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Linden pact signed, Guyana PM calls for harmony
Published on August 23, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- The government of Guyana and a delegation from Region Ten on Tuesday evening at the Office of the President signed an agreement that had been initialled on Friday last, and which was deferred on Monday, following both parties attaining mutual understanding on four areas of concern.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said that it is with a sense of relief but also hope that the government entered into this agreement. Hinds said that government is pleased that the agreement was reached and the major issues would be reviewed by others who would not have been as deeply involved as they were.

“It is important that we recognise that our action, activity and work provide us with the material things and the goods and services that we can enjoy in society… not only our individual work is important but the way we can live together in harmony… the way that our views can overlap… these determine how we can live in harmony,” the prime minister said.

He added that government has always been motivated by the recognition of the need and its desire to work for equal rights and justice for all Guyanese.

“We recognise too, that we are constrained by the goods and services that we produce and are available to us here in our country… and the way to get this has been to focus on improving the education and skill of our people, their abilities and also to work to improving harmony in our country.”

He noted that the period of unrest followed from very different views of the same situation and that government is happy an accord was reached.

Region Ten chairman Sharma Solomon said Tuesday’s signing of the agreement between the government and the region is seen by Linden as the first step by government in recognising their constitutional right to self determination, economic social and political and involvement in decision making that impact their lives.

He added that it is also an achievement for Guyana as it signals what a people can achieve through mutual respect when those elected to govern recognise that, with such a responsibility comes the duty to respect the rights of those who have entrusted them the privilege to govern when the people hold their government accountable for the delivery of good governance.

Both parties agreed to; the establishment of a technical team to investigate the electricity situation in Linden with specific terms of reference for the committee; the establishment of an economic committee with specific terms of reference for the committee; the establishment of a Region 10 Regional Land Selection Committee and Region 10 to apply for a broadcasting licence and the government will facilitate the granting of that licence in keeping with the law along with the dish and transmitter that were given to the Linden community to be handed over to the Regional Democratic Council.

The agreement was reached after several rounds of discussions with the Region Ten delegation, A Partnership or National Unity and the Alliance for Change.

Lindeners began protesting last month against electricity tariff increase that came into effect from July and the protest turned ugly when, during a clash between police and protestors, three persons were shot dead.

Several vehicles were burnt and buildings razed to the ground including the Linmine Secretariat, Linden Care Centre and more recently the One Mile Primary school that housed 830 students.

Roads were blocked with debris, timber and other items while some were dug across forcing vehicles to stop. Motorists were forced to pay exorbitant sums to be allowed to pass while some reported that they were also robbed.

Government stated that ‘extremist elements’ had hijacked the protest to promote their agenda.

President Donald Ramotar visited the town late last week and met with residents and stakeholders, following the joint services taking control of Linden.

The protest took its toll on the mining sector as protestors refused to allow vehicles with food and fuel to pass through, severely affecting residents in hinterland communities. While some diverted through the Bartica-Potaro road this proved to be a longer, more expensive venture.
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