February 24, 2016 By
Over the past months, we have pointed out ominous signs of our country once more slipping back into a state without freedom and democracy.
Today, things are becoming more crystallised and the actions of the Government are generating fear in the population. At the same time, important institutions are being undermined, misused and being turned into tools of harassment of our people.
In the first place, the fears expressed in Parliament in relation to Guyanese being detained for having more than $10 million in their possession are turning out to be real.
The regime has transformed SOCU from being an independent law enforcement body to fight money laundering into an instrument for the harassment of citizens and exerting political pressure.
This institution is now under the control of the Office of the President.
Over the past few days, we have learnt that SOCU is invading people’s homes in the wee hours of the morning, seizing their personal property, etc, and traumatising their families.
Last week, a prominent Regent Street businessman had his home and store raided by SOCU officers and property was removed from his premises.
There has been more than one case where passengers have been taken off their flights and their possessions seized. It is suspected that some financiers of the APNU/AFC are using their influence and possibly money, to get the Government’s cooperation in seizing their competitors’ property to either destroy the competition or to get the property in their possession.
All these actions suggest that extortion and bribery have already spread in many parts of the Government.
Guyanese citizens should not be subjected to this kind of behaviour once they earn their money honestly; that’s the main issue.
This latest action by the regime will have a dire impact on the Private Sector. Many business persons, out of fear, may close their businesses and migrate, taking their investments with them. This will severely affect the economy of our country.
The racial discrimination continues as many house lots and turnkey homes which were allocated to Indo-Guyanese are being repossessed. Street lights have been removed by the regime in some areas, including Bath and Bush Lot, on the West Coast, Berbice,
Much has been written about the plight of rice farmers without a finger being lifted to assist. This, too, is going to severely affect our economy.
The regime has also embarked on the process of closing the sugar industry. The PNC has always held a hatred for sugar workers, and now that it is back in power, one of its first acts against the industry is to announce plans to close the Wales Estate.
This is just the beginning.
This regime will move to close other estates once it can get away with closing the Wales factory.
In the meantime, the situation in the National Assembly has gotten from bad to worse.
The Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland, appears to believe that his responsibility is to protect the Government MPs and disrupt the Opposition members from freely expressing themselves.
Dr Scotland intervenes in the current Budget debates, often on trivial issues such as what words to use, etc; he calls ‘time’ on Opposition members while they are in the midst of their speeches and uses the guillotine to help the Government side.
At the same time, attempts are being made to muzzle the press as Ministers are demanding that the Speaker block media personnel who report without fear of victimisation. They want a tame press to allow them to get away with the many wrongdoings without public exposure.
People are now living in a state of fear and intimidation; their future indeed looks bleak.
The regime is definitely on a witch hunt in our country. No effort is being spared in browbeating citizens.
These actions are taking us back along the road to the 1970s and 1980s when freedom and democracy were among the scarcities in Guyana.