Tag: 杭州最新红灯2019

Beware of signing MoU with T&T

first_imgDear Editor,I am very worried about Guyana signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) for “cooperation in oil and gas”, because the Guyanese people had enough bad experiences over the years to make them look with four eyes at any type of agreement with the twin island republic and other nations.T&T has been good to Guyanese. I have dear friends there, and my experiences when visiting there have all been good. But I am also aware that our relationship with T&T has not always been smooth sailing, and I think it would be wise to take a hard look at the troubling aspects of our relations with our sister CARICOM state before making any commitments.For example, I know that well qualified Guyanese, including doctors, have gone to T&T to get work, only to be turned away in disappointment because the authorities there made it quite clear that their people come first. This happened even as CARICOM was pushing for the free movement of skilled professionals across member states.I know this from personal experience. One of my nephews accepted a job offer at a hospital in T&T through that nation’s Ministry of Health. When the time came for him to commence his internship and start work, he was rebuffed and told plainly that he was rejected because he is Guyanese, and that T&T nationals come first.I also know of cases wherein Guyanese got seriously sick in T&T and were rushed to hospital, only to be denied emergency treatment because they were foreigners. By all the reports I got, the doctors did not even try to save them, and they died in their vehicles. They were willing to pay, but were not allowed in the hospital. In my opinion, the doctors and nurses deliberately allowed those poor Guyanese to die.Furthermore, from my own observation, T&T immigration officers have special benches for Guyanese arriving at various ports of entry. This could only be for discriminatory reasons. I also know of male immigration officers who deport pretty Guyanese girls and tell the girls to call them personally before they return, in order to make sleazy deals to facilitate their re-entry to T&T.It is also a known fact that during the height of the economic crisis in Guyana, persons in T&T were advertising for girls to work over there, but they wanted to see their photographs first. Girls lured by those ads were terribly abused, and many were forced into prostitution. There are media reports of many Guyanese who were abused in T&T, and some were even killed and buried in septic tanks.To my mind, these incidents– and many more that your readers would know about — show that there are very good reasons for us to be cautious as a nation, and that we should think matters through carefully before signing any MoU, contract, agreement, or other legal instrument with any nation that might not have our best interest at heart.I strongly believe that if, for any reason, Guyana decides to sign a contract with T&T to refine oil, or dealing with oil and gas in any way, there must be inserted a clause or some type of caveat that gives Guyana the right to get out of that contract — instantaneously, if necessary — if T&T does not uphold the highest standards of service or any other provision in the contract.Guyana has to proceed with the utmost caution when going into any agreement with T&T any other country or any multi-national corporation with regard to oil and gas. Such agreements must give priority to Guyanese employees in the industry, so that we are not flooded with foreigners while we are left with ‘wapia’, or ‘white mouth’.Our people must be given the same opportunities and training on equal footing with the Trinidadians or other foreigners that come to work or do business here.Also, if a large number of T&T nationals come to work in Guyana, similar numbers of Guyanese must be able to go to work in T&T, and get the same treatment Trinidadians get here, including the same wages and conditions that obtain for their own people.Let me make it clear that I am not an enemy of T&T. The people there have always been kind to me personally. I have good friends in T&T, maybe because I have developed a certain level of social class, and the atrocities tend to be committed on persons from more challenged circumstances. So I am not talking about the good people of T&T, only those institutions and individuals that abuse Guyanese.Also, I am not coming out against the Guyana Government, I will support and work with any democratically elected Government of Guyana; but I want to warn the Government that by signing a bad deal with T&T, our oil and gas sector could be compromised; in the long run, that Government would be impacted, whether they are in or out of power; and the whole of Guyana would suffer the effects of that mistake.Guyana’s oil and gas industry is so precious and so vital to our prosperity that we have to view with healthy suspicion every attempt by foreigners to engage us to make deals in this sector. They will always paint a bright picture of the deal and say it is for mutual cooperation and mutual benefit. It is up to us to read the fine print and make sure we are not being taken for a ride.I also support the wisdom of President David Arthur Granger’s call to strengthen the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) when he said in Barbados over the weekend that Caribbean people have to start thinking ‘regional’ rather than thinking ‘island’, and he invited the entire region to jointly explore investments in Guyana.I believe in “One Caribbean”, but there must be mutual respect. If we are to be the facilitators of this “One Caribbean”, the backbone and saviour of the Caribbean because of this newfound oil wealth, then the Caribbean people must understand that they must treat Guyana and the Guyanese people with the utmost respect.Oil and gas agreements must be on good footing for all parties to benefit. We had our bad times, but the tables have turned and we must not look for vengeance. Government must ensure — as I have preached in the past — that returns from such agreements are used for positive social change: teach people how to invest, save etc; and set up or enhance institutions to promote our people’s financial empowerment.Sincerely,Roshan Khan Srlast_img read more

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