Dear Editor,

In part I of this series, this author demonstrated how the Oil and Gas Governance Network (OGGN) has departed from its stated mission and has violated U.S laws and regulations under which the organization is governed, thereby rendering the legitimacy, credibility and modus operandi of the organization and its members questionable. One of the authors who contributed to the OGGN report that was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), was Dr. Janette Bulkan.

Readers would recall that this author had exposed Dr. Bulkan for having a covert, hostile political agenda against the PPP/C Government.

To that end, it has already been established by this author that Dr. Janette Bulkan’s endorsement for the APNU+AFC/PNC is not one that is underpinned by the merit of their policies per se; rather it appears based on the fact that her sibling served as a former minister under the APNU+AFC Government. Former Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, is the brother of Dr. Janette Bulkan. This may explain why Janette Bulkan has an established track record of antagonizing the PPP/C Government in the pre-2015 era as she then went missing during the period 2015-2020, and re-emerged in 2020 to present.

Yet, Dr. Janette Bulkan has the audacity to pretend as though she cares in a genuine way for the Amerindian people, while she labeled the carbon credit deal fraudulent. A deal that transfers tangible benefits to the Amerindian communities to finance their village development programmes. Thus, it is reasonable to question her credibility as a spokesperson on the issue at this point since she had no such concern for this same group of people during the period 2015-2020 under the former government.

It was the former APNU+AFC Government that had terminated some 2,000 Amerindians who worked in their communities as Community Support Officers (CSOs), effectively taking away about $4 billion annually from the Amerindian villages. This is not the only injustice to the Amerindians by the former government that Janette Bulkan never spoke out against.

The former government had also added Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air transport which increased the cost of goods and airfares for the people residing in hinterland communities. It is worth mentioning that the Amerindian Land Titling project was left dormant under the former government.

The above-mentioned were just few of the atrocities inflicted upon the Amerindian communities by the former government. However, it is the same Janette Bulkan who now pretends to be the champion for the very people whom she had no interest in fighting for their rights to be restored, much less for more benefits.

In light of the foregoing revelations, how can the Guyanese people trust Janette Dr. Bulkan and her colleagues over at the OGGN? They have absolutely no legitimate intention whatsoever and no credibility that is anchored in the best interest for Guyana and the Guyanese people. And it might be worth noting that while they are of Guyanese origin, none of them reside in Guyana and none of them pay taxes in Guyana, but they have a problem with this author, a taxpaying Guyanese citizen residing in Guyana, and who consistently exposed their duplicitousness, challenge their arguments, discredit their arguments, and expose their covert political agenda.

The OGGN is touted as registered non-profit entity in the U.S, but their work violates the U.S tax laws and regulations under which they are governed; and they have no constituents whom they represent other than their own political agenda. It begs the question, in view of these violations, are the OGGN directors engaged in a fraudulent endeavor? Are they defrauding the U.S government at the expense of the Guyanese people, under a false pretext? These are legitimate questions that Guyanese must ask. Where is the transparency and accountability of the OGGN?

Finally, the OGGN’s implicit complaint to the UNHRC is that the Government does not facilitate any consultation with them. But one has to appreciate that as it pertains to engaging civil society organizations on the part of the government, the government has a responsibility to ensure that those organizations are legitimate, such that they are duly established under the laws of Guyana, that they have a wide membership that forms their constituents, that they hold Annual General Meetings (AGM) and elections as per their constitution/bylaws to elect the executive boards/governing boards, and that their financial reports are made public. The OGGN cannot withstand this level of scrutiny, which means that the government is well in order to not engage or even recognize the OGGN. Accordingly, all other legitimate and properly constituted civil society organizations in Guyana are recognized and consulted by the government, on an ongoing basis on issues of national importance and public policy.

Yours respectfully,
Joel Bhagwandin


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