Home Letters Caretaker Govt petrified to face electorate
Having issued no Amerindian land titles nor extensions since coming to office in May 2015, the Department of Public Information’s announcement on September 6 that the “Cabinet has given the green light for absolute grants of land titles for eight Indigenous communities” must be met with a huge dose of cynicism.
After all, this is a decision of a President and Cabinet that has “stood resigned” since December 21, 2018, according to Article 106 (6) and (7) of our Constitution and upheld by the Caribbean Court of Justice on June 18 and July 12, 2019. Therefore, under what authority will the President sign such absolute grants and titles when the Caribbean Court of Justice explicitly ruled in its consequential orders of July 12 that the Government would be a caretaker Government with restricted legal authority?
The same release goes on to refer to the “establishment of legal boundaries” and names four communities – Parabara, Rockstone, Tasserene and Kangaruma. Interesting choice of words. Does this mean that the illegal Cabinet is commencing the demarcation of these communities and therefore the DPI is misinforming and misleading the public and the Amerindian communities that “absolute grants of land titles” are being issued?
Without the no-confidence vote and the growing demand for now long overdue elections since March 21, 2019, the caretaker Government would not have moved an inch to issue any absolute grants. This last-minute ditch to win votes in Amerindian communities during Amerindian Heritage Month is just an election gimmick.
One must remember that the PPP/C Government left US$10 million for Amerindian Land Titling. Over the past 4 years, the PPP/C has repeatedly raised the issue of no titles and extensions being granted in the National Assembly, in the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources, and in many other fora to no avail. The National Toshaos Council also repeatedly raised this issue to no avail over these four years. Individual communities have also raised their outstanding applications for extensions and titles with the Government to no avail.
This new election gimmick is like another recent announcement of the removal of the 14 per cent VAT for hinterland passengers travelling to interior locations. Following this announcement, the GRA issued a list of 54 airstrips where the VAT would not apply. However, with the exception of Kamarang, few flights, if any, ever go to the other 53 airstrips, maybe only a charter here and there. For example, no planes have gone to the listed airstrips in Region Nine for years with the exception of RAMS.
This is another election ruse by a caretaker Government and we should expect and witness many more to come.
The Guyanese people remember the plethora of promises of decriminalising marijuana and amending the sentencing for small quantities, the promise of 20 per cent salary increases for public servants and teachers, just to name a few. All are “broken promises.”
In the 2019 Amerindian Heritage Month celebrating the first peoples of Guyana, the APNU/AFC is once again trying to fool our Amerindian peoples.
September 10, Amerindian Heritage Day, in honour of the first elected Amerindian Member of Parliament, Mr Stephen Campbell, the caretaker President and his large entourage accompanied by its “green cheerleading brigade” descended on the Riverview community.
No matter what the caretaker Government promises at this stage, nothing can remove the fact that the electorate knows that this caretaker Government is petrified to face the electorate.
Within a few days, on September 18, 2019, the caretaker Government will be illegal.