…”we will not be intimidated”—JagdeoThe coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has unleashed the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) against senior members of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) hierarchy as part of its retaliatory action for exposing members of the incumbent Administration during the consideration of the 2017 Budgetary Estimates.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo delivered this charge on Thursday during an impromptu press engagement in the Committee Room of the National Assembly, even as the House continued considerations of the estimates for the 10 administrative regions.According to Jagdeo, at least five members of the PPP/C Executive have received letters from the GRA in relation to purported outstanding property taxes.Jagdeo told the media that the members he has spoken with thus far, have denied owing GRA any outstanding taxes.Finance Minister Winston JordanThose that the GRA had written to—even as the consideration of the estimates continued—are Dr Frank Anthony, Indra Chandarpal, Irfaan Ali, Joseph Hamilton and Bishop Juan Edghill.The letters were dispatched on Wednesday and Thursday.Lashing out at the move by the GRA, Jagdeo called the move an act of vindictiveness on the part of Government either as a collective or on the part of Finance Minister Winston Jordan.“They think by threatening investigations, to lock up people, that they will intimidate people,” Jagdeo charged as he defiantly declared “they are never gonna muzzle us.”According to the opposition leader, if the Government were to be judged by their own standards, half of the Cabinet would be placed in jail over the drug bond and D’Urban Park fiascos alone.Calling the move by Government a diversionary tactic, the Opposition Leader told the media that the PPP/C members written to, will be responding to GRA.He called the action by GRA a continuing trend on the part of Government, saying “every time we expose them, they then go after us.”A defiant Jagdeo has since challenged the Government to, “come after us, it is no problem, you should have done that already, it has been two years, do the worse that you can do.” According to Jagdeo, the Administration has been in office for close to two years and has completed a number of forensic audits which it has claimed, proves illegalities.Jagdeo, said to the Administration: “Charge who you have to charge, we will not be intimidated by Government.”Meanwhile the Opposition Leader also used the occasion to respond to both Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Finance Minster Jordan—both of whom would have rebutted his arguments during their presentations to the debate on the 2017 Estimates.According to Jagdeo, there isn’t much to respond to as it relates to Nagamootoo since his presentation was more of the same, true to form with a presentation 75 per cent about himself.He criticised Nagamootoo over the expenditure to be borne by the state on him, saying he was the person who preached about living the Cadillac lifestyle in a donkey cart economy in reference to the PPP/C Administration while in office.Jagdeo told the media that Nagamootoo is the same person who will be costing the treasury almost $12 million monthly.He said this is in addition to the almost $100 million that was spent to upgrade the facilities of his residence, purchase new furniture and a $22 million luxury ride.According to the former President, the annual upkeep of the Prime Minister alone is roughly equivalent to five per cent of the total wages of all of the workers in the employ of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).Turning his attention to the Finance Minister, Jagdeo said it is sad and pathetic that a significant part of the minister’s speech which should be in defence of the 2017 Budget, was in fact “spent on Jagdeo and praising himself…he went to best school, and was super finance minister all these years.”According to Jagdeo, for Minister Jordan to have to resort to such a presentation is illustrative of the fact that “either he doesn’t want to deal with issues at hand or insecure.”Responding to the Finance Minister’s assertion that his (Jagdeo’s) salary had in fact skyrocketed 500 per cent during his tenure in Office, Jagdeo said what the Minister failed to reveal is that Prime Minister Nagamootoo will get “$30 million more than I got and he was never President.”On the matter of Jordan’s character assassination of the former President, he told the media he has a different recollection of Jordan in the Ministry of Finance and maintains that he was never part of the policy aspect of a budget but was merely responsible for putting together various pieces of the document prepared by others, such as the Central Bank and Public Debt departments of the Ministry of Finance, “and thinking it was wonderful, technical work he was doing.”
A special tactical unit used explosives to enter the building shortly after midnight and shot John Ashley to death after he opened fire, police spokesman Sgt. Clifford Gatlin said. Police said Ashley repeatedly shot at them during the 10-hour standoff Thursday and even shot at a remote-controlled police robot they sent inside. No officers were hurt. “This is, it’s a shock,” Gatlin said. “It’s big for us because we know everybody.” Ashley, a retired city maintenance worker, was found in the back of the office, which was converted from a single-story house. The two people police say he killed were found in the front of the building, where police rescued one of the three surviving victims Thursday afternoon. The other survivors escaped on their own. RAMPAGE: Louisiana gunman, described as a church deacon, is killed after a standoff at law firm. By Doug Simpson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALEXANDRIA, La. – Anger over a divorce settlement may have driven a 63-year-old Baptist deacon to shoot five people in a law office, killing two, and then exchange gunfire with police, authorities said Friday. Gatlin said investigators have learned the shooting was “a possible dispute over a divorce settlement,” but that he had no further details. He said investigators will need to speak with the three survivors to determine a motive, and at least two of them were seriously injured. The shooting rampage near the Rapides Parish Courthouse astounded people who knew Ashley in Alexandria, a central Louisiana town of about 46,000. Ashley was a deacon and sang in the choir at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, said Freddie Lawson, a fellow congregant. Ashley attended Bible study every Wednesday night this year, except the night before the shootings, Lawson said. “I’ve never heard him raise his voice,” said Charlie Gilmore, Ashley’s neighbor and a local pastor. “I never heard of him being violent.” Police Chief Daren Coutee said officers called Ashley repeatedly on his cell phone and the office phone throughout the day but he refused to talk. “We did all we could do as far as negotiations were concerned,” Coutee said. Authorities identified the dead as Camille “Joey” Giordano II, a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. The other person killed was Marty Thiels, 50, a postal worker delivering mail to the law firm. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!