Guyanese.

AN INVESTIGATION INTO CLICO MUST BE HELD:

It is a fair assumption that President Jagdeo has raised the red herring of linking an investigation into the CLICO debacle to a similar investigation into Globe Trust, in order to create a distraction. The fact of the matter is, an investigation into Globe Trust could have been held a long time ago had it been the wish of President Jagdeo and his Administration. This would have been the proper course of action if the Administration was really serious about guaranteeing the monies of the small depositors.

Since President Jagdeo seem disposed to investigate the demise of financial institutions, he should also launch an investigation into the blatant financial plunder of the GNCB, since 1992, for the benefit of PPP cronies, prior to the sale, of the virtually stripped institution, to Republic Bank.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin, proposed a Motion, in the National Assembly, calling on the Jagdeo Administration to launch an investigation into CLICO but this has been disallowed by the Speaker, on the grounds that the matter was before the courts. But this should not prevent President Jagdeo from causing such an investigation to take place, with the very terms of reference spelled out by the Leader of the Opposition.

It would be recalled that the terms of reference of that Motion were as follows:

a) To examine whether there was any breach of fiduciary duty to policyholders, depositors and/or shareholders, on the part of the management or any particular official of CLICO (GUYANA), in the management of the Company’s affairs, that contributed to the present financial state of the Company;

b) To examine whether there was any malfeasance, irregularity and/ or misconduct by any official of CLICO (GUYANA) in the recent management of the Company;

c) More particularly, to determine whether there were related party dealings and/ or the misuse of insider information which led to the speedy dissipation of the $2.6B received by CLICO (GUYANA) from the sale of its Bonds in the Berbice River Bridge and to identify the beneficiaries if any;

d) To determine whether there was any irregularity and/ or malfeasance in the use of money invested/entrusted by the National Insurance Scheme in CLICO (GUYANA) and to present the details of all transactions involving NIS funds.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 24 April, 2009