Jul 01, 2016 News
Minister of State Joseph Harmon yesterday jumped to the defence of his colleague Minister, Raphael Trotman saying that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is mistaken to judge Trotman by his own standards.
At a recent press conference, Jagdeo stated that Trotman was selling out Guyana.
He said that Trotman carelessly handled the interest of the country by supporting the allocation of two million hectares of the nation’s forest resources for conservation purposes.
Responding to this, Harmon said, “I want to say Trotman don’t sit on his own nor does he go around the world negotiating contracts on his own. He is a part of a Cabinet and Government, and whatever he negotiates comes to Cabinet. Cabinet then look at it and discuss it before any final decision can be made”.
Harmon said that Jagdeo needs to stop making reckless statements and think things through before speaking. However, the Minister said that he can understand why Jagdeo cannot seem to think differently.
“When Dr. Jagdeo says Trotman is selling out Guyana and so on it is because he is stuck in that kind of mindset. That is what he is accustomed to doing, so he is now thinking that because all these things are being put into the public domain, that it is Trotman doing it. So he sees Trotman as a target,” said Harmon.
Jagdeo has chastised Trotman on numerous occasions. His latest criticism came in light of the announced conservation of two million hectares of state forest. Jagdeo claimed that Trotman does not know what he is doing.
The pledge referred to was made in April by President David Granger while addressing the United Nations.
According to Jagdeo, the pledge has counter-productive terms which will inhibit national development in the future.
During his remarks, the former head of state read an excerpt of the pledge which reads:
“The conservation of an additional 2 million hectares through Guyana’s National Protected Area System and other effective area -based conservation measures as per Guyana’s commitment under the UNCBD (United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity), including the protection of conservancies and reservoirs and their watersheds and the watersheds upstream of new hydro-power sites.
Existing mangrove forests will be counted in this target and the mangrove restoration programme along the vulnerable coast will be expanded.”
Jagdeo continued, “If we do want to develop hydro power in the future, with this pledge, we are going to have a hugely difficult time.” He criticized Trotman for supporting this move.
“Trotman has now taken our country into a new area; it is a pure conservation that will harm growth, development and will run counter to the green economy that President Granger speaks about.”
The opposition leader added, “In that pledge Trotman made, he sold out Guyana through bad negotiations and bad pledges; sold out our national interest.”
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