Private sector cries exclusion from Linden/Ramotar meeting
- Solomon says room soon for other stakeholders
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) yesterday lamented its exclusion from a Tuesday meeting between representatives of Linden and President Donald Ramotar discussing issues surrounding the Linden unrest which left three persons dead and put businesses at a standstill.
The Linden community is being led by Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon, who invited to the meeting Parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoon, Nigel Hughes of the Alliance for Change, former Parliamentarian Aubrey Norton, and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine of the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity.
The PSC said it was disappointed with Solomon and his team for objecting to its presence as observers to the discussions with President Ramotar on Tuesday.
“By their refusal to embark on discussions in the presence of the Private Sector, the Regional Chairman and his team have denied the citizenry this opportunity and by extension, have refused to take a holistic approach which addresses all of the issues at hand, for all of the people affected,” the PSC stated.
However, Solomon told Kaieteur News yesterday that the meeting was the continuation of a meeting that was adjourned, and hence he felt that the “injection of a new dimension” would have changed the mood and the general direction of the meeting.
Solomon said that the private sector is one of the most important stakeholders in the country, and the objection to the presence of the PSC at the meeting should not be taken negatively.
He said that he would be favourable to the inclusion of the private sector and other bodies, such as trade unions and the religious community, in future meetings.
The PSC, in a blistering statement, said that meeting was called with the aim of bringing an urgent resolution to the Linden crisis, in a manner that encouraged open dialogue by “all” relevant stakeholders.
The PSC said it was invited by the President “so that issues touching and concerning the private sector as a relevant stakeholder could have formed a part of the discourse.”
“The PSC believes that in light of the repeated calls for open dialogue, impartiality and an independent presence in investigations and discourse, this was a perfect opportunity to involve non-political stakeholders in arriving at resolutions for the collective benefit of all those persons, citizens and entities affected by the events of the last two weeks,” the Commission stated.
The PSC said that it believes the promises made by most political parties for non-political observers and an independent presence, have been abandoned or are being applied selectively.
However, the PSC said that it will continue to press for fair and timely resolutions to all the issues arising out of the crisis at Linden.
Particularly, the Commission said it is interested in political and social stability, economic development, law, order and accountability for “our” actions and representation of the interests of the entire Private Sector, particularly the Mining and Forestry Sectors that are experiencing grave hardships at the moment.
The PSC said it hopes that open, all-inclusive dialogue on all the issues related to the events in Linden, by all the relevant and affected stakeholders can be embarked upon swiftly.
“We should not confine our discourse on national issues to the political will of a few,” the PSC stated.