Guyana Politics: Toshaos’ Conference becomes ‘battleground’ for political parties

Toshaos and other village leaders at the NTC

This fresh clash follows after the National Toshao’s Council (NTC) launched their 13th annual conference, where village Toshaos, senior councillors and community development chairpersons gather to consolidate and expand national development, which would inevitably cater to the needs of the indigenous people.

Considering that the country has now found itself in the atmosphere of elections, it is now up to the Government of Guyana and the Political Opposition to win the votes of the first people of the land.     

The parties are now tasked with revealing what strides have been completed in the favours of the Amerindian people, and future projects and policies with the people in mind.

At the conference yesterday, which was hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), President David Granger stated that the country is moving towards a more inclusive and equal society and this means that hinterland human development is imperative, especially in the fields of education, health livelihood and social protection.

“Hinterland human development over the past four years has improved efficiently. Indigenous People are enjoying better access to public education, public health, public information, public infrastructure, public security, public telecommunications and social security.
Your government has invested $170 billion in public education over the past four years and a further $52 billion committed for 2019.

interland education gained a good share of these investments and is being improved continuously through the establishment of learning resource centres in several regions,” the President stated.

The Decade of Development 2020-2029 will be launched next year 2020 and the President said that the ‘Decade’ aims at promoting a more equal society in which everyone would feel a sense of belonging and share in national development.

The Decade of Development aims at eliminating hunger; ensuring food security, safe water and hygiene; enabling everyone to access universal primary and secondary education and expanding technical and vocational training opportunities for indigenous peoples.

The President related, “I have identified five targets which are achievable and which would improve substantively the quality of life of indigenous peoples by 2029. I believe that these are realistic goals which can be achieved within the next ‘Decade.’ I urge this National Toshaos’ Council Conference 2019 to endorse these five fields of action for inclusion in the objectives of the Decade of Development 2020-2029.”

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Mr. Sydney Allicock, at the conference, reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring the Indigenous lands and other rights are protected.

During his address, he noted that the administration provided a plot of land to the NTC to construct a Secretariat to conduct its affairs. He also reminded that the President promised a larger plot of land for the establishment of a complex that will include dormitories to accommodate Toshaos, conference rooms and other facilities.

Meanwhile, the PPP/C in a statement assured the Amerindian communities that it will restore, resume and expand the programmes – “which the caretaker Granger-led government dismantled” – and, to improve the quality of life of the Amerindian communities, enhance their access to goods, services and opportunities as other Guyanese, and integrate their communities into mainstream Guyana.
“As part of the first initiative of the PPP/C, we shall convene a national development conference in April 2020 for Amerindian communities to initiate the “Resumption of Development” of these communities,” they stated.

Furthermore, PPP/C revealed plans for Amerindian Communities and Hinterland Development. These plans included immediately resume the Amerindian Land Titling programme, improving agricultural support, Remove VAT on air tickets and freight, VAT on essential items; restore zero-rated VAT for machinery for agriculture, mining and forestry industries will also develop Amerindian and Hinterland communities, just to name a few.

The statement read, “The PPP re-commits to all the Toshaos, community leaders and representatives attending this 2019 NTC Conference to uphold the Guyana constitution, guard democracy and the rights of all Guyanese as equals to enjoy all the resources and opportunities Guyana has to offer.

Only compliance with the Constitution, rule of law, free and fair elections with a PPP/C government can restore the quality of life of our first peoples, open opportunities and equal access to goods, services and opportunities for advancement.”

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On October 8, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Promises promises ! by the political class.
    Can the manifesto or all contenders for
    the coming election be made public for
    scrutiny by the electorate. An informed
    public is a powerful public. Power to the people who will decide on Guyana’s future
    on 2nd March 2020.
    Is this just another “talk shop” for its
    political leaders.
    Electioneering !

    Let’s see some written facts in their
    manifestos before election or further
    comments.
    Voters can then decide on how/who
    to support.

    Kamtan

  • Denise  On October 8, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Jagdeo is promising to do all sorts of things for the Amerindian people now that he’s desperate to win. The Amerindian people must not forget that his government did nothing for them during their 22 years in office. This current government has made strides in this area during their short time in office. The President’s wife is a very active member in the Amerindian communities. But at the end of the day it will be the people who decide who they can put their trust in to do what they say.

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