THE ALARMING RATE OF ARMED ROBBERIES THREATENS THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF CITIZENS--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 3rd December 2010.




SUMMARY:
• Party Leader attends 10th Meeting of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank (PNOWB);
• The Jagdeo Administration needs to be reminded that Public Security is their responsibility, as the Government of Guyana;
• The dismal performance of the Guyana economy, to generate increased employment and incomes, has reinforced the perception of our young people that there is no sustainable future for them in the land of their birth;
• The Party wishes to make it clear that at no time did “The Committee” which was responsible for planning and executing the arrangements or any member thereof request that the Party make available any officer to give a tribute at the internment ceremonies at Leguan;
• The PNCR urges all Guyanese, especially the unregistered young people of fourteen (14) years and above, to take advantage of this opportunity to become registered.

PNCR LEADER OUT OF GUYANA: CHAIRMAN PERFORMING FUNCTIONS OF LEADER

The Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin, MP, left Guyana on Wednesday 1st December 2010, to participate in the 10th Annual Meeting of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank (PNOWB), being held in Brussels, Belgium from 2nd to 4th December 2010.

During his absence from the country, Mr. Bishwaishwar “Cammie” Ramsaroop, the Chairman of the PNCR, will be performing the functions of Leader of the Party.

The Leader is expected to return to Guyana on Monday 6th December 2010.

THE ALARMING RATE OF ARMED ROBBERIES THREATENS THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF CITIZENS

The People’s National Congress Reform once again calls the attention of the President and his People’s Progressive Party/ Civic Administration, as well as the law enforcement arms of the state, to the intolerably high levels of criminal violence – especially in the form of armed robberies – which is pervading Guyana today and jeopardizing the safety and security of our citizens.

The public was jolted most recently by the brazen daylight armed robbery, which occurred on 16th November 2010, at the L & D Supermarket in Chateau Margot on the East Coast Demerara. A gang of five armed with a firearm and a knife, according to the Police report, entered the premises with intent to rob. The owner of the business, Dennis Ramah was shot twice in his chest and died of his injuries during the armed robbery.

The PNCR recalls that the Head of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force, Mr. Seelall Persaud, earlier this month, had confirmed public fears that armed robberies are still fatal and frequent. According to Mr. Persaud, there were 623 ‘robberies under arms’ up to 31st October 2010. Of these, 449 involved guns and 174 other weapons. This gives Guyana the appalling rate of two armed robberies every day or one every 12 hours.

Many of the firearms used in these crimes were manufactured in Brazil, with which Guyana has a long, largely unmonitored border, and were brought into the country illegally. Commissioner of Police, Mr Henry Greene, had earlier publicly admitted that the Police Force had failed to stop the gun runners “who are bringing weapons into this country and trading in weapons.”

Police Commissioner, Mr Henry Greene, last September, also announced publicly that he was of the view that firearms are being rented to commit criminal activities. He said, “We are still of the view that firearms are being rented, there are a few firearms in the system that are being rented, we are still of the view that persons maybe ‘sneaking’ some firearms into the system, but the general trend and general seizures and robbery under arms suggest that there are not that many firearms around.”

Despite the soaring number of armed robberies, the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee, seems totally confused about how to counter this challenge.

The PNCR demands that the PPP/C Administration institute and implement measures to significantly improve the pay and conditions of service of the Police, so that the Force could attract the caliber and number of recruits that are needed to bring the Police Force up to its required establishment levels.

It should be evident, to both the Administration and the leadership of the Guyana Police Force, that armed robberies on the coastland cannot be controlled without improving border security in the hinterland. Therefore, it is a matter of importance and vital necessity that there should be stricter border surveillance to staunch the influx of illegal weapons.

The Jagdeo Administration needs to be reminded that Public Security is their responsibility, as the Government of Guyana. Therefore, they must implement effective measures to protect our communities from the scourge of armed robberies and other manifestations of organized criminality.

NEW UNIVERSITY OF GUYANA GRADUATES FACING DAUNTING PROSPECT OF UNCERTAINTIES OVER EMPLOYMENT

The People’s National Congress Reform congratulates the 1330 graduates from the Turkeyen Campus and the 170 graduates from the Tain Campus of the University of Guyana who have demonstrated their commitment to the advancement of their educational attainments. We wish them continued success for their future endeavours.

The following Table provides the number of UG graduates over the last four Academic years.

UG GRADUATING STUDENTS
ACADEMIC YEAR TURKEYEN CAMPUS TAIN CAMPUS
2006-2007 1434 161
2007-2008 1451 146
2008-2009 1369 160
2009-2010 1330 170

It is unfortunate that after the sacrifices of their parents and their own admirable demonstration of commitment, that these students now have been facing the stark reality of the uncertainties of employment which they, along with the many graduating from the Secondary Schools system, face in Guyana today.

The Sunday Stabroek News, of 21st February 2010, under the caption “Unemployment in Guyana: numbers, implications, recommendations”, pointed out that, “Frequently, there are reports of Guyana being the beneficiary of either impressive sums of monies or favourable developments from multiple sources. The donors, partners, and creditors include Norway, the Middle East, the EU, India, and China, among others. The buzzwords of the day – MOU, LOI, bilateral agreement and joint venture – punctuate reports. Each new announcement introduces warm and comforting feelings; signals of movement and progress. But how does all of this translate on the job front?”

The “Ram & McRae’s Comments”, in the Stabroek News, of Saturday 11th February 2010, under the caption, “The Global Economy”, makes the following observation, “The Government continues to ignore employment data. NIS actual contribution data indicate no growth in employment, even as about ten thousand youths leave school annually. In the past five years the number of employed persons increased by 4,632, while the number of self-employed persons decreased by 771.”

The dismal performance of the Guyana economy, to generate increased employment and incomes, has reinforced the perception of our young people that there is no sustainable future for them in the land of their birth. But, if Guyana is to develop its vast potential, these young people are needed at home. In the circumstances, the PNCR notes the corrosive impacts of: low growth in the economy; the high unemployment figures; the hostile investment climate; and the lethal impact of corruption; narco-trafficking; and organised crime, on the local economy. Yet, the policies of the Jagdeo Government continue to lead inexorably to our young people contemplating the export of their skills to other lands, whether this be in the Caribbean or further afield.

The Table below is indicative of the interest that UG students have shown in seeking opportunities abroad – the search for “greener pastures”.

PROVISION OF TRANSCRIPTS FOR UG STUDENTS
DESTINATION 2009/2010 2008/2009
USA 785 870
Canada 387 344
United Kingdom 129 106
Caribbean 732 626
Local 1,504 1,470
Other 43 38
TOTAL 3,580 3,454

In a letter to the Editor of the Kaieteur News, dated Thursday 30th September 2010, under the caption “Guyana must foster an environment in which all Guyanese can develop their full Potential”, Richard Francois writes, “Many of these students make it to the University of Guyana and complete their degrees in areas of their choice and are faced with the daunting prospects of early unemployment. Guyana then unwittingly exports its human resources to other countries that make haste in utilising them. Guyana needs a government that can, not only strategize tangible job creation initiatives, but implement policies that will utilise much of the human resources available in Guyana and bring an end to the rapid brain drain that currently occurs. Failure to engage constructively in job creation, especially for young Guyanese, will only encourage them to fly off to the Caribbean islands and further afield, where they reap lucrative rewards for their work.

The issue of young educated people migrating to other jurisdictions because of the lack of employment opportunities in Guyana is just one side of the Guyanese coin.

If a situation continues to exist in Guyana where young people under 25, armed with degrees, find it extremely difficult to find jobs, and the mature adult in their mid-fifties are also forced back into the job market, the unhindered brain drain will continue with its forceful currents laden with great minds flowing steadily out of Guyana.”

In addition to the concerns about the uncertainty of employment, there are also additional push factors, such as the reality of low wages and salaries alongside the high cost of living which has driven a large and growing number of Guyanese into poverty or on the borderline of poverty. Bill paying in Guyana has become like climbing mount Roraima. Grocery cupboards are bare and parents are struggling not only in getting their children to school, but also to provide the necessary books and other learning materials. Life in Guyana for many has become a situation of “living hand to mouth”.

Young people are not impressed by the claims of President Bharrat Jagdeo and Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh about: “sound macro-economic factors”; new business opportunities for young entrepreneurs; and International Funding for various projects, since they continue to face increased unemployment and the high cost of living.

The PNCR urges the Government to act with dispatch to develop plans and implement sustainable programmes to reduce the burden of the high cost of living and to create the economic conditions for sustained growth and increased employment.

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON THE LEGUAN BURIAL OF WINSTON MURRAY

The People’s National Congress Reform has noted a report in the local media to the effect that its Chairman, Mr. Bishwaishwar “Cammie” Ramsaroop, was a no show at the service of internment for the late Mr. Winston Murray, CCH, MP, at Leguan on Tuesday 30th November 2010.

The Party wishes to make it clear that at no time did “The Committee” which was responsible for planning and executing the arrangements or any member thereof request that the Party make available any officer to give a tribute at the internment ceremonies at Leguan.

Indeed, it should be recalled that the Party’s Chairman, Mr. Bishwaishwar “Cammie” Ramsaroop delivered a fitting tribute to our fallen Comrade on the occasion of the Evening of Reflections which was held by the Party at Congress Place, Sophia on Thursday 25th November 2010.

PNCR AGAIN URGES ALL GUYANESE TO BE REGISTERED

The Continuous Registration programme, being undertaken by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), commenced on 6th September 2010 and is expected to conclude on 31 December 2010.

Persons wishing to register are reminded that they would require an original Birth Certificate as the major source document for registration.

The PNCR urges all Guyanese, especially the unregistered young people of fourteen (14) years and above, to take advantage of this opportunity to become registered. If you were unable to register during the House-to-House Registration programme, you should visit the GECOM Office in your District with your source documents to ensure that you are registered on this occasion.

There are still many persons who were registered, during the House-to-House Registration programme, and have not yet collected their new National ID Cards. The Party urges you to do so without undue delay.

We know that many persons have complained that the photograph appearing on their new ID Card is unsatisfactory or that there are errors, such as the incorrect spelling of names or other defects. The PNCR advises those persons that GECOM has undertaken to replace unsatisfactory photographs and to correct other defects. Therefore, those persons are advised to take their new ID Card to the nearest GECOM Office and have them correct the defects on the new ID Card.

Remember that Registration is your right and duty!


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 3rd December 2010.

Visit our website @ www.guyanapnc.org and www.pncrguyana.com
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/pnc.reform