Tag Archives: Guyana

President Ramotar Requested to Intervene to Secure Passage of AML/CFT Bill

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

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana

The GTUC views with concern and understanding the position taken by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The CFATF’s consideration that Guyana is a risk to the international financial system and referral to the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bear testimony to the seriousness and commitment this institution takes of its responsibility to ensure legitimate and anti-terroristic financial transactions among member states. The CFATF has done its job, Guyana and Guyanese must do theirs.

The trading of words absent efforts and appropriate leadership to resolve outstanding matters to allow passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill (AML/CFT) will not de-escalate the situation or bring resolution. The President is the nation’s Head of State and Head of Government and has a greater responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of this country at home and abroad. Guyana’s deficiencies in the AML/CFT have been a matter engaging CFATF since 2009. That notwithstanding now is not the time for propaganda, scoring partisan political points or insisting that the bill be passed without conditions. These will not work because this is not the way real politics work especially when the support of political rivals is needed. Having been placed on the Caribbean Watch list/Black list in 2013- and given as per the CFATF’s Financial Advisor that it requires a minimum of two years to be removed and such is contingent on adherence- to be placed in a similar situation by FATF will do this nation further disservice.

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GTUC Will Participate in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress
The late Walter Rodney

The late Walter Rodney

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has retained Civil Rights Lawyer Mr. Selwyn A. Pieters, to represent its interest on the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry. The GTUC met the commissioners when they were on their exploratory visit and expressed concerns with the Terms of Reference (ToR). Dr. Walter Rodney remains a national and international figure and in the present circumstance cannot be looked at as the property of a specific family or group, for he belongs to all of us, and consultation as to the way forward in arriving at the truth should have involved everyone. GTUC strongly holds the view that the ToR should have has the input of all the Members of the National Assembly since this was the forum that authorised and approved the decision for an inquiry.

That notwithstanding the GTUC considers the Inquiry an important factor in the nation’s activities, for Dr. Walter Rodney’s death has been used as a wedge in dividing families, friends, associates, political aspirants and communities. The GTUC is conscious of its role as a national organisation and guided by historical developments has taken a decision that it will not stand idly by and allow a national commission of this nature to commence and conclude without Labour making its position known. The GTUC prior to Rodney’s death had addressed issues surrounding him as a worker, historian and citizen, and on his demise called for an inquiry into his death. At this juncture, while there are understandable concerns about the absence of consultation and the ToR upon which the Commission will deliberate, GTUC owes this society a duty to assist in arriving at the truth.

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GTUC Forewarns Citizens of Goverment Pending Hysteria

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress Press Statement – April 13, 2014
Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana, Guyana is awash with money laundering, drug-related crimes and other forms of financial improprieties.

Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana…“Guyana is awash with money laundering, drug-related crimes and other forms of financial improprieties

GTUC forewarns this nation to expect the government and its allies recommencing the hysteria in a few days regarding passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill. Guyana is scheduled to be evaluated by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Plenary Meeting in Miami during 25-29th May. This deadline was given by CFATF in November 2013. The blame for not passing the bill to date must be laid at the feet of the government and those who condemned the effort to arrive at a negotiated settlement between the Executive and Legislature. GTUC condemns the government autocratic behaviour and denial of the rights of citizens in all forms. Given the government track record passage of the Bill without conditions is an abrogation of the opposition responsibility to the society.

Constitutional prescriptions are not considerations for any Member of Parliament (MP), Executive or citizen to determine whether or when they will be upheld. The president, ministers and every MP have sworn to uphold this instrument in its entirety.  The establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC); respect for workers, local government autonomy and management of the Consolidated Fund are prescribed in the Constitution and must be put in place.

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The People Want Caribbean Regimes to Fall

Submitted by Pachamama
WATER BLAST: A demonstrator shelters as Turkish riot police fire a water cannon at protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul, injuring scores - http://www.stuff.co.nz/world

WATER BLAST: A demonstrator shelters as Turkish riot police fire a water cannon at protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul, injuring scores – http://www.stuff.co.nz/world

As we write masses of people are demonstrating in the streets of Istanbul and many other Turkish cities calling Erdogan and Gul dictators, fascists, American puppets and Zionist traitors. They are chanting “we want the regime to fall’’, not the government – the regime, the regime! This call is not unlike what we have been hearing, for more than two years, in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisian, Libya and nearly all the European countries. It represents the latest flashpoint in the seismic changes the peoples of the world are demanding. Demands that world powers would prefer to misdirect into a full-blown world war to serve their corporate masters. The criminals Gul and Erdogan have their Gestapo in the streets cracking skulls, using tear gas that can kill and employing the most powerful water hoses against the people. Even in the United Stated the Obama administration used these extraordinary measures to quell the ‘Occupy Movement’’. These included infiltration by the intelligence agencies, the brute force of storm troopers, a propaganda corporate controlled media and up to that time an apathetic populace that had not felt the full force of a brutish grab for resources that has now left 150 million Americans at or below the poverty line. This is the central issue! The peoples of the world are engaging corporate interests in a popular war for resources everywhere. For them this will be a hot summer (fall) of rage. The lackeys in the Caribbean, through all of this, have no answers for their peoples. They responses are generally within the range of ‘this is a global problem and we are helpless to avoid it’’ and reverting to all the failed recipes of western financial capitalism, a dying political-economy model.

In Barbados, the regime deliberately misinterpreted the electoral expressions of the people for a government of national unity. Such a brazen and dictatorial power grab, under the rubric of an outdated Westminster system, merely serves the ruling clique, ignores the talents of nearly 50% percent of elected representatives, makes it more unlikely that the country will be able to exit the vortex of depression economics in the medium term, strengthens the idea of ‘the maximum leader’ and unduly sustains a false tension within the political system. When Caribbean people get hungry enough they will be in the street, not merely calling for the government to go, they will too be calling for the regime to fall. This will mean the government in the wider sense – BLP, DLP. The call must of necessity extend to the ruling elites as well – the education elites, the economic elites, the professional types, the elites in the clergy. They will be calling for a revolution! Barrow’s hideous Public Order Act will have no effect on ‘them’. The militarized police force will not be as persuasive to orders as the people will be to the hunger pangs they feels or the sight of hunger in their children’s eyes. The American trained special branch of the defense force, on call 24/7, may martyr some people in the streets but calls for the fall of the regime will continue, without ceasing. This call will be properly informed by a history of a lack of proper leadership, multiply betrayals of the people, an absence of land reform, political treachery by all parties and a growing mal-distribution of wealth.

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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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Sir Kyffin Simpson Shows Leadership Investing in Agriculture (in Guyana)

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Sir Kyffin Simpson

Sir Kyffin Simpson

The traditional corporate sector, in the Caribbean and in Barbados in particular, is not known as risk takers. Quite frankly, we believe that the development of the region has been systematically hampered by this traditional corporate class which has deep roots in the retail trade and are often afraid to venture out of their comfort zones.

This fear has led to the virtual paralysis of agriculture and has left the door wide open for foreign investors to reap benefits in industries such as manufacturing and tourism. Even in the area of sports and other leisure activities, this corporate group has often ignored investment opportunities. They preferred to invest in: private yacht clubs, polo and other activities, which have no real appeal to the masses. However, it would be dishonest to argue that their investments in horse racing have not brought employment opportunities for the working class.

We have noted that the failure of the corporate elite to heavily invest in West Indies cricket, is a glaring example of leaving the field open to the Kerry Packers and Allen Stanfords ,sometimes with negative results, as was the case of Stanford. West Indies cricket was fractured to some degree by Kerry Packer but we survived that episode, quite well, because the players were handsomely rewarded. Stanford turned out to be a dishonest investor.

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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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