Renaming Region 9 not a priority – Vice Chairman

first_img… 50+ villages yet to approve renamingWhile the Lethem municipality seems to be onboard with the retitling of ‘Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo)’ to just ‘The Rupununi’, there are some 56 villages that need to participate in the process before the administrative region is officially renamed.Region Nine Vice Chairman, Karl Singh explained that within each of the other villages, which encompassed the interior savannahs, the village leaders/Toshao will have to embark on a process to get the views of each resident regarding the name change.According to Singh, an approval from each village would only be valid if two-thirds of the village’s population are in favour of renaming the region.Personally, Singh said he is not against the renaming of Region Nine but he believes that too much energy and time is being exerted behind this activity when there are more pressing issues to be addressed including problems in the education and health sectors.The Mayor and Town Council of Lethem in collaboration with the regional administration on Monday concluded talks on the renaming of the region, and the institution of regional flags and symbols.Lethem Mayor Carlton Beckles spoke to the residents about the regional identity and the decentralisation of power.According to an article by the Government Information Agency (GINA), most of the Lethem residents were in favour of the name Rupununi instead of Upper Takatu, Upper Essequibo.Regional Chairman Bryan Allicock who attended the meetings, also spoke to residents about the role of the region in the consultations and the importance of the flags as a symbol in forging a regional patrimony and identity.Several residents said they preferred to have the red colour at the top of the flag since it represents the zeal of the people and the people must be placed ahead of the green which symbolises its rich forestry.However, the move by Government to assign separate flags for each administrative region has been met with strong objections from the parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which believes more time, energy and resources ought to be spent on better governance.The party had declared that the Golden Arrowhead is the constitutional flag of Guyana, adding that any other flag imposed will be contrary to the country’s Constitution.Regional flagsThe decision to give each region its own flag was announced last year by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, who noted that the initiative was all part and parcel of a wider effort to promote the decentralisation of each of the 10 administrative regions and encourage each district to embrace its uniqueness.However, the PPP/C believes that there will be an overwhelming rejection from the regions, mostly by residents who would prefer jobs, enhanced public security, money in their pockets, better roads, improved potable water supply and efficient garbage collection over flags.“Rather than seeking to change things that obtained under the PPP/C and to make things look different under the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC, the Granger coalition Administration should change their racial and political discriminatory and witch hunting practices, as well as their wasteful spending and focus on improving the economic and social well-being of all Guyanese,” the Party had stated.last_img read more