Linden, a diversion from corruption – AFC
The ruling PPP government thrives on chaos and is triggering delaying tactics in settling the Linden unrest to keep corruption off the front pages, Khemraj Ramjattan, the leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) said yesterday.
Ramotar charged that the government is aggravating the unrest in Linden instead of seeking an early resolution, because, as far as Ramjattan is concerned, the PPP is playing on the thought that insecurities and hostilities could help to win back its disenchanted supporters.
He said that in prolonging the negotiating process and delaying a resolution of the crisis, the government is intent on taking the public’s gaze away from massive corruption that the press and the opposition have been exposing.
By now resorting to blaming social media and internet news networks, Ramjattan warned that the government is setting up grounds for the suppression of freedom of expression.
He said that the Linden crisis could become a national crisis if the issue is not dealt with speedily.
The AFC has welcomed assurances by the Guyana Defence Force of their commitment to abide by international standards with regards to the Linden situation and said it was looking forward for similar assurances coming from the Police Force.
In this regard, the AFC urged the Government to ensure that members of the joint forces operating in the area do so with the highest level of professionalism and with due regard for the civil rights of all citizens, those residing in the area and those traversing through.
The AFC also urged the people of Linden to ensure that their legitimate protest is not hijacked by criminal elements. The Party condemned extortion and other criminal activities and condemned the destruction of property and all attacks.
“The people of Linden must be mindful of and guard against any destruction of property, as this would tarnish the credibility of their cause,” the AFC stated.
The AFC said it considered it most unfortunate that at a time when significant progress was finally being made to address the legitimate core issues of the community of Linden, “that the government would initiate actions that were calculated to inflame fresh tensions.”
The party said that given the present circumstances, it is critical that the negotiating parties, namely the Government and Region Ten, conclude their negotiations quickly and in good faith, and with the clear intention of acting in the best interest of the people of Linden and others who are affected by the situation.
Further the AFC stated that they are deeply concerned that after four weeks there has been no attempt at the highest level of Government to engage Lindeners directly.
“Linden is hurting, adjoining regions are affected, the nation is at risk that the situation could be exploited to reintroduce traditional fears, insecurities and hostilities…Every day that the President fails to visit Linden is a day lost in resolving the situation”.