The September 02 Guyana Times reports that President David Granger, at his press conference on August 31, said in relation to lands taken out of sugar, that they would be “…first subjected to the jurisdiction of a State Land Sales Commission…”
The President went on to say that “[t]he idea is that we wouldn’t sell off the family jewels, we’ll make sure that the lands that are being taken out of sugar are placed to benefit the people of Guyana as a whole”.
Further the President is quoted as saying “…the State Land Sales Commission is going to make a profit from the disposal of those lands which may not be going back into sugar”.
The President’s announcement, to say the least, is a marked departure regarding lands that were and are being used by the sugar industry.
On this score, we recall, Administration spokespersons and advertisements seeking investors for the estates identified for divestment had informed that lands would have been leased. Now the President, without any justification being advanced, is saying, seemingly, that lands could very well be sold off. Neither did the President, as far as we saw, provide any elaboration on the State Land Sales Commission, save and except that the NICIL-SPU would be involved and would resolve demands for lands by investors.
The sugar industry, as the nation well knows, occupies large plots of prime lands, plots undoubtedly that would attract speculative interests. Moreover, while the President is saying we “…wouldn’t sell off the family jewels,” in the next breath he is saying the Government is desirous of making “…a profit from the disposal of those lands…”.
The two statements stand in stark contradiction of one another. Moreover, the sale of those valuable and prime lands to investors, whether it be local or foreign, is a move for which Guyana and Guyanese, now and in the future, would have regrets.
The world has provided several examples of instances where land holdings have been sold off and the implications it has had for the citizens of such countries where those practices were pursued. Countries and people have lived through instances where lands sold for one purpose were used for other purposes or resold for significant profits while locals remain landless.
The sale of those lands would be, in our view, the most unpatriotic decision ever taken by a Government in our more than half a century as an independent nation.
We recall, former President Hugh Desmond Hoyte outrightly refusing to sell sugar lands when he gave thought to the sale of the sugar industry in the latter 1980s.
Our country’s people have lived under the wretched system of colonialism and their sustained struggles brought our country’s freedom. We need not return to those days.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]