Apr 20, 2009 News Comments Off on Guyana unfairly painted as human trafficking haven
…asks US to monitor information by local agencies
… President not interested in third term
Guyana is a victim of unfair representation by certain international agencies. One of the agencies that unfairly represented Guyana happens to be the United Nations. President Bharrat Jagdeo made this disclosure when he briefed the media at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, following his meeting with United States President, Barrack Obama.
“We should not sweep the issues, the problems of the region under the carpet, if there are human rights violations, these should be exposed. If countries are not committed to fighting corruption or drug trafficking then these should be exposed.”
He said that Guyana gets about US$25,000 per annum to fight drug trafficking.
“What we have a problem with is the unfair characterization of many of these countries based on shoddy reports done by many of the representatives of US agencies. Many of these get reflected in many State Department reports.”
President Jagdeo said that in the case of Guyana, it was listed as being among the worst for human trafficking.
He said that for a country to be so listed there should be at least 100 documented cases.
“We got on the worst category—Category three—and we ran the risk of sanctions. We asked, ‘How did we get there?’ And until today I can’t get more than three documented cases that they have. They are not willing to admit that they made a mistake.”
“My country has, right around the world, been characterized as a country that deals with the worst case of trafficking in persons. It is a nightmare to try to reverse it once you get painted with that brush…Often it is about the quality of the report that goes up from the field offices,” Jagdeo stated.
The placing of an advertisement by the Alliance for Change in the Trinidad Express, while it surprised the Head of State, should not be surprising, President Jagdeo said.
“It shouldn’t be surprising…That is (Mr. Raphael Trotman’s) democratic right to do this.”
The advertisement also appeared in the newspapers in Guyana and spoke about corruption in Guyana, about the denial of certain rights and freedoms, including the denial of the right to information through the denial of the government to free up radio licences.
Commenting on aspects of legislation on the cards to help further guarantee the rights of Guyanese, the Guyanese leader said that his government should be tabling the Freedom of Information Bill within two months.
“We are already drafting it. It is something in my manifesto. We have already gone beyond many countries in terms of changes to the constitutional system.”
One of the changes involves term limits. No President can serve for more than two terms. President Jagdeo was asked to comment on the likelihood of him seeking an amendment that would allow him to serve a third term.
“I am not interested in running for a third term. A number of people keep raising this although I keep saying this over and over. I think people should serve and move on.”
Meanwhile, Guyana is preparing to accede to the chairmanship of Caricom in July.
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