PM Phillips says Shuman inconsistent, unfair to gov’t
See full statement from Prime Minister Mark Phillips below:
I must share my profound disappointment at the position taken by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Mr Lenox Shuman, in a letter published under his name in Monday’s edition of the Stabroek News.
In this letter, Mr Shuman departs from facts to unfairly and erroneously suggest that the PPP/C Government is not open to dialogue with regard to the development of the Indigenous peoples of Guyana.
Not only is this position inconsistent with the well-established track record of the PPP/C when it comes to Amerindian development throughout its tenure in office, but it runs counter to the goodwill and good faith he and I shared in our most recent engagement.
On October 25, 2021, at my office, Mr Shuman and I cordially discussed several matters related to indigenous peoples’ development and the Government’s approach to bridging the digital divide and eliminating the disparity in quality of life between our hinterland and coastland.
In his own words, after that interaction, Mr Shuman publicly declared on Facebook: “The Prime Minister iterated his government’s commitment to taking steps to ensure Indigenous Peoples are part of the development of Guyana under the One Guyana framework and that the infrastructural needs are critical to such future plans along with ICT access among others. He was also very receptive to ideas put forth on advancing initiatives that will enhance IP’s [Indigenous Peoples] presence and participation in Guyana”.
It is now an enigma that only a few weeks later, Mr Shuman has taken a position in absolute contrast and contradiction to the facts when even in his published letter to the editor, he admits to being consulted on numerous occasions and his suggestions considered.
Outside of this inconsistency, I urge him to continue to engage the relevant authorities and respective ministries where there are concerns, as he has done in the past.
Our Indigenous brothers and sisters form a significant part of our country’s history and will most certainly be a part of its future and development through a considerate and consultative mechanism, as has been consistently demonstrated by successive PPP/C Governments.
The PPP/C Government will always respect the views of our Indigenous peoples.
I also take this opportunity to reaffirm our Government’s commitment to the equitable development of Guyana and the improvement of the livelihoods of all Guyanese.
December 7, 2021