Friday, August 8, 2008

State institutions need to be more vigorous

State institutions need to be more vigorous-GHRA tells UN expert on minority affairs

Posted By Staff On August 7, 2008 @ 5:13 am In News | No Comments

- Stabroek News - -

The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) says that many societal issues would be better handled if the institutions of the state are more vigorous and it has raised this concern with United Nations Expert on Minority Issues, Gay McDougall.

In an invited comment about the meeting GHRA co-president Mike McCormack told Stabroek News that the association also apprised McDougall and her team about a survey which it had conducted which found that there was a sense of “futurelessness” particularly among youths. He said the survey also found that over 48% of the youth population studied were either planning to leave Guyana or expected to leave in another year.

McCormack said that he told the UN expert that there was a certain level of predictability in the general elections in the country and a sense of there being no incentive in it for any normal kind of participation in political life. He also broached an issue he termed ‘executive lawlessness’; pointing to the number of extra-judicial executions and the many investigations that are launched yet bear no fruit.

To this end too, he noted that though some efforts have been made to implement constitutional mechanisms, they have lapsed.

Accordingly the co-president said he has told McDougall of the association’s position that many minority issues could be better dealt with if the state institutions were more vigorous; pointing to the judicial system and parliament. McCormack contends that once mechanisms are vigorously implemented they could provide proper redress and reduce discontent to persons, especially those in conflict situations.

McCormack said he also raised the numerous torture allegations and ongoing probes with the UN expert. He said the fact that nothing has come out of these investigations points either to a weakness in the system or it just being a mechanism to deflect focus from the issues in the hope that something else comes up.

McCormack said the meeting with McDougall was timely and important especially since the team aimed to meet with several other groups which would present a wide range of perspectives on matters important to Guyana.

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