PRESS STATEMENT - Thursday 21 April 2011



The Easter story represents the fulfillment of God’s Prophecy that mankind would be offered the hope of eternal life through the sacrificial death of His son, Jesus Christ and His subsequent Resurrection from the dead;
The Barima-Waini Region - the country’s fourth largest – that produces a significant portion of gold, timber, fruit and vegetables and is set to restart manganese mining has also become one of the poorest and most underdeveloped;
The PNCR calls on Guyanese from all walks of life to demand that this Government stop hiding suspected criminals within their ranks and, further demand, that the sworn evidence of the Information Technologist and his wife be made public by the regime.



EASTER MESSAGE



The People’s National Congress Reform joins the local Christian Community as well as Christians worldwide in the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, marking the culmination of the Easter Season which began with the imposition of the Ashes of the burnt palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday, on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday.



During the forty days of fasting and abstinence devout Christians observe this discipline to the letter, by doing without the things they enjoy most. This observance reminds the Christian of the supreme sacrifice made by the only sinless human, Jesus Christ, as a ransom for the sins of the whole world, which emanated from the sin of one man, “Adam”.



For the members of the Christian Community, the Easter story represents the fulfillment of God’s Prophecy that mankind would be offered the hope of eternal life through the sacrificial death of His son, Jesus Christ and His subsequent Resurrection from the dead. It is this faith which has kept the worldwide Christian Church alive and enabled its followers to significantly contribute towards making the earth a better place for all mankind.



The Easter season in Guyana is best known for the widespread kite flying activity that is seen by many as representation of the theme of Resurrection. Whatever may have been its origins, kite flying attracts widespread participation of Guyanese from all walks of life regardless of religion, ethnicity or culture. It, therefore, offers another opportunity for Guyanese to share common experiences and understand each other better.



At this time, we should recall that, during His earthly life, Jesus demonstrated His concern for the poor and powerless as well as His opposition to the evils of bigotry, hypocrisy, dishonesty and corruption which now afflict our country.



Let us hope that the symbolism of our kites soaring to the heavens inspire all Guyanese to emulate the example of Jesus for the renewal of hope for the resurgence of the conditions needed for the future development and prosperity of this our Dear Land of Guyana.

A HAPPY AND BLESSED EASTER TO ALL!





PPP/C ADMINISTRATION ACCUSED OF SUSTAINING A ‘CORIAL ECONOMY’ IN THE BARIMA-WAINI REGION



In this picture is the panel for the Press Conference which was held in the Media Centre at Congress Place on Thursday 21st April 2011. From left are PNCR Presidential Candidate, Mr. David Granger; Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Ms. Deborah Backer, M.P.; and PNCR Vice-Chairman and Shadow Minister of Health, Dr. George Norton, M.P.


The People’s National Congress Reform has accused the People’s Progressive Party/Civic of maintaining a ‘corial economy’ in the Barima-Waini Region. That Region – the country’s fourth largest – that produces a significant portion of gold, timber, fruit and vegetables and is set to restart manganese mining has also become one of the poorest and most underdeveloped. Everywhere in the Region, there was evidence of poverty and economic stagnation, especially among the large indigenous population in the riverine areas.



A PNCR outreach team led by Presidential Candidate Brigadier (ret) David Granger and accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Sandra Granger, Party Vice-Chairman Dr. George Norton, M.P. and Mr. Desmond Fernandes, M.P. paid a four-day visit over the 15th – 18th April weekend to meet residents of eleven communities in the Region.



Residents of Matthew’s Ridge, Arakaka and Port Kaituma complained bitterly about cases of child abuse and people trafficking in the numerous, unruly and under-policed mining camps. Residents called for a stronger police presence to patrol mining camps – especially in the Five Star and Tiger Creek areas – and demanded that the Police respond promptly to reports of trafficking in under-age indigenous girls. Residents complained about poor roadways and inadequate electricity and water supply. Environmental degradation, haphazard housing and settlement and indiscriminate solid waste management had created an impression of lawlessness. This led to a decline in public health reflected in reports of malaria and diarrhoea.



The tiny community at Morawhanna still suffers from chronic flooding which has hampered development over the years. Despite a strong security presence by members of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard and Police Force, long-term prospects for the settlement’s economic viability are grim.



Years after being promised an efficient ferry service, residents of Mabaruma complained that the stelling at Kumaka – the Region’s main river port – remains a sunken wreck in the Aruka River. The ailing MV Kimbia – the main lifeline for passengers and cargo – is woefully inadequate. It was observed that the Hosororo Agricultural Station which flourished during the earlier PNC Administration as a source of planting materials had been neglected and valuable extension services to farmers had declined. Residents suffer in silence from pests such as acoushi ants and plant diseases. At Bumbury Hill on the Aruka and Hurudaia on the Moruca, youths complained about the absence of employment opportunities and recreational and sport amenities.



Residents of Hotoquai, Hobodeia, Aruau and Warapoka told the PNCR team that marketing of their farm produce had become a major problem over the past 18 years. No agency now performs the role once played by the former Guyana Marketing Corporation. Farmers, as a result, produce traditional crops and take them over long distances by small boats to Kumaka where they are offered unprofitable and unreasonably low prices by predatory middlemen. Many of these farmers are trapped in subsistence farming or are forced to abandon agriculture altogether.



Brigadier Granger and Dr Norton, addressing residents in the various communities, pointed to the fact that, despite its potential, the Region still suffered from a ‘corial economy.’ They explained that the economy had become uncompetitive because farmers were unable to access the market in Kumaka and elsewhere. Their children’s education was hampered because pupils had to paddle corials for several hours every day to move to and from schools, leaving little energy for school assignments.



The PNCR team committed itself to resuscitating agriculture, promoting agro-processing and establishing a ‘Barima Agricultural Institute’ at Hosororo to train youths in agriculture science. The team promised to create ‘a level playing field’ to enable residents of the Barima-Waini Region to receive a similar level of Central Government attention and support to that received by residents of the Pomeroon-Supenaam or East Berbice-Corentyne Regions.



YET ANOTHER GOVERNMENT MINISTER IDENTIFIED IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES



The recent sworn testimony of a Guyanese Information Technologist and his wife in Canada which led to Justice Waters ruling on the 31st day of March 2011 that the two Guyanese qualified as Convention Refugees and his granting them Refugee Status in Canada on the basis that they would not be physically safe in Guyana has once again brought to the fore the fact that this PPP/C regime continues to use terror as a weapon of control against its own citizens.



In this recent case the alleged perpetrator is none other than the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee. The sworn evidence as believed by Justice Waters paints a very damning picture of this Minister who ironically has as his mandate the preservation of Law and Order in Guyana. According to the evidence, Minister Rohee first coerced the Information Technologist to hack into and bring down two independent web sites and then under threats of personal violence to him and his wife the Minister sought to force the Technologist to hack into the computers of Mr. Robert Corbin, the Leader of the Opposition; Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan and Mr. Raphael Trotman, the joint leaders of the AFC; Mrs. Sheila Holder; Mr. Peter Ramsaroop and Mr. Freddie Kissoon. In what must be seen as a courageous decision the Technologist refused but then he and his wife were forced to pay the high price of fleeing their homeland and seeking refuge status in Canada.



Minister Rohee’s alleged criminal activities come as no surprise to the PNCR. His activities places him in the company of former Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj and the current Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who have both been heavily implicated in unlawful activities which in any democratic country would have seen their complete removal from office and the holding of thorough and robust investigations. Citizens need to be reminded that it is the illegal activities of Ministers Gajraj and Ramsammy that saw the birth and longevity of the infamous “phantom squads”. Guyanese must also remember that in December 2009, the co-director of the United Kingdom firm who sold Roger Khan, the agent of the Government of Guyana, the “spy computer” when giving evidence in the Roger Simels case stated that when he came to Guyana in connection with the operations of the “spy computer” he met with both Ministers Ramsammy and Rohee.



Given the PPP/C regime’s “sweep under the carpet” policy we know that they will do their best to hide this latest travesty. We call on Guyanese from all walks of life and the Press to demand that this Government stop hiding suspected criminals within their ranks and further demand that the sworn evidence of the Information Technologist and his wife be made public by the regime. We salute the recent statement of the Guyana Trades Union Congress on this grave matter and call on all Guyanese to stand in unity against acts of State Terror.



People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana

Thursday 21st April 2011