Gov’t to support Kashif and Shanghai, finds boycott calls discriminatory

-Luncheon

Government spokesman Dr Roger Luncheon yesterday said that government would throw its support behind sports promotion organisation Kashif and Shanghai, while saying calls for a boycott of its annual football tournament amounted to discrimination.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Luncheon expressed disgust that the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) appeared to be threatening several businesses owned by Afro-Guyanese and other persons just because of their visible support during the election period for the incumbent Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).

“The boycott called in football against Kashif and Shanghai, Cabinet discussed and clearly rejected. APNU’s public call for the boycott against the clubs particularly during the internationally-recognized and Christmas year-end traditional is ridiculous…Cabinet pledged its full support with and behind the organization,” he said.

Luncheon added that it was unjustifiable for sports to be the target of boycotts, since they aid in the overall development of not only youths but also adults.

Meanwhile, Luncheon also confirmed that external help has been sought to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Police Commissioner Henry Greene, while noting that the outcome of an investigation done solely by the Criminal Investigation Department could be questioned since it would be conducted by subordinate ranks and officers.

“It might generate questions about objectivity,” he said.  “To put it bluntly, I’m quite certain… those same ones who inveigled against the Commissioner and  have already deemed him guilty, might not be pleased with an outcome not supportive of their premature instincts ,premature conclusions and may very well question and have questions directed at such findings.”

Luncheon said that government welcomed the external help, which “has the potential of assuring us that a process that all can embrace.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Luncheon also stated that a $97M contract, for pre-operational infrastructural works at the proposed site for the specialty hospital at Liliendaal, on the East Coast of Demerara, received a no objection from Cabinet.

Luncheon said that it was a prerequisite that the land be prepared to meet building standards for such works, including engineering preparatory works such as ensuring that there is potable water and electricity and that the land itself is suitable by national engineering standards.

He further explained that when the deal to build the facility was sealed, preparatory works were not included.

In addition, a $186M contract for the supplying of biscuits to the schools in the national school feeding programme for the 2011-2012 academic school year also received a no-objection.

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