WHY DOES THE PRESIDENT AND HIS GOVERNMENT FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED?--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 24 September 2010




SUMMARY:
• On International Day of Peace 2010, the PNCR called upon civil society, the religious and faith–based communities and all those entities and individuals who should, collectively and/or individually, be contributing towards the creation of a national environment for sustainable peace and security, to express and demonstrate their abhorrence of the daily acts of discrimination, victimization, corruption and illegalities of all kinds and to stand ready to join forces in rooting out those in our midst who are responsible for perpetuating these evils;
• The PNCR recognises that children require love, guidance and sympathy. This can be achieved through tolerance, patience and understanding. Adults and leaders, at all levels of our society, must become positive examples and role models for our children;
• The Jagdeo Administration track record on veracity, implementation of what has been agreed, and verifiable performance, has not earned the members of this Administration the benefit of unquestioned acceptance;
• When will the President authorise a full independent investigation of the apparent mismanagement, malfeasance and downright illegalities which contributed to the demise of CLICO (Guyana)?

MESSAGE FROM THE PNCR FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

The People’s National Congress Reform joined with the rest of the International Community in their observance of Tuesday 21st September 2010 as the day, designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Peace.

The PNCR accepts and recognizes that an environment of sustainable peace is a necessary condition for harmony and human development.

However, it is unfortunate that, here in Guyana, the yearnings of Guyanese for peace are frustrated by the continuing acts of blatant discrimination and injustices which are the daily experiences of poor and defenceless individuals as well as entire communities. For those of our citizens, peace has no meaning, as they wage a seemingly endless struggle against the adversities which confront them.

On International Day of Peace 2010, therefore, the PNCR called upon civil society, the religious and faith–based communities and all those entities and individuals who should, collectively and/or individually, be contributing towards the creation of a national environment for sustainable peace and security, to express and demonstrate their abhorrence of the daily acts of discrimination, victimization, corruption and illegalities of all kinds and to stand ready to join forces in rooting out those in our midst who are responsible for perpetuating these evils.

Where there is injustice there can be no real peace.

MESSAGE FROM THE PNCR FOR CHILD PROTECTION WEEK

The People’s National Congress Reform joins with the rest of the International Community in their observance of Sunday 19th September 2010 to Saturday 25th September 2010 as the week, nationally coordinated by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Incorporated (NAPCAN Inc.) as Child Protection Week.

The Party believes that every child is special and is born with the potential, which, if carefully and lovingly nurtured, can make a positive contribution for the future development of Guyana.

The PNCR also believes that, consistent with the maxim, “No one can do everything, but rather, everyone can do something”, the growth, nurturing and protection of our children must be the responsibility of every Guyanese. All forms of child predatory behaviour must be guarded against and stamped out. We must all be watchful and seek to discourage the growth of the nascent deviant behaviour that seems to have invaded our society.

Society must address the challenges posed by the growing number of single-parent households, which represent the largest number, and the most common type, of family unit.

The blame for the problems, besetting children in single-parent households, cannot be totally placed on the single parent, since he/she is forced to seek to improve the economic conditions facing their homes, by seeking employment wherever and whenever possible. In most cases, because of the educational and/or skill levels of the parent, the types of employment available, requires him/her to spend the critical quality hours away from the home. The reality is that, because of the economic and social demands to earn a “living”, the heads of single-parent households are often unable to provide their children with the type of supervision and guidance which they need in their daily lives. This often results in the children being exposed to the various types of predatory abuses which have become prevalent in our society.

Many of these single parents are forced to rely on the teachers to fulfil their role as supervisors in the lives of their children. Therefore, if the School system is unable or incapable of providing this necessary support, the vulnerability of the child to abuse is exacerbated.

It must be recognised that the family is the bedrock of any society, Therefore, when the family unit becomes dysfunctional, the society has lost a critical social mechanism for the development and protection of our children.

The lack of parental supervision often leads to various types of vulnerabilities to abuses, resulting in school attendance being low, school drop-out rates high, more street children, mini-bus riders and children vendors.

The role of the father, in the development of the child is important. We, as a society, have downplayed the important and pivotal role of the father. We call on all, religious organisations, private and public sectors employers, and the media to encourage fathers to honour their responsibilities and fulfil their role in the lives of their children.

We must revisit organised after school activities, such as the establishment of social and sports clubs, which provide wholesome support for the overall development of children. Organisations, such as the YMCA and the YWCA, must be encouraged to play an increasingly proactive role for the positive social orientation, development and protection of our children.

The absence of recreational facilities, such as playfields, in many neighbourhoods, must be urgently addressed in every community.

The PNCR reaffirms its own commitment for the development and protection of the children of this nation. Accordingly, the Party has established several literacy groups which are intended to contribute towards the empowerment of each and every child. In this way, “Every child can be something”, can become a reality. The emphasis must be on providing an enabling environment for the development and protection of our children.

The PNCR recognises that children require love, guidance and sympathy. This can be achieved through tolerance, patience and understanding. Adults and leaders, at all levels of our society, must become positive examples and role models for our children.

The publicly observable examples of executive lawlessness, corruption and predatory behaviour, including rising child pornography and sex trafficking, cannot contribute to the creation of the sort of environment where our children can feel safe and protected. In addition, the present reality of pervasive and rising levels of extreme poverty is certainly not conducive for the creation of the needed “child friendly” environment.

On the occasion of Child Protection Week 2010, the PNCR calls on the Government, and society as a whole, to strive to make our children feel special, loved, wanted and, most importantly, become safe and protected.

WHY DOES THE PRESIDENT AND HIS GOVERNMENT FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED?

It does appear that the President and his Government feel that their activities should not be questioned. The People’s National Congress Reform and, indeed, every Guyanese, have every moral and Constitutional right, particularly, based on past experience, to feel compelled to question the Jagdeo Administration. After all, their track record on veracity, implementation of what has been agreed, and verifiable performance, has not earned the members of this Administration the benefit of unquestioned acceptance.

In their effort to intimidate those who question, the President and his merry band now resort to labelling persons who question their activities as being “unpatriotic” or “anti national”.

This new tactic, of the regime, is reinforced by the dissemination and broadcasting of deliberate and ingenuous distortions and misrepresentations, emanating from that well provisioned state propaganda machine, otherwise referred to as GINA.

The recent furore, obviously created by the Administration for diversionary political purposes, over the legitimate and relevant questions raised by the experienced and well qualified Chartered Accountant and Attorney, Mr. Christopher Ram, is illustrative of the paranoia that has invaded the occupants of the Office of the President.

Like the PNCR, Mr. Ram and other observant and concerned Guyanese, are supportive of the efforts, of the Administration, to honour the promises made by the President to the nation, “That the Government of Guyana would take steps to protect pensions and policyholders of CLICO (Guyana)”.

The PNCR supported Resolution 82, wherein the Minister of Finance gave the Government’s assurances to the National Assembly. Resolution 82, which was passed by the National Assembly, on 12 March 2009, contained the following Resolve clauses:

That this National Assembly calls upon the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure that there will be no financial loss to any policy holder or depositor of CLICO(Guyana);

That the National Assembly calls upon the Government to take all possible actions to secure the investments made in CLICO(Guyana) by the NIS on behalf of contributors and beneficiaries of the Scheme to prevent any consequential loss in benefits to them;

That the National Assembly endorses the statement by Government guaranteeing the savings, pensions, investments, and insurance of all investors, depositors, policy holders and contributors of CLICO(Guyana);

Although the PNCR is not privy to the details of the arrangements being pursued by the Administration, the Party, nevertheless, expects the President and his Minister of Finance to fully honour the above undertakings and commitments.

What are the specific arrangements for the recouping of the NIS investments in CLICO (Guyana)?

Chief Justice (Ag), Ian Chang, according to the report in the 11 September 2010 edition of the Stabroek News, had, on Friday 10 September 2010, “.....ordered that the Bank of Guyana be appointed as liquidator to execute the wind-up order and this is expected to pave the way for the government to make good on its assurance of guaranteeing the policies and investment held by Guyanese in CLICO.” The pronouncements and antics of the President suggest that, by the exercise of his observed penchant for micro-management, he is now performing the functions of Liquidator on behalf of the Bank of Guyana.

The PNCR expects that, given his proactive functioning as the Liquidator of CLICO (Guyana), the President has taken note of the fact that, “The Chief Justice referred to the investment move as an “illegal transmission,” saying that from all appearances the company has little or no chance of recouping the US$34 million it transmitted to its sister company, CLICO (Bahamas).

The Bahamas investment represents about 53% of CLICO’s total assets and according to the Justice Chang, the law does not allow any insurer carrying on long term insurance business to invest more than 15% of its statutory fund outside of Guyana.”

Christopher Ram, in his 19 September Sunday Stabroek Business Page analysis, referred to the above, as follows, “What we have here is an unholy mess created by Ms. Gita Singh-Knight as CEO of CLICO with her illegal transmission of funds to another CLICO company; Ms Maria van Beek as Commissioner of Insurance and her poor oversight; the Bank of Guyana that failed to act in the face of the illegalities; and their political masters, the President and the Finance Minister.”

When will the President authorise a full independent investigation of the apparent mismanagement, malfeasance and downright illegalities which contributed to the demise of CLICO (Guyana)?

In his usual attempt to evade this issue, the President threw in his now hackneyed “red herring”, Globe Trust. Perhaps, the President is conveniently unaware that Globe Trust has been under the control of the Bank of Guyana for more than eight (8) years. Therefore, there was plenty of time for an independent investigation to be undertaken. However, if the President is really inclined to authorise independent investigations, the Party suggests that he could also include an independent investigation into the pillaging and asset stripping of the Guyana National Co-Operative Bank by PPP cohorts.

The President can count on the full support of the PNCR to expeditiously undertake the above independent investigations.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 24 September 2010

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