By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) says the recent actions by the combined parliamentary Opposition where Members of Parliament (MPs) voted against funding for Amerindian development could be seen as a move to punish the indigenous tribes for their support for the ruling PPP/C administration.
According to the Party’s General Secretary (GS) Clement Rohee, notwithstanding the recent development, the Party will continue to champion the cause of Amerindians as he recalled initiatives by the administration over the years to foster social and economic development among Amerindians and in hinterland communities.
Rohee told a news conference on Tuesday, April 22 that the PPP salutes Amerindians for the militant stance it took following the slashing of the $1.1B allocated towards Amerindian development in the 2014 budget.
Following the disapproval of the funding by the Opposition, which contended that the monies were being used for electioneering purposes and political/party work, hundreds of Amerindians protested outside the Parliament Building for three consecutive days.
Rohee said that the refusal by the combined parliamentary opposition to approve monies allocated for Amerindian development is not only outrageous but highly unconscionable and exposes the true nature of the APNU and the AFC both of which conspired to “deny the Amerindian people their inalienable right to a decent and dignified life.”
“The PPP has consistently held the view that Amerindians under the previous PNC regime were reduced to second class citizens and were denied basic fundamental rights which included the right to quality education, quality health care, employment opportunities and recreational facilities. It is quite evident from the actions taken by the combined opposition that they are bent on repeating their past performance, namely to starve Amerindians of developmental funds and to stultify their material and cultural advance,” he added.
The PPP called on the Opposition parties to desist from “playing politics with the lives and wellbeing of Amerindians and hinterland communities” and urged the Opposition parties to immediately restore the cuts and stop putting “narrow partisan interests ahead of the lives and wellbeing of our indigenous people.”