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Opposition to table motion today, expects debate

first_imgPirate massacreSome three weeks after Guyanese fishermen came under attack on the high seas in Surinamese waters, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will be seeking at today’s sitting of the National Assembly to adjourn its scheduled agenda to deal with what it says is a matter of “definite urgent public importance.”In a statement to the press on Thursday, the Party said it submitted the motion in the name of parliamentarians, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira and Harry Gill.Additionally, the Opposition has also submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly, a Private Member’s Motion calling for the re-establishment of the Labour Ministry, with the expectation that this motion too is debated at today’s sitting.With regards to the ‘Motion of Adjournment on a Matter of Definite Urgent Public Importance’, the parliamentary Opposition outlined that four boats with 20 fishermen, most of whom were Guyanese, were attacked in a most horrific and violent manner on Friday, April 27, 2018 by pirates off the coast of the Republic of Suriname leaving 12 missing, 5 survivors and three bodies found thus far; and less than a week later another boat with Guyanese fishermen was also attacked byOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and MP Anil Nandlall interacting with families of the victims and concerned fishermen in Surinamepirates in the Republic of Suriname leading to one dead and four missing.It further detailed that the families of the fishermen in Guyana met Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who subsequently travelled to Suriname to meet with families and survivors of these piracy attacks, and, the Guyanese Community, in Suriname.The motion added that those families and the survivors have explained in great detail the horrors they have endured at the hands of criminals and expressed great fears that these atrocities will be repeated unless the perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.The Opposition said in the motion that these attacks were not merely robberies, murders and acts of piracy but the very cruel and inhumane manner by which they were executed; these should be treated as acts of terrorism requiring the application of the full force of the law to bring the perpetrators to justice by both Governments.It added too that the families and communities of the victims, and, fishermen in general, have been deeply traumatised and severely aggrieved by the lack of empathy, information, and action by Government officials in the last two weeks.On this note, the PPP/C Opposition is calling the Guyana Government to informs the National Assembly of the actions which have been taken in respect of this horrendous human tragedy, thus far.They also want to know what actions the State intends to take, in relation to, “…the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of these horrific acts and the intellectual authors, thereof; the measures put in place or to be put in place designed to create a safe environment for fishermen to continue to ply their trade at sea; and what form of financial assistance, if any, is being or will be offered to the families of the victims, as well as, the owners of the fishing vessels, engines, seine and equipment which have been damaged, destroyed or lost.The Opposition also wants to know, “…what form of enhanced collaboration, if any, is being pursued with the Government of the Republic of Suriname to patrol and monitor the waters, inclusive by air, and including, the installation of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technological apparatus on licensed fishing vessels… (and) what mechanisms, if any, have been put in place to ensure that when reports are made to the law enforcement authorities in Suriname and Guyana, they are  treated seriously, confidentially and with dispatch.”The coalition Government is also being called upon to State in the National Assembly, what enhanced role is being played by the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname, to represent, facilitate and render assistance to these traumatised families and victims, in particular assisting with access to the Surinamese authorities with regards to law enforcement, health care, immigration and release of the bodies for burial, and further issues which affect the interest and welfare of all Guyanese either residing or working in the Republic of Suriname.The motion further detailed that “…be it further resolved that if the Government of Guyana has not yet acted upon the issues articulated above that this National Assembly urges them to do so with every convenient speed… (and) be it further resolved that this National Assembly urges the Government of Guyana to utilise the provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Piracy Act to bring the perpetrators to justice.”At a press conference on Wednesday, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan updated the local media on his visit to the neighbouring nation during which he addressed most of the issues the Opposition are enquiring about.last_img read more