Joint Opposition continues to stymie Amerindian development
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THE National Toshaos Council (NTC), being a mandated representative-organisation of Amerindians, the first people of this beautiful country, stand in amazement and disgust at the brutal action taken by the combined Opposition against a peaceful people. We had great expectations of this budget for the things we, the leaders, had lobbied for at the last National Toshaos Conference held in October 2013: The Amerindian Development Funds under MoAA’s Capital Budget Proposal, and on which stand our hopes for developmental initiatives, have been disapproved.The Youth Apprenticeship and Entrepreneurship Programme, which plays an integral role in equipping Amerindian youths as future leaders, who have been rendered unemployed, has been hijacked from us with utter disregard.
Our annual Presidential Grant is in jeopardy, which will stymie the progress of the village economies.
The Toshaos Conference is a lost opportunity where village leaders can bring their concerns to the highest forum and interact with the President and his Cabinet. The non-funding of this mandated body is a total repudiation of international standards regarding decision-making participation of Indigenous Peoples.
The NTC, as the legitimate voice of the Amerindian people, is boldly condemning this unjustified action by the Opposition parties.
Amerindian people feel betrayed by the indigenous parliamentarians who sit on the Opposition bench. How can they face their people? How can they justify their action to their brothers and sisters who have put them there?
The NTC is making it very clear to the combined Opposition that they should withdraw their biased and unfair action in the Parliament if they truly have a genuine respect for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Development, as they so loudly proclaim.
RENATO J. GONZALES, MSC, MM
Organisational Development Advisor
Ministry of Amerindian Affairs

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