By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Executive Director of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, Tony Shields has called for a reassessment of the relations between Guyana and Suriname.
Shields’ comment came after a Surinamese newspaper, which is close to the Government – Times of Suriname – gave credit to the main opposition (Peoples National Congress PNC) for causing a disruption and ultimate pull out of Muri Brazil Ventures Inc – the company which was authorized to conduct a Geological and Geophysical survey in South East of Guyana (New River).
According to Shields, the relations between the two countries were established under non-existing Governments and a review of agreements made then, specifically as it relates to the development of lands and mining should be conducted.
He questioned why Suriname would object to development in Guyana while it moves ahead with its own.
“Suriname is going ahead with their development; they are building a road all the way to Brazil… we have new Governments on both sides,” Shields said during a meeting between miners and senior ranking government officials at the Regency Suites hotel on Monday, January 6.
In a bold headline, the newspaper stated that “Guyana’s PNC prevents construction of airstrip in disputed territory.”
According to the Times of Suriname edition of January 04, 2014, “the Guyanese Government changed its ‘mind’ after it faced political pressure from the opposition party, the People’s National Congress (PNC). The PNC made it clear to the Government that any actions within the disputed territory which is known as Tigri would cast a cloud upon relations with neighboring Suriname.”
The newspaper also highlighted that “the PNC reminded the Guyanese government that the Surinamese government is not happy with the latest developments.”
The PNC and the National Democratic Party (NDP) of Suriname have a long standing and close relationship. This was validated by a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in 2004 between the PNC and the NDP. The NDP is the ruling Party in Suriname.
Shields called on the opposition to make their position in relation to development of the area pellucid; whether they are objecting to development of the area entirely or just this specific Geological and Geophysical survey.
The GGDMA consultant is of the firm view that the area should be developed. He also said that notwithstanding the opposition’s objection, persons have been working in the area, supposedly without permission.
He also pointed to the fact that alongside the area, there are large plots of land which are entitled to Amerindians.
Muri Brazil Ventures Inc on Saturday, January 4 in a statement said that a decision was made to no longer pursue its geological and geophysical survey under the PGGS granted by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
“Although the process was legal and transparent, this decision is due to the misinformation, prejudice and hostility to this proposed survey by persons and agencies which are fostering an adverse investment climate in Guyana,” the statement explained.