Lands Commission of Inquiry sworn in to resolve all land titling issues
By Stacy Carmichael-James
In keeping with the powers conferred on him by Section Two Chapter 19:03 of the Commission of Inquiry Act, President David Granger today ( Friday, March 10, 2017) swore in six of the seven members to serve on the Lands Commission of Inquiry.
Reverend George Chuck-a-sang was sworn in as the Chairman of the Lands Commission of Inquiry (CoI), while David James, Carol Khan-James, Professor Rudolph James, Lennox Caleb and Berlinda Persaud were sworn in as members.
Another member, Paulette Henry was unable to be present at the simple ceremony held at the State House due to urgent personal matters.
The commissioners are expected to examine and make recommendations to resolve all issues and uncertainties surrounding the individual, joint and communal ownership of lands acquired by freed Africans, on the claims of Amerindian Land Titling and on any other matter related to land titling.
President David Granger in his address lauded the commissioners as courageous for accepting the nominations. He underscored the importance of land in satisfying the human needs of food, shelter and recreation.
However, he noted that this vital economic and social resource has become the basis of many disagreements, therefore the CoI is “meant to settle these controversies, to satisfy all of the citizens of this country, that we need not fight each other for land. That we will investigate their claims and we will respond to their just demands,” the President noted.
Government, the Head of State said is satisfied that Guyana has enough land to satisfy the needs of all its people and generations to come.
The Amerindians, who have been here from “time in memorial”, the Guyanese Leader noted, have strong cultural, material and even spiritual connection with their land. In recognition of this, the Lands Commission was established to deal with the issue of demarcation of the Indigenous Peoples’ land, which resulted in a serious rebellion by those who refused to give up the lands, the President reminded.
The rebellion, he noted resulted in the Amerindians land rights being established as a principle of Government.
He deemed the duty of the CoI as “almost sacred.”