Nandlall’s Motion to revoke establishment of Land Rights Commission “disallowed”

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A request to move the adjournment of the National Assembly to discuss the motion calling for the President to revoke the establishment of the Land Rights Commission was today (Thursday, April 13, 2017) disallowed by the Speaker.

According to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland while the motion which was submitted by Opposition Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall is “definite and is clearly of public importance,” it is, however, lacking in urgency. In defense of his position, the Speaker further pointed out that the Commission was established since March 10, 2017, but it is only now that the member is seeking action.

Six of the seven members fo the Commission stood with President David Granger (Centre) on March 10, 2017, after being sworn-in

The seven-member Commission was sworn-in to examine and make recommendations to resolve all issues and uncertainties surrounding the claims of Amerindian land titling, and the individual, joint or communal ownership of lands acquired by freed Africans, and on any matter relating to Land titling in Guyana.

This move was not received well by the Peoples’ Progressive Party Parliamentarians who then stood up to protest the Speaker’s decision. It must be noted that Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, Member, Irfaan Ali and a few others were granted leave from Thursday’s sitting.

However, the Speaker said the numbers will not change his ruling concerning the matter.

“There is nothing in the standing orders that allowed that to be reversed,” Dr. Scotland added.

The motion written in the name of Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Former Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai noted that “the aforesaid Commission was established without any “Free Prior, and Informed Consent” consultations with the National Toshaos Council, the sole and legitimate representative body of the Amerindian peoples and communities, and, the recognized non-governmental organizations representing Amerindians in Guyana” and “these organizations have all condemned the establishment of this Commission of Inquiry”.

It also called on the President to not only revoke the Commission but to hold consultations with all the relevant stakeholders in order to “determine a course of action that would accelerate the issuance of title to Amerindians for traditional lands and address all matters in relation thereto and in connection therewith.”

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