Statement Issued by the Guyana Trades Union Congress
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Ms. Pryia Manickchand attacks USA Ambassador Brent Hardt
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) having followed the differences between the Government of Guyana through acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Pryia Manickchand and the USA through Ambassador Brent Hardt sees this as another mark in the degenerating quality of governance the society has been witnessing from the PPP. The ambassador has dealt with the issue and the Government of Guyana has made its position known. The GTUC is encouraged by those who sought to distance themselves from the Government’s conduct.
Going forward the People of Guyana are urged to resist the temptation to view the USA/Guyana experience as a one-shot incident requiring outrage only to revert into apathy on holding the government accountable to act in the manner that holds proud the values, aspirations and institutions of this beautiful country and its people. It is said a people get the government they deserve. Less this society forget the relationship with the PPP and USA has over the years been frosty, influenced by the PPP’s desire for political power and not necessarily the interest of the people and nation state. The PPP still holds in acrimony the USA for what they think is the denial of their ‘right’ to govern for years, even as they sought the USA intervention to influence a change in the country’s electoral policy that saw their return to the seat of government.
Lawyers representing the Guyana Trades Union Congress at the Walter Rodney Commission have submitted a ’request for particulars and directions’.
The late Walter Rodney
As you know I continue to represent the Guyana Trades Union Congress in this Inquiry. I have some concerns and I believe they should be articulated very early in the process so that the appropriate information could be collected and brought to the Commission and appropriate notice provided to the respective entities.
The Terms of Reference specifically calls for the Commission to look into the conduct and professionalism (or the lack thereof) of state actors from the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana National Service, the Guyana People’s Militia, there is no state counsel representing any of the joint services or are there any counsel representing the state. While the Commission has reminded us at the commencement of the Commission of Inquiry that potential witnesses “have nothing to fear from testifying. No prosecution can follow from your testimony”, it does not follow that civil proceedings cannot be initiated and/or international proceedings. See, for example, Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act ( S.C. 2000, c. 24) and Song Dae Ri (Re) 2003 CarswellNat 4527; (2004) 36 Imm. L.R. (3d) 203.
Read full letter submitted to Commission
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress
Happy Independence Day – 26 May 2014!
Guyanese mark another milestone in our political independence. This should be a major landmark in removing the shackles of domination in our pursuit for self-determination. A nation initially formed through the subjugation of some of its peoples, we must take seriously our quest to forge a nation’s might soul, construct a nation’s frame, where freedom remains our everlasting goal, courage and truth our aim.
GTUC urges the people of this nation to remain unyielding in our quest for peace, like ancient heroes brave, to strive and strive and never cease, with strength beyond the slave. To remember that peace forms the foundation for equality, justice and fair play.
In 2014 and onwards, independence must not only be marked by merrymaking, flowery speeches or regrets, but more importantly a recommitment to renew the conviction of our ability to hold high the torch bequeathed us.
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress Press Statement May 9, 2014
...target set by GuySuCo is way below capacity and investment…
The GTUC in taking note of GuySuCo’s announcement it has surpassed production target advises the nation there is nothing to celebrate. The target set by GuySuCo is way below capacity and investment of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in the form of loans and grants. Surpassing a five-figure target when the industry has historically produced at six-figure levels is the waving of a white flag that the industry is in distress and requires salvaging. The nation ought not be fooled by the publicly stunt aimed at hoodwinking the citizens/workers that the industry is turning around. When taking into consideration that the market availability allows GuySuCo to sell all the sugar it has the capacity to produce, yet at the same time targets are set far below its capacity, is a reflection of management deficiencies. It exemplifies the failure to pull all the factors of production together which will cause the company to deliver at its optimum based on the existing market conditions.
The failure of the government to present a plan for the industry’s development, seeking to escape accountability when called upon to justify the $6B taxpayers’ bailout by turning it into a divisive political issue may have influenced the National Assembly to shelve its responsibility to the nation and act in accord with government. The opposition must return to its watchdog/oversight role and keep its foot on the pedal to salvage the industry and protect the livelihood of those to be affected.
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
President Donald Ramotar(l) and former President Bharrat Jagdeo(r)
Recent reports in the Kaieteur News “Ramotar demotes Chronicle Editor after ‘Jagdeo’ story,” (22/3/2014), Guyana Times, “Jagdeo most formidable candidate –combined Opposition poll,” (20/3/2014) and Guyana Chronicle “Jagdeo favoured as PPP/C presidential candidate” (21/3/2014) confirms the disservice being done to this society by those misusing the fourth estate (media) in the façade for power grab. The GTUC is concerned about the level of misrepresentation and the implications it has for distorting public perception of understanding.
This society is being bombarded with fake polls, including the infamous NACTA poll, as a new weapon of the PPP that was good for President Ramator until the same weapon was turned against him. GTUC notes the president’s haste to act on this matter and calls on him to address the management of the State-owned media not only for self-serving reason but for the national good. The haste to address acts to preserve self-interest is contrary to action for the national good which the president can be very slothful about. This rapid reaction sends a signal that weren’t there negative reference to/implication for him, or his position personally threatened, this abuse of the state media would have been ignored.
GTUC is further concerned this Opinion Poll seems to have been conjured in some dark dungeon of Mr. Jagdeo and his cohorts corrupt minds and first published in the Guyana Times as a means of establishing face validity. The combined political opposition reportedly denied knowledge of commissioning this poll, which is contrary to the attribution given by the Times and Chronicle. The nation must now ask what ‘opposition’ solicited this poll and on whose interest it was commissioned, along with the methodology used. That this Poll’s coverage first appeared in the Guyana Times and storyline/plot later regurgitated in the Guyana Chronicle speaks to the misuse and abuse of the state media apparatus to positively rebrand Mr. Jagdeo’s despotic presidency, and foist on this nation its worst leader in history as more favourable in the public than other potential leaders.
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
Critchlow Labour College
The decision by the National Assembly to approve the restoration of a historical government of Guyana subvention granted to the Critchlow Labour College (CLC) is nothing more than a PPP orchestrated public relations stunt bringing shame and disrepute to the National Assembly. The vote taken by the Assembly brings to bear the level of lawlessness that our country has sunk when the highest decision making forum of the land where laws are made and respected can be used to encourage violation of the Constitution and bylaws of the CLC and disregard for the right to Freedom of association enshrined in the Constitution.
In principle the GTUC appreciates the motion brought by AFC MP Trevor William, college alumni. The GTUC recalls being approached on more than one occasion by representatives of the APNU who wanted us to make a deal to have FITUG on the college’s board in return for the grant. It was made crystal clear the GTUC would not be Advancing Rights and the Rule of Law at the national level and at the same compromise these universal principles in our organisations. It is clear that some decisions in the House are being made absent an understanding of the issues, role and responsibilities of the MPs and the laws that should be guiding their actions.
The college, a private institution is owned by the GTUC and both are governed by their own laws guided by the national laws. For the Assembly to arbitrarily take a decision to impose a new management structure on the college is a usurpation of the by-laws of these institutions and a matter no law-abiding citizen should countenance, much less be voted on in the Assembly. When it comes to the determination of composition of boards, the Assembly should address this on state boards such as NICIL and NCN. The college’s board has two representatives from the government- one from the Ministry of Education and one from the Ministry of Labour. The vote taken by the National Assembly now adds four government controlled FITUG members making government’s influence six against the GTUC’s four, on a college owned by the GTUC. The GTUC is not prepared to sell its rights to the government or to any other.
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana
Now that Mr. Roger Hernandez, the Caribbean Action Task Force’s (CFATF) representative, has visited Guyana and interacted with some stakeholders on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill, the principal actors and nation are asked to pay heed to the crucial areas. Mr. Hernandez said CFATF requires a Report on Guyana’s progress by 28th February. He further stated Guyana will not be automatically removed from CFATF’s Watchlist (Blacklist) even if the bill is passed and, earlier informed that from experience the minimal period for removal is approximately two years. He communicated clearly- “You require implementation; it is not just passing the law. It is about implementing the law.”
The National Assembly meets on 27th February. The Bill is attracting the draftsman’s attention, and it is highly improbable it can be debated and assented to by 28th February. CFATF will be aware of this. Progress is being made and CFAFT’s review date for Guyana is May 2014. The areas raised by CFATF regarding amendments to the principal Act and present Bill and need for conformity should be noted. This nation should pay heed Hernandez’s expressed concern is that amendment (s) should not risk being CFATF non-complaint. Guyana is capable of achieving this without comprising our Constitution and desire for good governance by realising a fool proof Act and Bill that would ensure adherence, proper policing and accountability by those tasked with implementation. In principle this position is not dissimilar to CFATF’s interest and here is where heads must come together.