Gov’t one step closer to bridging gap between Coastland and Hinterland – Minister Bulkan
DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, February 3, 2018
The commissioning of the Rupununi Magisterial District Court Office and courts, in Karasabai and Aishalton, is a step closer to the fulfillment of a promise made by the Government to bridge the gap between the Coastland and Hinterland in all sectors. This is according to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan.
Speaking on Friday at the court’s commissioning ceremony, Minister Bulkan said grave disparities existed in the justice sector between the Coast and Hinterland, and the establishment of the district office will bring to an end the long hours of commute which residents in the region had to endure.
He told those gathered that “information provided tells me that currently, it takes more than six hours to travel from Achiwib to Lethem and approximately six hours from Lethem to Kurupukari. From either of these points, therefore, it requires six hours to get to the nearest place of justice and that is not a High Court.”
The Minister noted a comparison with what obtains on the Coastland which reveals, within that time one can travel from Crabwood Creek to Charity and along the commute, there are 17 Magistrates’ Courts and 3 High Courts, excluding the courts in Georgetown.
The establishment of the courts in that region are part of efforts by the Administration aimed at building, developing and maintaining a decentralised system of governance.
The adoption of a consultative approach to public administration, the Minister pointed out, is a vision of President David Granger and represents the Administration’s commitment to a democratic system in which decision-making power is diffused.
He added that the commissioning of the district office and establishment of the courts is a step closer to the promise made by President Granger at the declaration of the Lethem Township in October 2017, where he committed to “greater opportunities…innovative solutions to problems and delivering a better life for all citizens through empowerment and capacity building in all regions”.
Toshao of Aishalton Douglas Casimero confirmed that consultations were held in the sub-districts, related to making justice accessible to all in a time-efficient manner.
“Over the years, there would have been injustice done to us within the justice system… I want to thank you all [government and judiciary] for putting things in [the] plan so that we can realise what is happening now, so that justice indeed can be delivered,” Toshao Casimero said.
He expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents and village leadership of Aishalton.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman, Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) Brian Allicock also expressed gratitude to the Government on behalf of the regional administration and residents for the opening of courts at Karasabai and Aishalton.
“With this intervention by the government we are happy…when you have these issues coming up the Magistrate will be there in the sub-district to attend to those matters,” he noted.
The Chairman committed to supporting the Magistracy in the region to ensure the timely and effective dispensation of justice.
He also called on the Government to establish a correctional facility in the region that will offer skills training for young men who fell on the wrong side of the law, so that when they are released they are better equipped to support themselves.
By: Stacy Carmichael