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|Dismantling of Moruca stall unfortunate|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 21:35|
PLEASE allow me to echo my sentiments and sympathy to Mr. Deo and his Amerindian wife at their frustration related in an article, ‘Moruca family fuming after village council dismantles grocery stall.’
Land distribution and allocation had not been a priority for decades preceding the change of government in the Amerindian communities in October 1992.
When the present government took over the reins the primary characteristic of land allocation in Amerindian communities included overcrowded insecure shelters, pent-up demand for land for housing and increasing levels of homelessness.
An evaluation of the nature and forms of housing in Amerindian communities for decades up until 1992, and present, would lead to the conclusion that there had been no recognisable land policy and programmes in place, as exemplified by the Toshao at Moruca.
According to Serene Persaud, on Monday, a group of approximately eight persons visited her location where she was building a shed and without prior warning started to dismantle her property, because she married an East Indian man. This government has always placed high importance on land divestment, distribution and allocation to the population regardless of race, colour and creed.
Public land distribution is seen as vital to the social and economic development of our country. Policies were formulated and programmes implemented to ensure equity and transparency without favour in the land distribution process with the objective of enabling every Guyanese to access land for the benefit of themselves and their families. A White Paper was drafted to address the issue of National Land Distribution Policy as it relates to lands for agricultural, commercial, industrial, eco-tourism, shelter and settlements.
These public lands fall under the jurisdiction of the State Lands Act, and under the control of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
In recent years, the government has implemented significant institutional and policy reforms to improve the beneficial utilisation of public lands and to provide equal opportunities to the population in accessing land. According to Mr. Deo Persaud and his wife, both of whom have been living in Moruca for more than 10 years, they have constantly asked the Toshao for residency status but to no avail. Villagers from Moruca said this is a clear case of discrimination by the village Council.
Mr. Editor, I would like to allude to our country’s motto of ‘One People, One Nation and One Destiny’.
The Amerindian Land Tenure Act must do more than merely reproduce the classical rights and freedoms of the individual. The Act must balance those rights by speaking now of the social and economic rights of the individual who has lived there for years, the duty to work, to land and to housing.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 21:36|
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