President: PSC don’t run my office
President Donald Ramotar has not committed to visiting Linden soon and has brushed aside calls made by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for him to do so.
Speaking to reporters yesterday Ramotar bluntly said: “The private sector don’t run my office.”
He was at the time being asked if he would heed the Commission’s request for him to visit the mining town.
Linden is the main link between Guyana’s capital city, Georgetown and the hinterland communities.
On July 18, residents of Linden began what was supposed to be a five-day protest against intended increases in electricity tariffs. Three persons were killed and several injured in what is being reported as a police shooting. The protest action is now in its fourth week and has crippled several operations in the interior and halted life in the bauxite community.
No Government official has visited the community since the protest activity began last month. A planned visit by Ramotar was canceled as residents there defied police and soldiers and continued to block roads and bridges.
The Head of State has since expressed his willingness to visit Linden but the blockades must be cleared. He even issued an open letter for normalcy to return to the Region 10 area.
There have been reports of armed gangs manning road blocks and taking monies for trucks and vehicles to pass.
The Joint Services have reported the arrest of a number of persons who were robbing persons along the trails.
Banks and other businesses remain closed and the main employer, Bosai is reported on the verge of collapse. Some people have complained of running out of cash.
The PSC says it is supporting several demands by Lindeners, including allowing privately-owned television stations.
According to Daniel Gajie of the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Linden holds the ability to benefit from businesses in the interior but the ongoing standoff could hinder those possibilities.
He pointed out that the situation in Linden could deter businesses in Lethem, which community has become a major commercial hub. Gajie is worried that the proposed Linden to Lethem Road would bypass Linden out of fear of similar situations.