Chamber urges formal probe of reported lack of progress in Region 10 deal

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) is urging the government to mount a formal probe into the allegations made by the Regional Democratic Council Chairman of Region 10, Sharma Solomon that the committees established under the agreement that brought an end to the Linden protests in 2012 have achieved little to date.

The Chamber statement follows a report in last Monday’s edition of Stabroek News and an editorial in today’s edition that sixteen months after the deal had been signed between the government and the region there had been no progress.

In its statement today, the Chamber said a formal probe is necessary to ascertain whether there is any merit to the accusations by Solomon and to take the necessary actions to ensure that the agreement is executed according to the agreed terms and avoid a recurrence of 2012.

“The Linden protests were one of the most significant national crises in Guyana’s recent history. The nation remembers the damage done to the physical infrastructure in Linden and also the blocking of the bridge that serves as a main artery and passage to other regions of Guyana, including, those areas that are considered home to a significant fraction of the nation’s extractive and gold mining communities”, the Chamber said.

During this period the GCCI said that it and other private sector organisations received many complaints from affected members of the business community about their inability to operate normally. It noted that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) responded and took immediate action in order to bring about a resolution to the crisis.

“The PSC organised a whirlwind of emergency meetings with all of the major political stakeholders in the country including the President of Guyana and his Cabinet, leaders of all the major opposition political parties, security forces, and the leaders of the protests in Linden, including Regional Chairman Mr. Sharma Solomon. Therefore, it was with much relief that an agreement was met in August of 2012 and which saw an end to the crisis”, the Chamber said.

The Chamber said it will continue to monitor the developments and occurrences in Region 10 and to sustain its role as an “impartial broker in a potentially volatile process.”

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