Will the promise of 10,000 jobs be yet another bitter pill for Guyana?

January 20, 2013 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
The promises of 10,000 jobs by China’s Bai Shan Lai could turn out to be a misnomer and yet another bitter pill for Guyana to swallow (SN, Jan 18, 2013) . The Government has failed to complete the Amelia Falls project at a huge loss to its hard-press citizens. The Project will now be partly funded by China and with imported Chinese work force.
The long list of failures continues, while the government remains unable to provide full and proper accountability concerning illegal mining, gold smuggling, cocaine shipment, logging, deforestation and environmental degradation. Meaningless investigations are promised but never made public as the country heads steeply into an abyss of corruption.
Labour Minister, Dr. Nanda Kishore Gopaul told the meeting that. ‘the labor laws were unbiased and not stringent and should be welcomed by the Chinese. (SN, Jan 13, 2013}.
This was to welcome China’s Bai Shan Lin enterprise, and to let China proceed with   deforestation on an unprecedented scale in Guyana. At government expense the ‘labour laws have now been translated into Chinese and the government hopes that this step will pave the way for fewer complaints about alleged labour violations’.
The Guyana government has always exploited the laws robustly to keep grip on power and, at vast expense to the country, but this does NOT happen when it comes to protecting the country valuable natural resources for the benefit of citizens. It has prompted the eminent Dr Janet Bulkan to state, ‘The Rule of Law? Not in the Forest Sector of Guyana’. (SN, Jan 16, 2012).
Due to lack of transparency and accountability the government has failed to tell the public how it will allow deforestation in accordance with the MOU signed with Norway in 2009.
The MOU require that timber production does not exceed annually the average for 2003-2008 level. And if the percentage of timber production, which is illegal, exceeds 15% then penalties will be triggered.
China is committed to ensure the strong growth of its economy over recent decades.
But in fuelling its rapid growth, China has become far more dependent on its own home-grown managers and skilled work force, which are deployed in various countries and, where it is involved in sourcing and extraction of raw materials.
This has caused much resentment in some African countries as, imported Chinese work ethics clashes with the local work ethics. Also Chinese workers often take up citizenry in the host country and becoming part of the country’s manpower statistics. This effectively masks the true employment levels to the host country.
Mac Mahase

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