For many years it has been argued that Guyana needs a positive immigration policy that takes account of the stagnation in its population growth – a combination of heavy migration and a low birth rate. A low population density and vast open spaces suitable for settlement provide the opportunities for attracting migrants, or more feasibly, re-migrants. It also makes sense to try to boost population numbers as a larger internal economy is created and there is a greater growing of wealth. Had there not been the exodus of decades before, the population of Guyana today could easily have been over two million and providing the ignition for greater economic development. Today the population hovers around 740,000 with great concentration on the coastland and the sparsely populated interior.
It is unclear whether President Jagdeo was contemplating this conundrum when he met with Chinese nationals on Friday at the Chinese-built International Convention Centre at Liliendaal. Whatever his motivation, President Jagdeo delivered yet another puzzling performance that will leave policymakers and lawmakers wondering whether they have a role at all in the affairs of this country.
While there was nothing wrong with the Presi-dent convening a meeting with Chinese nationals, it was utterly unacceptable for him to unilaterally declare that Chinese nationals who were living here legally for seven years would now be entitled to citizenship of the country and that work permits would be extended from one to three years.
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December 7, 2010
Posted by Annalee Davis