PRESS STATEMENT By The People’s National Congress Reform At The Press Conference on Thursday December 12th, 2002 In The Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia.



SUMMARY:

 PNCR response to the Social Partners initiative on Shared Governance.
 Government in pursuit of State of Lawlessness..
 Inter-Religious Day of Atonement.
 Joint IMF and IDB Team meeting with PNCR Executives.
 Cuba and the Region.
 Government attempting to deny Public Servants their Constitutional Rights to protest its gross injustices.

PNCR RESPONSE TO THE SOCIAL PARTNERS INITIATIVE ON SHARED GOVERNANCE:

The PNCR has responded to the Background Paper by the Social Partners which was presented to the Joint Consultation held on September 11th, 2002. That consultation set the Social Partners a specific task to expand the proposal for a structured, ongoing and permanent consultative mechanism on shared governance.

In their paper the Social Partners indicated that they were guided by the observations made at that Consultation and attempted to reflect the consensus reached. The PNCR welcomed the initiation of the first stage of the Joint Consultation process and commend the Social Partners for their efforts so far.

The PNCR believes that the Paper circulated by the Social Partners provides a good starting point for discussions that can lead to a common position for the process to be advanced.

Paragraph 7 of the Background paper states, inter alia,

“ . In order to establish practical and realistic parameters for a framework for this consultative effort, partners in the process might consider presenting general positions on the concept of ‘shared governance’ .”

In response to that invitation, the PNCR submitted its position paper on Shared Governance to the Social Partners on Friday 2002 December 6.

The PNCR position paper is the product of lengthy discussions led by a special Committee set up by the Central Executive Committee. Our paper has benefited from deliberations at the recent Biennial Congress of the Party and subsequent meetings of the Central Executive Committee.

We have now made the paper available for wider public discussion within a national participatory process and wish to emphasize that the paper is primarily intended to facilitate national discussion and resolution of the complex issues and challenges which any form of Shared Governance entails.

We, therefore, hope that a national consensus will result from the Joint Consultation process and wider public participation in the determination of the final outcome.

GOVERNMENT IN PURSUIT OF STATE OF LAWLESSNESS:

Recent events still unfolding after the chance discovery of a cache of arms at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara have had a chilling effect on the entire nation. Our worst fears and suspicions have been confirmed that there exist in Guyana death squads operating both within and without the ambit of the law enforcement agencies, and at the behest of the PPP/C regime.

The implications are too grave to be ignored and tell of a diabolical plot to hunt and exterminate not only criminals but also anyone showing opposition to the fascist regime calling itself the PPP/C.

It is necessary for the sake of clarity to set out in chronological order the facts as they present themselves while being aware at the same time that there may be a few missing pieces which members of the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force and some citizens and persons who are not members of either Security and Law Enforcement agency may possess.

1. On Wednesday 2002 December 4, at about 21:45hrs a GDF patrol in the area of Good Hope on the East Coast intercepted a vehicle which appeared suspicious and, after searching the vehicle, discovered a veritable arsenal capable of launching and sustaining a small war. These weapons included: 2 modified M-16 assault weapons with night vision capability, 1 Uzi sub-machine gun with silencer, 2 Gluk 9mm pistols, 1 twelve gauge shotgun, other small calibre weapons, bullet proof vests, helmets and other military issue equipment.

2. Three men were discovered in the vehicle of whom one is a notorious member of the Black Clothes Squad.

3. A computer and other electronic gadgetry were also discovered along with digitised electronic maps and plans of Georgetown and certain targeted villages along the East Coast.

4. The men, their vehicle and weapons of war were taken into custody.

5. Searches were carried out at various other locations following which other items were seized.

6. Bharrat Jagdeo, President and Commander-in-Chief and other members of the PPP/C hierarchy sought to influence the Police through coercion to secure the release of these men. The President even upbraided the army for taking decisive action when only last month at the passing out parade of the latest batch of Officers, he is quoted as saying that the use of the military in crime fighting activities was both legal and constitutional and would be continued. Jagdeo, as usual, was speaking from both sides of his mouth.

7. On Monday 2002 December 9, the men were released by an order of Justice Jai Narine Singh after the Police failed or refused to proffer charges against them. In the words of the Police: further investigations are continuing to see what action could be taken against the felons.

The PNCR is appalled to witness this brazen attempt at a cover up. The laws of Guyana are unambiguous, the unauthorised possession of prohibited weapons and ammunition and military paraphernalia is a serious offence.

These series of events, when taken in totality, provide compelling evidence that there exists a programme of state sponsored terrorism, and planned genocide in Guyana.

Information in the possession of the PNCR is to the effect that the operations of the so-called Phantom Squad is sanctioned and coordinated by key members of the PPP/C working in collaboration with known drug barons and criminals. They have formed themselves into an axis of evil.

What is most disappointing is that information is emerging which suggests that the arrival of this computer into Guyana and its known capabilities was made possible after a request was made by the Guyana government to the US administration for “technical assistance” in the fight against crime. The US government could not possibly have allowed advanced and security sensitive technology to be brought to Guyana unless there was an assurance given by someone within the regime that it would be utilized by the law enforcement agencies. Therefore, to have this computer firmly in the hands of criminals and drug barons is to court danger both for security operations in Guyana and the United States. What may have been represented as a crime fighting initiative has been exposed as a plot to silence any form of dissent or opposition to this evil PPP/C regime.

The PNCR is overwhelmingly convinced, after analysing the information in our possession and the evidence discovered which determined the motives of the existing illegal squads, that the regime and its collaborating assassins have developed a diabolical plot which target leading members of the PNCR and other members of civil society. In short, the PPP/C and its cohorts have declared war on the PNCR and were hoping to make certain pre-emptive strikes.

As things stand the Jagdeo administration has been caught red-handed and will not be allowed to succeed. The PNCR warns that it will not stand idly by should any attempt be made to harm any member of its executive, membership or friends of this Party: we will respond.

These actions unfortunately come at a time when the Social Partners, the Commonwealth Secretariat and other well-meaning groups and citizens have been working assiduously to forge peace and to foster a conducive atmosphere for dialogue to recommence. The PNCR can only conclude that the PPP/C is not interested in peaceful and prosperous co-existence but in dominance and subjugation through bloodshed.

The PNCR will not allow this matter to be covered up with the evidence disappearing, as in the case of Beast on the East Coast who had the cache of weapons returned and every effort to prosecute him frustrated.

Our Party trust that the Guyana Police Force will be professional and be true to its motto of providing protection and service to all the people of Guyana. We trust that the Guyana Defence Force will maintain its tradition of professionalism since its leadership cannot fail to appreciate the national security implications of this situation.

We expect the United States and other foreign governments will take note of the evidence of planned genocide in Guyana.

We urge our members and supporters to remain focused, vigilant and mobilised.


INTER-RELIGIOUS DAY OF ATONEMENT:

The PNCR noted with interest the activities which were associated with the Inter Religious Day of Atonement which should have culminated in the linking of hands exercise.

It was observed that while most of the participants were able to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the occasion; there was an unwelcome element of provocation and partisanship which detracted from the event. The use of the symbol of a black coffin outside our headquarters here at Congress Place was uncalled for and leads one to doubt the sincerity and bona fides of some of the organisers of the event.

We are aware of the fact that there was an unpleasant confrontation involving Ms. Jocelyn Dow of the GAP/WPA which was most unfortunate. The Party does not in any way condone nor is it in any way responsible for the words and actions of some of the more exuberant bystanders and we wish to make it clear that their actions were not organised by or sanctioned by the PNCR. We wish to publicly express our profound regrets to Ms. Jocelyn Dow.

JOINT IMF AND IDB TEAM MEETING WITH PNCR EXECUTIVES:

The Leader and other representatives of the Party met with officials of the IMF and the IDB on Friday 6th here at Congress Place. This was a most fruitful meeting which included an exchange of views on the state of the economy, the political situation and issues of governance in general.

The meeting was characterised by clear expressions of concern on both sides about the parlous state of Guyana’s economy and security situation as well as the prospects for good order and development.

The PNCR representatives made it abundantly clear that we believe the economy and the society to be in a state of shambles and that we could not discern any plan or strategy from the government which is capable of making any impact on the rapid deterioration which has befallen the nation.

We also expressed the view that no turn around could be expected in the society or the economy unless and until corruption and mismanagement was dealt with thoroughly and expeditiously.

With reference to the antipoverty programme, we reiterated our view that the antipoverty measures were hampered by lack of adequate consultation and the absence of a national consensus on the policy measures being implemented.

We agreed at the end of the meeting to keep in close touch with the agencies.

CUBA AND THE REGION:

There appears to be a great deal of public comment and propaganda based on the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic recognition of Cuba by the Commonwealth Caribbean and the continuation of solidarity with the government and people of Cuba.

The PNCR wishes to jog the memories of those who may have forgotten the leadership role of our Party when it was in government in support of the diplomatic recognition of Cuba by Caricom states. In particular, some need to be reminded of the courageous and dynamic role played by our Party’s founder leader, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, in persuading the English speaking Caribbean to proceed with the diplomatic recognition of Cuba, especially in the face of severe diplomatic and political pressure from those who objected to that initative at that time. Truth and accuracy demand that his role in Caribbean history be recognised and honoured..

GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTING TO DENY PUBLIC SERVANTS THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PROTEST ITS GROSS INJUSTICES:

The Jagdeo regime having imposed the unjust and unconscionable 3% in 2001 and 5% in 2002, in violation of the Collective Labour agreement with the Guyana Public Service Union and all the rules of good labour relations, is now about to use the Guyana Police Force to suppress the legitimate constitutional rights of Public Servants to protest the injustices being meted out to them, the long suffering and victimised members of the GPSU.

The PNCR fully supports the legitimate and just cause of Public Servants and will not allow such blatant bullyism to succeed.

We await the decision of the GPF on the second application, which the GPSU was invited to make, for permission to hold their Rally outside the Public Buildings.

Facile excuses, such as the interruption of traffic, has no credibility in the light of the situation that normally prevails whenever there is a sitting of the National Assembly.

JAGDEO MUST GO:

We wish to repeat our call to Mr Jagdeo that he should resign for the good of the country before it is too late. We believe that he is incapable of providing the leadership we need at his time and that he is so badly compromised by the web of corruption, security scandals and lawlessness that he cannot regain the credibility necessary to lead this country. We also repeat our request to the PPP/C that if Mr Jagdeo does not wish to go voluntarily, he should be persuaded to go, not just for the good of the PPP/C, but, for the peace and well-being of the country and the welfare of all of our people.. We have not yet been finally persuaded that the lack of inspired leadership, incompetence and sleaze is the best that the PPP/C has to offer the people of Guyana.


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
December 12th, 2002