May 22, 2015 By
May 22, 2015 By
UN Resident Coordinator Khadija Musa was evasive enough in her response regarding the statements she made to Kaieteur News for me to ask for further clarifications. However, I am going to accept her new statements as being sincere.
The issue of race and identity erupts in the press from time to time. The eruption always surrounds the issue of Indian identity. Africans can be proud Africans, as they should be.
And we all encourage Amerindians to honour and even preserve their customs and traditions. Not so with Indians.
If I say that I am Indian, this statement is seen by a significant number of Guyanese citizens as being assertive and the assertiveness is further perceived as an infringement on every other group’s identity.
I am then abused as a racist and supremacist who is creating divisiveness and disunity.
This idea has its roots perhaps in colonial times when our European masters tried their best to colonise the Indians into Christianity and into European ways and habits. Indian beliefs, traditions, names and foods, etc all made us pagan in their eyes.
However, Indians refused to become mimic men and women and, even as we have evolved in order to live comfortably in the West, we have maintained enough of our ancestral past to give us a definitive Indian identity.
This identity also offends self-hating Indians who are promoted by sections of our society as the politically correct Indian. To be politically correct and acceptable you must deny your Indian identity, a process that results in cultural loss on the part of the Indian.
The UN Declaration on Cultural Diversity, agreed on after 9/11, reaffirms the UN’s initial declaration on human rights and goes further. It begins with the statement: “The cultural wealth of the world is its diversity in dialogue.”
All of the 12 articles are beautifully written and I will share just part of the preamble: “The Universal Declaration makes it clear that each individual must acknowledge not only otherness in all its forms but also the plurality of his or her own identity, within societies that are themselves plural.”
The Guyana Constitution also protects my right as an Indian in Guyana. However, I would much prefer to live in a country where I do not have to remind my fellow citizens of my legal rights to my identity from time to time.
I would much prefer to live in a country where it is a matter of course, as for every other group, because we are all intelligent, gracious, and respectful of each other and each other’s otherness.
May 22, 2015 By
One can understand that Mr Basil Williams, an attorney, is appointed Attorney General or that Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, an educator, is appointed as the new minister of education.
It should not be a “surprise” that the extremely powerful and newly created Ministry of the Presidency is now responsible for the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, and not Dr Roopnaraine.
But what is the reason for appointing Mr Carl Greenidge, a former Minister of Finance some 25 years ago, today’s minister of Foreign Affairs? Is not his expertise economics? And all of Guyana has no one else who is qualified for this post?
One seems to recall that this is the same nepotism that occurred under the previous administration when, for example, it took a former Minister of Health and appointed him a Minister of Agriculture.
This is not change, but more of the same, as the slang goes. Perhaps this was done to groom the gentleman for a potential role as a future PNC party leader.
If this is so, then we have the interest of the people (or government), being used to promote the interest of a party. Quite refreshing.
May 22, 2015 By
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has noted with deep concern attempts by the fraudulently-imposed APNU-AFC administration led by David Granger to downgrade the significance of our independence struggle by shifting the Independence Day celebrations from the National Park to the Independence Arc, Brickdam to coincide with the inauguration ceremony of David Granger.
This is not only a retrogressive step but also an affront to all those who struggled for the independence of our country from the yoke of colonial rule.
The PPP/C as the Party that played the lead role in the independence struggle under the then leadership of Dr Cheddi Jagan calls on the Granger-led administration to reconsider that decision and hold the Flag Raising celebrations at the National Park in keeping with time honoured custom and practice as it relates to the celebration.
Independence Day is the single most important day in our national political life and therefore ought to be full prominence and recognition befitting of the occasion.
Indeed, it was the PPP/C out of recognition of the significance of the day and the yeoman struggles of our leaders who valiantly fought for our independence that declared May 26 as a National holiday.
The PPP/C wishes to serve notice to the current administration that it will not sit idly by and allow the true meaning and significance of independence to be reduced to a national circus with lots of meaningless fanfare and extravagance as during the days of the previous PNC regime when independence day was pushed into the background in favour of Republic Day.
May 22, 2015 By
While they were in opposition, the APNU/AFC everyday spoke publicly about nepotism, cronyism, corruption and the necessity for people’s participation in government.
They sang these mantras to every media house. Just a few days into government and the nation is witnessing nepotism, cronyism, corruption and the failure to consult.
The government itself has assumed office through corrupt practices at GECOM, including, failure to recount votes, which is a legal entitlement of any political party which participated in the elections, refusal to furnish us with the Statements of Poll used by GECOM to tabulate the results of the elections, and admissions from GECOM that they have in their possession fake Statements of Poll.
In the face of these glaring corrupt and illegal practices, those who claimed they waged a relentless war against corruption and corrupt practices are now deafeningly silent.
The nation has witnessed the renaming of Ministries and the International Convention Centre without any consultation whatsoever with the citizens of this country.
Indeed, the citizens were not even offered the courtesy of an explanation for these changes. Ministers are appointed but their credentials remain a secret to the people whom they are appointed to serve.
The cronyism and nepotism has begun from the very top. David Granger has appointed his son-in-law as Minister of Investment and Business.
The nation has no clue what this portfolio entails. So once again, like Forbes Burnham we witness another President making his son-in-law a Minister.
Noel Holder, an unknown political quantity, but the husband of AFC Founding Member Sheila Holder, now deceased, is slated to be appointed Minister of Agriculture.
We now await the voices of those members of civil society who proclaim themselves the watch dogs of democracy.
We say to them and indeed to the world authoritarianism has begun.
May 22, 2015 By
On May 11, just under a half million Guyanese exercised their constitutional right during our general elections.
While there were a few reports of disquietude, the people of this country behaved in an exemplary manner. It was noteworthy to external observers to note this, and equally as important, it was a self-affirmation that the vast majority of Guyanese are honourable, decent and orderly people.
In the aftermath of the election, we salute the outstanding service and efforts of those who have served and will no longer serve in government. The people have spoken and have indicated whom they have reposed their trust in to manage our national affairs.
The new government is the government of our country. In congratulating, His Excellency, Brigadier David Granger and his colleagues on their victory, we commend them to our prayers and pledge our collective support for the further building and strengthening of Guyana.
This is the time for all Guyanese, and persons who desire what is best for Guyana, to unite.
The campaigning must cease. The election is over. There must be no voices of partisanship. The collaborative work of continued development in a true spirit of national pride under the supremacy of God must be the national agenda.
Like I stated after the elections of 2011, I reiterate, that the Anglican Church stands ready to work with the government in advancing the cause of Jesus Christ, and in spiritually, morally, socially and materially assisting all and sundry in improving the quality of life for all who call this dear land of Guyana, home.
May God bless you, and may He bless the Corporative Republic of Guyana.
The Right Reverend Cornell Jerome Moss
VII Diocesan of Guyana
May 22, 2015 By
The 2015 General and Regional Elections, it would appear, are officially over and there is urgent need now to pay attention to commencing a process that would see the end of all forms of ‘Surujballyism’ at all levels of our society, especially at GECOM.
Surujballyism is an attitude of arrogance, haughtiness and a false sense of consciousness that results in individuals or entities showing a lack of regard for the concerns of others about a process or development which could have redounding negative impact on that (complaining) group, the wider body politic or country.
It could also be defined as an abuse of one’s position and power and a refusal to genuinely accept when one has erred in the execution of one’s constitutional remit.
It reaches its worst forms when the one displaying all of its qualities becomes unmoved and disinterested in the realities that exist in the society in which they dwell and the public perceptions about integrity.
The term was arrived at after a series of worrying events which occurred at GECOM and during the tabulation and declaration of the final and official results for the May 11 elections.
If any impartially minded Guyanese wanted to do a careful analysis of the term, they would find that GECOM’s Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally could be seen as chief aspirator and embodiment of its jest.
From the word go, this year, Dr Surujbally has been beating his chest and promising to deliver elections here with near perfect creditability because of the “almost perfect preparations” that were being undertaken by his professional and highly competent staff at the Commission.
Dr Surujbally even took on the then ruling Peoples Progressive Party /Civic on every single one of its complaints and concerns raised either directly or indirectly through the very accommodative mass media, his public relations aide and the opposition commissioners.
His posture suggested that the PPP/C was merely making a big fuss about nothing and was even deliberately seeking to undermine the integrity of the Commission.
The GECOM Chairman even took on the former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s contention that there was stuffing of ballot boxes and alarming percentages of voter turnout at certain polling stations during the 2011 elections which pointed to rigging and electoral fraud.
Before you know it, Dr Surujbally meet with all the observer missions and promoted his usual propaganda about the integrity of GECOM’s work, its staff and the ability to deliver credible elections. They bought it and stood by it even after the elections.
Surujballyism was at work and reached remarkable levels when one looks at the Chairman’s interaction with the media, concerned Guyanese voters and the political parties competing to become Guyana’s next Government.
Surujbally headed an entity that called press conferences that were always delayed and wasted the precious time of the entire country and electorate. These press conferences were unhelpful, marred with technical issues and highly politicized. The results displayed were not readable to the agony of the views hip and had glaring inaccuracies as far as tabulations were concerned.
Surujbally even dodged and ditched several questions posed by the media which had his Chief Elections Officer backed up against the wall. Subtle insults were hurled by the Chairman to the media as he and his staff failed miserably at communicating effectively why the process was taking so long and the difficulties with giving preliminary results.
Fake Statements of Polls were discovered, other electoral discrepancies were found, the PPP/C was being refused a legitimate call for a partial and then recount by GECOM under Surujbally’s watch but everything was fine and dandy.
Surujballyism was at work and the GECOM Chairman appeared to be losing no sleep over the thunderous calls and appeals from the PPP/C for recourse and a final count as rumors of elections fraud and rigging circulated.
If the he had entered the count and the final declaration of results by another day, today the PPP/C would not be mulling the filing of an elections petition and the nation (all Guyanese including the PPP/C’s supporters) would have new respect for GECOM, its staff and their competence to deliver 100 per cent accurate results but as history had it Surujballyism dictated otherwise.
Now in the face of resignation calls, the GECOM Chairman said he will “when he pleases”.
The status quo cannot continue as Guyanese deserve a Chairman and Commission which will do all that is necessary to appear more impartial, competence, efficient and concerned about the growing tension in our society.
GECOM needs to be reformed and those participating subtle and open forms of Surujballyism must be weeded out or bow out.
May 22, 2015 By
Congratulations to the APNU+AFC in winning the 2015 General and Regional Elections that were riddled with fraud and widespread irregularities.
The coalition, which consists of several smaller political parties and the PNC/AFC/WPA, combined in an attempt to unseat the PPP/C which undoubtedly remains the strongest political party in Guyana. A task still it could not achieve.
The APNU+AFC coalition had predicted that they would have captured between 58-62 per cent of the votes, managed to secure just over 50 per cent under highly controversial circumstances.
The Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, Prime New, Capitol News and Nightly News all became the Opposition “mouth pieces” with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in its fold.
If the coalition is so convinced that it won the elections, then they should have readily agreed to a recount of the ballots – a process that would have taken just a few days more. GECOM’s anxiety to declare the results before a recount of the ballots placed the coalition’s new Government as an undemocratic administration bound to fail.
Nevertheless, to the supporters of the PPP/C I implore you to remain cool, calm and collective and give the new Government a chance to govern in the interest of all Guyanese, and in the process cause their own demise.
To the coalition, I will be watching closely for all the promises that were made to the Guyanese people to be fulfilled. Guyanese will hold your administration accountable.
Cheated, not defeated!
May 21, 2015 By
Congratulations to the Justice For All Party for being part of the victorious change in our beautiful country.
The Justice For All Party played a significant role in the change of government in our country fighting for the poor and the voiceless since I could remember, and they did it with great opposition from the PPP/C government for over 20 years.
In light of this which Government ministry do you think the Justice For All Party should be suitable for?
May 21, 2015 By