May 26, 2009 News
Secretary General (ag) of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Norris Witter, yesterday hinted that massive action is imminent.
Yesterday, he issued a call to the nation to prepare themselves for “the struggle.”
“What we’re saying is critical to our observing our 43rd Independence anniversary; it must be a call to action and we are issuing this call now; we are talking to the Guyanese nation. Prepare yourself for the struggle; it is closer than you think.”
According to Witter, a lot of persons have been asking when action will be taken and he is assuring them now that it is not far.
“A lot of persons are meeting us on the street and asking when are we going to close the country down. Well I want to say to them now, prepare yourself.
The day is not too far…I may say this much, the trumpet will be sounded not long after the bugle to usher our independence celebration has died. So take a hint from that.”
Witter added that he is sure that there are many persons in Guyana who have the courage to go out and struggle.
“So as the sound of the bugle is dying, the trumpet for the struggle will start.”
Witter also said that it would not be accurate for the GTUC or, for that matter, anyone to argue that Guyana has not made progress since achieving independence status.
He added that there have been periods of progress under the Governments of the People’s National Congress/United Force, People’s National Congress and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic.
“Very often the periods of retrogression seem to eclipse the periods of progress.
Within recent times, however, specifically with the assumption to the office by Bharrat Jagdeo, there has been a decline in practically all spheres of life, political, economic, social, cultural, spiritual …”
Witter noted, less than two weeks ago marked the tenth anniversary of the shooting of striking public servants, among them doctors, nurses and Customs officers by members of the Guyana Police Force.
The shooting was reminiscent of the Enmore Martyrs’ massacre, he said.
At the time, according to Witter, the workers were protesting in furtherance of their unions’ demands for decent wages/salaries, fringe benefits and other conditions of work for their members.
Less than nine years after that despicable act, the GTUC says it has observed with grave concern the contempt of the Bharrat Jagdeo regime for the Guyana Constitution, Rule of Law, Conventions, Treaties, Agreements, time-honoured principles Human Rights.
“The GTUC has noted, also, the undue haste of the Jagdeo regime to seize control of every non-state institution, religious, labour, private sector, sports, culture etc by compromising their leadership and to miniaturize, emasculate or even eliminate those it cannot control.”
“The GTUC was targeted, because it dared to speak out against issues such as the imposition of VAT, extra judicial killings, high cost of living, discrimination, victimisation, nepotism, corruption within the Government, bad governance, contempt for the rule of law etc.”
He pointed out that while the Jagdeo regime dedicated an inordinate length of time to hounding the GTUC, the economy continues to flounder with large numbers of Guyanese forced to seek their fortunes in North America, Europe and the Caribbean Islands sometimes at great risk and personal embarrassment.
“While the GTUC condemns the treatment meted out to our Guyanese sisters and brothers in Barbados and other so far unnamed islands, we have to agree with other commentators who suggested that if the Guyana Government was providing for its citizens, given the oft-touted natural resource endowment, they would have been saved the humiliation of being harassed and deported from an island that cannot even imagine to boast our resource endowment.
“We have become the laughing stock of the region and the world.”
On the eve of the nation’s 43rd Anniversary observation there is literally nothing to celebrate, he stated.
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