Wednesday, 22 May 2013
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|Open letter to the people of Linden|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 21:50|
In an open letter to the people of Linden, President Donald Ramotar has pledged never to abandon the mining community, and to work with them to secure their well-being.
Following is the full text of the letter:
I AM aware of the great hardships and difficulties that you people are facing as a result of the blockading of roads and bridges within your community.
Through no fault of yours, you are being subjected to unnecessary and needless suffering. I also share in your pain and grief and the pain caused by the tragic incidents of July 18, when three of your citizens were killed and many others wounded. On that infamous day, property was also destroyed in arson attacks, leaving many persons without jobs.
I have committed to a comprehensive Commission of Inquiry into these incidents. Work is being finalised so as to have consensus on the terms of reference of the commission and its inquiry. I believe that justice will be achieved.
As President, I have undertaken to have an inclusionary approach to deal with all your concerns, including the electricity issue which precipitated the events of July 18, last. I have put on hold the new electricity tariffs and will appoint a committee to review all dimensions of this issue and to recommend options for a resolution of the problem.
This electricity problem preceded the election of the PPP/C to the office in 1992. By then the bauxite industry was in dire straits. In order to remove the financial burdens on the then bauxite company, the government was forced to assume responsibility for electricity and for the two hospitals. At the time also, the price of fuel was below US$20 per barrel. These prices have since increased astronomically, at times peaking as high as US$140 per barrel. It is because of the rise in fuel prices that the subsidy provided for electricity in Linden became unsustainable. As a result, changes were necessary.
The government never intended to remove the subsidy applied to electricity, and we are not removing the subsidy as was so dishonestly told to you. This was never our intention.
We proposed a phased programme of reductions of the subsidy. This phased reduction would have resulted in gradual increases in tariffs in a way that would have avoided hardships. We also suggested other models to minimize the impact of the increases on the vulnerable, such as bauxite pensioners. At the same time, we aimed to encourage conservation. All of these things were not told to you because desperate ‘extremists’ wanted to use this issue to promote their personal agenda for power.
The organisers of the blockades are hurting Linden and causing deep suffering to interior communities in Regions 7, 8 and 9. The hurt is not just because of what of is happening now, but also its likely effects on the future of Linden. Jobs of Lindeners are being placed in jeopardy. The call centre in Linden could face closure soon. Bosai is also being hurt. This can but only discourage that company from making the future investments that it had planned, investments that would have redounded to the benefit of the people of Linden.
The actions of the extremists are therefore jeopardizing the future of your community. Linden, as a destination for future investments, is being harmed by what is taking place at present. These actions must be halted before they inflict further harm to the future development of Linden.
I therefore urge a restoration to normalcy in the town and an end to unlawful actions.
Linden has never been neglected by the PPP/C Administrations. You are all, I am sure, well aware of the steps that we have taken over the years to support the community of Linden. We will continue to promote development in Linden.
You have my solemn pledge that my government will never abandon you, but will work with you to secure your well-being.
President, Republic of Guyana
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 21:59|
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