The shocking statement reportedly made by new PPP Central Committee member, Mr Shyam Nokta, as it pertains to the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO), was brought to my attention through Red Thread Karen De Souza’s letter to the media.
I have since read the Demerara Waves August 4 article which stated that Nokta, giving a report on a workshop session to the plenary of the ruling party’s congress held in Berbice last weekend said that, “The group further observed that the opposition was accessing international donor funds through organisations like the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), Red Thread and the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO).”
Now, Editor I am shocked and dismayed at this scurrilous statement made about the GWMO and I firmly believe that it is a deliberate attempt to sidetrack people from the good work the organization has been doing in its relatively short lifespan. It should be recalled that this administration for some time has been denying the existence of trafficking in persons, a position it can no longer take because of the work of the GWMO. This notwithstanding, the organization does not wish to fight with the government, but rather to be embraced by all in an effort to help the victims of TIP who come from all areas of the country.
I wish to make it pellucidly clear that the GWMO up to this date has received no funding, whether international or local. Further, the GWMO is a non-political, non-profit organization.
I must say that I am not surprised by this statement made by Mr Nokta, who was relaying the views of some of the delegates at the congress, but I want to say that if he or any other PPP member wanted information on the GWMO all they had to do was call our office instead of spewing such garbage. I am also confused because the GWMO has been working along with some government agencies and ministers, more specifically the Minister of Natural Resources & the Environment Robert Persaud has publicly embraced the work of the organisation.
Mr Nokta received 381 votes at the congress and now sits on the party’s Central Committee and with this position we would have expected more from him instead of trying to tarnish the work of the organization. We work in the interest of all Guyanese and our political or religious affiliations should not be questioned.
His statement is more disconcerting since our organisation is still in an infancy, and to have such allegations levelled at it is shocking. This organization was started by a lone woman miner ‒ myself ‒ and now with the support of some great ladies the GWMO has managed to help many victims in the mining areas. We have put our personal safety in jeopardy to work for the people who really need it and will not be sidetracked by the venom of others.
In closing, Editor, I wish to state that while the GWMO has received no funding it would welcome international or local funding to further its work.