As Mr. Glenn Lall of Kaieteur News and the other independent newspaper, the Stabroek News, publish stories about the bad deals we have with our oil and gas contracts, more and more people understand that the PNC and the PPP sold our oil. , leaving us with “larwah” over what Exxon and friends are getting from us. The National Movement for Renegotiation is gaining strength and momentum, and it is only a matter of time before the PPP and PNC have no choice but to join the bandwagon of this emerging grassroots movement. . It had to happen. As they say, “You can fool some people all the time (like those PNC and PPP diehards who think you’re against their party if you criticize their sale of oil), but you can’t fool everyone.” world. all the time.” For me, the oil “contract” is more of an “deed of donation” of oil and gas; it is not a real contract where Guyana has the bulk of the profits. It is a donation of oil and gas from the two main parties that has plagued our country for 60 years.
Glenn Lall’s recent protests for renegotiation, complemented by police harassment by taking protest vehicles and a public address system into the station, are causing more and more people to realize that they will continue to be poor and destitute in a land of plenty, unless the contract is renegotiated to give Guyana more revenue from its resources. Our list of needs is long, but the money we get from oil is insufficient to meet the needs. This means that for the rest of our lives, we would all need weekly baskets to survive. Business people and friends of government would dance to the bank, just like the oil companies do. It is the wage earners, the minimum wage earners, the small market gardeners, the fishermen, the security guards and the army of the independents who would continue to suffer until their death.
Recent environmental lawsuits brought by brave lawyers – Ms. Melinda Janki and Mr. Ronald Burch-Smith (an emerging hero defending Guyana) – will help the cause of renegotiation. This lawsuit will reveal that our government is colluding with oil profiteers against the people of Guyana who want strict enforcement of environmental protections and more benefits from oil and gas production.
We salute the courage of Sherlina Nageer, Andriska Thorington (a UG student) and Sinikka Henry (a UG lecturer) in filing the recent complaint against the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency to put a end to offshore gas flaring by ExxonMobil. These citizens are doing what the government and the opposition should have done to protect our country. With the failure of the PPP and the PNC to fight for the people, members of civil society have mobilized to save an entire nation. Those who attack members of civil society who sign protest letters and speak out against bad oil and gas deals should bow their heads in shame. History will remember that these snipers were on the wrong side. The real heroes are people like Troy Thomas, who is a plaintiff in the recently filed environmental lawsuit, and our three Guyanese women Andriska Thorington, Sherlina Nageer, Sinikka Henry – emerging heroes – who represent the people, not crooked politicians. It’s so refreshing to see the people of UG waking up and speaking out. I hope this is the start of a new activism at UG that has been so docile for so long. UG student Ms Thorington said: ‘As a youngster I cannot sit idly by and watch my future burn. Young people everywhere are taking action to stop oil and gas from destroying the planet. I call on the youth of Guyana to question this oil and gas and all the propaganda about jobs, money and benefits. Young people need to be aware that money and supposed benefits will cease to matter if our environment is destroyed.
Nation, now is the time to intensify and support the National Movement for the renegotiation of all natural resource contracts. Please support upcoming activities. I hope that this movement will welcome the arrival of the boss of Exxon in Guyana for the conference on energy in February.
Dr. Jerry Jailall