Being poor has never been an excuse to commit a crime
Dr Roger Luncehon and Education Minister, Ms Manickchand, have confirmed the widespread assumption that the ‘rule of law’ has broken down and, more precisely, does not exist in Guyana.
It is simply unbelievable, preposterous and disgraceful that this government could have taken the position that the copyright law should be wilfully violated, and pirated books sourced for schools throughout the country.
Isn’t it ironic that stolen intellectual property will now be used to educate our nation’s children? How can we expect our young ones to develop good morals and respect for our laws when the very tools used to teach them are the products of unlawful activity?
Yes, it would cost more to purchase original textbooks from the copyright holders. And yes, our country’s resources are limited. But being “poor” has never been an excuse to commit a crime.
Scarcity of resources has never been grounds to steal from another.
Ms Manickchand, as a lawyer, should know this.
Is it now this government’s official policy that if individ-uals cannot afford food, they can steal from the neighbour who has, because the need is so great? That would seem to be the logical conclusion.
This is yet another occasion where this government has failed to demonstrate forward- thinking, creative solutions to the unique challenges we face as a developing nation. Didn’t anyone think about consulting with a copyright / intellectual property attorney? Didn’t anyone mention the various international sanctions that can result?
This is yet another instance of the government sticking its head in the sand, too lazy to care about rules and regulat-ions, and lacking in competent leaders who can develop creative solutions that abide by local and international laws.
I am disgusted and sickened by this policy, and hope with allmy heart that President Ramotar would intervene and ensure that textbooks are sourced in accordance with international regulations.
Otherwise, our future looks very dark.
(Name and address provided)