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Legal action stalls removal of Cheddi Jagan Research Centre from Red House; Ministry of the Presidency workers rip down sign

Ministry of the Presidency workers fetching away the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre's sign after pulling it down from the front of the building.

Ministry of the Presidency workers fetching away the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre’s sign after pulling it down from the front of the building.

Workers of the Ministry of the Presidency on Friday began stripping Red House of its identity as the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, even as the High Court has blocked any government representative from entering or removing any item from the building.

Using a hammer, the workers clawed off the wooden sign stating Cheddi Jagan Research Centre from Red House, High Street, Kingston, Georgetown.  Red House is the former residence of then Premier and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) founder-leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

Those moves followed an announcement by the Ministry of the Presidency that the lease has been revoked because it was allegedly improperly granted and that the Centre must remove from Red House by December 31, 2016.

DUMPED: The Cheddi Jagan Research Centre’s sign dumped at the southern side of the building by Ministry of the Presidency workers.

PPP Central Committee member, Indra Chandrapal said workers were inside the building packing up Jagan’s works and artifacts to vacate the premises in light of the announcement and pending legal action filed by former Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall.

She said the workers padlocked the gate and said they went to take over the building. “They said they got instructions that nobody must come in and nothing must leave,” she recounted to reporters.

Nandlall said the PPP has moved to the court to challenge the revocation of the lease and secured an order restraining the Attorney General, Basil Williams and every other officer of the State or government from evicting or any way interfering with the peaceful and quite occupation and possession of the building and removing any item whatsoever from the building.

After President David Granger announced the revocation of the lease of Red House to the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, center volunteers and officials have begun packing up books and other material written by the PPP’s late Founder-Leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

Nandlall said Williams argued that the court would be acting in vain because the lease was cancelled several days ago and the State has taken possession of the building over the same period. submissions Nandlall said he rejected before the Judge. “We did not get an order in relation to possession and I believe that is unnecessary because we have never departed from possession so we are maintaining possession of this building and we have an order protecting its content and we believe  that is sufficient to protect the status quo.” Nandlall said.

The matter comes up again on February 20, 2017 to allow the Attorney General to file an answer within 14 days and time for Nandlall to respond.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said the Ministry of the Presidency workers entered the compound and pulled down the Cheddi Jagan Research Institute to demonstrate that the State has already taken possession. “Obviously having misled the court by claiming that they were in possession, they had to show up here this afternoon to take possession by force and that is what they sought to do,” Jagdeo said.

A report was made to the police who turned up and interviewed workers of the Ministry of the Presidency who retreated to the opposite side of High Street while the small truck remained parked just outside Red House.

The Ministry of the Presidency said the National Trust would be relocated from the Valerie Rodway Building immediately south-east of State House to Red House.

The Ministry of the Presidency eventually hopes to create a super-complex by annexing the Valerie Rodway Building and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology to State House.

The removal of the museum has since been shelved following an outcry by experts and staff , and Amerindian village leaders.

  • Emile_Mervin

    The PPP had over one year to reach an agreement on this sore issue, but dragged it out for whatever show of force reason. Now that the Coalition decided to act, the PPP is crying foul.

    The legal process must be exhausted with court hearings, but in the end, the rightful owner of the property will get it. And the PPP is not the rightful owner. Neither is the Coalition. State property belongs to the people. Any acquisition must be legal and above board.

    I wholly support presidential libraries, but not the way the PPP went about trying to housejack this building in secret on the cheap, perrors wit the eventual goak if owning it.

    • rs dasai

      Emile.
      And we are a Nation of Laws? Says the Prezzi? Or Law Less Ness by having
      workers of the State dismantling the property forcefully B4 the court rules on the matter? Dictum A Trayter Sheep?

      • Emile_Mervin

        Not quite sure what the eviction laws are in Guyana, but it should be illegal to destroy any property belonging to a tenant or occupant of your own property, even if you are in the process of evicting them. The Coalition has to fight right or it could end up with a different or additional fight.

        • rs dasai

          Emile
          Agreed. And the GVt must not be vindictive or appear as such, especially in view of how Pres. Jagdeo dealt with the Burnham issue. Live and let live. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

        • Col123

          The coalition is now sliding on pea soup chit with pus…no cure for that…and it will set off an epidemic..sad to see that it was egged on by the minister Hammond et al…

      • Col123

        Curiosity on my part..and you can tell me it’s none of my business… did you attend law school in D.C.?…just curious..

        • rs dasai

          Col
          NO. Yes it is your business for us to stay calm and comment intelligently. But why D.C? Do you have folks & friends there?

          • Col123

            Agree that my comments are juvenile… that was what I missed having to work my tail off as a kid?….some thin skinned hateful folks out there….the amt of times I was called the N word gives me the licence to refer to myself as one..took your advise..will sanction my fingers!…out in the Pacific rim this year for the next six weeks so will not have much net access. Spend the 70s hanging out in DC…lots of Guyanese from around Md, Va…with great schools…watching those guys play cricket on Sundays…spent time on an off at the Pentagon pulling missions in El Salvador during Clinton years… one year at Walter Reid resolving the wounded soldier scandal,lived in Wheaton…know a lot of folks there …no relatives..have a great year ..healthy one at that..

          • rs dasai

            Col
            It seems that we were on the same Jahagi boat and our experiences are similar. Baayo, I have been called all sorts of words , the N , the C, the F , the S etc.Let us be what we are , good persons, and keep our wits about us. Try Kipling’s ‘IF’ and stay the best to you and yours. Come back safely and one day we shall meet.

    • rudeo

      I concur……the show of force may be rationalized in many ways and by different opinions….we are reminded of the instructions by the king of the day that made GDF ranks trample bread and cakes in full view of yours truly and dozens of others at the municipal markets and roadside stands….perhaps a lot of our present travails may be as a result of the irrationality of man….sawdust Caesars with naked power

  • Col123

    Well… the comedy started earlier than I expected… I will call it how it looks… holiganism at it’s best… tearing down signs of an opposition icon… where in hell is Rabbi Washington… is he with them hoes at the bar in hell I will be working after judgement day?..
    Despite the alleged “illegal ” manner in which this building was occupied, do we now have to behave like lower animals?… god damm… the 60s came back so quickly for feddie’s outhouse!!!

  • rudeo

    a la Burnham is alive….brace yourself for more in 2017

  • rudeo

    verryyyyyy interesting…..expect that’s next….btw….what of Gary Best’s plot?

  • Col123

    You are dictating a bunch of nonsense…all over the globe with irrelevant bs…and you are journalists?…jeeze… I can’t believe Guyana produced dunces like you…the matter is in the courts because of alleged hanky panky… they will resolve it…

  • Col123

    Jaganites who voted coalition???… you mean that apaanee jhaatee thingy?..them people gat sense?….too much dahl and rice with donkey milk like the vegetarian Truth dude…na gon happin!…the name on the ground thingy is for thin skinned folks …

    • rs dasai

      Col
      Prosperous and healthy New Years. Pl keep your KOOL about some comments. It is not worth it.

  • rs dasai

    RLSG
    Your opinion like mine is worth nothing, but IRE gets us no where.