PPP/C IN PANIC MODE: SIGNS OF THE END OF THE DICTATORSHIP--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 18 June 2010




SUMMARY:
• The PNCR extends condolences to the families of Dr. Rudy Grant, distinguished Guyanese Educator and Historian, who died on Tuesday last in Toronto, Canada; Ms. Tianna Dalrymple and Ms. Thelma Stewart;
• As the People’s National Congress Reform joins with the rest of the nation in remembering the 62nd Anniversary of the Enmore Martyrs, Guyanese are saddened that their sacrifices may have been in vain as we experience the daily trampling of workers rights by the PPP/C Regime;
• The PPP/C Administration’s misuse of State Institutions to carry out vindictive assaults on ordinary Guyanese, leading politicians and Caribbean citizens followed by their irrational behaviour are clear indications that they are in a panic mode conscious that their dictatorial Regime is close to its demise;
• The PPP/C’s belated excuses for their massive corruption and discrimination will fool no one as Guyanese have been the victims over the past eighteen years of their dictatorial Regime.

CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF DR. RUDY GRANT, TIANNA DALRYMPLE AND THELMA STEWART

Dr. Rudy Grant
The People’s National Congress Reform extends condolences to the family of Dr. Rudy Grant, distinguished Guyanese Educator and Historian, who died on Tuesday 15 June, last in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Rudy Grant, older brother of the late, Dr. Cedric Grant, was a son of Guyana from the village of Mahaica. From humble beginnings he rose to commanding heights in the field of academia, while giving continuous service to Guyanese both at home and in the Diaspora throughout his life.

He served as a teacher for many years in Guyana but notably at the Mackenzie High School, Linden, from 1960 after graduating from the University of the West Indies. He served the Linden Community as a teacher in History at the Mackenzie High School where he earned the respect of both students and parents for his dedication to their development, and excellent performances of his students at national and international examinations. In 1964, he left Linden to take up the post of Education Officer but later left for further studies abroad. He remained in the field of Education, however, throughout his working life, as a lecturer and later professor at the Universities in Canada. He served the University of York, Toronto, for several years during which period he paid particular attention to Caribbean students. He was a source of encouragement support and motivation to all his students. He will continue to live in the memories of all whom he helped and taught, and, more particularly, through the outstanding performances of his students around the world.

He died quietly in Toronto Canada where he had not been enjoying the best of health over the last few years.


Ms. Tianna Dalrymple
The PNCR and its Youth Arm, the Guyana Youth and Student Movement, extend condolences to the Dalrymple family on the death of their daughter and sister, Ms. Tianna Dalrymple. She was as an active member of the GYSM. The PNCR offers its support during this time to the Dalrymple family.

Ms. Thelma Stewart
The PNCR wishes to extend sincere condolences to Mrs. Shirley Klass, one of the Trustees of the Party, and her family, on the death of her sister, Ms. Thelma Stewart who passed away quietly in New York.

May their souls rest in Peace!

THE SACRIFICE OF THE ENMORE MARTYRS MAY HAVE BEEN IN VAIN

On Wednesday 16 June 2010 Guyanese marked the 62nd Anniversary of the five Enmore Martyrs who paid the supreme sacrifice in the struggle for better working conditions for Guyanese workers, more particularly, the sugar workers of Guyana. The PNCR joins with the rest of the nation in remembering Lallabajee, Pooran, Harry (Jug), Surujbally and Rambarran, those five sugar workers who made the supreme sacrifice in order to secure better conditions of work from their employers, the Colonial Sugar Barons.

On this memorable day, however, Guyanese reflected, in sadness, that their sacrifices may have been in vain as they experience the daily trampling of workers rights by the new Barons, the dictatorial PPP/C Regime.

The PPP/C Government sponsored event, at the site of the fitting Monument to their memory erected by the PNC Government at Enmore on 16 June 1977, on the 29th Anniversary of their martyrdom and one year after the nationalization of the sugar industry by the then Government, was another occasion where the great hypocrisy of the regime was exposed. In his speech at the unveiling of the monument, the then Prime Minister, Mr. L.F.S. Burnham, made the following observation:

“And now, Comrades, we have surveyed a wide field historically and chronologically. We have moved from 1596 to 1976; we have noted what our Amerindian Brothers have done and how they suffered; we have noted what our Black Brothers have done and how they suffered; we have noted what our Indian Brothers have done and how they suffered. Therefore, let us forget Amerindian, Black and Indian; let us say we have noted what the Guyanese people have suffered to reach this state.”

The struggle of the sugar workers and the commemoration of the Enmore Martyrs had become a national symbol around which workers and all Guyanese could rally and be inspired. Yet, as older Guyanese would reflect, Dr. Jagan and the PPP not only boycotted the national recognition event for several years but held separate and divisive celebrations right at Enmore, more planned to disrupt the official activities.

Thirty three years after the erection of this monument, the struggle of the working people for better wages, salaries and other conditions of service, remain elusive. New masters have emerged, whose actions have been equally violent, leading inexorably, to the economic, physical and psychological demise of the working people.

The observance of the 62nd Anniversary of the Enmore Martyrs coincides with a critical period in the life of the Guyana Labour Movement. The movement remains disunited as the new Barons wage a continuous battle to destroy and/or control the Labour movement. The overt efforts to destroy the TUC, climaxed with the withdrawal of the annual subvention fought for and obtained by the workers from the PNC Government and the removal of the state support to the workers education institution, the Critchlow Labour College. The Government had earlier carried out a vicious assault on the public sector workers and their Union when they stopped the check-off system to the Guyana Public Service Union and abolished Collective bargaining thus violating their own ratification of the ILO Convention. The regime continues shamelessly to destroy the rights of workers so valiantly fought for by the Enmore Martyrs, and others after them.

The despicable conduct of the regime in neglecting the plight of Kwakwani workers employed by the RUSAL owned BCGI is the latest manifestation of the violence being committed by the regime on workers of Guyana. The fact that a no-confidence motion in the Parliament against the Minister of Labour has failed so far to motivate any positive action in support of the workers is also indicative of the arrogance and shamelessness of the regime. President Jagdeo and his cohorts, who spoke at the Enmore monument on Wednesday, should have played for the workers benefit, the NCN’s tape of the Prime Minister’s presentation in the National Assembly on the Motion of no-confidence in the Minister of Labour instead of delivering hypocritical speeches. President Jadgeo should have played that particular section of Prime Minister Sam Hind’s presentation in the National Assembly at which he stated that the Bauxite Company was right to dismiss the striking workers because their conduct was violent. Surely the Enmore Martyrs must have turned in their graves at such national hypocrisy.

It is evident that the rights of workers are under threat and the political environment is hostile to the full development of all workers and their unions. The struggle for a living wage by public sector workers must be intensified. Enmore Martyrs’ Day must serve as inspiration to reinvigorate the struggle for better conditions of work and a unified Labour Movement for the benefit of all workers of Guyana.

The PNCR takes this opportunity on the 62nd Anniversary of Enmore Martyrs to remind the nation that the rights of the workers and their unions must once again be a priority on the National Agenda. On this occasion the Party re-dedicates itself to the continued struggle for workers rights and better working conditions in Guyana.

PPP/C IN PANIC MODE: SIGNS OF THE END OF THE DICTATORSHIP

The PPP/C regime appears to have driven itself into a frenzy over recent events in the CARICOM countries of Trinidad and Tobago and Surinam to the extent that their paranoia has led to their fright over recent reports that the Opposition parties in Guyana may be contemplating an alliance. It is obvious that the PPP/C is running scared of the possibility of such developments despite their continuous boast of the miraculous developments taking place under the Bharrat Jagdeo’s dictatorial regime. More deplorable, however, is the Administration’s misuse of State Institutions to carry out vindictive assaults on ordinary Guyanese, leading politicians and Caribbean citizens in response to their fears. This irrational behaviour is a clear indication of their panic mode, typical of the behaviour of dictatorial regimes close to their demise.

The first recent sign that the regime is in trouble is their reckless attempt to penalise the small people of the Nation for any acts considered by them to be a threat. This was evident in the manner in which they impounded the vehicle of a small truck owner whose only crime was to render some assistance to aggrieved parents, relatives and sympathisers of a youth killed by the Guyana Police Force. The existing threat to the continued business operation of a mini-bus owner has been well publicised for a similar PPP crime. This remains the case despite the Constitution of Guyana guarantees the right of citizens to protest and to freely assemble as fundamental rights. It is in this context that one must condemn the use or misuse by the Regime of the State Institution of the Guyana Police Force to perpetrate these unconstitutional acts.

The second sign of panic is the orchestrated attack on prominent politicians, journalists, media houses and free thinkers who dare to express differing opinions. The previous verbal assaults on leading businessmen such as Mr. Yesu Persaud, Mr. Christopher Correia and others have now paled into insignificance as the state media is thrown into overdrive to sully the good name of decent Guyanese. The removal of state advertisements from Stabroek News has paled into insignificance as the escalated attacks on Kaieteur News continue. The despicable and vulgar attack on journalist Mr. Freddie Kissoon was well ventilated and rejected as well as condemned by most decent Guyanese. The suspension of CN Sharma’s Channel 6 TV Licence pales into insignificance in the face of the recent serious charges which he now faces with the obvious PPP/C State collusion. The trumped up allegations against Mr. Peter Ramsaroop and the simultaneous use of the State Media to tarnish his character is another example. Yet the regime has failed to learn important lessons of history: The more repressive a regime becomes the more the struggle for their removal is intensified.

The third sign evidenced over the last five days is the obvious paranoia of the possibility of political parties working together in an Alliance. One must ask why this sudden fear by the PPP/C after their continued boasts of service to the people of Guyana? The talk about alliance is not new.

Since 2002, the PNCR declared its commitment to work for Shared Governance in Guyana. The Party’s position papers are on its web-site. The Party has also regularly publicised that it has held discussions with several parties and interest groups toward the achievement of this objective. Several years ago we sought, in vain, to have the PPP/C directly and seriously engaged in those discussions. In 2004, the PNCR Congress also approved of the Party working with other Guyanese Parties and groups to establish a broad platform to contest the 2006 General and Regional Elections. Indeed, it is that decision and consequential efforts that led to a PNCR-One Guyana contesting those elections. In the post Elections period the PNCR reiterated its goal of achieving Shared Governance and urged the PPP/C Administration to be part of the national discussion to make this goal a reality. Unfortunately, the PPP/C has done all in its power during this period to monopolise every aspect of life while shouting about an obviously invisible inclusive democracy.

All other political parties in Guyana, including the PPP, have at some time embraced an alliance. We are regaled regularly by the PPP of their alliance with the “CIVIC”. The AFC recently claimed publicly that they were working on an alliance with civil society for the now aborted Local Government Elections. Recently, all the Opposition parties were collaborating under the banner of, “JOPP”, to achieve the mutual objective of an independent international Inquiry into the existence and activities of the Phantom Squad in Guyana. The production of a dossier of Human Rights abuses by the Regime and the recent calls by the United Nations Human Rights Council in support of such an inquiry provide evidence of the success of such collaboration, though much more could have been achieved.

In those circumstances, it is necessary to ponder over the PPP/C’s apparent concern over the possibility of an alliance of Opposition parties in Guyana. The concern is so evident that the State Media has been specially assigned to disseminate misinformation aimed at creating confusion and to undermine what the PPP/C assumes is possible. The Nation was regaled by the State Media of “secret meetings” between the PNCR and the AFC. What is unusual or secret about any meetings between political parties? The PNCR has always done so and the Opposition Leader has met with the Parliamentary Opposition parties as is his duty to discuss matters of mutual interest. So even if there were “secret meetings” as claimed by the State Media what is so unusual about that? In addition, one has to question the PPP/C regime’s commitment to CARICOM and Caribbean Integration as well as their Agreement to the free movement of skills. It is abhorrent that the State Media is being used and misused to damage and sully the character of Guyanese. It is worse, however, to witness the State Media launching unprovoked attacks on a Caribbean citizen in the name of Mr. Hartley Henry. Perhaps the writers and readers of the state’s vile propaganda should ask their bosses to look into mirrors so that the reality of their own indiscretions would be manifest.

It cannot escape the attention of any Guyanese that the present panic reaction of the PPP/C regime is the result of the outcome of elections in Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago where regime change have occurred. More instructive, is the benefits which can be derived from the collaboration of opposition forces. The PPP/C fears, therefore, are well founded as they can already visualise the horror of the end of their dictatorial regime. Perhaps it is time for the Opposition parties to make the PPP/C fears not only a nightmare, but a reality.

TOO LATE FOR EXCUSES ON CORRUPTION AND DISCRIMINATION

The statement of the PPP/C General Secretary, Mr. Donald Ramotar in response to the poll conducted by CADRES is both amazing and instructive.

According to Mr. Ramotar reports, corruption have been, “blown out of proportion”. Mr. Ramotar also advances another mind-boggling reason. According to him, the PPP was compelled to keep the staff it inherited in Office from the previous Administration. If the situation in Guyana were not so dire, this recent attempt at deception by the PPP/C would provide useful material for a comedy opera at the National Cultural Center, built by the PNC Administration under the tenure of Prime Minister, Mr. Forbes Burnham. The PPP/C’s belated excuses for their massive corruption and discrimination will, however, fool no one, as Guyanese have been the victims of the vindictive and discriminatory policies over the past eighteen years of their dictatorial Regime.

Every Guyanese is aware of the witch- hunt which followed the PPP’s accession to office in 1992. The dismissal of staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gained national prominence, but that was only symptomatic of what occurred in every Ministry. Many of the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were forced to approach the High Court in order to obtain their benefits. Every Permanent Secretary was changed and all high level staff were shifted over time to ensure that PPP supporters and/or members controlled the State machinery. Additionally, there was obvious discrimination, both political and racial, as the PPP pursued their absolute control policy.

Has Mr. Ramotar forgotten that those who were involved in corruption were promoted as a reward for their exemplary efforts? Has he forgotten that corruption became so endemic and grew into an uncontrollable monster? What about the Permanent Secretary who was engaged in the Law Books scandal being promoted to the Ministry of Education or, the beneficiaries of the Dolphin Scam being promoted to Presidential Adviser? What about the Treasury Officer involved in the duty free vehicle scam and the recent Regional Executive Officer of Region Four charged with corruption who threatened to expose everyone else if action was taken against him?

It does not take an expert to analyse the unprecedented level of corruption in Guyana. In any event Guyana’s reputation in this area has reached international notoriety as evidenced in the numerous reports from the International Financial Institutions and Organisations. It is therefore mind-boggling and instructive that the PPP/C General Secretary could, in the face of the mountain of evidence to the contrary, insult Guyanese intelligence by suggesting that reports on corruption are overblown.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 18 June 2010