Tag Archives: Guyana News

Fake Poll Exposes Another Level of Jagdeo/PPP Corruption

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
President Donald Ramotar(l) and former President Bharrat Jagdeo(r)

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.

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GTUC’s Statement of Critchlow’s Subvention

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
Critchlow Labour College

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.

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Caribbean Action Task Force Requires Status Report from Guyana Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

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.

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Ruling by Guyana’s Chief Justice Baring the Parliament from Amending the Budget Violates the Constitution

Rickford Burke

Rickford Burke

Last Thursday Guyana’s Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled that the Parliament cannot cut a budget presented by the government because the Guyana Constitution mandated the “government” to present the budget to the Parliament. Guyana has a minority government. The opposition has a majority of seats in Parliament. The government has been attempting to delegitimize the Parliament by using the courts to emasculate its powers. Consequently it is mired in ongoing conservancy with the Parliamentary majority and Speaker.

The Chief Justice sites Article 171 (2) (a) (ii) and Article 218 of the Constitution as the raison d’etre of his decision. Article 171: “(2) states that Except on the recommendation or with the consent of the Cabinet signified by a Minister, the Assembly shall not –– (a) proceed upon any Bill (including any amendment to a Bill) which, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following purposes –– (ii) for imposing any charge upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of Guyana or for altering any such charge otherwise than by reducing it;…” The latter provision dismantles a main pillar of Justice Chang’s argument. It explicitly grants exclusive authority to the National Assembly to reduce (or cut) estimates of expenditures to be charged to the Consolidated or any other “Public” Fund.

Article 218: (ii) states that “When the estimates of expenditure (other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or any Act of Parliament) have been approved by the Assembly a Bill, to be known as an Appropriation Bill, shall be introduced in the Assembly, providing for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified therein.”

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The O.R.Tambo Award and Forbes Burnham

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

As a people, we have a choice to make. And to this end the GTUC will be dispatching messages to the South Africa government and the trade union community, reminding them of the workers’ commitment and contributions to the apartheid struggle, making known our support for the O.R.Tambo award to Forbes Burnham, and expressing our concern that they have allowed an issue of national character to be hijacked by red-herring and egos. We are going to be making it known that those against the award are not speaking for us.

It is known that Guyana’s support for the struggle against apartheid and injustices in South Africa was one of national character, led and articulated by Forbes Burnham and the government of the People’s National Congress.  Regardless of one’s political persuasion and differences on issues and positions taken by Burnham, the position taken by him to bring about justice and fair play in South Africa was correct and we all must acknowledge that his leadership on this issue, on behalf of the people, must be correctly written and acknowledged in the annals of history. This issue speaks to our strength of character as people, who saw that injustice in Southern African translated to injustice in Guyana and every part of the world and to this end we fought it.

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The Guyana Trades Union Congress’ position on the Linden Commission of Inquiry

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

Consistent with the Terms of Reference the Report by the Linden Commission of Inquiry is an achievement for all Guyana – see Linden Commission of Inquiry Report. This report exposes the underbelly of the beast seeking to consume law and order in the society and rob the people of the needed security and protection to peacefully co-exist and go about their daily business. A report that says: 1) “the police were responsible for the shooting to death of the three persons as well as the injuries caused to several other persons at Linden on July 18, 2012;” 2) “an examination of the relevant evidence reveals that ASP Todd and Constable Rodney were the only police ranks who discharged shots from shotguns;” 3) ‘00’ buckshot cartridges were used on the unarmed demonstrators and the “use of the ‘00’ in the circumstances would not have been reasonable but would constitute excessive force;” 4) “The use of such lethal force was not justified in the circumstances.” 5) “Even though Mr. Todd using the ‘shotgun…discharged a round into the ground to take off the velocity, to scare and chase the protesters who were gathered’ this was fraught with danger. Discharging a shotgun is hardly the way to ‘scare’ persons and ought never to have been used in the circumstances;”

6) “the policy on the use of force should be reviewed and done urgently.[...] in order to adopt international best practices;” 7) “entries in the [Arms Book] cannot be relied on as there were numerous irregularities evident therein;” 8) “it must be noted that the Chairman of the Complaints Authority has made several requests for independent investigators to be made available  to that body but to no avail;  9) “Some of the procedures for engagement of the police before carrying out operations appear to be very militaristic and aspects of their standard operational procedures support that position;” and 10) “recommend the government  urgently implements the ‘Human Rights Standards and Practice for the Police’ as developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” is not a report to be treated with disdain or disregard.

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Lawsuit Against NEWGYUMEDIA.COM and Other Media Houses

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
Rickford Burke, CGID President

Rickford Burke, CGID President

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Rickford Burke is slapping libel and defamation lawsuits against the Guyana Chronicle newspapers and National Commutations Network (NCN) Television, entities of Guyana’s ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. A defamation suit is also being filed against PPP website Newguymedia.com. The legal action stems from publication of false and slanderous allegations that Burke was arrested in New York for identity theft, when he was in fact the victim of identity theft. Burke has retained prominent Guyanese Attorney Nigel Hughes.

The Institute’s Director of Commutations Jevon Suralie in a statement Thursday described the articles as “fabricated sleaze” and said the Chronicle newspaper and NCN TV were “utensils of filth and racist PPP propaganda.” Pointing to false and malicious comments from President Donald Ramotar’s communications officer, Suralie accused Guyana’s Office of the President of peddling smear. He noted that the president’s communications officer has been charged with assault and investigated for alleged child rape and contended that “It’s ironic he would indulge in defamation of this sort. It is also inconceivable that President Donald Ramotar would allow his office to operate as “cesspool for slander” he added.

Related document: – (Summons)

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Barbados Murder Investigation Points to a Police Cover-up – CGID

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dead: Clinton Norton

New York’s Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Monday accused the Barbados Police Force of covering up the apparent murder of Clinton Norton, a born Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage. Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

The institute’s President Rickford Burke last week wrote Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart asking for  an independent and fair review of the Police investigation of Norton’s death “so as to ensure justice for the family.”

Burke Monday said Barbados Police has misled the public about the facts of the case and therefore his organization felt constrained to release further information to support its contention of a possible Police cover-up. CGID, which has made human rights a corner-stone of its mission, simultaneously released several photographs of Norton’s battered body which bore marks of violence; including what appear to be burns, lacerations and bruises. It said the photographs establish that he was either beaten or tortured to death as the wounds could not have been self-inflected.

The following links lead to gruesome pictures of Clinton Norton’s badly mutilated dead body. Reader discretion is advised:

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Caribbean Democracy Organization Blasts Barbados Police: Prime Minister Stuart Asked To Review Police Involvement In Murder Investigation

CGID President Rickford Burke

The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) yesterday slammed Barbados’ Police investigation of the death of Clinton Norton. A Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage, Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

Hinting at a cover-up or possible Police misconduct, CGID’s President Rickford Burke in a letter to Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart called for “an independent and fair inquiry into Norton’s death; possible Police misconduct and involvement and the partiality of the investigation.”

Norton’s body was found inside a Liquidation Center on September 3rd.  Workers said they saw blood on the floor when they opened the building and called Police who merely responded, took a report and left. Workers reportedly stumbled upon Norton’s body amidst a pile of plywood and dust, during a search of the building after Police left. The body had several apparent cigarette burns, laceration, wounds and bruises, which CGID said suggest he was either in a struggle or was severely beaten or tortured.

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PPP Government Using Ethnic Politics In Diplomatic Accreditation Process

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is blasting Guyana’s  PPP government’s clandestine efforts to force Italy to revoke the appointment of Attorney at law Nigel Hughes as its Honorary Consul in Guyana.   The CGID condemnation is the latest salvo fired at the Guyana government which this week found itself embroiled in an odious diplomatic fiasco regarding Italy’s top envoy in Guyana.

Italian government officials disclosed that Guyana’s ambassador to Venezuela, Geoffrey Da Silva earlier this week demanded of the Italian Ambassador to Venezuela that the Italian Government immediately remove Hughes’ appointment.

“The persecution and victimization of Nigel Hughes is part of the PPP’s ongoing design of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ They continue to attempt to exercise ethnic dominance over Guyana. Their intent is to cutoff Afro-Guyanese from participating in Guyana’s polity,” the institute said in a statement Wednesday.

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