Govt will not budge to alleviate sugar workers’ sufferings – Jagdeo

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday said the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-led coalition Government would not heed sugar workers’ call not to close the Rose Hall sugar factory. This, he said, is so because the current Administration is an “uncaring government” that would not budge to alleviate the suffering of sugar workers.The Opposition Leader made the comments while addressing a massive rally on Sunday at Adelphi, East Canje, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).According to the Opposition Leader, no action by sugar workers or any concerned groups will have any bearing on Government’s decision to close the Rose Hall Sugar Estate.Speaking at the rally, Jagdeo said the rally in solidarity against the closure of the Rose Hall Estate would have made a difference if the current Government was a sincere one. “If we had a Government that genuinely wanted to create a future for sugar workers and the industry, but this Government is not motivated by an economic plan.“They are not motivated by a study. They are not motivated even by the numbers, because you do not make critical decisions that will affect the lives of 17,000 people and cause 10,000 of them to lose their jobs based on four years of profit and loss statements of an industry of this nature,” the former Head of State told the gathering.Jagdeo said that the coalition Government made a decision when it took office that it was going to close the sugar industry – an industry in which most of the stakeholders are in favour of a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government.“We must never allow fear to paralyse us,” he said. “If we only allow fear to take us over, our future in this country is done. It is not just about sugar; it is about who we are as a people and the progress we make. Today, we are fighting for much more than sugar here…”Jagdeo noted that Government also wanted to sell the Skeldon Factory, explaining that it was profitable and through the co-generation plant, was able to supply 90,000 homes with electricity last year.Commenting on Government’s ability to see into the future, Jagdeo referred to the current Administration as a government without vision. “When we were in government, we were talking about a green sector, a low-carbon development strategy that will bring new jobs and new wealth.”This, he added, was going to upgrade the sugar and rice industries, and also ensure that Guyana got into rare metals and open up the savannahs. “That is what the vision was. You know what they have reduced it now to? When a reporter asked the President, ‘How are you going to create jobs in the future,’ he said, ‘We must do things like making pepper sauce and making cook-up to sell, and making plantain chips…’ That is where we have come from – talking about a future that will create thousands of jobs and new wealth and new infrastructure and a modern country to now selling plantain chips and cook-up rice; you can’t run a country on that…”SecurityThe Opposition Leader also took the opportunity to address the issue of security, which he said the Government was in denial on among several issues other than the economy. The current Administration, he added, should be the experts in security since it has at the highest level ex-army personnel, including the President and Minister Winston Felix. “But they are totally inept on security matters and it will continue to do so.”In mentioning the two prison fires, Jagdeo said after the first fire, Government officials met with the prisoners; a decision which he had then criticised and which has caused the prisoners to feel that they can now get the attention of Government if they burn the prisons. “The moment that prisoners feel that they can get political attention by setting a fire, they will set more fires in our country.”Issues such as corruption were also addressed by the former Head of State.Prior to the rally, several thousand people representing sugar workers, women, civic society and party supporters marched through several villages before converging at Adelphi.Meanwhile, other speakers spoke of Government’s treatment of persons in the sugar industry, while citing the lack of salary and wage increases for sugar workers and the refusal of the Government to give Police Officers and military personnel a one-month salary as a bonus at the end of the year – something which they had grown accustomed to while Government Ministers benefited from huge salary increases.last_img read more

Trump says NFL insults about patriotism, not race

first_img0Shares0000US President Donald Trump pauses to speak to the press as protests spread over his criticism of NFL players raising concerns about racial divisions © AFP / Brendan SmialowskiWASHINGTON, United States, Sep 25 – US President Donald Trump denied stoking racial tensions Monday, insisting his charged comments that prompted a wave of symbolic protests by NFL players were about patriotism not race.After a volley of verbal attacks on black athletes led players across the country to kneel during the US national anthem in protest this weekend, the besieged president played defense on Twitter. Trump had kicked off the furor by attacking players like Colin Kaepernick — who first took a knee through renditions of the “Star-Spangled Banner” during last year’s American football season — as a “son of a bitch” who should be fired.In a separate feud, Trump also disinvited basketball superstar Stephen Curry from a White House event.More than pro 150 players from across the country’s most popular sport took a defiant stance, kneeling, linking arms or raising clenched fists during the anthem before 14 games.The US leader doubled down on those remarks by urging fans to boycott the NFL as long as the protests continued.And keeping the issue alive for a fourth day, Trump on Monday insisted, “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”Trump — who faces low poll numbers and is struggling to enact his agenda — on Monday tried to single out the NFL players who protested.“Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!” he tweeted.He also pointed to the Pittsburgh Penguins acceptance of a White House invitation and support from racecar fans.“So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!” Trump tweeted.But driver Dale Earnhardt also took to Twitter, implicitly rebuking Trump with a quote former president John F Kennedy: “All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”Trump also drew a furious backlash from NBA stars, including superstar LeBron James, who described the president as a “bum.”“He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement,” said James.“The people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”– Courting controversy –Washington Redskins players kneel or lock arms during the the national anthem before a game against the Oakland Raiders © GETTY/AFP / Patrick SmithTrump has whole-heartily embraced the controversy, with his advisors believing it plays well with his largely white base.Trump also changed his Twitter background photo to an American flag and stated that the “White House never looked more beautiful than it did returning last night.”Critics accuse Trump of creating a diversion.His efforts to repeal Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms have run aground and would-be signature tax reforms are giving way to much less ambitious tax cuts.At the same time Trump faces a number of challenges from overseas, not least a war of words with North Korea that threatens to become a shooting war.North Korea in recent weeks detonated its sixth nuclear bomb and has test-fired intercontinental missiles — saying it needs to defend itself against hostility from the United States and its allies.Addressing the UN General Assembly last week, Trump responded by calling leader Kim Jong-Un a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission,” prompting Kim to warn in turn that the US president would “pay dearly” for his threat.Escalating tensions further, North Korea’s foreign minister said Monday that Trump had “declared a war” on North Korea, while conveying a threat to shoot down US bombers.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more