Is this all the PNCR leadership is capable of inspiring?
I watched with sorrow the antics of the PNCR and its misled followers. It seems they are unable or unwilling to accept the facts of life in Guyana.
There are more Indian Guyanese than African Guyanese residing in Guyana, and once voting at general elections proceeds along racial lines, there is no hope for an African Guyanese government ever to be elected. We could argue and debate this issue ad nauseam, but these are the facts. And facts are stubborn things! They do not vanish in the presence of specious “logic” and argumentation.
So, what should be done? So far, the African Guyanese camp has nurtured, and has been encouraged to nurture, intense racial hatred for the Indian Guyanese Government and anyone associated with it. Where has this “strategy” gotten the African Guyanese? And yet again there are marches and demonstrations in flagrant breach of the law and clearly aimed at instigating confrontation. Is this all the PNCR leadership is capable of inspiring? Or is the leadership allowing a grass-root hooligan element to dictate its agenda? I know the PNCR can do better than this.
It is time for the PNCR to rise to a level of non-partisan leadership; I know they are capable of this. It is necessary for the highest leadership of the PNCR to initiate meetings with their counterparts in the PPP. The agenda: “The Way Forward for a United, Peaceful, And Prosperous Guyana”. This development may be difficult for the rank-and-file racists in both parties to accept, but I expect leaders to lead! Leaders of both the PPP and the PNCR must let all their members and followers understand that our divisive racist nonsense, which prevented Guyana from realising its greatest potential, has come to an end. A new day has dawned across the land! Racism, at any level, will not be tolerated or encouraged.
These meetings must be held, of course, in good faith and with an abundance of tolerance and understanding: brothers and sisters of one family seeking to resolve and settle an old family quarrel.
Why must the PNCR be the party to initiate these meetings? There are two reasons. First, the perception of Guyanese and non -Guyanese in many foreign countries is that the PNCR is the problem in Guyana. The PNCR must, therefore, clearly demonstrate its willingness to play an active, positive, and constructive part in solving the political and other problems facing Guyana. Simultaneously, the PPP will be given the opportunity to show evidence of its willingness or unwillingness to engage the PNCR in substantive dialogue aimed at bringing to an end Guyana’s racial cleavage. Second, the PNCR is the only political party in Guyana that can guarantee racial harmony in the country. And it is time for the PNCR to sublimate this capacity, transforming it into a positive dynamism for the betterment of Guyana.
I am fully aware that I am asking the PNCR to rise to an unprecedented level of patriotism; to abandon hubris and place the interests of Guyana first; and to exhibit a quality of leadership unprecedented in Guyana’s history. But I would not have asked, I would not have appealed, had I not known that the potential for such sterling leadership resides in the hearts, heads, and hands of the current PNCR leadership.
Wilbert M. Stephenson
Who, really, is in charge in Guyana?
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has, yet again, expressed its continued disappointment with the actions of the Leader of the PNCR, Mr. Robert Corbin, and a number of his party members and supporters, who took part in an unlawful procession around the streets of Georgetown on Thursday, 15 May.
This was despite “no approval” being given for the march by the Police, and repeated warnings by Police officers that any such procession would be illegal.
Questions remain in the minds of most Guyanese.
Will Robert Corbin walk to work on a daily basis with a few hundred followers, who will say they are going to catch the bus?
How long will Robert Corbin be allowed to flaunt the laws of Guyana before serious action is taken against him and his followers?
Why is Robert Corbin allowed to disobey and defy the laws?
Is the Leader of the opposition PNCR, Robert Corbin, above the law of this land?
It certainly seems so, because Robert Corbin and his followers continue to do what they want, legal or illegal.
I continue to warn that there are more sinister things to come for the Guyanese nation in the near future from the opposition PNCR.
It leaves many to wonder who really is in charge.
Revisit history before you talk about marginalisation
There is much debate going on now about marginalisation in this country. One should revisit the history of Guyana first to see who was marginalised.
Guyana is a former British colony on the North-East coast of South America. The ethnic composition of its population can verify it.
Despite an electoral system of government and a party-political structure rooted in strong ethnic alignments, a predominantly black party had been in political power from 1964 to1992. Although winning outright victories in elections in 1968 and 1973, the party’s political strength and its drawbacks rested in the resources of its mainly black supporters, and especially those in the Government administrative sector.
It is the support of the latter which placed the black political elite in a strategically advantageous position to assume political power after independence. On the other hand, the East Indian-based political party, although numerically strong, had been unable to regain political office, which was lost in 1964 after three years of civil strife, during which it depended upon the British military to maintain order.
Such a political structure, where a minority holds political power, can only be explained in terms of the evolution of the institutional interests of the different groups.
Such interests are deeply embedded in the country’s history as a colonial plantation society. The policy of the colonial elite towards the East Indian was aimed at ensuring that he remained available for, and dependent upon, employment on the plantation. At the end of the East Indian immigration in 1917, over 230,000 indentured labourers had been brought into the colony.
The East Indian, like most other people, remained in the colony because he made a better living here than anywhere else. And with the facilities given him for rice cultivation by the sugar estate people -- facilities not given to any other race — he rapidly acquired a competence.
With his own labour and that of his family, his expenditure for rice cultivation was almost nil. These great facilities the East Indian do not fail to take advantage of, and thus the scheme succeeded. Today, East Indians have almost totally replaced the Portuguese as large businessmen, and over 80 percent of all doctors and lawyers in the country are East Indians.
On the other hand, East Indians continue to be under-represented in the Government sector. In 1964, East Indian employees were only 20 percent of the security forces, 33 percent of the Civil Service, and 27 percent of the labour force in Government agencies. These low percentages highlight the effect of institutionalised discrimination against the employment of the East Indians. After election in 1964, the PNC, with 40 percent of the vote, and the UF, with 12 percent, formed a coalition Government. Burnham’s control of the Civil Service and the security forces through the support of the black population made it highly improbable that another political figure could run the country. The key to political power was in his hands.
In 1968, he used his control of the administrative machinery to ensure his party of a majority in Parliament in an election which, by most evidence, was rigged.
The private business sector relied heavily upon Government business for its survival. This dependence made the individual businessman very vulnerable to political sanction, and many in the predominantly East Indian business community were forced to support the PNC for their survival.
The world is watching with disgust and shame
In response to Denton Osbourne’s letter captioned "Guyanese are tired" dated May 17,08.
For you to call Jagdeo and the PPP/C Government an “evil dictator” you must first take a good, long look at Burnham and Hoyte.
Now Corbin is trying his hands at grabbing power with his so called illegal protest marches.
Corbin called the PPP/C dictator and now you are jumping on his band wagon.
Corbin and you must be reminded that neither of you would have had a media to write your poison had Jagdeo and the PPP/C been dictator.
Your voices would have been silenced and Corbin behind bars for frivolous protest marches.
Oh, and don't forget that CARIFESTA is your beloved Forbes Burnham’s idea.
Back then CARIFESTA was entertainment and nice for you to celebrate.
Now you called it nonsense and you want it stopped so the PPP/C Government could feed you instead.
Guyana is fortunate to have prudent leaders in the Jagdeo Administration so people like you could vent your poison.
Guyanese are fortunate to have a land blessed with an abundance of foods so why not utilise it instead for wanting Government to feed you.
The world is watching with disgust and shame to see only a handful of PNCR protesters are starving to death in Guyana.
Why not ask Corbin to take care of things at his end and start putting the books in order for the Guyanese people's money?
Why not ask the PNC to stop terrorising innocent Guyanese with vile threats.
Why not ask Corbin to stop the frivolous protest marches and comply with the laws of the land?
Why not ask Corbin how Guyana became one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere from 1962 to 1992 when his PNC was in power illegally?
Why not ask Corbin if his PNC ever won free fair and transparent elections in Guyana?
Why not ask Corbin if ninety six (96) cents out of ever dollar collected went to service US $2 billion debts the PNC incurred?
Why not ask Corbin how Guyana became a failed state during PNC illegal dictatorial 28 years rule?
Why not ask Corbin how he intends to feed you with that kind of debt your PNCR incurred during their 28 years of illegal, brutal dictatorial rule?
Why not ask Corbin why, when, how and who devalued our dollar?
Why not ask Corbin who banned foods from Guyana?
You still want to call Jagdeo and PPP/C Government dictator?
The majority of Guyanese knows that your PNC was a "BRUTAL DICTATORSHIP".
Guyanese are clever enough to see what Corbin and his paid supporters are all about.
Come on Denton Osbourne, be brave, go and ask Corbin the above mentioned questions I posed to you.
Then come back and tell us all who is dictator and who was the real BRUTAL DICTATORS to Guyana and Guyanese.
A despicable act
The attack that happened on the Ministry of Culture is a despicable act. It seems that these persons have totally lost their moral groundings.
This can only be seen as a message being sent by these criminals.
What can be achieved by shooting at a building when no one is there, except to send a message? The sad part of the whole situation is that everyone understood the message clearly; that certain people are against Carifesta being held in Guyana.
To take such drastic acts show how utterly low these people will go to cause conflict and chaos in the country.
Carifesta is the ‘baby’ that came from Guyana and grew into a regional festival. It is coming back to Guyana after 36 years, how can any patriotic Guyanese oppose this festival?
It is indeed a sad day in our nation when people put their petty differences in front of their nation.
Guyana is in a position where it can benefit greatly from this event, the opportunities are endless. We cannot allow senseless criminals and their supporters to deter our country from benefitting from Carifesta.
Is there any link?
I distinctly remember that during a protest march organised by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) in April, the call was made for no Carifesta until the suspension of the CNS Channel 6 licence for four months is lifted.
During that protest march PNCR Leader, Robert Corbin, stated that protest actions would be taken in an effort to make Carifesta ‘unmanageable’ if Sharma’s suspension was not revoked.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, which to my knowledge has never been in the centre of any controversy, was attacked on the evening of May 16, by persons who fired indiscriminately and hurled a channa bomb.
What is also interesting is that the incident occurred just after gunmen discharged a number of rounds on the Water Chris hotel on Waterloo Street a few minutes before.
Why such callous attacks on these two buildings? Is it to send a strong message to the visitors coming for Carifesta X that they should be fearful of staying in hotels during the period, or is it an attempt to affect the Culture Ministry which is the main body spearheading activities for Carifesta?
I am left to wonder if there is a link between this recent development and PNCR’s intention to make Carifesta unmanageable.
DORIS AGATHA SMITH