Aug 12, 2012 News
– believes “totality” of situation not being communicated
President Donald Ramotar is adamant that he will only visit the town of Linden when the roads are cleared, saying he has instructed the security forces to do the job.
What started out as a five-day protest against electricity rate hikes in the impoverished town is now stretching into its fourth week, and has resulted in the death of three Lindeners, the burning of several government offices and Lindeners agitated about the heavy presence of the military.
In an interview on state TV National Communications Network (NCN), Ramotar said Lindeners are being misinformed about the government’s intention regarding electricity tariffs. He charged that the town’s representatives in talks to counter the unrest have not been communicating the “totality” of what has been happening and there seems to have been a lot of “distortions.”
Region Ten Chairman Sharma Solomon is the leader of the team representing Linden. He has said that the military operation in the town pre-empts a fair and reasonable resolution to the issues.
Ramotar said that it is important that the roads are cleared for use by all the people of Linden and for other communities to use the road freely. The President, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, said he has instructed the security forces to clear the road and he will only go after that is done.
The President said that the electricity issue has been on the agenda even before the PPP came to Office and that even President Forbes Burnham had spoken about the necessity of merging Linden electricity with the rest of Guyana.
He said that electricity consumption in the town has been rising, given expanding communities. And since the electricity rate is “very, very low” there is no incentive to conserve, the President noted, adding that the average household consumption in Linden is therefore almost three times that consumed by the rest of the country.
The President said that the subsidy to provide electricity was becoming unsustainable and therefore the government decided on a phased approach to increasing electricity tariffs to bring it on par with the rest of the country.
The increases have been put on hold following the July 18 shooting death of three Lindeners. The Head of State had said that the Terms of Reference for a Commission of Inquiry would be finalized by August 2, but that has not yet happened.
The Region Ten negotiating committee has asserted that the proposed conditions for the return to normalcy are: “the withdrawal of the electricity tariff; the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, together with the interdiction of the squad that participated in the attack of July 18, 2012 with a view of identifying those who must be charged for murder and attempted murder; the establishment of a Technical Committee to examine the electricity sector in Linden and Region Ten to make recommendations to the National Assembly.
This committee shall comprise of seven persons, three appointed by the government, three appointed by Region Ten and the Chairman agreed upon by the two parties; the provision of funding for a committee to carry out a study and develop an economic programme for the region. The participants for this committee will be arrived at by the RDC, Region Ten; the immediate appointment of the Regional Land Selection Committee based on the composition of representation on the RDC, which will see representation from the APNU, AFC and PPP.
This will terminate the Office of the President’s imposition as to who are to be given lands in Region Ten; the immediate return of the television operation in Linden which was a gift to the community (received in 1980) and “seized” by the PPP government after their ascension to office (1993); the issue of the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into the July 18, 2012 shooting of peaceful protestors, discussion must take place with the Region that has responsibility to address its citizens’ concern.
It must involve all the Parliamentary groups together with the Region. In the absence of such involvement it speaks to the imposition and disrespect that led to the current protest in Linden.”
Jagdeo and Exxon playing cat and mouse games with our future.
Feb 21, 2024Kaieteur Sports – Stabroek Ballers clinched the Mash Street Style football championship on Sunday, securing the coveted Street title with a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over Festival City....
Feb 21, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
By Sir Ronald Sanders In today’s complex global landscape, peace and prosperity face significant threats due to a blatant... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.