President visits relatives of slain Corentyne detective
…says sugar industry is doing “well”
By Leon Suseran
President Donald Ramotar travelled to the Corentyne, Berbice yesterday and addressed several issues. He and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar visited the relatives of slain detective Jirbahan Dianand at Number 64 Village where they consoled relatives and promised them justice.
Ramotar expressed concerns over the issue whereby cops are being killed, saying “I have even spoken to the Police Commissioner and Crime Chief to do everything they can to catch the criminals who committed this horrible crime on this young man. It’s always extremely difficult and heart-rending to visit the parents of a young officer who is trying to do his best for the country and to see the pain parents and relatives are going through”.
He expressed the hope that the perpetrators are caught.
The best way the country can pay tribute to the young man who died, he said, is to increase the fight against the narco-traffickers “because that is what he gave his young life for, to fight crime for us in the society and therefore we have a responsibility to him to increase our fight and to do all we can to rid our society of such criminals”.
The President also committed his government and police force to “continue to fight against” bad cops in the force.
Statistics, he said, have shown that many police officers have been dismissed and charged and placed before the courts.
The President, later in the day, met with the press at the Albion Estate Senior Staff Club on the Corentyne.
“I know that during this period of time, the sugar estates are doing fairly well. The Skeldon Factory that has been in the press— and very often in a negative way— has been doing much better; hopefully by the end of this year, it would be doing even better as we try to rectify many of the problems that Booker Tate left with us”.
Ramotar added that he has learnt that production at many of the estates has been “well” and “a lot of estates are reaching their targets and workers are getting extra days’ pay. Hopefully with the weather that we have had— you know the weather has not been kind to GuySuCo for some time and as a result, it has prevented a lot of their crop husbandry and practices, but with the good weather we have been having now, I am hoping that they can catch up with a lot of that and the whole cropping cycle could be improved from next year”.
The Guyanese leader expressed his thoughts that the sugar industry has a bright future and that right now the price on the international market for sugar today is “very, very good”. “I think we have to work to ensure the industry is at its most efficient levels and continue our whole process of mechanisation and modernisation of the industry.”
The President said, too, that the Enmore Packaging Plant “was in the news a lot”. “It has been working every day, packaging sugar for a while now and it’s also doing fairly good”.
Ramotar spoke about the television debate on Corruption. “I am very happy to say that in all of the seven debates that went on so far, not a single case of corruption was actually pointed to”. The other fact to note, he said, was that after the first debate, “ APNU absconded from the debate, which implicitly is a recognition— their admission— that they have no facts…that they have been throwing mud with the intention….and that they want to continue to make claims for them not to be challenged, so generally, a lot of those issues that they have been talking about have been exposed and we hope, also, that with the good weather, we can start our road projects”.
Commenting on the road projects, he said that these will be accelerated as much as possible. Roads in the Berbice area, he noted, will be going to tender “for them to be awarded so that they can be constructed very quickly”. One of those roads is the contentious East Bank Berbice Public Road.
The traffic on that road, he noted, has increased “but that is one of the roads we are looking at, in addition to the farm-to-market roads”.
President Donald Ramotar met with Repsol who is preparing to restart drilling. He revealed, too, that the company believes they are in a much better position now to get “the depth that they had anticipated before”.
He said that Repsol did not reach the depth they had planned and budgeted for “because of the pressure and gas that was there”. “They said to me that never in any of their experiences that they have reached such a situation where you had so much gas pressure, and they are now preparing to bring in a bigger rig and use different technology to come in and try again to make another shot.”
Ramotar said that the company, this time, will be investing more than US$200M and that “this tells you that they have some level of confidence of what they will find there”.