[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana National Council on Public Policy (GNCPP) is slated to bring together all of Guyana’s Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organizations (NGO’s/CSOs) today, Wednesday December 17 during a two day summit at the Liliendaal International Conference Centre, Greater Georgetown.
However, the Office of the President says it is unaware of the existence and of the “locus standi of the organisation in Guyana” and is urging the public to disassociate itself from the event and not to participate.
Leader of the GNCPP, Dr Phillip Thomas told iNews during an interview that the aim of the summit is to have the SCO’s and NGO’s represent significant national issues with a collective voice and empowered constitutional status.
Dr. Thomas explained that plans have been underway for over four years for the hosting of this summit.
“The CSO’s and NGO’s in this country have never really had an opportunity to be very liberated and independent in the way they are supposed to operate, free and undetached from political influence or interference. If you recognize in this present dispensation that the political system will say that they are engaging civil society and it’s a cherry picked of specific groups, whether it’s the private sector commission, whether it’s church leader.”
However, a press statement from the President’s Office noted that “Mr. Phillip Mozart Thomas, the organiser behind the activity has been found to be of a shady character.”
According to the statement, many of the persons and organisations whose names have appeared either as speakers and to whom invitations were sent are unaware of the reason why their names were publicised giving the impression that they are supportive of the December, 17-19, 2014 event when this is not the case.
“Further, it has been brought to the attention of the Office of the President that qualifications Mr. Thomas purports to possess are highly suspicious. Research has revealed that the institutions where Mr. Thomas purported to have received his qualifications are unknown institutions, and lack well established bona fides,” the statement noted.
The statement further revealed that Thomas is known to have leanings in favour of the People’s National Congress (PNC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Thomas told iNews that based on studies that were done by the GNCCP, most Guyanese do not feel represented and as a result this organization will represent the interest and views of every Guyanese.
He said that the GNCPP found that there are over 4000 civil society NGO’s registered, but most of those groups are nonexistent.
“The Political system enabled a mechanism where people can register themselves and get a certain number and go to GRA and get concessions but a few mornings after getting their concessions you find that when you looking for these groups they are non-existent but we have been able to for the first time in the history of Guyana cleaned all of those lists and we have properly registered and identified the true civil society movements the groups all 400 of these organizations, representing every single makeup of this country in and across the board.”
He explained that at the opening ceremony today, an election process will be held for the appointment of the 62 member council.