No calls for new protests….But Lindeners told to remain vigilant
Thousands of Lindeners and residents of Region Ten were on Saturday urged to remain resolute in backing their leaders to ensure that all aspects of the agreements which were signed last August to bring an end to unrest are implemented.
The exhortation was made by speakers at a meeting near the Palm Tree cinema on Burnham Drive, Mackenzie. These speakers included Region Ten Chairman, Sharma Solomon. The venue was where Lindeners gathered to be updated on what was described as the stalemate on negotiations over the agreement that was signed by the government and Region Ten leaders in August last year to end the month-long protest over electricity rate hikes in Linden.
Solomon told the large gathering that the talks were being stymied but the world must know that Lindeners have a most sincere hope to have peace in their community, once it is a peace based on equal rights and justice.
Stressing that the terms of the agreement were wider than just the electricity rate hike, Solomon, said that the Region had achieved small success in that the electricity rate hike has been shelved and the Land Section Committee has been returned to Regional Administration.
He stated that progress on the Technical Committee to determine mutually acceptable electricity rates by both parties and the Economic Development Committee has been stymied because a Chairman has not yet been found for these committees.
He stopped short of saying whether further protests were to be held but urged listeners to be resolute and emphasized that himself and other leaders of Region Ten will continue to negotiate with the government to ensure that the government honors the agreement.
Solomon also reiterated that the Region is moving to provide television broadcasts from its own television station by the end of this month whether or not it receives a television license.
He argued that the struggle in Region Ten (Upper Demerara/Berbice) is intended to end the divisive and destructive politics that has plagued the country and usher in a new environment in which people can talk with each other, work together, learn from each other , and respect each other and peacefully settle their differences.
He stressed: “We will voice as we have been doing for the longest while our concerns and … our concerns have not gone by the wayside. The international community has paid attention to our concerns. The rest of Guyana would have paid attention to our concerns.”
Several other speakers, including Vanessa Kissoon, Member of Parliament and former Member of Parliament, Aubrey Norton and Christopher Ram addressed the meeting.
Mr. Ram noted that the Agreement, which was signed on August 21, 2012 – some 142 days earlier – had specific terms of reference and timelines with 90 days being the timeline for implementation of one committee and sixty for another.
He said: “Yet, 142 days after the agreement was signed, we are still talking and wasting time.”
He, as the other speakers did, exhorted the Linden and Region Ten residents to remain vigilant to ensure that all aspects of the agreement are implemented.