Ramotar arrives in Linden
President Donald Ramotar arrived in Linden around 9.30 am today, almost a month after three protesters were killed by police, sparking the biggest crisis of his administration.
An OP release said that the visit comes in the wake of the Joint Services-facilitated significant opening of the Linden community road transport network. Following the July 18 killing of the three protesters and injuries to 20 others, Lindeners had blockaded the town, squeezing interior mining communities and areas as far away as Lethem.
The President is to meet Lindeners at Watooka House, the release said. Earlier this week, the Joint Services had ringed the area around Watooka House with barbed wire. Ramotar had been scheduled to visit Linden on July 28 but called off the trip on the advice of the Joint Services after they were unable to establish control of Linden and unrest continued.
Ramotar is being accompanied by Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn and Presidential advisors Gail Teixeira and Odinga Lumumba.
Today’s visit comes after a lengthy, productive meeting at the Office of the President yesterday between the President’s team and a delegation from Region 10.
There have been many appeals for the two sides to come to a rapid agreement after a spate of fires obliterated a key primary school in the area, a Guyana Revenue Authority office and other installations. Confrontations between the security services and protesters have also led to injuries to around a dozen persons.
The genesis of the protests was the government’s announcement that electricity tariffs in the town would be increased. The killing of the three protesters on July 18 transformed into a broader engagement.
A technical team comprised of both sides is to review all tariff-related issues and a Commission of Enquiry into the July 18 killings is to be finalised. It is to have an international component.