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|Linden crisis resolution likely by weekend-APNU|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:42|
NEWLY-elected leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), retired Brigadier, David Granger has indicated that A People’s Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is expecting an end to the Linden crisis by weekend.
As Granger spoke at a press conference held at the Office of the Opposition Leader at Hadfield and Cross Streets in Georgetown on Tuesday he highlighted the crisis which started just a week after Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh had presented the national budget on March 30.
He noted that the attitude of Lindeners to electricity has a long history, which did not start in April 2012.
Granger explained that an attempt was made to increase electricity tariffs in Linden on July 1, 2008, but former President Jagdeo backed down from the issue when he saw that Lindeners regarded the situation as a citizens’ resistance to an imposition.
Granger indicated that after meeting with residents and stakeholders in Linden, he made it clear that APNU will not make any decision without first consulting them, and securing their agreement on any issue regarding the present situation.
He noted that the first face-to-face meeting between the central government and the regional administration occurred on July 19, the day after the shooting at Linden; and had central government extended greater flexibility to the issue, APNU could have seen a resolution to the crisis as early as by that weekend.
He spoke of Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine’s involvement in mediation at all the meetings between the central government and the regional administration; and more particularly, the involvement of Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon.
Dr Roopnaraine speaks
Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine informed on a number of critical issues regarding the present situation at Linden, and the no-confidence motion brought against incumbent Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, among other issues.
In a statement released by the party, an update on the four-point letter of engagement sent to President Donald Ramotar since July 10th called for the following issues to engage serious and immediate attention:
* Cancellation of the increases in electricity tariffs at Linden
* Immediate meeting with the Regional Democratic Council and other stakeholders of Linden
* Committal of resources to implement a serious economic recovery programme at Linden
* Introduction of a menu of measures to address the environmental, broadcasting, health and other problems plaguing the Upper Demerara –Upper Berbice Region 10.
The statement accused the PPP/C administration of ignoring APNU’s advice to deal with the crisis, as Lindeners continued to protest a week after Granger’s letter to Ramotar, when three Lindeners were killed and more than two dozen persons were injured -- some seriously -- by members of the Guyana Police Force on July 18th last.
APNU, as a result, called for an independent judicial inquiry into the shooting, and then successfully carried in the National Assembly a motion of no–confidence in Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee over his handling of the Linden protest.
APNU participated in a tripartite meeting with the PPP and the AFC from July 19, one day after the shooting, and at the time reiterated its call for the President to act decisively to prevent the situation in Linden from deteriorating.
Dr Roopnaraine said APNU has always deplored acts of lawlessness, which have occurred sporadically; and that as Vice Chairman of APNU, he has been supporting Sharma Solomon, Region 10 Chairman, at all subsequent meetings.
He said the party’s position has remained unchanged, as it will continue to support the Lindeners’ struggle for a better life, and to search for a favourable outcome to the crisis.
Updating the media on the meetings between central government and the regional administration, Dr Roopnaraine indicated that after agreeing not to disclose details of the meeting until things have reached a resolution, he was happy to report that the parties could likely resolve their issues by this weekend.
He noted that APNU’s call for accommodation to arrive at an agreeable solution as early as by weekend remains a commitment.
Dr Roopnarine said he had been engaged by a number of persons whilst on his way to the meeting at the Office of the President. He said he spoke with a group of small traders, transporters of goods who were encamped at the Providence tarmac, regarding the Linden situation, and had indicated to them the present position of his party.
APNU will be updating the people of Linden on the situation as things unfold towards resolution of the crisis.
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