Guyana Chronicle
February 18, 2004

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I DRAW attention to comments in the press (Stabroek News, Guyana Chronicle and Kaieteur News, 6/02/04, 7/02/04 and 8/02/04) on my posture of economics genocide and the Government' policy that gives the perception that its program is carefully and craftily executed to disempower the African community. While I recognize attempts by Messrs. Da Silva and Robert Persaud, Liaison Officer to the President, to respond, the situation before us is very serious and I shall not engage in non-consequential discourse.

Since, however, Mr. Saisnarine Kowlessar, Minister of Finance, the Executive points man on the economy, chose to express his views and by extension the government's, I wish to say the following:

1. Paragraphs 1,2,3,4,7 & 10 (as represented in Stabroek News 8/2/04) see the administration resorting to its comfort zone of management by lame game, side tracking of the issue, character assassination and misrepresentation of statistical analysis. This in no way addresses the issue. Since the issue from the outset is making jobs redundant in the African community, and the sustainability of jobs in the East Indian community.

2. Paragraph 5 speaks about the reduction of jobs and privatization with little regards to the rights and welfare of workers under the PNC administration. My contention is what have you done to create jobs? Or where are the jobs your Government has created? As you speak of workers welfare during privatization can you explain the Government's conduct in the recent merger of GTV and GBC by terminating the employment of all the staff entities? What of the bauxite industry pension fund where your government adopts an aggressive posture to destroy under the name privatization? This fund to date is the largest single pool of money owned by Africans.

3. You mentioned in paragraph 6 that the agencies identified as created under the Hoyte's administration "... did not account collectively for more than 1500 new jobs..." Here again you seem to be creating data to suit your purpose, since such data as presented is inaccurate and untruthful. May I remind this nation that Aroamina, Omai, Viceroy, JP Knights and Barama accounted for more than 2500 workers. The issue is not to shift the argument numbers but to say to this nation where you have created jobs or the resultant environment to suffice the needs of the group I refer to.

Additionally, I recognize that you have put the nation on notice that some of the stated companies have experienced problems under your government and that "... another one is facing closure by next year", but what is absent is information as to what mechanism will be put in place to absorb the workforce that will be put on the breadline. To do nothing can be viewed as one of the polices of the government in making sure it disempowers the African community.

4. Much time has been spent telling the nation about budgetary spending for LINMINE and Linden (paragraph 8). My point is while the administration is spending millions of US dollars in constructing a state of the art factory for the processing of sugar you have failed in similar manner to buy a new kiln (for processing); or two shovels (for stripping the overburden); or large trucks (for hauling of ore) for LINMINE. The policy of investing in bauxite is designed to disempower the African community.

5. The President Youth Choice Initiative that the administration loves to highlight has not translated into jobs (paragraph 9) and in my opinion has been a symbolic act to hoodwink African youths. Every time we speak of Linden's impoverishment we are reminded of LEAP, another symbolic gesture. I challenge this administration to take me on a tour in Linden to show me the people who were trained and where they are placed. Can you tell the nation how soon the industrial estate for Linden, which President Jagdeo told Lindeners he has the money to spend, will be established?

From the evidence I have been supplying it seems as though the "orderly and peaceful development of Guyana" (paragraph 10) you speak of has the focus of placing Africans of the breadline. Until such I shall continue to accuse your government of committing economic genocide on the African community.

6. Since the administration has initiated through one of its agencies to file a complaint to the Ethnic Relations Commission on my posture I expect the commission to invite me to address these allegations. If for some reason the complainant fails to pursue this issue I shall present a formal complaint to the Ethnic Relations Commission for there shall be no retreat.