Tag Archives: Guyana

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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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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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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Call For Lindeners to Reject Cecil Kennard

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

Dear Editor:

I’m appalled that Guyana’s opposition politicians have agreed for former Chancellor of Guyana’s Judiciary and current Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, Justice Cecil Kennard, to serve on the Linden Commission of Inquiry. It appears that his selection by the PPP may be in contemplation of naming him Chairman of the commission. This selection is unacceptable.

Many of us believe Justice Kennard was a partisan PPP enforcer in the Judiciary. His involvement in what is believed to be a diabolical and dastardly plan to swear in Mrs. Janet Jagan as President in 1997, while votes were literally still being counted and before a final and gazetted declaration of the general elections results rightly provoked serious and justifiable questions about his partisan politics and integrity.

No one was oblivious of the fact that Mr. Kannard installed Mrs. Jagan as President under grave controversy because he was fully aware that the constitution proscribes inquiry into the installation of a President, once the oath has been administered and signed, except via an election petition. Hence, his conduct in my opinion was an impeachable abuse of power.

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Freddie’s Worst Nightmare …I will take a brain scan this week

Freddie Kissoon, JOURNALIST

BU has a lot of admiration for Freddie Kissoon. If one has to define a Caribbean journalist this man is over-qualified. We reproduce his recent column for the family.

August 19, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

My security situation has become so bad I think it may be wise not to state on what day this week, I will visit the hospital to take a brain scan. Gerhard Ramsaroop insists that as early as possible I should take a brain scan. I didn’t think of it until Gerhard kept telling me to check for blood clots. My attacker did concentrate on my head and dealt me several cuffs right on my skull. I will take that test this week.

Life is really unpredictable. I got attacked on Thursday morning and just days before, on Sunday, August 12, my column was titled, “I am pleading with my country to protect me.” This was after I received a letter from Mr. Khurshid Sattaur requesting that I pay taxes on money I earn from writing these columns. How ironic life can be. You make a plea for help and days after you are victimized again.

Interestingly, someone came up to me the Monday morning and reminded me that in that very Sunday column I omitted details of some other events connected with the violations of my rights. It was unbelievable that I could have left out some interesting dimensions of what is taking place with me in my country. Juan Edghill ( I will never, ever recognize him as a Bishop of any church) filed an affidavit in court a few months ago asking a High Court judge to commit me to prison for contempt of court.

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