Minister Ramjattan calls out opposition’s scaremongering

DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 7, 2018

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan says the opposition PPP is appealing to their political base with racially charged stories packaged to look like the truth.

“It was PPP’s propaganda and disinformation both crudely and subtly presented. And of course, with a straight face directed to their base who they know will be watching on tv, so that this government can look very ugly and very discriminatory. That is what they have done,” Ramjattan told the National Assembly on Thursday.

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan during his presentation to the National Assembly.

He zeroed in on claims by the opposition which suggest that the government’s closure of sugar estates was a race-based decision.

“… they give the impression, to deal with this emotion of bias and discrimination, to give the impression that we here never loved sugar workers and that we fooled them. That’s food for the base but let me just remind members here that indeed when we started in the administration every month for 36 months GuySuCo wanted $1Billion to bail out sugar. $1Billion and we gave it to them!”

He said the opposition had failed to restructure the sugar industry despite knowing that it was unsustainable to keep subsidising its operation. This, he said, was because of political patrimony: “You over there could not make that decision and you knew that it was coming down since 2010 with the economic partnership agreement with the European Union that sugar will not be profitable. From 2010 all through to 2015 it was almost US$40Million lost every year. You wanted to employ your people because you are very strong in the sugar estate areas. It was jobs for the boys….  so please don’t play to your base that we are the ones who are discriminating.”

The Minister said despite the challenges the coalition government has brought significant improvements to almost every aspect in the lives of citizens

“I want to say immediately that Guyana has its challenges but there can be no doubt that she is doing better overall when compared to years ago. Every day, doing better everywhere!  I must highlight just a few, public servants’ wages have gone up; we have had two local government elections when you did not hold one in 22 years. We have gotten a public procurement commission,” he added.

The debate which concludes this evening will give way for the consideration of the estimates beginning Monday.

Kidackie Amsterdam.

Image: Jameel Mohamed.

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