Tension is running high in Baramita Village, Region One as efforts by the Toshao to prevent the spread of the deadly new Coronavirus is being met with much resistance by ranks of the Joint Services who are stationed there.
A decision by the Village Council to restrict vehicles entering the community is not being adhered to by the Joint Services, according to Toshao Sharmain Rambajue, who noted that this is putting everyone in the village at risk.
She alleged that the ranks are allowing vehicle GMM 3425 unfettered access to the community under the pretext that it is transporting “food and fuel” for the ranks but the Toshao noted that the driver makes several trips during the week and spends hours inside the community.
According to Toshao Rambajue, she tried to reason with the ranks to allow the driver to offload the goods at the entrance of the village but they have refused to do so; the Village Council also cannot examine the supplies before it enters the community.
The Toshao alleged that the ranks threatened to break down the gate and arrest her and a councillor when they refused to allow the vehicle to enter.
“The captain told me…the car HAVE to come in and a Police rank that is station here in Baramita by the name of [name provided] leave central Baramita to the entrance gate that is about 7.5 miles away and open the village entrance gate for the car to pass in,” the Toshao noted.
During an interview with the News Room, the Toshao further noted that the ranks instructed her to keep the gate open between 6am to 6pm and that the Council has no authority to prevent vehicles from entering.
“Is every other day they asking for the car come in to bring food for them and we are not allowing it anymore to come in because we said they can go and collect it up to the entrance and if you don’t have transportation, I can provide transportation.”
The Toshao is baffled as to why the Joint Services ranks would need food and fuel several times per week when there is no shortage in the community.
“Is like we don’t have any say or what we do or what systems we put in place it doesn’t make any sense.
“I feel like my authority is being bullied and I am being belittled and like I have no say,” the Toshao lamented.
Toshao Rambajue said she will not allow the ranks to take advantage of the Council.
“This is gross disrespect to an [Indigenous] Leader. We must not stand for our rights… we must forever keep our mouth shut so others can take advantage of us… NO WAY… gone are the days; now is a different time we have access to the internet we can let our voice be heard from right where we are,” the Toshao subsequently posted on her Facebook page.
She called on the authorities to look into the situation.
“I don’t know if because of covid 19 rule or law pass, the 2006 Amerindian Act isn’t valid anymore. Can someone look into this issue urgently!”