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…says the grouping ignoring crisis in country
US-based Political Activist, Mark Benschop said the Private Sector Commission (PSC), while turning a blind eye to the rapid increase in cost of living, the inequitable distribution of the COVID-19 cash grants, the recent police killings, and the dismissal of hundreds of Guyanese, is now attempting to lay blame at the feet of political spokespersons for the recent spate of fires across the capital city – Georgetown.
In a recent press statement, the PSC, while expressing deep concern, said the recent fires represent an obvious threat to the maintenance of law and good order.
“Most concerning is the fact that these fires are being directed against institutions which form part of the architecture of civility and law and order; firstly, at the Police Headquarters at Brickdam and now, most recently, in the Eve Leary Police Compound,” the PSC said.
But in making its concerns known, the Private Sector Commission sought to link the fires to political activists in the US. “The Commission has noted that well-known political spokespersons, taking comfort by the fact that they live in the USA, have sought to encourage and publicly promote terrorist activity in Guyana. These calls, notably, have included the deliberate setting of fires to create instability in an attempt to make the country ungovernable,” the PSC said while calling on all rightminded Guyanese to condemn such calls.
The Commission urged the Government to utilise all the facilities at its disposal, to protect against the threat to the country’s safety and well-being.
But Political Commentator and Radio Host, Mark Benschop said the PSC, in issuing the statement, is attempting to score cheap political points in favor of the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government.
“After all, it appears that they’re simply singing for their next deal, some sort of massive debt write-off, questionable awarding of contracts, or business deals,” Benschop said while noting that he is not bothered by the statement.
Singling out the Chairman of the PSC, Paul Cheong, who also serves as the Chairman of the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil), Benschop said it was not so long ago that the state owned oil company found itself at the center of a US multimillion dollar scandal resulting in the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, ordering a full investigation into the matter.
“Let us not forget the thousands of citizens who are still in receipt of their pink slips from the COVID-19 cash grant; not a word from this PPP activist. Thousands of public servants were fired by his friend Irfaan Ali, and not a word from this PPP activist. Cost of living has gone up under this regime, and not a single word from this PPP activist. Members of the SWAT team kicked down the door of an Essequibo businessman (Mr. Orin Boston) and murdered him in front of his wife, and not word from this PPP activist,” Benschop said.
He accused the PSC of turning a blind eye to the serious issues facing the Guyanese while seeking win the hearts of the PPP/C.
“On the issue of who burnt down the Brickdam Police Station and now parts of the DPP Chambers and the OPR, this PPP activist should be questioned by the police, after all, he seems to know who did or is responsible for those building being burnt and suddenly has a voice to speak out on only this particular matter, or maybe he is now a fire and arson expert? If so, then his friend Mr. Irfaan Ali should immediately have him installed as the next Fire Chief,” Benschop added.
Notably, when the Brickdam Police Station was reduced to ashes in October, President Irfaan Ali had linked the fire to political statements emanating from the US, and as such, had indicated that foreign assistance would be sought to probe the links between the alleged threats and the inferno. However, hours after making the statement, the Guyana Police Force reported that the police station was set ablaze by a prison out of frustration over his arrest.
The alleged arsonist Clarence Greene has since been remanded.