The Youth Coalition for Transformation (YCT), a group of young activists affiliated to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), said that it had nothing to do with a list of businesses slated for boycott as reported in an article published in Sunday’s edition of the Guyana Times.
Further, the body called on Guyanese to resist reading the Guyana Times “in order to preserve their sanity and avoid being provoked.” Contacted yesterday Editor of the Guyana Times, Nigel Williams declined comment.
Speaking at a press conference held in the Mayor’s conference room at City Hall yesterday, James Bond, one of the leaders of the outfit, said that agent provocateurs acting on behalf of the PPP/C, have been attempting to suggest that there is some list of businesses to be boycotted and that such a list originated out of this organization.
“Whilst representatives of YCT have made specific calls for youths to abstain from spending lavishly to attend functions promoted by Kashif and Shanghai, and Hit & Jams promotions, the organization has not issued, endorsed nor supported any list of businesses to be boycotted,” said Bond.
“YCT understands that this ploy is deliberate and intended to cause serious confusion and conjure up malice…” Bond said.
“YCT believes that the Guyana Times is another
propaganda tool fashioned and oiled to spew messages
of … strife, and hate,” the YCT said.
“YCT wishes to, unequivocally, state that it stands by its call on Guyana’s youth to be responsible consumers and to spend wisely,” Bond said. He reminded that Christmas “is about Christ and not about lavish spending.”
He said, “We therefore wish to ask every Guyanese to refuse to spend except it becomes absolutely necessary, especially in this festive season. Let us refrain from adorning our homes with all the lavish decorations and paraphernalia and think of how we can use that money to invest in books for ourselves and children.”
Bond said that the YCT prides itself in being a disciplined organization that is business-friendly, but its first and foremost responsibility is the young people of Guyana, the poor and the unemployed.
“We of the YCT are of the firm belief that the vulnerable need special attention and we are prepared to do all within our power to lend a helping hand through training, mentoring and financial assistance,” Bond said.
“Young people of this country have been labeled the party type, especially a certain set of young people and every weekend there is a party promotion coming from somewhere. We are going to step out of that little box and not be spending and partying all weekend,” said activist Lurlene Nestor. “They are taking a stand. They are responding to a responsible call. YCT has no list out there of businesses that it said must be boycotted. That list, I believe, came out of the Office of the President, NCN and the Guyana Times,” she said. She noted that many of the names of businesses on the list are supportive of the APNU.
Nestor said that the YCT is willing to meet with the leadership of the Private Sector Commission but said that a meeting must be arranged in the proper manner. “We’ve been informed that there was something in the media. But to date, there is no formal response coming from the PSC,” said Nestor.
Contacted yesterday, Chairman of the PSC Ramesh Dookhoo said that he had no comment on the issue. Over the past week, the PSC has been vocal in its call for the protesters to cease their actions since they were having a negative effect on the bottom-line of businesses in the City.
Meanwhile, the PPP/C said in a release yesterday that it found reprehensible the “organized APNU campaign to boycott certain businesses and intimidation and threats against persons who supported the PPP/C, particularly of African ancestry.”
A release from the PPP/C said APNU prior to elections was championing the virtues of democratic norms in society and the importance of a free market enterprise to accelerate national growth.
“The public would do well to remember the many glowing statements made by no other than APNU’s Presidential Candidate David Granger before members of the local business community at a PSC organized luncheon prior to the recently held elections. It is rather unfortunate that after the elections have concluded some of the very members who were present at that function and who are responsible for employing and creating employment for hundreds of Guyanese from all backgrounds and political affiliations are now being targeted by APNU,” the PPP/C said.
“The Alliance which hypocritically espouses national unity is today involved in the worst form of divisive tactics and action. The attempt to harm and intimidate people because of their political belief is not only a violation of one’s constitutional right but an injury to basic, modern principles,” the PPP/C said.
“With this in mind it is rather strange that the opposition which only weeks ago claimed it was capable of Governing in the interest of all Guyanese would be so bold to publicly seek or encourage the strangulation of certain businesses and promote attacks on Guyanese because of their beliefs,” the PPP/C’s statement said.