Harmon takes up challenge to public debate on Bai Shan Lin

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

APNU Executive Member and Parliamentarian, Joseph Harmon. [iNews' Photo]
APNU Executive Member and Parliamentarian, Joseph Harmon. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Parliamentarian Joseph Harmon, who has expressed worry over alleged exploitation and indiscriminate mining by Chinese logging company – Bai Shan Lin – has accepted the challenged by James Singh, Commissioner of Forest, to a public debate.

Harmon in a release on Sunday (August 17), acknowledged receipt of Singh’s invitation.

He said “I welcome your offer to provide any information which is needed before the event and I am very pleased to know that your subject minister would permit you, a Public Servant to publicly debate an Opposition Member of Parliament,” adding that “It is my hope that this major shift in government approach to the release of information will be followed in other areas of national life.”

He has requested prior to the debate

1)   Copies of all agreements between (BSL) and (GFC), BSL and Government of Guyana.

2)   Copies of all agreements between (BSL) and other entities involved in the Forestry sector for the cutting and export of logs.

3)   Report on GFC supervision of the aforesaid agreements and GFC opinion on “Landlord” in the Forestry Sector.

4)   Copies of investment agreements with (BSL) requiring the company to set up wood processing facilities in Guyana.

5)   Copies of any (GFC) report on (BSL) compliance with the agreement for wood processing facility in Guyana.

6)   Copies of any documents related to (BSL) export of logs from Guyana to China over the last five (5) years, and a comparison of the said logs reportedly imported into China and if there is a difference in the figures whether  GFC can offer an explanation.

7)   Copies of documents related to Duty Free Concessions given to (BSL) including any concessions on Duty Free fuel over the last five (5) years.

8)   Disclosure of any agreements between (BSL) and any official of GFC including any tenancy agreements which provides a personal benefit to any official of GFC.

9)   Any document relative to the work permits issued to Foreign Nationals on behalf of (BSL) for employment in the Forestry Sector.

10)  Any documents relative to the number of Guyanese employed by BSL in the Forestry Sector.

11)  The aforesaid is a preliminary list of information I request, and after further consultation with Guyanese at home and abroad others may be added.

 Among his other demands are:

  • I propose a date between the 15th and 30th September 2014.  In the meantime you can proceed to make arrangements for the debate which I request be done in a community where the impact of the operation of BSL is felt most.
  • I would also request that the debate be ‘in the public” and that GFC considers a public space in Linden with suitable seating for about 3,000 persons.
  • All media houses should have equal access to the debate and the total expenses associated with the event be met by GFC from its resources. 


  1. The fact that this dumb politician is requesting all these documents proves that his statements to the press were uninformed, empty and reeks of ignorance. Harmon woke up, read something, it is anti-government, good, shoot and then asks questions later. This is a typical PNC strategy because, its a group of individuals who have simply lost their way. They believe all agreements signed, by the PPP/C Government, with investors are similar to the one the PNC signed with GT& T years ago. If Harmon is looking for a template for real Contracts let him do his research. It is freely available.

    All the documents requested by this “learned gentleman” are publicly available if he knows where to/how to find them.

    Before Harmon ever show up for this debate he should try to familiarize himself with at least 5 lesser know timber species (there are at least 100) in Guyana with potential for commercial exploitation. The GFC Commissioner should avoid wasting time with jokers. This retired Colonel IS A JOKER.

  2. A debate would be nice.
    We need to know what will be debated.
    The COI is in progress and we know how little the PNC/APNU are offering and how much they are opposing.
    We all know how much lies and distortion a tiny fraction of disgruntled and opportunistic Guyanese are capable of spewing.

  3. from the documents requested it is obvious that harmon knew little or nothing before making these ridiculous allegations in the media .this is a classical case of putting the cart before the horse. I hope when it’s time for the debate he wouldn’t say i didn’t know this and I didn’t know that like the opposition member did at the ncn debate. by the way why does harmon want the debate to be held in front of 3000 of his unruly supporters at linden? I suspect this is a cop-out from the embarrassing situation he would find himself in.

  4. there must be no debate on tv once harmom sn kn bulkans cris ram and all the different mouths that beating this ting up bring their proof their fatcs their truth then let guyanese laff at yall clowns…..yall got all the info ent ya

  5. If the PNCR believes corruption and illegality are associated wit Bai Shan Lin’s forestry activities, then a parliamentary hearing (under oath) is what is needed; not a publicity-seeking debate in which lies can be told to protect and cover-up, but no legal action can be taken against the liars. We did have fake debates on NCN over corruption, but corruption is still rampant in government. Harmon has to step away from this so-called public debate on an issue that deserves parliamentary hearings, sanctions and possible international help.

  6. harmonongon the pnc duce get mouth since US ambassador talk ……harmongonon of all people want debate ?? ha ha


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