GUYANA: Amerindian Association unfazed by Jagdeo’s attacks

…says will continue to monitor policies, decisions that affect the lives of indigenous peoples

Feb 22, 2023 – Kaieteur News – Against the background of recent attacks on the organisation, by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) said it is unfazed by the action of the government official, reminding that it has a responsibility to monitor the policies and decisions that particularly affect the lives of indigenous peoples in Guyana and will continue to do so.

Last week during a meeting with Amerindian leaders, Jagdeo lashed out at the organisation for its criticisms of government’s handling of the carbon credit sale initiative it has embarked on.  The APA is not the only organisation that has criticised the initiative. In responding to Jagdeo the APA said the VPs vilification of the organisation is a continuation of the attacks by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall. “However, the APA remains resolute in its objective of ensuring that indigenous peoples’ rights are protected and respected by all. The APA also wonders why the organisation is being used as a scapegoat and distraction, and why the real issues are not being addressed.” 

The APA said Jagdeo, like Dharamlall, repeatedly accused the organisation of being in bed with the APNU “and again, we reiterate that the APA is a politically neutral organisation.” The organisation said too that it notes the intended vulgarity of these descriptions and urged national leaders to treat their offices with due decorum. “The APA wishes to, again inform the public that the organisation has consistently encouraged support for the indigenous peoples of Guyana but remains firm that the principles of free, prior and informed consent [FPIC] must apply when engaging indigenous communities. In this regard, we observed that VP Jagdeo has recognised APA’s consistent calls for FPIC, and we encourage him to heed those calls.”

Additionally, the APA reminded the Vice President that all of its suggestions at the level of the Low Carbon Development Strategy’s Multi-Stakeholder Group were shot down. It noted that its Governance and Rights Coordinator, Laura George represents the APA on the MSG and has made representations for indigenous peoples and leaders to be properly included in the decision-making process. The APA said it made representations for villages that complained of not being consulted before the submissions to the ART Secretariat. “Again, the APA’s representation of indigenous peoples and their issues were shot down by both President Irfaan Ali and VP Jagdeo. It is therefore disingenuous for the Vice President to accuse the APA of not wanting to participate when its participation is limited by the government.”

With respect to the 15% Amerindians will receive from the carbon credit sales, the APA noted that its President, Toshao Lemmel Thomas, on Wednesday, took the Vice President to task and asked him to provide information on how the 15% was decided, by whom and whether the 241 communities were involved. Additionally, Toshao Thomas said that the indigenous peoples of Guyana are the protectors of the forest, and therefore deserve a larger share of the profits from the sale of carbon credits. “We note that, in his usual style, VP Jagdeo dodged the questions asked by Toshao Thomas and continued his attack on the APA inferring that its only objective is to criticise the PPPC government. The APA, once again, calls on the government to desist on its campaign of misinformation on the organisation,” the release concluded.

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  • theonly  On 02/28/2023 at 2:31 pm

    This Jagdeo banna behaveing like my uncle, he S***T think he own the country, he just wait till we win the next election, then he will see what is going to happen to he.

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