Sugar workers now on the breadline with a promise of severance payment coming to them in tranches should take no comfort from this fragmented offer, and must in fact demand their just dues promptly, whether through their parliamentary representatives or by considering taking to the streets — a language the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition Government “understands all too well.”This is according to Economic Advisor to the Political Opposition, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, who has said he believes those are the only feasible options available to the more-than 4,000 persons that were recently laid off by GuySuCo; and more recently those notified of imminent retrenchment as a result of the coalition Government’s decision to close another set of working sugar estatesWales workersEconomic Advisor Peter RamsaroopThe economic advisor, in an interview over the weekend, expanded on the troubling state of affairs in the Guyana sugar belt. He reminded that just after coming into office more than two years ago, this Government announced plans to close the Wales Estate, and dismissed hundreds of workers at the end of 2016 with a promise of GuySuCo and/or Government finding gainful employment for those dismissed.“When they announced that they would close Wales, there was the promise of diversification of the fields into more productive sectors, suggesting aquaculture, an initiative that was stillborn from its inception”, he noted.According to Dr Ramsaroop, not only are those families struggling now more than ever in this “January hard guava season, but they are still to receive what was promised… Hundreds laid off in Wales are still to be paid the other half that was promised.“Which of those dismissed workers from the Wales Estate have been able to successfully enter into subsistence farming or was able to secure any kind of employment through mechanisms offered by Government?” Ramsaroop questioned.“Sugar workers in Berbice must pay heed to these recent developments, and be reminded of this when listening to the bogus promises being made by this Government,” Ramsaroop cautioned,Ramsaroop is adamant that sugar workers should consider taking to the streets to demand the timely payment of their dues, since he is of the conviction that the explanations handed down by those in high office do not hold water.Government, over the weekend, fielded a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Cabinet Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Cathy Hughes—all members of the Alliance for Change faction of the coalition Government. Their overtures, according to Ramsaroop, were rightly rebuffed, as he pointed to the hundreds of protestors that greeted the Government delegation, “protesting the mismanagement of the industry, which has now led to the lives of thousands of Guyanese being disrupted.”Ramsaroop, who once served as the Chief Executive Officer of the AFC before mounting the PPP’s platform in 2011, posited, “One must go back in history when slavery was abolished and indentured labourers were brought in to save the sugar industry.”AppallingHe noted thus, “This Government’s callous actions in dramatically laying off thousands of sugar workers can be seen by some as an attempt by the historian Granger to redress historical grudge… ”Ramsaroop said, too, “It is appalling that the international community can just sit back and be spectators at this ‘economic destruction’ of an entire section of our society. We must stand up at all costs and stop this madness, where our people are being made to suffer.”
The plan allows for 40 camp sites, although Rapanos says there is room to expand in the future.The park covers three square kilometers, with three kilometers of waterfront along the Peace and Pine River. Rapanos says the area is used primarily by residents of local communities, rather than tourists. He suggested the area be further developed for campgrounds, and parts of the land could potentially be leased to farmers for agricultural use.Rapanos says, during his research, the community consensus was to not turn the park into a commercial park. This means the majority of residents did not want to add things like mini-putt courses or waterslides, but rather keep the park as natural as possible.He says he interviewed councilors and residents to get an idea of what people would like.Advertisement Photo: Consultant Bill Rapanos explains the Peace Island Park development plan to Peace River Regional directors on Thursday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caThe Peace Island Park may be getting a facelift if the District of Taylor decides to follow a proposed development plan.- Advertisement -The District of Taylor hired consultant Bill Rapanos to draft up a plan of action for the Park. At the Peace River Regional District meeting on Thursday, Rapanos said the lack of camping sparked Taylor to look into expanding the park.[asset|aid=1276|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=73378d44224a6630d19b38278b323c90-Rapanos 1_1_Pub.mp3]Rapanos’ report says the park is very busy on long weekends. He says many people get turned away from the park because there just isn’t enough room.There are over 300 camping spots, designated for recreation vehicles and tents. Electricity is provided to just over 40 camping spots. There are 60 spaces without electricity. The rest of the campground is designated for large groups.Advertisement [asset|aid=1277|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=0682643da06cc6126b5c1bfd046f4809-Rapanos 2_1_Pub.mp3]It is now up to the District of Taylor to secure the funding for the different stages of planning.