Our political engagement must revolve around the social and economic improvement of all Guyanese

Dear Editor,

If we must survive as a nation in a world that has become more challenging, the nature or our political engagement must revolve around the social and economic improvement of all Guyanese.  On these grounds at a recent ACDA meeting it was concluded that all enlightened groups and organizations must work towards this agenda.  The body language of our parliamentarians is rooted in the preamble of ‘political power,’ with the government as the protagonist; we are a nation whose wounds are self inflicted. It’s necessary to highlight the following examples:

The city of Georgetown remains in a deplorable state; the overpowering stench of rubbish, dozens of drug addicts and destitute people foraging in rubbish bins inhabiting our streets and limited public parks. Clogged drainage, stagnant waterways threaten the health of our population; the city council has presented its position of inadequacy and the ball lies in the courts of the government and parliament. Apparently only radical reform of how local government must function will benefit Georgetown.  The long dry period has not been used to address the drainage problems of Georgetown.

The largest cemetery in the Caribbean, a justified heritage site, is now overrun by bush, while a selfish political indifference condones all this. Georgetown has a large unemployed young population; government has no policies or favourite competent personnel capable of resuscitating and packaging ‘Old Stabroek’ as a historic tourist location, thus no means or intention of expanding employment into new and urgent areas. Linden should be a site for manufacturers, taking advantage of its low energy cost, rather than the government attempt to raise rates where employment is minimal, creating the justified perception of ‘acts’ of political spite. It’s obvious that strong public pressures must be brought to bear for direct accountability and to accommodate the public vision of the need to act in the public interest.

The state of the police force due to prolonged political interference has left it dysfunctional, as we are witnessing evasion and compounded evasion at the inquiry.  The current Minister of Home Affairs must demit office, and anyone found lying under oath should be charged accordingly.  Whoever is found responsible for the Linden killings should face charges. Such a man would be the prime candidate to execute what was obviously a political strategy by the PPP administration.  Government must not reenact the Gajraj fiasco.

The current Commissioner must, together with policemen willing to rebuild the force be given the support of Parliament and patriotic organizations.  Parliament must vigorously pursue (A) the public interest of government accountability; (B) the sanitizing of Gecom; (C) local government reforms must be completed; (D) a vibrant small business, cottage industry and cultural industries policy must be addressed; (E) the collapse of our health services is obvious, and questionable deaths and treatment are prevalent.  The wait to be allowed to ‘live’ in Guyana must be concluded.

There is no sector that is functioning to an acceptable percentage of its capacity; the rigid attitude of politics first is obsolete in today’s world, as well as those who believe in it.  The impetus of the conflicts that have plagued then British Guiana and now the Republic of Guyana are all economic; the evidence produced by Freddie Kissoon to support his case of ideological racism exposes a state fossilized in the old political caste culture with its inability to think in terms of 2012 and shake off the ‘jumbies’ of the sixties; radical pressures must be applied to revolutionize the current attitude of the state.

The copyright issue demonstrates the immaturity and cluelessness of the administration, and the fact that Guyana’s creative people will remain marginalized.  Only clinical engagement in the governance of our welfare and meaningful collaboration will force the necessary evolution.  The political caste does not have the vision or the answers or the presumed service to the nation philosophy, we at times think they should ascribe to their office.

Yours faithfully,
Barrington Braithwaite

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