Gov’t attack on NTC vicious, blatant – Former Amerindian Affairs Minister

first_imgA recent statement issued by the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry (MoIPA) was centered on the National Toshaos Council (NTC) and its executive. It has been described by former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai as a vicious and blatant attack on the Council and toshaos across the country.Having read the statement, Sukhai said, she is under the impression there seemingly is a disconnect between the MoIPA and the NTC. The former minister said she finds it to be a strange development, especially since the minister sits on the NTC as an ex-officio member.Former Amerindian Affairs Minister and Opposition MP Pauline Sukhai“It’s actually like they can’t cooperate, and I don’t think the Government should seek to be indifferent to the NTC…that press statement of accusing the NTC executive is different from what they should be doing. They should be working together, and have full engagement with each other to further the development of Indigenous people in this country,” Sukhai told Guyana Times. Government on Wednesday accused the NTC of disrespecting President David Granger, and launched a scathing attack on several vocal Indigenous representatives who were not toeing the line, but exposing serious malpractices of the current A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Administration.The MoIPA has accused the NTC and its Vice Chairman, Lenox Shuman, of being confrontational, demanding, and disrespectful in their writings to President Granger. The MoIPA said it has also observed a trend of public posturing by NTC executives, and has stated that the NTC has so far not distanced itself from what the MoIPA described as rather divisive, disingenuous, and sometimes incoherent statements being made by these officials.But while Government has taken umbrage at the writings of these officials to the President, Sukhai has said the NTC has the right to raise concerns affecting its people.“The NTC, as an elected body with Indigenous leaders will, from time to time, be seeking and negotiating with Government on many issues. And that is how it should be. If the NTC has a priority and they feel strongly that the priority is not being addressed by Government, then it’s within their authority to advance representation,” she added.The MoIPA, in its statement, pointed to Shuman and said it has taken note of his issuing call for mass public protest against the Government by the Indigenous citizenry. The Ministry said it would allow the Guyanese public to judge Shuman’s intentions.Further to that, the Ministry said it is aware of countless complaints of alleged disrespectful treatment of residents of St Cuthbert’s Mission by Shuman.When contacted for a comment on Wednesday, Shuman said he was in his village, and could not comment on the matter unless he reads the statement in its entirety.The NTC Vice Chairman said he would also like to be given some time to ‘digest’ what was written about him. He could not be reached on Thursday.last_img