Why does Irfaan Ali not fight for the people of Guyana with the same vigour and determination he showed when opposing the amendments to the former presidents bill?

Dear Editor,

I watched in amazement at the vigour, tenacity, and effort exerted by the Minister Irfaan Ali as he mustered up every ounce of his being to criticize and flay the Former Presidents (Benefits and Other Facilities) Bill, during the January 25, 2013 sitting of Parliament.

The Minister was obviously speaking from his heart, and his passion, zeal and determination shone through as he argued, begged and pleaded that the dignity and respect for former presidents should be upheld and not stripped away. It was an impressive performance, indeed!

Sadly, Editor, it seems that this was a performance only. Because someone who truly believes that a former president deserves “dignity and respect,” someone who could argue so convincingly as the Minister did, surely, must also believe with all their heart, and surely, must be driven to action to fight for the “dignity and respect” of not just a former president, but for every single individual living in this country.

Yet, when was the last time that the Minister fought with such vigour and determination on behalf of the people of Guyana? Where is he, and what is he saying, currently, as residents of Berbice, a county that has been a PPP stronghold for decades, have been stripped of their “dignity and respect” by the very government that the Minister is a part of? Why is he silent on the many issues that plague this county?

Are we somehow less important than the former president whose rights he could fight for and defend so resolutely?
Perhaps the Minister is unaware of what is going on in Berbice, so let me venture to humbly educate him on just a few of our problems. Perhaps the most damaging, the most disturbing problem that has, and currently continues to strip Berbicians of their “dignity and respect” is the severe blackout crisis we face, where residents suffer through long periods of blackouts, at all hours, resulting in significant financial damage, inconvenience, and the hindrance of developmental work. These blackouts even jeopardize the lives of residents, and was recently one of the factors being investigated in relation to the loss of at least one life, after a patient died during a blackout that occurred in the midst of her surgery at the New Amsterdam Hospital. So to the Minister, I ask, what about our “dignity and respect”?

Our residents must pay a steep toll to use the Berbice Bridge; the passport offices in Berbice were taken away, forcing Berbicians to travel to Georgetown to apply for passports; loud music disturbs and disrupts every community; crime plagues our neighbourhoods; our young people are unemployed; our teachers and other public servants are paid late; our students are being robbed by unscrupulous teachers (penny-bank scandal at one primary school); the police cannot protect us; the rich get richer; the drug dealers prosper; and the poor man, the ordinary man − oh, he struggles to earn a living.

His psyche is damaged. He is fed up of corruption, of nepotism, of his educated children not finding jobs. He is hopeless. He is stripped completely of his “dignity and respect.”

And yet, the Minister would remain silent about this injustice, and choose to direct all his energies to defending the rights of a former president who already has one of the largest homes in Guyana, and who already appears to be comfortably off, and who, obviously, is not in dire need of what the Minister is expending all his energies towards.

So to Minister Irfaan Ali, I humbly ask, “What about us, Sir?” Don’t our dignity and respect matter too? Or are we consigned to being stripped forever of our natural rights?
Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

What is the Education Service coming to?

Dear Editor,   In SN of June 22 and KN of June 24, I note two versions of a letter by Mr Leon Suseran, “Graduate Senior Assistant Master, Vrymans Erven High School”. 

default placeholder

There should be a fund for the family in the tree accident

Dear Editor, The heart-wrenching story of the horrible tree-felling accident, where the little dying child calls for “Mama” must have stirred others in some way.

default placeholder

The city council needs to install parking meters to raise money

Dear Editor, We continue to be amazed by the many different stories which are being peddled in certain sections of the media and other places about the installation and operation of parking meters in the city.

default placeholder

It is time the Mayor, Town Clerk, Finance Committee Chairman stop the authoritarianism

Dear Editor, The Youth For Local Government (YFLG) is appalled by the actions and statements coming from the Georgetown municipality, mainly the utterances of the Mayor, Councillor Oscar Clarke and the Town Clerk on the parking meter fiasco.

default placeholder

Statistics do not support the view that abolition of the death penalty does not affect the murder rate

Dear Editor, In societies all over the world when the murder rate is deemed uncomfortably high citizens engage in fierce discourse on the merits and demerits of the death penalty; Guyana has been no different.

default placeholder

Jagan was prepared to offer vice-presidencies to Thomas and Tennassee

Dear Editor,   I noticed that there is debate about the offer of a ministerial position to distinguished Professor Dr Clive Thomas by Dr Jagan.

default placeholder

Is the talk of social cohesion just rhetoric?

Dear Editor, I have a serious question for Guyanese, especially the current Government of Guyana (the APNU+AFC). What exactly is social cohesion and what measurable criteria need to be met for this to be achieved?

default placeholder

The EU will not be the same without Britain

Dear Editor, The British people have voted to exit the European Union after 43 years of membership. This is indeed a historic development which can have far reaching consequences not only for the people of Britain, but for the whole of Europe.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: