THE PNCR DISGUSTED WITH PRESIDENT JAGDEO USING PUBLIC FORUMS TO ABUSE AND BELITTLE CITIZENS--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 17 September 2010




BY
People’s National Congress Reform
Media Centre, Congress Place
Friday 17 September 2010

SUMMARY:
• The PNCR offers condolences to Hon. Edwin Carrington, C.M. Llewellyn John, Jeffrey Thomas and Jennifer Wade, M.P.;
• Former Chairman of Region #4 RDC, Mr. Alan Ewart Munroe, was sworn in as member of the Teaching Services Commission;
• Our children are unquestionably some of our country’s greatest assets and we must ensure that all programmes are organised to fulfil the most important objective of making them well developed and contributing citizens of our country;
• The right to protection is the right of every citizen and must never be accepted as a privilege to be bestowed on any person or class of persons by the Jagdeo Regime or the Guyana Police Force;
• It seems that President Jagdeo finds it difficult to observe the standards of decorum which are expected of the Head of State. Such morally retrograde, short-sighted thinking and crudity is unbecoming of someone occupying the Office of President of Guyana;
• The PNCR, nevertheless, urges all Guyanese who are fourteen years and over as of the qualifying date to seize the opportunity to be registered. At the same time we urge those persons who have not uplifted their ID Cards from the House-to-House Registration process to do so now.


CONDOLENCES TO HON. EDWIN CARRINGTON, C.M. LLEWELLYN JOHN, JEFFREY THOMAS AND JENNIFER WADE, M.P.

The People’s National Congress Reform wishes to convey to Hon. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, our profound sympathy on the death of his son, Andre, and to request that similar sentiments be conveyed to the other sorrowing relatives and friends of the deceased.

Meanwhile the Party’s Leadership joins the entire membership in expressions of condolences to Mr. Clifton Mortimer Llewellyn John on the death of his brother, Joseph John as well as to Mr. Jeffrey Thomas on the death of his father and to Ms. Jennifer Wade, M.P. on the Death of her nephew.

May their souls rest in peace.


MR ALAN EWART MUNROE APPOINTED A MEMBER OF THE TEACHING SERVICES COMMISSION

Former Chairman of Region #4 RDC, Mr. Alan Ewart Munroe, was sworn in as member of the Teaching Services Commission, on Monday 13 September 2010. Other members of the Commission are Mohamed Khan, Chandrawattie Leila Ramson, Anoopwattie Veeren, Roopnarine Tiwari, Maydha Persaud and Conrad Kendall.

Mr. Munroe hails from Liverpool Village, Corentyne, Berbice and has had a long and distinguished career in the field of Education, starting at the Cotton Tree Government School in Berbice from 1955 to 1957.

Mr. Alan Munroe was: the Project Manager for President’s College in 1985; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Social Development and Culture from 1982 to 1984; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher Education in 1981; Deputy Chief Education Officer (Administration) from 1978 to 1980; Assistant Chief Education Officer (Technical) from 1976 to 1978; Principal at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute from 1973 to 1975; Deputy Principal at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute from 1971 to 1973: Lecturer at the Government Technical Institute from 1964 to 1971.

Mr Munroe holds a Master of Education Degree from Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario; a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Construction Management and a Diploma in Architectural Technology, from Poly-Technical Institute, Canada; a Certificate in Education and a Certificate in Industrial Management from Ontario College.

PNCR MESSAGE FOR EDUCATION MONTH 2010

The People’s National Congress Reform joins with the education fraternity in saluting teachers and other educationists during this month designated, “Education Month.”

Education Month 2010, under the theme, “Child Friendly Home, Child Friendly Classroom and Quality Education”, must result in very necessary improvements in the education sector, our teachers and all others in the formal, informal, and non-formal areas of education must see it as fitting to contribute whatever is needed to make this laudable theme a reality in terms of real accomplishments.

Our children are unquestionably some of our country’s greatest assets and we must ensure that all programmes are organised to fulfil the most important objective of making them well developed and contributing citizens of our country.

It must be noted that at one time our literacy rate was one of the highest, if not the highest in the Region, now unhappily, despite statements to the contrary, it is abysmally low; it is a situation that must be recognised and real efforts made, not just nice sounding themes, to deal with it. There must be the will, the human and material resources to achieve these admirable aims.

New school buildings are needed, teaching aids that are appropriate and relevant must be provided, but qualified and committed teachers must be the substance in the rhetoric, to motivate and inspire all to give of their best, in preparing and equipping our children with this most important development tool – education.

The Ministry has outlined many initiatives, many programmes have been planned and it is to be hoped that the implementation of these can be sustained throughout the year. Greater parential involvement is one such and should be pursued even more vigourously as many parents have expertise and interests that can provide mutually enriching activities; sessions could be planned and spill over from study to joint activity – we need to use parents much more than we are doing now – the seminars now planned should be a continuing event.

The feeling that many of our young people have is that there is no future for them here in Guyana, so why learn – this feeling of hopelessness must be dispelled and this Education Month, with its most worthy theme, could mark the beginning, as the catalyst that brings education once again to the premier place it occupied in the lives of all our people.

IS THE GUYANA POLICE FORCE ABLE TO PROVIDE PUBLIC SECURITY?

At his Press Conference, on Tuesday 7th September 2010, Commissioner of Police, Mr Henry Greene, informed the Guyanese citizens that, as at 6th September 2010, there were 97 reported murders, a frightening 20 more than for the corresponding period last year.

The incapacity of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), to deal with the increasingly bold activities of the Narco-Barons in Guyana, was fully exposed by the daring, well organised and brutally executed murder, at Cummings Lodge, on Saturday night, 4 September 2010, of Steve Jupiter called “Steve man”, Christopher Gordon 38, called “Bigga” and Sherwin Jerome 39, called “Dice head”, Jupiter’s three-year-old son Neil Jupiter and Fiona Singh.

Commissioner Greene stated that, based on results of the investigations conducted, so far, on the twenty-two 7.62 x 39 shells; six 9 mm shells ; five 9 mm war-heads and one 7.62 x 39 war-head, investigators say that none of the weapons was used at previous crime scenes.

At the 7 September 2010 Press Conference, Commissioner Greene reported to the media that the killing of five people in Cummings Lodge was punishment for stolen cocaine and their deaths have pushed up the number of executions to nine compared to two for the same period last year.

The Commissioner proudly informed the media that one the three men had collected 9 kilograms of cocaine, originating from Venezuela, to be handed over to a "certain group", but only 2 kilograms were handed over and he claimed that the 7 kilograms were seized by the police.

It is instructive that Commissioner Greene pathetically said that he could not say to whom exactly the cocaine was consigned and whether Venezuelan authorities have been contacted for help in solving the crime.

Since the Commissioner’s Press Conference several other murders have occurred, including the murders of Dexter Gasper; Sheema Manger and Deon Stephens, pushing the murder rate over the 100 mark.

Even more frightening than these horrific figures is the continuing reality that the Jagdeo Regime and the Commissioner of Police are hopelessly short on plans and strategies to combat our deteriorating public security. The PNCR has, for years in the National Assembly; at its Press Conferences and at other fora, urged the Jagdeo Regime to, among other things, adopt a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach to public security.

For example, the Party, and indeed several other entities, have called on the Government to make “E” and “F” Divisions separate police Divisions with increased manpower and with their headquarters within the respective Divisions, rather than at Rabbit Walk in Georgetown. The Jagdeo Regime and the Commissioner of Police have, not surprisingly, resisted these most rational recommendations. As such, whenever brutal robberies or murders occur in these hinterland Divisions, the latest being the robbery/murder in Bartica, on Saturday 4th September 2010, our Police Force is constrained to shuttle police from Georgetown to the affected areas, losing precious time in the process.

The PNCR wishes to remind all Guyana that the duty to protect its citizens is the primary responsibility of the Government of the day. This right to protection is the right of every citizen and must never be accepted as a privilege to be bestowed on any person or class of persons by the Jagdeo Regime or the Guyana Police Force.

Rather than performing summersaults defending the indefensible Minister Lall, the Commissioner of Police, as a servant of the people of Guyana, and not the just the servant of the Jagdeo regime, should concentrate on genuinely leading his Force in the solving of the hundreds of unsolved crimes committed on Guyanese from all walks of life.

The Commissioner’s intelligence must have told him that the GPF has little credibility with the public. The Guyanese citizenry are tired and “fed up” with catch phrases like “we have evidence as to who may be involved” or “we are working on several leads”. The people want to see mounting evidence that the perpetrators of crime have been apprehended and successfully brought to Justice.

Wake up! Commissioner Greene.

THE PNCR DISGUSTED WITH PRESIDENT JAGDEO USING PUBLIC FORUMS TO ABUSE AND BELITTLE CITIZENS

During what should have been a Presidential Address, to the Opening Ceremony, on Wednesday 1 September 2010, for Amerindian Heritage Month, President Jagdeo used the opportunity to “cuss out” and verbally attack Dr. George Norton, the Chief of GOIP, for the views he expressed during his earlier address to the Ceremony. This despicable behaviour, by the President, caused the Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Mr. Robert Corbin, to observe that “Mr. Jagdeo has no time, place or taste in terms of how he deals with these matters at public events and does degrade the office of President in the manner in which he behaves at public functions, using his privileged position as president to attack people in public because they express personal views”.

It seems that President Jagdeo finds it difficult to observe the standards of decorum which are expected of the Head of State. The President should have delivered a morally uplifting and inspirational Address to the Graduation Ceremony, at the National Cultural Centre, on Wednesday 1st September 2010, for students who recently completed scholarships provided by Cuba, India, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, in the fields of Medicine, Architecture, Agriculture, Engineering, Agronomy, Veterinary Medicine and Computer Science. Instead, as reported in the Kaieteur News article, on 2 September 2010, captioned “President takes another swipe at the media”, President Bharrat Jagdeo is quoted as saying “It’s a small group of people. Many of them have lived their lives already; old people. They want to destroy, you know, because they didn’t have. They have lived their lives, many of them so engrossed in bitterness, that they want to snatch away the future from all of you and from this country. We shouldn’t allow that to happen”. What message was he conveying to these young people who are about to start to contribute to nation building?

Is the President advocating that these young people should disrespect and disregard their elders?

Such morally retrograde, short-sighted thinking and crudity is unbecoming of someone occupying the Office of President of Guyana.

Unfortunately, attacks on elderly contributors in the Media seem to be a favourite pastime for the President who was reported, in the 1st May 2010, edition of the Kaieteur News, as saying, “We must not give up our country and its future to the few in our midst who are negative about every single thing on earth. They are always negative and many of them, frankly speaking, are very old people...............There are about five of them you see recurring in the newspapers. Five of them very old, people who have lived their lives very bitter. The future doesn’t belong to them”.

Only yesterday, Thursday 16 September 2010, at his National Cultural Centre meeting with CLICO policy holders, the President, in a most crude and petulant manner, abused Mr Christopher Ram and refused to take any questions from him. Is this the behaviour that the Guyanese people expect of their President?

If the President was not so “full of himself” and, apparently, intoxicated by the power of the Presidency, he may have come to recognise his own needs for mentoring and counselling, so that he could benefit from the guidance, wisdom and experience of the very persons against whom he has compulsively chosen to launch such venomous attacks.

The PNCR must sadly conclude, “Forgive him for he knows not what he says!”

PNCR AGAIN URGES ALL GUYANESE TO BE REGISTERED

The Continuous Registration process, which commenced on 6th September 2010, is continuing, though, not without glitches. For example, some identified Scrutineers were initially rejected by the Registration Officers in the Area until after the intervention of the Commissioner of Registration/Chief Election Officer. These matters, however, are being resolutely addressed by the Opposition Chief Scrutineer to ensure that transparency is not compromised.

The PNCR, nevertheless, urges all Guyanese who are fourteen years and over, as of the qualifying date, to seize the opportunity to be registered. At the same time, we urge those persons who have not uplifted their ID Cards from the House-to-House Registration process to do so now.

The PNCR has also noted a letter in the media by the Chairman GECOM, (Kaieteur News, 12 September 2010), responding to what he claims were remarks reportedly made by the Leader of the PNCR to the media about the failure of GECOM to formally notify the political parties in writing of the details of the Continuous Registration, particularly, as it relates to the issue of Scrutineers.

The Leader of the PNCR, who will also respond to Mr. Surujballi on his return to Guyana, has confirmed that the remarks attributed to him, by the Stabroek News of 5 September 2010, are, indeed, accurate and that he maintains what he said on that occasion to the media. Mr. Surujballi should be advised, however, that the Leader of the PNCR was conveying the concerns of the Central Executive Committee of the PNCR that GECOM apparently did not, and, judging from Mr. Surujballi’s letter, still does not believe that they have an obligation to formally notify political parties of their plans and programmes.

Since 2000, the amendments to both the Registration and Election Laws identify specific roles for the Political Parties, which, if not performed, could affect the credibility and acceptability of the process and the results.

For example, in 2009, section 8, of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2000 was amended to provide for,

“one scrutineer in each registration division and one in any subdivision thereof appointed by –
(a) the governing party,
(b) the Combined opposition parties,
in the National Assembly shall be paid remuneration in accordance with an administrative scheme made by the Election Commission after the Commission is satisfied from supporting evidence that the scrutineer has satisfactorily performed his duties.”

The amendment went further to state that the list of Scrutineers of the Combined opposition of the National Assembly to be remunerated shall be submitted by the Leader of the Opposition, after meaningful consultation with the other opposition parties in the National Assembly.

It is obvious that if political parties are required to consult, then GECOM has an obligation to provide both the information in writing, as well as, in adequate time for such consultation to take place. It is difficult, therefore, to appreciate how the Chairman of GECOM still believes that a meeting with political parties a few days before the commencement of Continuous Registration could suffice.

It is significant that the PNCR’s Press Statement on this matter was dated 20 August 2010 when, the Party was aware that Continuous Registration was scheduled to commence on 6 September 2010, and expressed concerns that many issues were not yet settled. That statement concluded,

“The PNCR also calls on GECOM to make a Statement to stakeholders on this matter. The PNCR has written to the Chairman of GECOM on this matter and looks forward to a prompt response”

It was only after that Press Statement that GECOM sought to inform the Public, at a Press Conference, of its Plans. In addition, the PNCR made public that it had written Dr. Surujbally expressing our concerns. It is, therefore, rather surprising that the Chairman of GECOM could seek to rely on information released after the PNCR’s Letter and Press Statement to justify the failure of that Constitutional Body to fulfill its obligations to the political parties.

The Leader of the PNCR will deal further with this matter on his return.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 17 September 2010

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