ROAR Leader posits that Afro-Guyanese feel marginalised

Guyana Chronicle
February 22, 2003

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LEADER of the Rise, Organise and Rebuild (ROAR) party, Ravi Dev, rose in support of the PNC/R "crisis" motion at last Wednesday's special sitting of the National Assembly.

Addressing his fellow parliamentarians, Mr. Dev adamantly declared that the country is in a political crisis, which stems from structural conditions.

Elaborating on the latter position, the ROAR member of the House stated that the root of the problem has to be dealt with since it hinges on the structural nature of the political crisis.

"We cannot pretend that institutions we know will not work to solve our problems," Dev said.

He added that "the two major ethnic groups are almost evenly matched in size" which makes our politics different from the British model.

Drawing from Guyana's historical foundation, Dev held that Afro-Guyanese have come out of being enslaved and will therefore put up resistance as they perceive their interests to be ignored and as such will feel marginalised.

Against this backdrop, he purported that the country is faced with an ethnic security dilemma involving the two major ethnic groups.

He also asserted that Guyana is a severely divided society whose problems are further compounded by a history of mistrust and distrust.

Reflecting on the President's recent presentation on "Inclusive Governance," Dev said "Executive power sharing is an aspect of a wider vision that Government should accept; all the people must feel represented in the governing structure."

Touching on the composition of the Parliamentary Sectoral and Management

Committees, he called for his party's inclusion on the latter platform.

Dev also called for the setting up of a Disciplinary Forces Committee and urged that another committee be established to investigate the operations of the Guyana Police Force.

The ROAR Leader highlighted his party's request for the disbandment of the Target Special Squad (TSS) to be replaced by a special unit, since the TSS has engendered concerns among a wide section of society.

"Legislation must be enacted to specify terms, conditions and modalities of this unit's actions, especially in terms of its deployment, power of arrest, phone tapping, entry into homes and deadly force," Dev said.

Before taking his seat he called on all political parties to denounce criminal acts, and expressed the hope that the groups will work together to charter a better course for the country. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY - GINA)

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