‒ hopes for con­tin­ued Amerindian de­vel­op­ment

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Floods bring hard­ships to Rupu­nuni res­i­dents

Amerindi­ans

are look­ing with great ex­pec­ta­tions for con­tin­ued lead­er­ship from the Na­tional Toshaos An­nual Con­fer­ence in the face of at­tacks on gains made over the years by the APNU/AFC coali­tion govern­ment.

The Con­fer­ence was part of an Amerindian gov­ern­ing sys­tem that emerged un­der the PPP/ C ad­min­is­tra­tion and in­tended to give more au­ton­omy to the coun­try’s first cit­i­zens in chart­ing their de­vel­op­ment.

PPP Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Bharat Jagdeo, has ex­tended best wishes to the Con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants and ex­pressed t he hope the Con­fer­ence will chart a course that seeks to con­sol­i­date and build on their suc­cesses.

The Con­fer­ence gets un­der­way t his week­end many ur­gent is­sues are on the agenda in­clud­ing the vexed ques­tion of the Land Com­mis­sion which seeks to re­open al­ready set­tled Amerindian land is­sues.

No­tably, t he NTC, which was elected to rep­re­sent over 80,000 Amerindi­ans in Guyana, made clear that it will not sit qui­etly if Govern­ment con­tin­ues to ig­nore its con­cerns on the “ob­jec­tion­able” es­tab­lish­ment of a Lands Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI).

Among is­sues that have en­gaged Amerindian com­mu­ni­ties over the last two years and which are ex­pected to fea­ture at the Con­fer­ence are:

1. Ar­bi­trary and whim­si­cal dis­missal of over two thou­sand young Amerindi­ans em­ployed as Com­mu­nity Support Of­fi­cers (CSOs) on the ground that they were po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists of the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion and were be­ing paid from State funds;

2. Re­moval of the name “Amerindian” from t he Min­istry of Amerindian Af­fairs and re­nam­ing it the Min­istry of Indige­nous Peo­ple’s Af­fairs, which sug­gest the in­clu­sion of all nat­u­rally

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