The recent statements from Mr Ralph Ramkarran and rebuttals of his position by Freedom House in the Chronicle and SN, show how far from President Cheddi’s political ideals the leaders of the PPP have come; Jagan would have been shocked at the divisions and acrimony infesting the party he so assiduously built from scratch in 1950.The very nature of the divisions, where the PPP lost such notables as Ramjattan, Nagamootoo, Ramkarran and many others and where the Civic component, which Jagan built from scratch in 1992, is now virtually non-existent, strongly suggest that Mr Ramkarran’s presentation in SN is closer to the truth than the PPP’s intemperate rebuttals to his positions. And since the corruption indices from international sources were released last week, the PPP government has gone into high gear to denounce not only Ramkarran’s position on corruption, but the international corruption index which places Guyana as a country with a very high level of corruption, especially in government-run agencies, the largest employers in this country and the greatest spenders ($475 million a day, every day of the year).
The public should know, in no uncertain terms, especially when the PPP’s statement to SN mentioned President Cheddi over and over, that Jagan never tolerated corruption at any level of governance and in his lifetime fought corruption with every fibre of his body. We, the citizens of Guyana, cannot be fooled because we smell, hear and see corruption in our society every day of our lives; we smell the stinky water we have to consume, the garbage rotting all over our city and rural environs, the sewage backing up to make our lives miserable and dangerous for our children, the stray animals with their excrement contaminating our environment after plenty money has been spent to correct these abuses against the people of our country. We hear talk about corruption in the streets in our neighbourhoods, and in our homes where citizens lament the fact that Guyana could be such a progressive country if only we had a leader like Mr Obama who fights corruption every day of his political life. We see the facts before our eyes where this government, for the last 20 years, has not indicted or arrested or convicted anyone for corruption, even though cases like the NCN debacle are obvious and clear to most people. Editor, contrast the efforts of President Obama’s administration, which in four years has locked up many, even in the Guyanese diaspora, for corruption and criminal activity. So, Editor, to me, it seems that Mr Ramkarran’s points about corruption and its effects on the PPP are valid and true, especially after the hysterical propaganda of the PPP to debunk the corruption index and Ramkarran’s positions.
The questions which Ralph raised about the political schematics of how the PPP is run and its political ideology are areas which I have long criticized, and as Ralph stated, they need to be addressed. The supporters of that party are getting fed up with the lack of real flexibility and new young dynamic leaders coming to the forefront to lead the party instead of the old and tired leadership which is in place with their old, tired communist ideology of centralism, government domination of the economy and placing the private sector in a secondary role when in fact, the private sector should always be the engine of growth. The lack of local elections for the last 15 years is a good example of their communist inclinations and their anti-democratic intentions, and their intra-party democracy is a sham when they cling to ‘democratic centralism,’ a known euphemism for inner party dictatorship, last seen alive and well in the former Soviet Union. Ramkarran is correct in calling for changes in the PPP and I applaud the fire he has found in his belly and which has made him a visionary, something lacking in the present PPP leadership.
The other main point of the PPP’s argument against Mr Ramkarran is the racial/ethnic issue concerning voting trends which he elaborated with great care and documentary evidence. I campaigned for the PPP last November and I can tell the public in no uncertain terms, that the crux of the PPP’s political machinery led by Robert Persaud, was to woo every East Indian to vote for the PPP, and many places like Linden were given up for lost. The results of that election clearly pointed to the central fact that the voting patterns were overwhelmingly racial and no propaganda from the ruling party can change that; as a matter of fact, Robert Persaud and the leaders of the PPP expected to win 56% of the total vote with his gyration politics at big rallies, targeting mostly East Indian areas, even busing in mostly Indians from other areas to enlarge the gatherings. The PPP’s rebuttals of Ramkarran on this issue are laughable at best and we, the citizens of Guyana, cannot be fooled by such propaganda; we are quite aware of the real truth and the real truth is exactly what Mr Ramkarran stated in his presentation and which the PPP will pay for with loss of votes as time passes. Editor, we all know the one thing we cannot stop or slow down – and that is time.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)