Saturday, June 27, 2009

Government is seeking to pre-empt a decision of the court

Government is seeking to pre-empt a decision of the court

Posted By Stabroek staff On June 27, 2009 @ 5:07 am In Letters | 5 Comments

Dear Editor,

When a government uses its clout and lays Orders in Parliament which are design-ed to bypass the judicial process and give legitimacy to an illegal act, that government can only be considered to have rendered the rule of law of a country a nuisance and an irrelevance. Such a government then becomes the chief inspirer of criminal actions across the society.

A recent action by the Government of Guyana exemplifies the state of lawlessness into which this country has sunk. On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, the government, by way of Order No. 6 of 2009 made under The Public Corporations Act 1988 (No. 21 of 1988), vested ownership in a disputed piece of property to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Ltd (NICIL) in the most devious fashion and at a time when litigation is before the courts of Guyana to determine the rightful owners of the property.

The property at issue is a piece of land on the East Bank of Demerara, the ownership of which is the subject of a dispute between the Guyana Fisheries Ltd and Marfriends Coop Society. Marfriends Coop has been in possession of and has been farming the land since 1970. The case has been engaging the attention of the courts since 2005 and just when the court was about to give a ruling, the government, in its determination to subvert due process, then laid this obscene Order in Parliament transferring ownership of the property to NICIL. It is clear that the government, by way of Order No. 6 of 2009, has pre-empted the findings of the court by favouring the claim of Guyana Fisheries to ownership of the land.

The members of Marfriends Coop Society have, over the years of their occupation of the land, worked very hard to make their society a viable one. They have been able to secure grants to aid its development. They have impressed an international donor agency about their seriousness to the extent that that agency is presently involved in carrying out a pilot project with them. Just as importantly, the land provides them with an opportunity to earn and live and hold their heads up with pride and dignity. They have been forced to spend over $400,000 in litigation fees in pressing their claim to ownership of the land. However, it seems as if all of their efforts are to be nullified by the government’s distasteful intervention.

Government has not only demonstrated yet again that it cares little or nothing for Guyana’s judicial process and the rule of law, but it has also clearly signalled to the members of Marfriends and to other Guyanese whom it deems as humbugs, that it cares nothing for the hard work they have put in on the land and the sacrifices they have made over the years to develop their society, their community, their families, while also making a contribution to Guyana’s agricultural drive. Is the society not engaging in low carbon development?

As Guyana continues the slide down the slippery slope, the WPA wishes to use this opportunity to call on civil society, particularly members of the legal fraternity and all who care about natural justice, to stand in defence of Marfriends. Give them your support against this high-handed, discriminatory act of the government. Surely, it cannot be that laying over the Order in Parliament represents the end of the matter.

Yours faithfully,
Desmond Trotman
For WPA Executive Committee
5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "Government is seeking to pre-empt a decision of the court"

#1 Comment By Brandon Samaroo (Have we gotten our money’s worth from the PPP after 17 years?!) On June 27, 2009 @ 8:47 am

Desmond you are dead wrong my friend dead wrong.

Judicial process? since when does a dictatorship care about judicial process?

The jagdeo govt has a reputation for not only passing laws to subvert the judicial process but they simply ignore the courts at will. How many rulings has the PPP and the PHENC both in cahoots ignored the rulings of the courts?

The PPP is a full blown dictatorship, these are the things that happen under dictatorships. Come on man lets be honest with ourselves.

#2 Comment By BORAPORK On June 27, 2009 @ 9:22 am

The dictatorship is at work and the populace remain remain silent or bleat like sheep.

#3 Comment By Vigilance On June 27, 2009 @ 9:44 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Just when you think that the PPP cannot further diminish the authority of Government…

PPP Members of Parliament, with their snouts deep in the trough, are happy to do their part to drag Government further into the filth.

NICIL does not report to the Ministry of Finance, only to the Office of the President. The stink of corruption pervades that high Office and contaminates all that it touches.

#4 Comment By Caesar Agustus On June 27, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

If this occurs, it had it’s inception also during the PNC/UF illegal regime.

#5 Comment By decanadianCarlVeecock On June 27, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

This is outrageous!

Could such government action be appealed?

Did the PPP ever speak of “return to democracy”?

I have a hazy recollection of something like that, but then
again, I might hvae not been paying full attention !

Democracy vs Dictatorship.
I suppose one is the adjunct of the other in the minds of
the PPP.

#6 Comment By eric phillips On June 27, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

ethnic cleansing…..jagdeo is giving away house lots equally…but the real crime is the distribution of commercial lands…it is all about ethnic marginalization when the hidden information on this commercial racism comes to light

Article printed from Stabroek News:

URL to article:

No comments: