Regime wants to change land law to disadvantage of the Amerindians

Dear Editor,
The recent setting up of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) “to examine and make recommendations to resolve all issues and    uncertainties surrounding the claims of Amerindian land titling, the individual, joint or communal ownership of lands acquired by freed Africans and on any matters relating to land titling in Guyana” is the latest move by Government that is creating disunity amongst the peoples of this country.

This has caused an uproar in the Amerindian community as they see that once more this move can push them to the margins of society. They see that all the great gains they made during the PPP/C administration are going to be eroded by the APNU+AFC government.

At the centre of the government, holed up in the Ministry of the Presidency, is Mr. Eric Phillips, who seems determined to rewrite the history of this country.

It is known that for centuries the Amerindian people not only lived on the land in their specific areas, but they have protected the environment. They managed to understand the laws of nature and lived within those laws.

In so doing, they were able to preserve our forests, our environment so that today, we are one of the foremost countries in relation to protection of the natural environment.

The establishment of this CoI, therefore, raises many questions. In the first place, this was done without consultations with the Amerindian community.

As it stands now, the Amerindians have legal rights to the land. What should be discussed now is the extensions that many have applied for.

However, this move by the regime is intended to stop this process. People like Phillips are selling the idea that the Amerindians were not the first people here. This is a clear signal that the regime has probably set this body up to come to the conclusion that the Amerindians should not enjoy the rights that the PPP/C administration ensured was put in law.

This regime wants to change the law to the disadvantage of the Amerindians.

The regime, by taking that step, is also setting the ground that can lead to disunity amongst the peoples of this country.

It is strange that this regime has set up a whole Ministry which they claimed is to promote social cohesion. They even named it the Ministry of Social Cohesion.

Yet, almost every act they have executed is promoting disunity. This CoI is the latest so far in a long list of measures.

They have practised racial and political discrimination in the dismissals from the public service. They have done the same in employment to the public service. We also see the same pattern in the dispossession of farmers of land and many persons who were allocated turn-key homes and house lots have suffered the same consequences.

We have seen discrimination in the awarding of scholarships and in the admission of students to the law programme at the University of Guyana.

By their actions, this regime is doing its best (or worst) to sow discord, disunity, and yes, moving against social cohesion.

It is time for all Guyanese to protest these anti-national and anti-developmental moves by this regime.

Guyanese, if you are fed-up then step-up, make your voices heard.

This is my view.

What is yours?

Yours faithfully,
Donald Ramotar

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