Minister Norton assures land titling COI will be in people’s favour

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, May 8, 2017

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton told Tapakuma, Region Two residents, during a Ministerial outreach on Sunday, that the land Commission of Inquiry (COI) is a direct request from the indigenous communities.

Tapakuma Community

These communities were visited by President David Granger whilst he was Opposition Leader, and requests were made for the lands occupied by indigenous people to be regularised.  Norton noted that the indigenous people were saying that they had problems with their land and he was there when President Granger said, “When we get into power we will once and for all have a commission of inquiry where we will deal with land problems.”

Norton added that the residents had applauded President Granger then, because that was a real problem.  He added, now that they are putting this commission which is legal in place, “which involves Amerindians, it involves surveyors, it involves engineers, it involves lawyers we having a big hulabuloo about everything.”

Minister Norton said that they are asking for the Amerindian Act to solve land problems but, “It didn’t solve it in 23 years under the past government, and I don’t know how it will solve it now, and if it was solving (the problem) the people would not have cried out.”

Dr. Norton said that government will not fall back on the promise since the issue affects all. “The People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C)

Minister George Norton (centre) with members of the Regional Democratic Council of Region Two addressing residents of Tapakuma

wants us to pull back the motion. It’s not going to happen because we want to solve problems, and this is the big issue that we have,” Norton added.

Dr. Norton assured the residents that there is nothing to be afraid of since the COI will be in the people’s favour. “President Granger had to say that this land of Guyana which is given to us by the great Sprits or by God is bountiful and we have enough for all of us. So when we have one sector claiming that we cannot deal with the land issue as a whole, but it has to be dealing with only with Amerindians alone, I don’t think that is the way to go… there is no need to be afraid that it’s not going to be in your favour,” Dr. Norton explained.

The COI was established on in March 2017 by President Granger under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 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 any matters relating to land titling in Guyana.


By: Delon Sancho