Victims of Linden unrest need more compensation – Finance Minister
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has called on government to support him to provide more compensation for the the victims of the fiery and bloody 2012 unrest in Linden that had stemmed from a plan by the then government to increase electricity rates there.
Jordan issued the call in wrapping up debate on the 2019 National Budget in which GYD$5 million have been set aside for the construction of a monument in honour of the Linden Martyrs- Ron Somerset, Shemroy Bouyea and Allan Lewis who were gunned down during the unrest on July 18, 2012.
“I am asking my section here to revisit the compensation that was given to those people. Not only that they must get it but think about it. The total compensation given to those people was less than the compensation given to one commissioner…Shame! and I am asking my government to see it in their heart” Jordan told the House. The 32 PPP parliamentarians walked out of the House before Jordan began his presentation in what appeared to have been a tit-for-tat as the government MPs had done so before Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had started.
Jordan accused the opposition parliamentarian, Vickram Bharrat of spewing “misinformation” that the coalition-led administration had budgeted GYD$100 million to build a monument in remembrance of the Linden Martyrs. He said the actual amount was GYD$5 million.
The unrest had been sparked off by the decision by the then administration to remove the annual subsidy for electricity generation in the once thriving bauxite mining town. “They were unarmed people protesting for their rights and they were killed,” said Jordan who has in recent weeks been increasingly stepping into the political arena.