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Gov’t to launch CoI to investigate ownership of lands acquired by freed Africans

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The Government will soon be launching another Commission of Inquiry (CoI), this time to investigate issues of land ownership.

This was disclosed by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon who was delivering the feature address at a workshop hosted by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) this morning (Wednesday, March 08, 2017) at the Pegasus Hotel, Savannah Suites.

Harmon said having examined several issues as it relates to land management and land allocation prior to Guyana gaining independence, President David Granger will be launching a CoI to address those issues.

“Those issues as a nation, we will have to resolve them and therefore, in this regard, His Excellency very shortly, will announce the establishment of a Lands Commission. A Commission to inquire to examine and to make recommendations to resolve all the issues and uncertainties surrounding the individual joint or communal ownership of lands acquired by free Africans and claims of Amerindian Land Titling and other matters relative to land titling in Guyana,” Harmon said.

Phillips along with Public Relations Officer of the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) and Head of the Amerindian Peoples’ Association were participants of Wednesday’s workshop. The event hosted at the Pegasus Hotel served to launch the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme intended to halt the ongoing loss of healthy land through land degradation.

The Reparations Committee has recently been making calls for this administration to look into the interest of African Guyanese as it relates to land ownership. The Committee which is chaired by Eric Phillips argued that more needs to be done for African Guyanese who “built Guyana” during their years in slavery.

In one of his many letters in the local daily, Phillips argued that “Justice dictates that if Indigenous Peoples in Guyana can receive land for being here “first’ then African whom were here before the WaiWais and Wapishanas should be legally entitled to land.”

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