Manufacturers head threatens to withdraw from Bai Shan Lin issue if leaks continue

Manufacturers association President, Clinton Williams is threatening to recuse himself from spearheading its engagement with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Natural Resources Ministry on the Bai Shan Lin logging controversy if the body’s business continues to be leaked to the press.

In light of accusations made against Chinese forestry company Bai Shan Lin in recent weeks, Williams and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) is probing the matter on behalf of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) which has pledged to support the effort.

Last Thursday, Williams told this newspaper that he was preparing to send correspondence to the GFC to request the agreement by which the Chinese logging company is allowed to operate in Guyana’s logging sector. Williams had said that the agreements with other operators would be sought as the organization looks to establish the standing of all logging operations.

He noted with annoyance however, that information was being leaked from the GMSA’s meetings, a reality he said he was not happy with.

His threat was published in the form of a letter, captioned “Open letter to the membership of GMSA,” in the August 16 edition of the Guyana Times. In the letter Williams tells the members of the GMSA that measures he has undertaken with regard to the Bai Shan Lin matter seem to have taken on a political agenda.

This, he said, is insinuated “by consecutive deliberate leakages, first the contents of the meeting that was held two days ago, and secondly the contents of a draft letter circulated, intended to be sent to the Minister/Commissioner of Forests, which was circulated to the membership for comments.”

Williams believes the leaks are intended to prevent “the GMSA from taking a transparent and unbiased, and hence an objective, approach to the allegations made.”

“…I would find it very difficult to engage the subject Minister and/or the Commissioner on this matter, particularly because from the inception, when consulted, I refused to recuse myself from pursuing this matter as President of the GMSA,” he also said.

He nevertheless said that “…I would have no option than to withdraw from any further engagement and/or consultations on behalf of the GMSA on this matter” if information continues to be leaked to the press.

Contacted yesterday on whether he is still probing the matter on behalf of the PSC, he responded in the affirmative. He was unwilling though, to elaborate on the issues, including leaks, he is confronted with at the level of the GMSA. Williams said that the group is a private entity and that he believes its matters should be dealt with as such.

With regard to his request for the Bai Shan Lin/GFC agreement Williams says a written request was sent. He could not say when a response would be forthcoming but he expects one “as soon as possible.” Williams noted the allegations that have been made by various news outlets with respect to the operations of Bai Shan Lin but he says the GMSA cannot take a position until it is furnished with, and has had a chance to pursue its agreement with the Government of Guyana through the GFC.

The document, he said, will tell the GMSA if the company has approval to export logs, to which destinations, the amount it is allowed to export, and whether they are allowed to export square or round logs. Other than this Williams would say no more. It is being alleged that Bai Shan Lin is involved in several ventures which breach its contract, including the exportation of more logs than it is permitted to. Both Bai Shan Lin and the GFC have repeatedly denied this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More in Local News

Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin picked up seven for 83 to wreck the West Indies innings. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)

Windies suffer innings defeat against India after batting flops again

NORTH SOUND, Antigua,  CMC – West Indies’ batting collapsed for the second time in as many days as India crushed them by an innings and 92 runs inside four days in the opening Test here today, to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Jaikarran Chandradeo

Two more held as cops look for motive in Corentyne triple murder

Police yesterday detained two more persons as they continued to try to unravel the motive behind the gruesome shooting to death of two men and a teenage boy, whose bodies were discovered at Kokerite Savannah, Mibicuri Creek, on Friday.

These children enjoyed being pushed home by a cousin

Riverstown

Riverstown, a village on the Essequibo Coast, is pressed between Pomona and Airy Hall. Once you cross the railway-like bridge over a black water creek, you’re in Riverstown, where there are more than 700 residents.

Raphael Trotman

SARU operating legally despite absence of legislation

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said on Thursday that the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) is operating legally and despite its inability to prosecute persons, it is currently doing investigative work which is part of its mandate.

Dead: Orin Morris

Sophia stevedore killed in freak accident at wharf

The body of a stevedore attached to the John Fernandes Limited, Water Street wharf was retrieved from the Demerara River on Thursday evening, more than a day after he was involved in a freak accident.

The old abandoned Moco-Moco Hydropower Station

2018 deadline set for completion of Moco-Moco hydropower facility

Due diligence is currently being done on two firms that had bid to rehabilitate the Moco-Moco hydropower facility and the project should be completed by the end of 2018, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson says.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: