PRESS STATEMENT By The People’s National Congress Reform To the Press Conference on Thursday October 24, 2002 Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia.
* The success of our boxers is probably one of the few ways in which Guyana reaches the wider world in a positive context
* Our party was very heartened and pleased by the success of a recent appeal launched by Channel 6 and Mr Sharma in aid of little Neola Sam to enable her to have overseas treatment for leukaemia after the government was unable or unwilling to make adequate funds available for her treatment overseas
* PNCR condemns the extraordinary behaviour of Jagdeo in first inviting the Commonwealth Secretary General to send Sir Paul Reeves to Guyana to stimulate dialogue between the major parties and then having talked to Sir Paul, make a live broadcast in which he did everything possible to sabotage the work of Sir Paul.
* The government has made the most ludicrous and nonsensical of statements in suggesting that the evidence from the Thomas Carroll trial as not “admissible” in Courts in Guyana,
* Mr Jagdeo should resign and the governing party should select a more suitable and competent leader
CONGRATULATIONS TO VIVIAN HARRIS:
The PNCR is delighted to celebrate with other equally proud Guyanese the success of yet another of our talented boxers who has brought honour to our country. This time we extend our congratulations to Vivian Harris and the Harris family for his decisive victory in Houston, Texas last Saturday night (2002 October 19) to become the new WBA and IBA Juniour Welterweight champion of the world. The confident manner of his win brought delight to all Guyanese. We wish him continued success in stamping his authority on the defence of his title.
The success of our boxers is probably one of the few ways in which Guyana reaches the wider world in a positive context. We Guyanese must remind the Government that the support for sport in general and boxing in particular is necessary to stimulate their interest and motivate our young people to develop their sports skills. We call on the government to revitalise the amateur boxing programme as the incubator for further success.
SHARMA CONTINUES HIS GOOD WORK:
Our Party was very heartened and pleased by the success of a recent appeal launched by Channel 6 and Mr Sharma in aid of little Neola Sam to enable her to have overseas treatment for leukaemia after the government was unable or unwilling to make adequate funds available for her treatment overseas.
This was an impressive and noble moment for Guyanese as rich and poor, business and ordinary citizens, young and old, persons of every social strata, religious persuasion and ethnic classification all came forward with tangible support for the appeal.
The Government claimed that they do not have the funds, yet they were able to find funds to send Dr Jennifer Westford to Italy to witness the Wayne Braithwaithe title fight. However, since the cameras and media took no notice of her, Guyanese are left to wonder whether she actually turned up for the fight and, if not, why was so much taxpayers money frittered away in this fashion.
THE CONFUSED AND DESPERATE JAGDEO:
In our last Press Conference, we expressed the view that Mr Jagdeo had ceased to be effective as President therefore he should do the decent thing and resign in the national interest. We understand that Mr Jagdeo has taken exception to this opinion, an expression well within our rights as citizens and our duty as the main opposition party and alternative government.
That purported public address which was supposed to mark ten years of PPP government was an un-statesmanlike diatribe. The nationally televised image of Mr Jagdeo foaming at the mouth as he abused the PNCR leadership and wiping his mouth with the back of his hands is a gaucheness of which all Guyanese must be perpetually ashamed.
Unfortunately, his behaviour in the intervening days has only served to strengthen our view. Our party has, as a consequence, reassessed our position and sadly come to the conclusion that Mr Jagdeo has been, through no fault of his own, placed in a position for which he is neither morally nor intellectually equipped. His failures are, therefore, due more to his limitations and incompetence rather than malice or ill will. We have begun to look on him like Hamlet's father's ghost, more in sorrow than in anger.
How else can we explain his extraordinary behaviour in first inviting the Commonwealth Secretary General to send Sir Paul Reeves to Guyana to stimulate dialogue between the major parties and then, having talked to Sir Paul, make a live broadcast in which he did everything possible to sabotage the work of Sir Paul?
How can we explain his determined and consistent attempt to cover up crime and corruption in his administration and his refusal to clean up the dark and shameful shadow cast by the Thomas Carroll affair, and other similar scandals which have sullied the image of Guyana?
How can we explain his apathy in the face of the destruction of the morale and capacity of the police force, the judiciary and the public service?
How can we explain his systematic destruction of the national economy and apparent inability to devise a programme to halt the continuing downward and damaging slide of economic activity?
How can we explain the fact that he made promises of debt relief to rice farmers which he seems to have conveniently forgotten and dishonoured?
How can we explain his blathering about helicopter gun-ships and armoured cars as a response to the problems of crime and domestic security?
How can we explain the blatant lies which he uttered when pressured for the truth on the Paul Fraser affair?
It is evident that in an effort to shore up his image and his dwindling authority, he is trying to sell a macho image and thus has become more and more unbalanced and erratic as the pressure of crime and economic decline deepens. He is totally out of his depth and seems to have descended into surrealism!
We repeat our assertion, that Mr Jagdeo should resign and the governing party should select a more suitable and competent leader from their ranks. If they are unable to do this, they alone will shoulder the moral responsibility for the consequences.
The PNCR understands that this view is shared by many of the more thoughtful and balanced members of the PPP/C leadership and we would encourage them to take the necessary steps to rescue their party and the country from further disaster.
Even the PPP/C must recognise that abuse and vulgarity are no substitute for statesmanship and consensus.
CONTRADICTORY AND UNCOORDINATED PPP RESPONSE TO THE HOYTE PROPOSALS FOR BUXTON AND OTHER DEPRESSED COMMUNITIES:
The chaos, over which Mr Jagdeo presides, as a government, is best exemplified by the tangled web of dishonest responses to Mr Hoyte’s Proposals for Buxton and a model for addressing the needs of similarly depressed communities in Guyana.
Minister Collymore said that the works have already happened in Buxton. Mr Jagdeo said that it will not happen. Mr Collymore said that it will happen and he was studying the proposal. Mr Jagdeo said that he rejects the idea totally and labels it blackmail. Mr. Ramotar labels the proposals “a ransom demand”.
Who is speaking for the Government?
Is it possible to imagine a more disorganised and leaderless government than the current PPP/C?
We believe that the lack of leadership and the confusion have gone on for too long and must be brought to an end. What is sad is that in their rush to discredit the ideas which Mr Hoyte has proposed, the government has not taken the trouble to study what was said and totally neglected the meat of the proposals which clearly states that all of the villages on the East Coast would benefit from the terms of the Hoyte initiative.
Why does Jagdeo hate Buxton so much?
Why has he not visited the community and shown that he has the testicular apparatus for national leadership?
Which of the components of the proposals does the Government consider to be unnecessary?
GOVERNMENT’S ILLEGAL AND IMPROPER USE OF LOTTO FUNDS:
The Auditor General has once again reminded the Jagdeo regime that the almost G$2.0Bn in revenue collected from the “Lotto” should be paid into the Consolidated Fund, expenditure from which is subject to Parliamentary approval. Instead, Jagdeo keeps these funds illegally and irregularly in a “special bank account” under his sole control.
This political slush fund is a national embarrassment, which will forever stain the record of the PPP/C in government.
GAJRAJ DEMONSTRATES HIS UNSUITABILITY FOR MINISTERIAL OFFICE:
The incompetent Mr. Gajraj is now performing the day-to-day constitutional functions of the Commissioner of Police while keeping McDonald as the titular Commissioner and showpiece.
The government has made no attempt to consider the overhaul of the force and the appointment, of a substantive Commissioner. Instead, Gajraj and the government have made the most ludicrous and nonsensical of statements in claiming that the evidence from the Thomas Carroll trial is not “admissible” in Courts in Guyana!
In addition, Gajraj’s claim that to discipline errant officers so identified by a Commission of Inquiry would ‘affect morale’. Gajraj has placed himself even more firmly on the side of incompetence, irregularity, immorality and indiscipline.
The Minister of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police seem ignorant of the whereabouts of infamous Black Clothes operatives, e.g. Merai, Robo Cop, etc.
Where are they?
Has this government no shame?
People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia.
Thursday October 24th, 2002
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