Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2017, 23:05 by Denis Chabrol
Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan on Friday unconditionally backed President Granger’s revocation of the lease of the State-owned Red House to the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, charging that the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was attempting to score cheap political points off Jagan’s name.
Ramjattan, who was expelled from the PPP several years ago, said late PPP Founder-Leader Jagan- “that great politician and statesman of Guyana”- would never had tolerated the illegal acquisition of property.
“This is where the thing is out of context, the emotionalism, the obfuscation, that then tells you ‘But wah y’all tekkin away the thing for? Is Cheddi Jagan.’ Well Cheddi would have been the first to condemn the preservation of his documents in misappropriated property.
People’s Progressive Party General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo has strongly suggested that the governing A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) would pay a hefty political price for years to come by seeking to throw out the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre from Red House.
“More and more when we study the history, it was always intended to be a temporary place for the laying of those documents, but we have Jagdeo and Anil Nandlall coming forth today as virtuous as angels saying ‘No this should not have been done’,” Ramjattan added
Himself a lawyer by profession, Ramjattan said the law was violated even if it was to store Cheddi Jaga’s papers and documents.
Police have since taken up a long-term presence inside Red House compound, even as lawyers for the State and the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre prepare to respond to each other’s court papers ahead of another High Court hearing next month. The court has agreed to prevent the Attorney General or any of his agents or servants from interfering with any of the contents of Red House.
Government has argued that buildings like Red House falling under the responsibility of the National Trust cannot be leased. Red House has been leased to the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre for GYD$12,000 per year for 99 years since 2012.
The AFC Leader disagreed with claims by the PPP that to give into President David Granger’s request that there should be a research centre for all of Guyana’s presidents would be to contaminate Jagan’s records by mixing them Arthur Chung, Forbes Burnham, Desmond Hoyte and Granger’s. “So there is certain purity about Jagan and certain contamination about Burnham. What is wrong with these people? And look how they contaminate the appropriation of that,” said the AFC Leader. “We are not going to be diverted or obfuscated by this attachment to legacy, of in my book of one of the greatest Guyanese ever. That is where the rules get bent, it is not the rule of lawyers it is the rule of law …We have to bring back law and order,” he added.
President Granger revoked he lease on December 29, 2016 and gave the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre until December 31 to vacate the building also known as Kamana Court.
Red House was once occupied by Dr. Jagan and his family while he had bee Premier of then British Guiana from 1961 to 1964.