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PPP denounces militarisation of the Guyana

The Ministry of the Presidency

The Ministry of the Presidency

The opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Monday denounced what it said was the increasing militarization of Guyana by the administration of President David Granger, a retired high-ranking military officer.

“The Granger administration has a penchant for placing retired and serving military officers in government agencies and departments and to head Commissions of Inquiry into one incident after another,” the PPP said in a statement.

Since being elected to office on May 11, 2015, several GDF officers under the command of Colonel Khemraj Persaud have been seconded to work in the Defence Secretariat at the Ministry of the Presidency and they have been instructed to continue wearing their uniforms. The President is the Minister of Defence.

The PPP’s concerns also come against the background of the heading of two Commissions of Inquiry by two retired GDF officers- Retired Brigadier Bruce Lovell for the Barry Dataram/Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) probe- and last week Retired Colonel Windee Algernon for the investigation into the fire at the Children’s Drop-in Centre that claimed the lives of two young brothers.

The Ministry of the Presidency has also announced that Colonel Nazrul Hussain would head the Department of National Events, after a series of bungled arrangements for Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary.

A number of army officers have been also appointed to a number of State Boards and other civilian positions.

The PPP observed that the practice by the Guyana government of appointing current and former military officers recently attracted the attention of a letter writer  who queried  whether “being an officer or having once been an officer in the Guyana Defense Force offer a distinct advantage over the ordinary mortal of this country or is being an officer or having been an officer now is a prerequisite for certain State appointments?”

The opposition party reasoned that the employment of current and former military officers in civilian roles pointed to a lack of confidence in civilians and the sidelining of Alliance For Change (AFC) members from certain appointments.

“Effectively, what the Granger pro-militaristic administration has done by virtue of this practice is to demonstrate its distrust for civilians albeit qualified to perform such functions in contradistinction to military personnel.

Secondly, by proceeding in that direction the APNU has outfoxed the AFC by placing its military confederates in key and critical positions knowing that the AFC would be more inclined to nominate civilians to the said positions which the APNU has absolutely no interest in doing,” the PPP said in a statement.

The PPP also charged that a combination of militaristic approaches and the shift towards a police state would “inexorably result in the decline of freedom in Guyana.”

While in office up to one year ago, the PPPC had hired Retired Major General Joseph Singh as Personal Assistant to the President and Retired Major General, Michael Atherly as National Security Coordinator. Former GDF officer, Ronald Gajraj was also appointed Minister of Home Affairs under the PPPC administration.

  • Col123

    These PPP chaps had their lips on the teats of the taxpayers for beyond two decades… The GDF is a welfare system for able bodied men/women in Guyana… It is PNC and AFC turn to suck the blood out of Guyanese. It is continuation of the same blood sucking process from these politicians in the last fifty years… The projects taken from the PPP by this govt are dead…these nincompoops are talking about building a roadway from Wales to Uitlugt to transport cane.. Lord help us..

    • .”these nincompoops are talking about building a roadway from Wales to Uitlugt to transport sugar cane…which is dead”……….Could you apart from inane complaints,give a viable alternative to this approach? The Coalition has been goaded into this position by the PPP. Did you stop to consider the PPP’s role in this new approach?
      Do they have an alternative .apart form transforming huge sums from the national coffers to this GUYSUCO albatross.
      Put on your thinking cap sometimes!

      • Col123

        “goaded into this position by the PPP “..”PPP s role in this new approach “..since when can the PPP “goad” the PNC in anything? nothing wrong with making up stuff as you go along. Are you aware of the costly and horrible challenges with transportation of cane from Canal #1 to Leonora estate when it was functional?… and now from Wales, Canal#1 and # 2 to Uitlught? Can you appreciate the cost and man hours involved for this now dead product of Guyana?.. The nail is already on the coffin for this industry. By the end of 2020, it is easy to predict the collapse of sugar in Guyana…The govt ‘s primary focus on economic survival is gold, plans fo oil and taxation ..rice is already heading south…

        • Gtloyal

          Thanks for your opinion. But that’s what it is, your opinion. Sugar does not necessarily have to die. What has to die is the way the industry was being handled. There are other approaches which can be viable. Using the industry as leverage to benefit the PPP is history.

          • Col123

            “Sugar does not necessarily have to die”? mean that it is on life support then!..if you are suggesting that these hard working folks in the sugar industry are tools of the PPP , you are giving the PPP a lot of credit for earning their trust…How does the PNC intend to change that history?

          • Gtloyal

            Why all the assumptions? Are you seeing things?
            Billions in bailouts … that’s more than life support. And the PPP “using” the workers? Ask their union.

          • Col123

            You are always so correct GT !

  • Lancelot Brassington

    In addition to the names provided above I believe that Colonel Francis Abraham had a protocol function in the office of the president under the PPP. Major General Norman Maclean was once pretty cosy with the PPP before an apparent separation took place. The same goes for Rear Admiral Gary Bess. Colonel Chabilall Ramsarup has headed the Civil Defense Commission for a number of years. And of course Lieutenant Colonel Sydney James was appointed by the Ramotar government to head the Special Organized Crime Unit. Colonel Jawahar Persaud became the Accountant General under the PPP. Colonel Ann Mc Clenan became a magistrate under the PPP. Lieutenant Colonel Brassington Reynolds became a magistrate and later a judge under the PPP. So precisely what are these circus clowns in the PPP talking about?
    By the way, Colonel Khemraj Persaud was fast tracked by the PPP so that he would take over as Chief of Staff after Brigadier Phillips retires, ahead of officers having seniority. That situation has now been corrected and the PPP is having difficulty living with it.

    • Col123

      It appears as if their …PPP…complaints is primarily optics.. with regards to the military uniform attire worn in their space… despite being retired. Professional folks .. as in the cases in the legal system can be utilized for their expertise in areas such as legal system, engineering, medical etc..not sure what you mean by the “situation being corrected “.. If the military personnel are attaché to various depts, then the govt should identify them as such..wearing military uniform is not a decor for civilian govt responsibilities …

  • george wiltshire

    Look at who is speaking. These people were acting with great subtlety they closed the national service but they were arming their supporters. Look at the people that received weapons. Remember the rice truck in Buxton that was heading to a particular location.
    There is a need for a Commission of Inquiry with the powers to jail those who lie when they are summoned to give evidence. To investigate the death and events of over the 400 men who were killed or disappeared.
    The ppp/c were demilitarizing the army while creating military groups in various sections.

    • That is why they were arming and setting up a separate rural constabulary of mainly their supporters who in many instances were better outfitted than the regular Policeforce.

  • george wiltshire

    Oh I noted that the insinuation that Granger was military and has now employed lots of soldiers. hmm jagdeo appeared to have been dishonest and he seems to have employed many others who appear to have been dishonest.