Apr 13, 2016 News
Cabinet Members were reminded yesterday of their “oath” to keep discussions private. The caution was issued
in light of the fact that Cabinet discussed matters relating to controversies surrounding embattled Minister of State Joseph Harmon.
Kaieteur News understands that the Cabinet meeting concluded around 17:30hrs, but much more is to be discussed. Because of this, another meeting is set for tomorrow. But the existing silence is deafening.
A source close to the Cabinet indicated that “the Harmon issues indeed came up”. However, it was stressed that the matter was surprisingly not addressed as one of “national importance.”
These revelations would come as something of an affront to the Guyanese people. There is every indication that the secrecy which was practiced during previous administrations, and in recent times had totally destroyed the people’s confidence in government, is once again rearing its ugly head.
Recent photographic evidence that showed Mr. Harmon posing on a private jet with BaiShanLin’s Managing Director, Chu Hongbo and family, has raised serious questions.
The government in a statement that preceded the leaked photo had emphasised that the purpose of Mr. Harmon’s visit was to engage in discussions with regard to the payment of the US$5 million balance owed for the purchase of 20 percent of Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) shares by Chinese company, Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group from NICIL, in 2012.
Nowhere in the statement was anything said about any meetings or interaction with officials of the controversial logging company.
Harmon has maintained a worrying silence as the media reported on a series of his recent shady actions. The Minister had promised to hold press conferences since his return, but never did.
His halting of an official seizure operation involving BaiShanLin several weeks prior was one of the actions that raised eyebrows and attracted widespread condemnation.
The operation was being executed by GRA in collaboration with officials from the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU).
GRA was going to seize a number of BaiShanLin’s vehicles due to the fact that the company failed to pay the required duties within the legally stipulated timeframe. But during the exercise, Harmon instructed that the vehicles not be removed.
Weeks later the vehicles were seized. But government is yet to say how it intends to address the obvious misuse of power by one of its senior ministers.
Harmon’s actions have been incongruous with his much-publicised intolerance toward those whom he perceived to be acting against the best interests of the country.
He was noted on several occasions lambasting BaiShanLin for its reckless operations in Guyana, as well as the former regime, for its encouragement of the company’s actions.
In 2014, he had blasted the former government for its silence about the “corrupt beast” BaiShanLin’s “immoral and abusive acts” and had opined that “there can only be one logical conclusion for that—they are benefitting financially in exchange for allowing the rape to continue.
It is only a win-win deal for the parties involved and BaiShanLin’s kickbacks seem to have silenced the (former) government”.
Harmon had said that he found it sickening that BaiShanLin had been invited to this country under the pretext that it was going to foster good developments, and all along the true intention was to rape this country of its resources.
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