Sev­eral NTC ex­ec­u­tives...

Weekend Mirror - - COMMENTARY -

we have the op­por­tu­nity to present the peo­ple’s po­si­tion, and de­velop a track­ing mech­a­nism to bring all these is­sues to light. But the min­is­ters’ late attendance, in my view, is to di­lute those is­sues and take away from them. And we are not prepped to al­low that to hap­pen,” he ex­plained.

Min­is­ters of the Gov­ern­ment would all be present to lis­ten to a more com­pre­hen- sive pre­sen­ta­tion on Fri­day, and would have op­por­tu­nity to state how they can help to ad­dress the is­sues, but Shu­man is of the opin­ion that most of the toshaos may not want to present any­more, given the issue which has arisen.

The NTC of­fi­cials told Guyana Times also that is­sues which should have been re­solved since the last NTC con­fer­ence have again been dis­cussed, and the same so­lu­tions given last year have been re-ten­dered this year. He said that, over the past year, the NTC has been preach­ing for Gov­ern­ment to re­lease the guns seized from Amerindi­ans dur­ing the gun amnesty, and Ram­jat­tan has again promised to give the guns back. “Min­is­ter Ram­jat­tan showed up and said, ‘You will get your guns back; we have to put

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se­rial numbers on them’. Why ( could we not) get this ac­tion since a year ago, when we brought it to his at­ten­tion?” he asked.

The NTC ex­ec­u­tive had used the op­por­tu­nity of the open­ing of con­fer­ence to con­demn re­cent com­ments made by a Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter who had sug­gested that Amerindi­ans are greedy.

Chair­man of the Coun­cil, Joel Fred­er­icks, criti- cised Gov­ern­ment “over an in­ci­dent which took place in the Na­tional As­sem­bly”. Fred­er­icks said the or­gan­i­sa­tion views the com­ments made by the Min­is­ter as a di­rect at­tack on Indige­nous peo­ple’s iden­tity, and ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment with the state­ment. “( There are) Min­is­ters of the Gov­ern­ment, in­sult­ing the Indige­nous peo­ple and call­ing them greedy, also in Par­lia­ment, without any con­se­quence,” he lamented.

He also raised con­cerns that no par­lia­men­tar­ian from ei­ther side of the House had ob­jected to the re­marks pur­port­edly made by the said Min­is­ter in Par­lia­ment. Is­sues such as al­leged po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence in Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, and the need for strength­en­ing of the NTC were also dis­cussed at the con­fer­ence open­ing.

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