GUYANA NEWS BRIEF -- October 19, 1996.


A RELEASE OF THE EMBASSY OF GUYANA, WASHINGTON DC, USA.






STATE UPHOLDS THE RULE OF THE LAW

President Cheddi Jagan has made a stirring appeal for all Guyanese to operate within the bounds of country's legal system. In an address shortly after adorning 71 national Awardees with their respective accolades at a colorful ceremony at the National Cultural Center, on October 12, the President said his Government has put in place transparent and accountability in governance. President Jagan declared: "We are determined to bring an end to all forms of discrimination and the cancer of bribery and corruption."

Noting that the Government firmly upholds the principle of the rule of. law, President Jagan said the Government plans to be put in place shortly, measures to improve the administration of. Justice.

The investiture ceremony coincided with the fourth anniversary of the PPP/Civic's Government in Office.

Heading the list of those honored was former Head of the Judiciary, Mr Aubrey Bishop, CCH, who was accorded the Order of Roraima. Other Awardees included Minister of Agriculture Reepu Daman Persaud, Havelock Brewster, former Executive Director for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank, Kenneth De Abreu, Assistant Manager of Banks DIH Limited, and Derek Jagan, Speaker of the National Assembly.

According to President Jagan, the goals of Guyanese will be better achieved if only people were to set themselves high ideals, reinvigorate family and community life and young people were to embrace a sense of meaningful direction.




ENVOY BACKS MORE JAPANESE INVESTMENTS IN GUYANA



Japanese Ambassador to Guyana Mr. Kuniaki Asomura has lamented the paucity of Japanese companies in Guyana, but says that Guyana must make tremendous efforts to attract more investment from his country.

The Ambassador threw out the challenge during a lecture organized as part of the first Japanese Cultural Week activities.

"It is a pity that there are few Japanese companies in Guyana despite the fact that almost all the cars I see in Georgetown are Japanese cars," the Ambassador said.

"As Guyana is very far from Japan, Guyana itself has to make tremendous efforts to attract more Japanese investment... In a free market economy, you have to compete with others to get something you want," Ambassador Asomura said.

something you want," Ambassador Asomura said.




MINOR CABINET RESHUFFLE

President Cheddi Jagan marked the fourth anniversary of his inauguration as Head of State by announcing on Thursday October 10 two new appointments to his cabinet and changes in some Ministerial portfolios.

Ambassador "Sash" Sawh has been recalled from Caracas to take over as Junior Minister of Agriculture, and private business executive, Mr. Anthony Xavier has been appointed Minister within the Ministry of Public Works and Communications.

Other appointments were Minister Moses Nagamootoo as Information Minister, Mr. Clinton Collymore as Minister within the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, and Mr. Harri Pcrsaud Nokta as Regional and Local Government Minister.




SIX OVERSEAS FIRMS KEEN ON LINMINE



Six international firms have so far shown interest in the core operation of Linden Mining Enterprise which is up for privatization.

The Government is privatizing the LINMINE Operation in three separate blocks -- the core operation, the power plant and the workshops. Following the decision to unbundle the core units, an information memorandum was prepared on the core operations and circulated in June to more than a dozen international firms which have expressed some form of interest in LINMINE.

With the unbundling measures underway and the removal and transfer of social cost from LINMINE to the Government -- all expected to reduce cost and the capital outlays for the company -- several additional areas have emerged for prospective investors to explore and improve the viability of the operation.

Prime Minister Sam Hinds said that the Government hopes investors would bring the capital needed, additional links to markets, more experience and the ability to inspire and motivate the work force so that profitability can be attained and sustained.




MORE CONTRACTS SIGNED FOR GEORGETOWN ROAD REBUILDING



Two major road contracts leading to the rebuilding of 24 dilapidated streets in sections of Kitty, including Alexander Street and Campbellville, were recently signed. The road rebuilding contracts totaling some G$60 million were signed between the Government and Dipcon Contracting Company.

In addition, eleven streets are being repaired by central Government in addition to the 21 miles of city roads in Georgetown that fall under the Ministry of Public Works.

Central Government is investing in a one billion dollar road rebuilding program for Georgetown after the Mayor and City Council failed to live up to this responsibility.




IMF, COMMONWEALTH MEETINGS SUPPORT DEBT RELIEF FOR GUYANA



Guyana's case for eligibility for the IMF multilateral debt reduction initiative received "strong support" at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting in Bermuda and the IMF Annual Meeting in Washington which were both held recently. Representing Guyana at the two fora was Finance Minister Bharrat Jagdeo who reported on the efforts and the cases he put forward for Guyana at both meetings, requesting an expansion of the eligibility criteria so that Guyana can benefit.

Using the data provided by the World Bank, Minister Jagdeo showed that if this is followed Guyana, Uganda and Bolivia should be the first three countries to benefit from the impending debit facility.

The Minister said the IMF will be transforming some of its reserves from the enhanced structural Adjustment Facility to be used for debt relief.




DRAFT DEVELOPMENTAL STRATEGY READY



A draft of the National Development Strategy to take Guyana into the 21st century is ready. In keeping with the Government's program of ensuring that there is wide consultation and national consensus on the final document, Minority Leader Desmond Hoyte received the first five chapters from Finance Minister Bharrat Jagdeo who coordinated efforts to compile the strategy.

Minister Jagdeo disclosed that copies will also be sent to all political parties shortly. Cabinet will soon be examining the document that will result in a public launching date.

Some 23 working groups comprising of persons from all sectors of society have participated in the formulation of the draft document.




GUYANA, US TO REVIEW DEPORTEES ISSUE



Guyana and the United States are to review the controversial deportees issue. Discussions to this effect were held on October 8 between Home Affairs Minister Feroze Mohamed and the Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Guyana, Hugh Simon.

Mohamed and Simon agreed to review the question of criminal deportees to Guyana with a view to reduce anxieties among the Guyanese communities over the threat they pose.

The two officials expressed optimism at the outcome of their first meeting and agreed on further collaboration in the common fight against illegal drugs.




NEW GEC POWER PLANT ARRIVES



Power generating units for the new 22-megawatt Kingston power station have arrived in Guyana. Their arrival coincides with test runs on the second new 11-megawatt power station at Garden of Eden. Both the Kingston and the Garden of Eden stations are part of the Government's promise earlier this year to inject over 30 megawatts of electricity into the national system using new units.

The first Garden of Eden 11-megawatt power station was built in 1994 and is being managed by the generation set suppliers', Wartsila. The two new stations will also come under the same form of management.