PPP/C Gov’t will ensure sugar industry’s survival – President says

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President Donald Ramotar addressing the gathering at the 102nd anniversary of the Rosehall Martyrs at Canje
President Donald Ramotar addressing the gathering at the 102nd anniversary of the Rosehall Martyrs at Canje

[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar has reiterated that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Ggovernment will work indefatigably to ensure that sugar not only endures, but the industry continues to make the great contribution that it has been making throughout its history to develop Guyana.

He said that the sugar industry’s best days are ahead, for not only the people of Guyana, but in particular for the workers.

Addressing attendees at the 102nd anniversary commemoration ceremony of the Rosehall Martyrs, at the monument site in Canje on Wednesday, March 25, the Head of State highlighted the challenges faced in the sugar industry since the European Union (EU) price cut.

The president told the attendees at the ceremony held to remember the 15 sugar workers who lost their lives and 56 others injured when colonial police opened fire that the PPP/C government will continue its support for the industry as it plans to spend $20 billion over the next five years to ensure its survival.

He blasted the opposition for not supporting the industry, noting its call for its closure. Only this week, former PNC parliamentarian Stanley Ming said sugar was dead and that government was pumping money into an industry which is being eliminated in other countries.

The Rosehall Martyrs monument, Canje, Berbice.
The Rosehall Martyrs monument, Canje, Berbice.

The president said labour competition with other industries will see more mechanisation in the industry, but noted that workers will not be fired, but retrained.

He said alternative sources of fuel such as ethanol as produced by the Albion estate in Region Six will see new revenue streams for the industry, and electricity will be produced using bagasse to insulate the industry from the vagaries of world prices.

The Head of State said that India has promised assistance in producing specialty sugars and extensive discussions were had with Indian officials in this regard. In January, the president during a state visit to India toured the Valsad sugar factory in the State of Gujarat and was briefed on the plant’s operations.

Following the ceremony, wreaths were laid by relatives of the deceased, President Ramotar, Minister Anthony, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and regional officials.

On March 15, 2014, a 9ft tall memorial, which rests on a reinforced concrete base, inset with a 2x2ft porcelain plaque, inscribed with the names of those killed and rests on the mass grave containing their bodies, was unveiled by the Head of State.

The massacre resulted after workers decided to protest the retraction of a four- day holiday given to them for good production. The workers took strike action on the days scheduled as break, in protest. It was decided that in order for charges of failing to report for work to be dropped, the workers would pay legal costs.

They refused and the matter was taken to court, after being found guilty of “instigating resistance to work”, the workers protested and management threatened to transfer protesting families to other plantations. More protests occurred and warrants were issued for the protests’ leaders. Workers resisted this move and colonial police ranks opened fire, killing 15 and injuring 56 others, on that fateful day. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

8 COMMENTS

  1. History has thought us that the people from the rice and sugar industry have help put the PPP in government, with astounding support , this government will not forsake them. The opposition has taken their position in this matrer. And closing this industry will take bread out of our people’s mouth. The opposition main aim is to destroy our country and its people.

  2. Drewski:

    If PNC died how come Mr Granger is alive and well?
    If PNC died how come Mr Harmon is alive and well?
    If PNC died how come Mr Greenidge is alive and well?
    These are PNC diehard.
    You cannot fool people of these things.
    As soon as APNU+AFC gets into Government, I strongly believe that they will do exactly what Burnham did to the UF.
    This is past History and is about to repeat if we are not careful.

  3. The people of Guyana need to be told of a better tomorrow, not the past, why are we going back. But as you are going back in time,tell us who selling AK47s,who staring in the news everday for Drugs,who string for drunk driving,and who The PPP got guarding them? A criminal S hinds,,,,what a shame. Burnhan dead and the pnc died with him,we are looking for a new guyana. Stop hoping and praying for a day of magic

  4. say it without fear next time..say it like this…” Another few years of Hoyte illegal Government”

  5. my grandpa who is 500 now always hear sugar workers complaining about something or another…get rid of the union people..they are the parasites..give the ruling party 3 years to make it work..if in that time it dont work out ..surrender it to the private sector…private sector in any country will walk once the profits are not fat enough..private sector will never pump the billions into it like what government pumps into it..the aim here is to purchase votes based on the majority ethnic group working the cane fields..same must be said of pnc and the public sector…pnc always crying out for higher wages for the public sector because of the ethnic make up of the public sector despite ppp rules…each political party has their pawns…look it..all you have to do these days is pick up a piece of cardboard and write on it ” ppp is dictator ppp must go ppp is corrupt” and you become a ” social and political activist” some one pump bullets into your head—–blame ppp.

  6. Mr. President, It doesn’t matter how much your PPP Government do for Guyana, there are those blind murmurers who hate the way Guyana has been developing like one of the PNC/AFC youth called Christopher Jones, who is hoping to get an allion car if the PNC win election through rigged election. He seems to know a lot about dentist. I would like these joseph, junior, and jones, tell the Guyanese people how the PNC import a dentist specially to fix the teeth of Burnham, Granger, Harmon, Greenidge, and the rest of them PNC that bankrupt Guyana. Let me educate you PNC hypocrites further.The Dentist that was brought from Maryland U.S.A was Dr. Oswaldene Walker, who was working at Howard University in Washington DC.
    Dr. Walker was the one that witness the execution of the PNC Minister of Education, Vincent Teekah, the smartest PNC Indian, that Burnham had around him. I want jones to come forward and tell the Guyanese People how the PNC were able to hide the whole town of Jones town from the world.

  7. Mr Moderator:
    The PPP/C is the only Government who did well for the sugar Industry. I know,I was a sugar worker.
    Another few years of Hoyte Government, I am sure they would have closed it.
    The PNC Government ran it to the ground and made it unsustainable, just like rice.
    I am not saying that all things are rosy, but so is any Business.
    This Industry is too big to fail.

  8. Mr.President, this government had all these years to do their best to fix that situation but it didn’t happen, why only now you promising to do this, it is time other people do it.

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