Prime Minister calls out opposition on race baiting

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, January 27, 2018

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo earlier Friday called out the opposition’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) for its stance taken on the matter of re-organising the sugar industry. The Prime Minister said the opposition’s claims of racial bias in the closure of sugar estates is mischievous and must be stopped.

“They say Skeldon is being closed because this government don’t like Indo-Guyanese people; it is racially driven they said. How can you try to divide people …all of us are Guyanese and we all are looking to find a solution for this mess?” the Prime Minister stressed.

In addition, Prime Minister Nagamootoo said that the estates which are being retained, predominantly employ Guyanese of East Indian descent, and questioned the logic of the opposition’s arguments.

Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo addressing Sugar Workers at Skeldon.

“I don’t believe [President] Granger and Nagamootoo because of racial reasons, we are protecting and saving three factories and estates with five sugar producing areas…. workers’ jobs are being protected. At Albion…Blairmont, the majority are Indo Guyanese, Wales, Uitvlugt are Indo Guyanese in the majority. How is it we are being accused of going against Indians by closing down factories and trying to reform the sugar industry?” Nagamootoo asked.

Further, the Prime Minister said that the government has made a determined effort to curtail the number of persons affected by the re-organisation. He maintained that the re-organisation was necessitated by the previous government’s mismanagement of the industry

“11,000 workers’ jobs are being protected by the actions that we have taken to provide more funds. In addition to the $32B subsidies given to the sugar corporation in less than three years of this government, GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Corporation) used up every single cent that it has sold sugar for. Between 1992 and 2015, it used $260B and we know that there was a lot of incompetence and mismanagement which GAWU (General Agricultural Workers Union) pointed out,” the Prime Minister explained.

He also reminded that in 2010, when the head of GAWU, Komal Chand highlighted that the mismanagement of the sugar entity was as a result of unsuitable persons being placed in positions of authority, former president Bharrat Jagdeo threatened to de-recognise GAWU.

The Prime Minister led a team comprising Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma to Skeldon and Rosehall to meet with redundant workers and stakeholders of the sugar industry on Friday.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

 

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