I have just read letters in the Stabroek News of February 27 by Rajendra Rampersaud captioned ‘Boysie Ramkaran was a celebrated wit in Parliament,’ and by WP George, headlined, ‘Boysie, Burnham and the dog.’
Yes, there is a typographical error in my reply, the date is 1980, not 1970 (no fault of the newspaper editor). In any event, between 1970 and 1980 Burnham attended few sittings of Parliament. From 1980, on becoming the Executive President, he could not take part in the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate.
The rest of Mr Rampersaud’s asseverations are not worthy of a reply, save to say, it is always difficult to compare chalk to cheese, which is what he seeks to do by comparing Ramkarran in Parliament with LFS Burnham.
However, the letter from Mr George of the same issue is a total error or confusion, which I now deal with. The dog story, I do not recall, and so, we can leave this alleged canine caper as credible. However, the last paragraph is seriously flawed; it states: “When the parties attended the conference for the Independence of Guyana, Sir Lionel Luckhoo was a member of the PNC delegation, and Boysie noticed… etc.”
Sir Lionel Luckhoo never attended any Independence conference as a PNC delegate. There were three Independence conferences in London, in addition to an earlier constitutional conference in March 1960.
At the October-November 1962 conference in London the PPP delegation consisted of Dr CB Jagan;
Dr Fenton Ramsahoye, AG; Mr B H Benn; Mr Ashton Chase; Mr Moses Bhagwan; and a Trinidadian, Jack Kelshall.
Lionel Luckhoo attended as a member of the United Force delegation, not the PNC.
At the 1963 Conference, the PPP was represented by Dr Jagan, BH Benn, Dr Fenton Ramsahoye,
Ashton Chase, and Professor JAG Griffith as their adviser.
Lionel Luckhoo attended as adviser to the United Force delegation.
The final Independence conference opened at Lancaster House on early, November 1, 1965, under the chairmanship of the British Secretary of State, Mr Anthony Greenwood. As a delegate attending that conference which fixed the date for our Independence, I can state with confidence that no one from the PPP attended, so again, Boysie could not have been at any conference for Independence as WP George’s letter implies.
At that 1965 conference, Sir Lionel Luckhoo attended as Commissioner of British Guiana to the United Kingdom. Sir David Rose MBE was our Defence Adviser, Sir S (Sonny) Ramphal was our Attorney General. The Governor was Sir Richard Luyt. Sir Lionel Luckhoo never attended any Independence conference as a PNC delegate.
The above cannot be disputed save by the flawed recollection of some political neophyte who passes on wrong information to people like Mr George.
My earlier statement holds good. Some folks have set out on a studied campaign to distort or rewrite our history, all the while to make slight the exploits of the architect of the new Guyana, the man who received our instrument of Independence, LFS Burnham.
Truly, we have reached the stage in Guyana where, as Lowell put it, “Truth forever in the scaffold, wrong for ever on the throne.” May Heaven help us reverse this unhappy trend.
Hamilton Green, JP