Linden visit still on cards – Ramotar
…but restoration of order a prerequisite
President Donald Ramotar says a visit to the strife-wracked mining town of Linden is still on the cards but order must be restored.
Since July 18, the town has been the centre of stepped up protests following the killing of three protesters by police. Roads into and out of Linden have been blocked and after confrontations between protesters and the Joint Services arsonists have torched around 10 buildings including the Linmine Secretariat office and the Guyana Revenue Authority office.
Ramotar has been widely criticized for not visiting Linden since July 18. A previous attempt to visit had to be aborted after protesters resisted attempts to remove roadblocks.
“I was always ready to go to Linden,” President Ramotar told Chief Executive Officer (ag) of NCN Michael Gordon in an exclusive interview at State House today.
The visit was scheduled for July 28 but had to be postponed after protestors defied orders by the Joint Services for calm and efforts to clear logs, and other objects used as blockades.
“I did not go to Linden because I thought that it is very important to have the roadway free so that people can move back and forth freely to do their business before I go into Linden myself,” President Ramotar said in the interview. Regions Seven, Eight and Nine have been severely squeezed by the blockading of Linden.
Linden has been protesting higher electricity tariffs. The increase has since been suspended by the government since the July 18 killings but Linden wants it withdrawn.