PSC insists Ramotar should visit Linden
- Displeased with slothfulness of negotiations between parties
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is still insisting that President Donald Ramotar should visit Linden to discuss pressing issues with residents who are now in their fourth week of protest.
It is unclear if the President will heed the PSC’s calls since he shrugged off earlier requests.
“The unrest has been protracted and Government, Opposition parties and Region 10 Democratic Council should be held responsible for not doing enough for a timely solution,” PSC Vice Chairman Clinton Urling told this publication during an interview yesterday.
He stressed that the Commission is displeased with the pace of negotiations between elected representatives. Urling opined that the protest should have never been allowed to continue for so many days.
The protest is escalating, with buildings being destroyed by fire, damage to infrastructure, blockading of roadways, and increasing conflict between police and residents. He noted that these unwanted occurrences are unfortunate and harmful to economic activities in Linden and adjacent regions.
While the Commission supports some demands of Linden residents, it feels strongly that the blockades to roads impeding the flow of traffic must be removed. Urling said that reasonable actions taken by security forces to eliminate those blockades are supported by the Commission.
On July 18, last, residents of Linden began what was supposed to be a five-day protest against intended electricity tariff increases. It now includes the killing of three men, allegedly by ranks of the police.
Days into the protest and with criticisms by many of Government’s not meeting with Linden residents, President Ramotar had planned to visit the community on July 28. However, he cancelled his visit after residents defied security forces’ order of removing blockages from the roadways. The President has been voicing his willingness to visit the community providing that the blockades are cleared.
Without commenting if Ramotar’s condition is reasonable, Urling said that the roads should not have been blocked as part of the protest actions. He noted that the PSC cannot be isolated from the ongoing unrest, since it represents businesses that are greatly affected.
Urling explained that some large companies in Georgetown which transact businesses in Linden are considering pulling out of the community.