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first_img…as CoI continuesNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman on Monday stated that the Ministry has pledged support to the veterans of the security forces, throwing out proposals for lands to be set aside for housing, mining, or farming for them.Natural Resources Minister Raphael TrotmanTrotman made this statement at the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the conditions and circumstances facing veterans of the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Peoples Militia and the Guyana National Service. He stated that he has recognised that the protectors and defenders of the national patrimony must be given an inheritance or parts of that patrimony.“…they should be guaranteed specific portions that are set aside for this purpose. It may be land that is either in housing, mining, farming or forestry,” he said, pointing out to the Chairman of the CoI that: “as a means of both ensuring access to resources to veterans and for ensuring beneficial occupation of territory, persons may be assigned lands for settlements based on Company or Corps structure”.He affirmed that in his opinion, service to one’s country is the highest and most important form of service and when that service involves protecting and advancing the values, ideals, symbols and patrimony of the State and people, then it is to be treasured and set apart for the highest commendation.“It is selfless and sacrificial service that must be respected and rewarded,” he added, stating that these servicemen and women should be honoured for their service to the nation. He stated that the Ministry has several possible perspectives on how it can support the veterans.Trotman said in terms of mining in particular, many veterans are engaged in obtaining lands; therefore, he opined that mining lands can be set aside for individual servicemen or women or for large groups structured around what is referred to as a syndicate.Also, he stated, as Guyana develops the concept of generational transfers and sovereign wealth, and in the same way 20 per cent of royalties collected from mining within Amerindian titled villages is set aside, it is proposed for consideration that a percentage of royalties earned be transferred to the Treasury for addition to veterans’ pensions.The CoI is set up to investigate, examine, and report on the required support to enable the transition from service to civilian life for servicemen and women; the quality of welfare service that promotes independence, maintains dignity, and provides the required support after service; and the eligibility and adequacy of veterans’ benefits.These benefits include “compensation for disabling injuries, psychological trauma, or a terminal disease resulting from his or her participation in service activities; dedicated counselling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder or related conditions; honouring and memorialising of fallen veterans; education, training and skills’ development; facilitation of employment placement; facilitation of or advice on business opportunities; pension; access to healthcare; and housing”.Retired Colonel Desmond Roberts was sworn in before Georgetown Magistrate Judy Latchman as the lone Commissioner to deliver, within two months, a report on the findings into those matters; and to inquire into all incidental consequential matters connected therewith, to report the findings and conclusions, and to advise the State on the conditions and circumstances facing the veterans”.The report will be given to President David Granger.last_img read more

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first_imgVice President Joseph Boakai has said that the rule of law is crucial to the building of a vibrant democratic society in which the rights of all citizens are guaranteed.“There is no way a country can go on without the rule of law,” the VP said, when he visited with authorities of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Voinjama City, Lofa County, during his week-long post-Ebola tour. He visited the Court in order to acquaint himself with activities there.He further stated that the provision of logistics for the courts to do their work is critical to the legal process and promised that government will make sure that courts are properly empowered to do their work to ensure the rule of law in the country. The lack of these basic logistics has contributed to the slow pace of the dispensing of justice in the country, he said.He noted that Judge Nancy Finda Sammy, who was not present, had acquainted him with the challenges facing the court, including conveying prisoner(s) from other parts of the county and lack of transportation for the court’s operations.He praised her for restoring dignity to the court.The Tenth Judicial Circuit of Lofa County presented a document listing the critical needs and priorities of the court to the Vice President. The VP said he would consult with judicial authorities in Monrovia for proper redress.One of the requests that Mr. Foday A. Konneh, Coordinator, Lofa County Branch, National Association of Trial Judges, presented to the VP was that there be two pre-trial detention centers for holding accused persons until their conviction. They must be transferred to the Voinjama Central Prison. “One of these pre-trial detention centers should be located in Zorzor City to serve Zorzor and Salayea Districts. Another should be built in Kolahun City to serve Kolahun, Vahun and Foya Districts.”“As earlier discussed with you by Judge Sammy,” Konneh further stated, “we also wish to remind you of the dire need for vehicles to help transfer accused persons and convicts from various magisterial Courts as had been done by UNMIL.”Earlier, the Vice President toured the Voinjama Market where a new market building under the auspices of the Sirleaf Market Women Fund is being constructed. He also visited the Lofa County Community College to acquaint himself with the situation there.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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