[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.