Date First Published February, 11, 1989

THE Government of Guyana and Reynolds International Inc., last Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agreed to join in the development and mining of baux­ite deposits located in the Aroaima reg­ion of Guyana, and in the marketing and sale of bauxite extracted from that mine.

The estimated initial capital requirements for this venture are about (US) $25m.

The construction base of the necessary infrastructure that would be needed such as roads, dock facili­ties, housing and relat­ed service facilities will soon be started, as the mine is hoped to be operated commercially by the end of this year.

It is expected that the mine would pro­duce some 2.6 mil­lion metric tons of saleable bauxite an­nually.

Reynolds Interna­tional Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds Metals Com­pany of Richmond, Vir­ginia, USA which used to mine bauxite in (Guy­ana prior to its take­over by the Slate in the seventies.

In picture (from left) are: Mr. Ber­nard Crawford, Chair­man of Bidco; United States Ambassador, Theresa Ann Tull; Ms. Evlyn Wayne, Econ­omist, State Planning Secretariat; signing on behalf of Guyana is Deputy Prime Minister Haslyn Parris; Mr. R. Reynolds, President of Reynolds International Inc., signing on behalf of that company and two other Reynolds of­ficials.

 

Privatise GEC – Chamber

THE Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry is call­ing on the government to privitise the Guyana Electricity Corporation (GEC).

In a press release last Thursday the Chamber of Commerce argued that privatisation is the only way to en­sure a reliable supply of electricity which is needed in the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP).

The release stated that reliable overseas sources have indicated foreign companies which might be

interested in the GEC as a business venture. “Something must be done immediately to correct the situa­tion,” the Chamber urged, adding that, “a firm decision must be taken as far as the provision of ade­quate electric power is concerned to check and reverse the unstable supply which plagued the nation over several years.’

The release said that the Chamber of Commerce met in an emergency session and lamented, “the evident mis-management and gross neglect over several years in the mainten­ance’ of the GEC.

 

The Rule of Law Must Prevail: Hoyte

THE new High Court building was opened last Tuesday in New Amsterdam in the pre­sence of the assembl­ed Judiciary and a large number of lawyers.

In his feature address President Hoyte noted that for a long time legal facilities in Berbice had been very poor and the govern­ment had completed the new building at a cost of $9M at a time of financial strin­gency.

Several lawyers have pointed out that it is also the case that in Georgetown and else­where facilities at many magistrates courts are deplorable and the Supreme Court library has vir­tually collapsed.

Nevertheless, there was general satisfac­tion that a start had been made in restor­ing facilities.

In his address the President said: “It is vital to the whole­someness of our society and the citi­zens sense of security and well-being that all proper arrangements should be made to facilitate and strengthen the administration of justice in our country.

In developing coun­tries such as ours, Govern-ments, and the generality of the peo­ple, too, I am afraid are always in a great hurry. There are so many things that need to be changed; there are so many things that have to be done to quicken the pace of development and to introduce new sys­tems, procedures and institutions that are deemed to be neces­sary adjuncts of a viable modern state. Hence, Govern-ments, understandably enough, tend to be impatient of any re­straint, any rule, any practice that seems to put a brake on their ability to affect changes rapidly or seems to be incompa­tible with the perceiv­ed demands of the times.

“Under these pres­sures, Governments tend to believe that they can discharge their mandate effec­tively only if they can proceed instantan­eously, without any delays and with com­plete flexibility of action, in the imple­mentation of deci­sions. This belief is, of course, erroneous, but it induces a temp­tation to ignore or circumvent the law under the pretext of pursuing the greater good of the society or the higher interests of the state. This temptation presents itself under many alluring guises.

“Often, the argu­ment of necessity is advanced with persua­sive forcefulness. But no matter in what attractive mask it pre­sents itself, we must recognise it for what it is: the slippery road to despotism. For once the Government succumbs to it, the Rule of Law is over­ridden and arbitrari­ness becomes the norm.’’

The President went on to say that Guy­ana had not fallen prey to this tempta­tion. He said the Rule of Law must be the foundation on which society rests.

He continued, “I do not think that any one could define with completeness the con­cept of Rule of Law. It is a culture, an essential part of a way of life that places a pre-eminent value on freedom and human dignity. Insofar, as from time to time, we enunciate a set of principles, these are illustrative rather than definitive of the con­cept.

“But we know that, in a general way and as a matter of course, it obliges us to act strictly within the confines of existing law, to observe due process (including the rules of natural justice) and generally to proceed with due regularity in our discharge of statutory duties and our exercise of powers and privileges conferred upon us by law. This obligation falls equally upon the Government as an entity, Government functionaries and agencies, judges, lawyers, policemen and all entities and in­dividuals who are vested with some legal authority that im­pinges upon the rights of citizens.

‘While every alien has a duty to ensure that the Rule of Law prevails in our society, its our Courts which have the primary constitutional responsibility to declare and vindicate it.”

The President said that while applying the common law, judges must take note of local realities. “The Rule of Law does not exist in a vacuum; it has a direct link with the way all citizens discharge their responsibilities within the society. In particular, it draws vitality from the vigour, courage and sense of professiona­lism with which lawyers approach their work and the faithfulness with which they discharge their responsibilities to their clients, to the Courts and to the Society.”

 

 

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