Apr 27, 2017 News
The Main Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), appears to be adamant in its move to have a Presidential ordered Commission of Inquiry (CoI) revoked.
After weeks of lamenting, the Party will now be moving to the National Assembly at a sitting scheduled for May 8.
According to a statement issued by the party yesterday, two motions were submitted.
One was the motion “Calling for the revocation of the commission of inquiry on lands”
The other motion is the call for the revocation of “V.A.T (Value Added Tax) on Education.”
Last month, President Granger established a CoI under the Commission of Inquiry Act, Chapter 19:03 of the Laws of Guyana “to examine and make recommendations to resolve all issues and uncertainties surrounding the claims of Amerindian land titling, the individual, joint or communal ownership of lands acquired by freed Africans and on any matters relating to land titling in Guyana.”
Seven persons have already been appointed to this Commission. The final report consisting of the commission’s findings and recommendations will be handed over to the President on or before November 1, 2017, or any later date as may be determined by the Head of State.
The PPP/C, in previous reports, had contended that the commission was established without any consultations with the National Toshaos Council (NTC); nor directly with “any Amerindian communities, nor with recognized non-governmental organizations representing Amerindians in Guyana”.
“In so doing the government denied the National Toshaos Council, Amerindian communities and Amerindian non-governmental organizations, of the right to be informed and consulted as to the rationale for and the objectives of this Commission of Inquiry,” the release from the Opposition read.
The PPP/C is of the opinion that the ‘expansive mandate’ of the Commission could undermine the legitimacy of Amerindian land rights and lead to the dispossession of Amerindian land titles and future land titling since the CoI will also be looking at “any matters relating to land titling in Guyana”.
The Opposition is also questioning the CoI in its motion, the need for the Commission since according to the PPP/C, Guyana has already established under the Amerindian Act of 2006, “a unique, comprehensive and robust legal framework which addresses Amerindian land rights and Amerindian communal land titling forever and absolute” with “Free Prior and Informed Consent” of the Amerindian communities, in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana, statutes and international law”.
The motion is being moved by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and Former Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, and seconded by Nigel Dharamlall, PPP/C MP.
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