Setting the record straight on several important issues

first_imgDear Editor,Comments made by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan in East Canje earlier this month (circulated on YouTube), merit a response, for the simple reason that Ramjattan continues to expose the fact that he cannot be trusted, as he persists in peddling more untruths about various issues.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that from 2005 to 2014, the European Union (EU) gave Guyana “every year” $20 million euros as support mechanisation and other undertakings in the sugar sector. Editor, the fact of this, Guyana received some G$34.8 billion from the EU. This fact was the subject of some debate in July 2017 when the coalition Government, in error (or by design to mislead), claimed that the EU gave Guyana $348 billion. The correct figure of $34.8 billion was given by the EU last year.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that US$200 million was spent on the Skeldon Factory. Editor, it was President David Granger’s address to the National Assembly, on January 10, 2018, which made clear that the cost of the Skeldon Factory was US$121 million. Editor, even the US$121 million (about GYD$24.2 billion) spent on the Skeldon Factory is less than the GYD$34.8 billion collected from the EU in budget support.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that other factories were ignored. Editor, the investments in the other sugar estates are clearly documented, as a matter of public record.It is interesting that even as he rambles about what was NOT done to support the sugar sector under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, he acknowledges, albeit tangentially, that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition promised Guyanese that a new government would not close sugar. Again, Ramjattan misleads about this promise, as he insists that the sector is not being closed, but is being “right sized” – the coalition Government’s new favourite phrase. Lastly,Editor, one alarming comment made in East Canje was Ramjattan’s confident declaration that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) would rule in favour of the Basil Williams-led team, in the case of the presidential term-limit challenge. I mention this because it comes on the heels of a boast by Ramjattan to at least three PPP/C parliamentarians, at a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional Reform – where Ramjattan insisted that he has ‘inside’ information that the CCJ will rule in a particular way. Editor, such disparaging comments about the CCJ can only be treated as more misleading comments.Ramjattan has distinguished himself as the PNC-led Government’s puppet, being used to address communities that are stronghold support areas of the PPP/C. Ramjattan uses sophistry in his attempt to make a case for the coalition Government. However, his ramblings are seen as false and the Guyanese people will not fall prey to lies.Zulfikar Mustapha,PPP ExecutiveSecretaryPPP/CParliamentarianlast_img

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