New year must mark decisive shift towards national unity – Corbin

2008 has been a year of extreme difficulty for citizens and 2009 must mark a decisive shift towards genuine national unity through shared governance, Leader of the PNCR Robert Corbin said in his New Year message.

The opposition leader stated that stability, national cohesiveness and a collective sense of purpose and direction remain the greatest need in the quest to take Guyana forward but, regrettably, at the dawn of yet another New Year, those essentials remain elusive. He noted that 2008 has served as a reminder of their absence and of the “state of drift” in which Guyana finds itself. “Beneath the thin layer of window dressing that passes for normalcy lie tensions, anger and a sense of anxiety as to where the winds of fortune will take us next” he stated.

Corbin declared that 2008 has been a year of extreme difficulty for citizens citing the Value Added Tax; the economic situation; torture, the consequences of the heavy rainfall and poor management of the conservancy; disregard for the poor and powerless of the society; increasing and continued executive lawlessness;  wanton destruction of the environment; illiteracy; a collapsing education system; a fragile medical sector; a calculated destruction of the trade union movement; and the growing disenchantment of young people with Guyana’s politics.

The opposition leader asserted that people are preoccupied with the reality of their own difficult circumstances, which he said, make a mockery of the ceaseless declaration that the Government has the situation under control. He declared that the “crisis” afflicting Guyana cannot be wished away by colourful propaganda and elaborate “spin” stating that the people will not be fooled by the frequent pronouncements about progress and development.

“Every Guyanese is aware that poverty and hard times persist, that crime and corruption have become uncontrollable concerns that the relentless flight of skills from our country continues, that there is a sense of frustration among our young people who are unemployed and cannot satisfy their aspirations. These concerns and anxieties cannot be glossed over by hollow-sounding pronouncements. They hang like the proverbial sword of Damocles over our heads. The façade of progress which the Government is seeking so desperately to sustain continues to be exposed for what it is – a mere chimera”, Corbin declared.

He expressed the hope that the New Year would bring improvement in the quality of life for all Guyanese and that God grant Guyana social stability and economic progress. “May the rulers of our country be enlightened and display qualities of wisdom and a sense of caring and compassion for those in distress and need. After visiting with so many citizens, who, because of the adverse effects of the floods, have had no Christmas season, these are my heartfelt and fervent New Year wishes for our country”, he stated.

Corbin said that as 2009 begins “we need to question whether we have the will, the courage and the capacity to transform our country.” He declared that there is no question in the collective mind of the PNCR that the party could. “We are a people of resilience, a people of fortitude. We are used to confronting and overcoming adversity. The New Year must bring with it a fresh sense of hope and a renewed resolve that, together, we will turn that corner. All of us must direct our energies towards the achievement of that goal in the year that lies ahead of us”, he commented.

“Those who govern this country must awaken to the reality of our circumstances. They must seek to acquire the wisdom and insight that are necessary to make the decisions that matter. They must cease burying their heads in the sand as our country drifts aimlessly on a highway to nowhere”, he added.

The PNCR leader declared that 2009 must mark a decisive shift towards genuine national unity through shared governance stating that this will mark the start of the journey towards the goal of development. Corbin asserted that the Government must strip itself of “its pretense and its inward-looking political posture and listen to the voices of the people”.

He said that the administration of President Bharrat Jagdeo alone cannot bring progress to Guyana and further declared that Guyana needs to recover from the consequences of the drug trade, rampant criminality, and the imperfections of the political system and finally begin to make its way as a tolerant, humane society in which every citizen can realize his or her fullest potential.

Corbin said that his Party pledges to rededicate its energies to the healing progress, which can set the country on the road to progress. He reiterated his call for a “genuine inclusiveness” that embraces all the stakeholders in the society in the process of building this nation. “The prevailing exclusionary approach to governing Guyana will bring us nothing, but disappointment and disaster”, he said.

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