November 28, 2015


….and politics
Two weeks ago, when the APNU/AFC Government did a volte face (which was soooo sudden it must’ve given Winston Jordan whiplash!) to announce the Specialty Hospital was “on again”, your Eyewitness wrote thusly: “Wanna bet Ramjattan’s client (Fedders Lloyd) wins the bid this time?” But even your jaded yours truly couldn’t conceive that Ramjattan’s client would be handed the contract WITHOUT a bid!

Assuming office as the Minister of Public Security (and he sure did assume a lot! Half his bailiwick had already been hived off to Winston Felix!), Khemraj Ramjattan did say that all crimes were caused by greed. He should know because he seems determined to test the limits of what constitutes a “high crime and misdemeanour”. GREED!

His predecessor (but with the full powers), Clement Rohee had cited Erskine May’s 23rd edition, page 132, footnote 4, to define the crime: “The offer of money or other advantage to any Member of Parliament for the promoting of any matter whatsoever depending or to be transacted in Parliament is a high crime and a misdemeanour.”

And Ramjattan’s “high crime and a misdemeanour”? Well, being the lawyer of the Indian company Fedders Lloyd pursuing the constructing of the Specialty Hospital under a Government of India Letter of Credit for US$20 million – WHEN HE WAS AN MP!! The man was all for the Hospital, but as soon as his client lost out, this is what the Stabroek News reported back in August 2012:

“Legal representative for Fedders Lloyd Corporation, Khemraj Ramjattan says that Government should “retract and rescind” the contract awarded to Surendra Engineering to build a specialty hospital as it falls short on technical expertise and financing.” Apart from the fact that Ramjattan assumed the knowledge to judge the “technical expertise” to build a Specialty Hospital, the paper elaborated (we quote the Stabber lest some cynic claims your Eyewitness isn’t a modern Solomon):

“Ramjattan and his client have charged that the procurement process was fraudulent and plan to raise the issue with the Government of India and the India’s Export Import (EXIM) Bank as well as the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) here.”
But, incredibly, when the conflict of interest and “high crime and misdemeanour” were raised in Parliament, Ramjattan claimed HE NEVER TOOK FEES FROM FEDDERS LLOYD!! Now talk about “testing the credulity of the electorate”!!! Has anyone in the world EVER – even ONCE – gone to a lawyer and had him represent them for FREE??? It’s not that ALL lawyers are GREEDY – their Code of Ethics instructs them they HAVE to take a fee before representing their client!!
So what is it? Ramjattan is in the business of practising law for free? For a multinational client that did US$200 million last year?
Ramjattan is the new Gandhi of politics! All hail!

…and lies
Now since your Eyewitness knows the then SN’s undisputed and uncontested description will now be challenged by Ramjattan (the man who said he didn’t really say “dead meat”, but “deer meat”) let’s hear what the Chairman of the AFC, Nigel Hughes, had to say to a press conference in “defence” of his leader’s “high crime and misdemeanour”.

“The real issue is whether or not the procedures that were set out in the tender documents were adhered to. There is no rule in the profession that stops Mr Ramjattan, who is a practising attorney, from plying his trade as a lawyer.”

In words that have a bearing not only on Ramjattan’s status as Fedders Lloyd’s lawyer, but on what transpired for the present award, Hughes continued: “If Fedders Lloyd is awarded the contract, I would assume and hope that it is after a very transparent process of retendering, where everyone who has been invited to tender and the process of evaluation is transparent.”

It looks like Hughes’ “assumption and hope” were dashed. Hope he would ask his leader to resign.
It would be the honourable thing to do. And they’re all “honourable” men, no?

Share Button

The good life…

…in a green economy
The theme of the budget presented by the APNU/AFC coalition (which will never be a unity party, if Ramjattan’s to be believed) was “A Fresh Approach, to a Good Life In a Green Economy”. As we approach the end of the half-year the Budget covered, maybe we can look at how far we’ve come to achieving those broad goals?

“A Fresh Approach”. Well, the new Government’s approach to governance was certainly “new”. When was the last time you heard of a government in the modern world, leaving the economy on autopilot. You can do this on airplanes – and soon it will be introduced in cars – but economies? Modern Governments have a commitment towards developing their economies. And while some may quibble about whether that’s fully expressed in expanding growth rates, everybody accepts while we may have “growth and no development”, there’s no way on earth to have development without growth.

But apart is expressing “faith” that the original 3.4 per cent growth rate projected by the departed PPP Administration’s gonna be reached, what has the Government actually done? ZILCH, that’s what. And we return to the question of whether “auto-pilot” is the “fresh approach” of this Administration? Auto-pilot works in planes because there are computers figuring out all that has to be done and transmitting the info directly to the equipment.

So where’s the computer running the Guyanese economy? Maybe Jordan convinced his bosses that the “invisible hand” guiding economies means “Look Ma! No hands”?

The “good life”? What’s that? Living with the spiralling crime? No, strike that…serious crimes “only” jumped eight per cent from last year and that doesn’t make it a spiral according to the Police. And the Private Sector should be bitch slapped for daring to suggest otherwise. Losing jobs in the plummeting economy caused by all the “six sisters” – gold, bauxite, rice, forestry, sugar, fishery – tanking? So what’s the definition of the good life? Panhandling motorists at traffic stops?

The “green economy”? If this meant having lush vegetation taking over our factories – we had that back in the seventies when the glass factory, the bicycle factory, the cotton factory, the ceramic factory …and whatever factory – all collapsed. But if it means weaning the economy away from fossil fuels that lead to global warming, where’s the evidence? Where the action?

Moving from fossil fuels to water power? The Norwegians had to drag the Government kicking and screaming just to place “Amaila Falls Hydro” back on the front burner. We haven’t seen them turning on the burner yet, though.
The LCDS was at least a plan to create a “green economy”…Why throw it out? Oh..that fellow Jagdeo thought of it.
Then it MUST be bad.

…for sugar workers
The new Administration’s getting caught in its own BS. And it ain’t pretty. Look what’s happening in the sugar industry. They fired managers right, left and centre, and put in their own people, like the academic Clive Thomas. Now, to show they’re making progress in an area which even the PPP conceded they faltered, the Government LOWERED THE TARGETS FOR PRODUCTION!!

So every week they announced estates EXCEEDING their production targets! Well, what goes around comes around. Workers are now demanding their ANNUAL PRODUCTION INCENTIVE (API), the quantum which depends on how well they met their targets!

Now you, I and the doorpost might know that GuySuCo still in deep do-do debt up to its neck. And production costs are still double selling prices.. But what does that have to do with them, ask the sugar workers. The API formula’s very simple: workers meet targets, workers gotta get their “incentives”.

MANAGERS worry about profits. And the gift hired new, competent managers, no?

…and Ministers’ salaries
Looks like the Government figured right. Hit the Treasury early for their massive salary hikes and perks and soon enough , the outrage’ll blow over.

Well, at least THEY’LL have a great Christmas!! Maybe they’ll throw us some scraps. Massa day not done!

Share Button

What’s the plan…

…on the economy
If there’s anyone wondering what’s the cause of the doldrums our country’s been steered into, the only answer is, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Becoming a household phrase from the Clinton years in the US, it expresses the “no-brainer” answer that even the smallest child would come up with if asked the question.
Now if it’s one thing the economists tell us – even with the “quantitative” wonks winning all the Nobel Prizes recently – is, at its most fundamental level (and we’re talking about real, live people here, folks!) the economy depends on how consumers “feel” about it. The politicians could be going on like gang busters, but once people – actuated by “animal spirits”, according to the economist who gave us the tools that brought us out of the Great Depression – believe things “na regula”, they then stop spending.
And the effects cascade into a reinforcing death spiral. The point is though, folks don’t just wake up and “have a feeling” that things are tanking. They hear, they see, they make decisions about what’s going on in the real world around them. More times than most, the collective wisdom of the people is spot on. In the latest world depression that started in 2008, none of the “qualtitative” economists with all their numbers and equations – predicted the stuff was going to hit the fan. But the people knew.
They knew because they were losing their jobs (it didn’t matter whether through outsourcing or whatever) and they couldn’t even keep up the payments of their cheap housing, car or student loans. So they stopped spending. And the businesses got the message – and they stopped spending. And before you knew it… the Masters of Wall St who’d been making money hand over fist, stopped spending and lending.
And only then the politicians got it!! And started taking action. But by then it was too late, no? And that’s where we are in Guyana presently. The people know the economy’s gone bust. Ask cane cutters, rice farmers, bauxite workers, goldfield miners …and the businessmen – and they’ll tell you that. But unlike the politicians in the US, our local version still are preaching “happy days are here again”!! They still ain’t got it.
And why? Just because they have formed a new government!! They forget that they don’t go out there and even plant a root of cassava to get the economy going. All they can do is to initiate policies to try to reverse the cascade. That is…like offering massive stimulus to increase spending and production by the business community (like with the US government’s) …to start the “virtuous cycle”.
Eight years late, the US is still struggling – and our politicians are still in denial!

…on the LGE?
OK…we have the date – March 18, 2016. And we have the contestants. The PPP are recruiting 50 per cent “outside” candidates – they say. The PPP however, has never been known for bringing in outsiders into their inner circle. They may say what they want about their “Civic” component at the Central Government level… but who believe they ever had any real power.
If the PPP’s serious about showing the electorate they’re changing with the times, their “civic” candidates at the LGE will be a good beginning. But the clincher will be how seriously they’re taken in the next 4 years till 2020. If the PPP blows this one then they’ll be opening up the stable gates for the APNU/AFC.
Those worthies have just declared they’re going “as one” into the LGE – one day after Ramjhattan swore his AFC ain’t never going to be absorbed into APNU.
He’d also said they going separately into LGE!!
Now they’ll really be dead meat!

…on rice
Let’s be positive and see if there are any sprouts in the economy. Rice? How about that deal with Mexico for paddy? Farmers want to know if they should buy fertilisers, pesticides or even plough the land.
Like right NOW. We hope they aren’t holding their breaths.

Share Button

To be or not to be…

…one party
Responding to a trenchant analysis of the state of the APNU/AFC coalition by former PNC executive, Sherwood Lowe – which posited them becoming more of a unitary party than a coalition – AFC party leader Ramjattan heatedly denied this was the case.

However he wasn’t as categorical in his denial like before the elections when he swore there was no way the AFC was “coalescing” with APNU. “Dead meat” was what he predicted would be his party’s fate if such joining at the hip ever took place. Well, it appears this is exactly what Lowe’s saying: APNU is digesting and absorbing the AFC into its structure – which is what you do with “dead meat”.

This Eyewitness didn’t expect Ramjattan to say anything different. When you’re being screwed royally – that is, with everyone looking on to make sure something’s going on! – you gotta grin and bear it. But let’s look at some of the tests Lowe applied to conclude the AFC’s gone the way of the Dodo.

There should’ve been a “conflict settlement mechanism” to deal with disagreements between the parties. Ramjattan accepted there was no such mechanism – but because there’s no disagreement!!! Well, even if we take Ramjattan at his word (we know that QUITE a stretch – but this is a hypothetical, all right?) and there’s absolutely NO disagreement between APNU and AFC , then the two of them are indistinguishable – and by definition – one!

But enough about Ramjattan’s “word” – as usual, he’s just full of it. And we’re not talking about hot air. What does he mean there’s no dispute or “dispute settlement” mechanism? What about that press conference David Patterson held back in July to confess: yes, there were disputes between AFC and APNU and yes, there was a committee to look into the said disputes.

Remember? Paterson said the “six-member” committee consisting of “Joseph Harmon; Basil Williams, Nigel Hughes, Dominic Gaskin and himself” and a Chairman Burch-Smith. Is Ramjattan saying that Patterson’s also full of it? Or is it that he, Ramjattan, isn’t comfortable with the composition of the Committee? Too “urban”, for him and Nagamootoo? Or is it they’ve “shocked out” Burch-Smith the way they did with Harold Lutchman?

And I magine we haven’t even touched Lowe’s other criteria. Like structured formal meetings by Cabinet Ministers from the two parties to arrive at common positions of issues? Did the AFC, for instance, agree to not trying to salvage the rice contract with Venezuela?

But we guess the doubling of the salaries, the outriders and the perks kinda takes the edge of the angst of being taken for granted, no?
One love, baby!!

…a token
But the perfect exemplar of what’s wrong with “the coalition that’s not a coalition” contention is the position of Moses Nagamootoo. The signed and sealed Cummingsburg Accord has never delivered what was supposed to Nagamootoo’s. And this is not a bone of contention? How can the AFC ever talk about the PPP not wanting to have “power sharing” or “unity” talks, when even its negotiated agreement with APNU was ground into the dirt ?

Now that “governance” was denied to him, wouldn’t it be better for Nagamootoo to have another substantial, substantive portfolio rather than just be a token. Or worse yet, to simply “run and fetch” bones for the administration? Where’s that “paddy deal” with Mexico? Wasn’t that simply to show rice farmers the government was “doing something”?

And what about that trip to Canada via Texas and New Jersey? Where are all the investments that Nagamootoo negotiated with “businessmen” – identified by President Granger in HIS earlier trip to Toronto?
C’mon fellas…be SOMEBODY. Have some pride.

…FOR Amaila
With all that cheap, fracking oil being squeezed out in the US, and it’s hiding of its global warming evidence, it doesn’t look like ExxonMobil will be in a hurry to open up Lisa.
So Amaila’s in play again. Isn’t economics exciting?

Share Button

Free at last…

 …at the grassroots?
Well… the first foot’s dropped on Local Government Elections. But citizens can be forgiven for being a wee bit sceptical whether the other foot’s gonna fall on March 18 next year.
How many times haven’t they heard that song before – before the two big guns getting together in Parliament and announcing one more “postponement” for “one more year”?
You hear that again and again for 19 years and something’s gotta be wrong with you if you didn’t feel a bit skittish! Anyhow, with a whole generation not knowing what the heck’s LGEs are all about, let’s clear that up!: NOTHNG!!! That’s right… nothing’s going to change – excepting those foolish enough to believe it would, are going be mighty disappointed!
In theory LGEs are supposed to give some real power to folks at the bottom. You know… the poor and the powerless who want to climb out of the dungeon. Now…even if you’re just old enough to’ve been weaned off sucking your thumb, you should know that such things didn’t happen here on earth, Maybe in heaven they all share out harps equally and all that.
But on earth? You’ve got to pry power from those politicians’ cold and lifeless fingers – one by one. Power is never conceded without a struggle – and just you never forget that. Imagine Village Councils were the greatest source of empowerment for Burnham’s constituency – which were only allowed because the whites thought the ex-slaves’d fail since they weren’t going to be funded. But Burnham replaced them with this Neighbourhood Democratic Council idea – which, along with Mass Games – had to’ve been imported for the Great Leader of North Korea.
The goal was to have the several villages in the NDC at each other’s throats – rather than if it’s their own single village problems they’re facing, they’ll realise they have to stand together against the man upstairs. Like the villagers used to stand up to the District Commissioners.
So the govt can cut it…slice it…or dice it however they want – the local government changes ain’t gonna give nobody any power to do their own thing. Even with their “power” to raise funds – that’s just the govt using the British ploy to have us poor natives take care of our drainage and irrigation at our expenses. While the big ones get massive tax-free salaries and housing allowances and electricity allowances…..
The bottom line is for them to add another stratum of patronage to hand out perks and jobs for the boys and girls.
So after we spend another billion or two – expect to have to bribe another set of “quasi” political hacks.

…to be his own man?
Nagamootoo took time out once again to swear to the Muckraker that the Cummingburg Accord’s now fully implemented and he’s neck deep in power! He’s neck deep in something all right, but it sure ain’t POWER!! So he means he’s now CHAIRING Cabinet? Or in charge of GOVERNANCE and Trotman’s twiddling his thumbs?
What’s with this fellow? Has the smell of those leather seats in his $100M Land cruiser SUV gone to his head? Or is he tippling that Bush Rum again? Whatever it is Nagamootoo’s deluded. Participating in the Parliamentary Management Committee? Discussing how bills etc are going to be laid before the National Assembly? That’s been there since 2003!
Hoyte fought for that! And as for him being kept abreast of what the other Ministers are doing! What the heck kind of power is that? Every reporter has that power.
The point is – the Ministers don’t have to tell him squat, if they don’t want to.
And most certainly aren’t going to tell anything to this blabber mouth. Loose lips sink ships!

…to play pork barrel politics
“Pork barrel” politics is when govts fund projects just to give supporters and campaign contributors a piece of the action.
Look for who got those $2.9 billion works contracts on Friday!! It’s payback time, baby!

Share Button

A common ground…

…for building trust

There are some who may want to crow that Finance Minister Winston Jordan had to eat crow on the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP). Not this Eyewitness. Hey! Saul was some real mean dude to the Carpenter’s son – said some real nasty things about him … And look what a stand-up guy he turned out to be! The entire Church was built on his shoulders.

Now while Saul had that epiphany as he was tooling down to Damascus, Jordan was luckily spared from having to go down that route. What with ISIS lopping off heads with abandon and gusto in that part of the world that would be asking a little bit too much, no? Even for “quality” people. Anyhow this Eyewitness does think the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) a mite insensitive to bring up Jordan’s previous utterances on AFHEP. Like “a downright act of criminal deception”, for one.

They should know in politics, much of what’s said is playing to the gallery. And Jordan couldn’t just segue from claiming the PPP’d been dancing with the devil to inflate AFHEP’s cross to gushing it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. With the same costs in the offing! After all, if the PPP’d been planning to “siphon off” hundreds of millions in greenbacks, what does it say about A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC)?

So now the heat’s off the cuss out on AFHEP, the business community getting VERY ornery about cheap energy, Norway insisting that the project’s viable …we guess it was time for Jordan and the Govt to step down. Good for them. How much longer would they cut their nose to spite Guyana’s face? But your Eyewitness has another reason for the Govt and the Opposition cooperating on this project – aside from its intrinsic merits, which are legion.

Let’s face it – and we must face it. Guyana will get nowhere if the PPP and the People’s National Congress (Sherwood Lowe made a compelling argument that there ain’t no “coalition”) don’t put their shoulders at Guyana’s developmental wheel at the same time. AFHEP can be the beginning of that cooperation. But more importantly there’s the possible spin-off in “trust-building” between the two sides if they work together.

For years, the PPP’s point about the need to develop “trust” before any structured discussions on “power sharing” has been the unacknowledged jumbie in the room. The PPP and Jagdeo have already promised their help on AFHEP and rather than splitting hairs around a table about abstractions, the concrete project should allow some commonalities to develop.

What’re we waiting for? We know what the Norway study will recommend!

…to bash Indians, or PPP?

In an editorial on the PPP’s request for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to provide an ethnic breakdown on its staff, the state-owned Chronic claimed the PPP’s inciting its Indian Guyanese base. When Andaiye raised the matter of the ethnic composition of the newly appointed APNU/AFC Ministers that was dubbed a singular act of virtue (and your Eyewitness fully agreed). But when the PPP does the same about GECOM, that’s “incitement”. Ah well…we know how incorrigibly racist those PPP types are!!

But the Chronic went further – and nastier. It declared, “ The (PPP’s) appeal to Indian-Guyanese of their being victims of an ethnic conspiracy that is grounded in an innate culture of unfairness is hardly helpful to improve an environment for national reconciliation.”

Indian Guyanese have “an innate culture of unfairness”? “Innate” like in “conspiratorially transmitted”? Or “innate”, like in “genetically passed on”? Under the ”authority” of Nagamootoo (he swore it’s not under his “direction”) the Chronic does seem to be going after the PPP and Indians on the “race thing”.

Anything to do with him denying he’s neither “PPP nor Indian”?

…on immigration matters

Lots of folks were surprised “Immigration” was hived off from Ramjattan’s National Security Ministry and handed to Winston Felix. Teixeira’s WikiLeaks revelation, suggests it might be because he knows where the bodies are buried.,

The inmates are now running the asylum!

Share Button

Shifting gears…

…on Mash?

Well, well, well! The times ARE a changin’! Way back in the early days of the PPP administration – in fact almost as soon as they slid into the hot seat in 1992 – Dale Bisnauth had railed at the vulgarity into which Republic Day had descended. He insisted Republic Day celebrations should at least acknowledge the seriousness implied by choosing Cuffy as the central figure around which the “day” was organised.

Cuffy was a “mere” slave, but took on the entire plantocracy and Dutch government in his struggle for his people to be free. Did he just give his life – and the life of the hundreds who were killed – just for the right to gyrate in the streets like animals in heat? Nothing wrong with simulating the sex act in public – but Bisnauth’s complaint was “Did it have to be done on Cuffy’s Day… chosen as Republic Day?”

There was such a firestorm of protest at the man’s point – cursing out him so nastily, not was only he forced to back down – but the PPP actually worked assiduously for the next 23 years to increase the vulgarity level of Mash! We guess the guiding principle was “if you can’t beat ‘em, then you might as well join ‘em!!”

In the years since, there were sporadic voices of protests echoing Bisnauth’s point – but they were also booed off the stage for disparaging the display of “we kulchur”. The celebratory forms chosen for Mashramani – as the “sport” was called (relaxing after a day’s hard work) – was a bit anomalous since the material results of the claimed “hard work” weren’t immediately visible. But who could say no to a good wine and circus event for the masses?

Well, from the announcement a couple of days ago that Mash and it’s vulgar parade of gyrating, jiggling flesh are going to be moved to the May 26 “Independence Day” – the new government seems willing to say “no!” While sceptics might say APNU/AFC has the street cred to make that choice (it took an “anti-communist Nixon to make peace with Communist China) you gotta give Jack his jacket.

The interesting question that arises is whether all the “nationalists” who condemned and hounded Bisnauth out of office will now get on the case of this government? Will the principle of “sauce for the goose being equivalent to the sauce for the gander” operate?

Or will it, being the case of all on the ‘same side” of the fence, end with the newly repressed masses singing, “Do wha you want wid me!?”

…on crime

Back in the day when England still made movies, they had a film “Don’t raise the bridge – lower the river!!” It was a comedy, of course, and a rollicking one at that. Seems that some of the old fogies in the new government have the same strategy for addressing the crime crisis – as Jerry Lewis and the rest of his comedians had about getting rich….just pull some old con from their back pockets.

We’ve already talked some about the nonsense spouted by the police and their statistics – and thought they’d realised how silly the manipulation sounds. Not even good for a chuckle – at best maybe a snigger, like the one a former member offered in the letters column. But the Police doesn’t only insist an 8 per cent crime spike is no big thing: they’ve gotten Pressie to echo the line.

Now the thing is with military types, they accept what they call “collateral damage”. So Pressie says “trust me” till next year.

But how many will survive the “crime spiral” to see whether he was just talking through his hat?

…not at GECOM

So the US Ambassador was briefed on the state of preparedness of GECOM for local government elections. Your Eyewitness is puzzled. Do all the ambassadors get briefed by GECOM’s El Jefe?

Or are some more equal than others?

Share Button

The “race thing”…

This Eyewitness is getting confused. Or more confused on this “race thing” he wrote about a couple of days ago. Here it was, the State-owned/directed Chronic editorialised that all of us should quit running away from our “racial” identity and embrace it. From politics to the economy, let’s all base participation on “race”. Biology, it announced, is destiny.
But suddenly, out of the blue so to speak, as soon as the PPP followed the Chronic’s advice to let it all hang out on “race”, GECOM’s HEAD HONCHO jumped all over them. Sounding more like Ike than Tina Turner, he truculently demanded, “What’s race got to do with it?” Evidently not apprised by the Government’s new position – if you can’t beat ‘em on “race”, you might as well join ‘em, GECOM’s Boss explained virtuously – he doesn’t hire Afro- or Indo-Guyanese – just plain, old “Guyanese”.
The Government, not surprisingly, also brought down the rod of correction on the PPP, for suggesting that maybe – just maybe – in a country where it’s conceded folks vote along race, if GECOM hires folks from only one race group – maybe – just maybe – they might favour “their” party without any overt bias when a judgement call needs to be made. Just maybe.
You’d think in this day and age when white Police are shooting African American citizens like sitting ducks, the PPP might be cut some slack that folks here MIGHT act along their unconscious proclivities? It wasn’t unexpected that ACDA also threw in their two cents worth on the issue being created. ACDA, of course, castigated the PPP for “racial profiling” of its constituents. But one wonders why it was such a problem when it was revealed that quite a bunch of “contract workers” in the Public Workers – hired by the PPP – were from the East Indian race? Are they genetically predisposed to be biased like they are to diabetic?
But the clincher was the Chronic which hauled the PPP over the coals for what? Naaah …not “racial” profiling like the GECOM boss, the Government and ACDA had done. The Chronic couldn’t very well do that when they preached we should all cleave to race, could they? But what to do if they have to push Government’s agenda? (To make the PPP look bad, of course.)
Well, redefine the infraction of the PPP, that’s what. It wasn’t the sin of “racial” profiling they’d committed – it was “ethnic” profiling!!! Gasp!!! How could they??!
Expect the Chronic to get into even greater yellow journalism contortions as they try to square the circle on the Government’s propaganda.

…the Army and the Police
This Eyewitness think that East Indian Guyanese (they’re a “race”, no?) have gotten a free pass on protecting this country. When the PNC were in power for their infamous “28 years”, the PPP used to blame them no end for not making sure the Forces were “balanced”. So how come after their infamous 23 years at the wheel, they didn’t make sure their supporters did their bit to sacrifice for the country? And make sure we all slept on our beds in peace?
“They didn’t WANT to join up?” What kind of answer is that? Citizens gotta do what citizens gotta do…and that’s that! Conscript them!! That’s what. A government gotta do what a government gotta do. But now that this new Government had promised they’d take care of all the previous PPP missteps, this Eyewitness must confess he was more than a tad disappointed to see that in the new batch of 375 GDF recruits practically all cleaving to the same ole, same ole.
Would someone please make sure this recalcitrant minority does its bit for President and country?

…and rent a crowd
WikiLeaks revealed the Americans at the Embassy really mocked the PNC and Burnham for their rent a crowd to greet the visitors like Kaunda at the airport back in the 70s.
Racial profiling?

Share Button

Cherry picking…

…and missing the plot
Ever since the Stabber News started publicising the latest batches of US diplomatic cables – courtesy of WikiLeaks – we’ve had one of the most rabid cases of cherry picking unleashed in our dear land. Media houses have been trolling the site hoping to pick up the dirt (no nuggets, please) on the “other side”.
The funny thing though – nothing’s been exposed that Guyanese didn’t already know. Burnham rigged elections? Heck! Even the new fellas now running the PNC who asked “What rigging?” knew what was going down at Camp Ayanganna back in the day. After all, they were all in that lower and middle tier in the army that had to execute the dirty deed. Maybe now it’s out in the open once again, you think they’ll take the line of the fellas who operated the gas chambers at Auschwitz ? “We were just following orders, man.”
Is runnings in the Police Force and the Ministry of Home Affairs on visas, and such like, news? Helloooo! Is the Pope Catholic? The question we should be asking is “How could the country that’s supposed to be the beacon of light for truth, justice and the American way?” go along with such behaviour and activities? And not only “go along”, but actually ENCOURAGE! Maybe we should be rethinking exactly what IS “the American way”, no?
What the files show is that the Americans are behaving like any other big power in any part of the world, in any era. That is…. they’re always looking out for number one. Whether we like it or not, that’s the way the cookie crumbles and it’s no use pretending otherwise. So let’s look back at those days – as exposed by the files – and figure out what’s going on today.
Well, for now, they’re talking to every Tom, Harry – and even Dicks – culling information that could be honed into “intelligence” that’s fed back to Washington. Even though we may be the armpit in the armpit of South America, the theory is – you never know what you may find! Imagine there was someone so high up in the PPP, ratting on a colleague! And your Eyewitness isn’t talking about Ramjattan.
So let’s take a real live question: would the US close their eyes to any hanky panky with the elections, rigging wise? You can bet your bottom dollar they would. They’d do it so quick, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d been snoozing the whole time! Remember the cables on the 1973 rigging? The US wasn’t concerned Burnham had rigged. What put them off was he’d done it so crudely. The present lots were much more slick.
And gave their friends wriggle room.

…but getting the plot
This fella Charandass is something else, eh? Imagine this he went to law school but defended himself against the charge that he threatened to “haul” a woman off a stage with the retort that he’d threatened to “haul” off a man also – a Pandit!! So you’re not a “misogynist” if you also threaten “men of the cloth”?? His second line of defence was that the verb “to haul”isn’t threatening . Well, not if his party leader Ramjattan tells folks to “haul yuh ass!!” But in the context of being livid at what the good lady (and Pandit) said? “Haul them off the stage ain’t no term of endearment”. If Charandass thought otherwise, maybe he should’ve said “escort” them off”?
His third line of defence was that the said women who defended their sister didn’t bat for the male Pandit.
Give him all of that. But what about him saying the said women would have to kiss his a55 before he apologise?

…villages for largesse
With their backs against the wall of their salary increase, Harmon promised to donate his raise to some villages. Isn’t this a rather circumlocutious way to handle subventions?

Share Button

An eye for an eye…

…and now everyone’s blind
“An eye for an eye will only end in making the entire world blind.” So said Gandhi way back in the last century. But it didn’t seem to have had much impact in reducing ocular extraction – or its impact. What’s been overlooked in Gandhi’s seemingly simple statement is a trenchant criticism of one of the foundations of law, Justice and jurisprudence in all the civilisational systems that evolved out of the Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The Book of Exodus in the Bible says: “The penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” The Book of Deuteronomy uses even stronger language: “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Even though in his Sermon on the Mount Jesus advised “turning the other cheek”, the principle of reciprocity in punishment has come down in modern law as the principle of lex talionis. And it just won’t go away.
Ask most people what should be done to folks who murder others and you’ll get the response, without skipping a beat – “hang him high!” And it is this principle writ large that spurred the attacks in Paris, which has the entire world up in arms in righteous indignation. See? The Islamic State – ISIS – took credit for the attacks and stated explicitly they were in retaliation for French bombing runs against their positions in Syria. But will Hollande’s promise to wage “merciless war” against ISIS solve anything?
While the Middle East – where the principle of an “eye for an eye” originated – doesn’t have a monopoly on retaliatory violence, it’s something that needs looking into that the most prolonged modern, intractable conflict is centred in that region. So Israel was founded by displacing Arabs (Palestinians) way back in 1948 – and the “eye for an eye” has never stopped. Israel begat Suez in 1956 which begat the six-day 1967 war and the Yom Kippur 1973 war and so on and so forth.
And when the pitched battles became unsustainable, the combatants went into what is now defined as “terrorism” – justifying it all by saying the founders of Israel Len Menachim Begin were basically “terrorists” also. And he founded a state supported by the most powerful state on planet earth. And it’s been “an eye for an eye” all the way.
Now this Eyewitness doesn’t believe that the lion will ever lie down with the lamb – willingly, that is. But why can’t all the newer “big” powers insist that the UN control this blinding of eye, business?

…but what about logs
For years now Janet Bulkan – sister of Ronald Bulkan, the Minister of “Communities” – had been weeping and wailing and gnashing her teeth at the “rape” of our forests by the big, bad PPP/C Government. So what if Norway was monitoring the activities and vouched that everything was hunky dory… and doled out big bucks to boot? But if Janet said “rape” …rape it was.
And she bigged up APNU and AFC who, she promised, would clean up all the excesses of the PPP/C when they got into the seat of power. Well, six months down the road, Janet is broken hearted. Not only did APNU/AFC break their promise to her… they broke the promise in the Manifesto! Logs were still being shipped by Bai Shan Lin – and even given a two-year extension! Poor Janet was shocked – Imagine that!!
Never mind APNU/AFC broke the 21 promises for the first 100 days – they’re working through the entire Manifesto!
Join the real world, Janet.

…and no more!
Did you ever realise that “an eye for an eye” was actually a LIMITATION of the retaliatory act? If you lose one tooth, that’s all you can knock out from the other fella’s mouth!

Share Button