A famous American once said that our greatest responsibility is to be good to our ancestors. A government that cannot care for its dead is a Government that is unjust, and is a prime candidate to destroy our future. If you cannot preserve the memory of the past, then you are not fit and proper to provide peace, social justice and good governance to all. It is with great sadness that I observed the Le Repentir cemetery on August 3, 2011. I lived through the PNC regime and they never abused the space where the remains of our ancestors lie in the way the PPP does today. That place of rest is a mini-forest in the making, where trees have now replaced the grass that was there before; maybe this is the LCDS in action in Georgetown.
I sat with some ladies while doing my political work in south Georgetown, all whom told me they were Christians. They were all extremely dissatisfied that they are being forced to consider cremation rather that their preferred wish for burial.
Is this what a government does, deny a people their final wish?
This for me is an absolute abuse of people by the PPP. As a Hindu, if anyone was to not provide a place of cremation for me, my soul would depart the body with great resistance. Thus those who desire a clean place for their final rites, especially those from the Islamic and Christian faiths, must demand that funds be set aside every month for the maintenance of the primary cemetery in Georgetown.
How much worse can this elected oligarchy become, when a people cannot even choose their mode of burial any more? The Government of Guyana has millions to spend on executive travel for the top leaders but cannot find the money every month for the final resting place of persons’ remains? The government has close to $4.5 million to pay in cash and kind to the top leader in government and the Leader of the Opposition in pensions every month ($50 million a year for two people) but does not have time for the remains of our ancestors. I, like thousands of Guyanese have grandfathers and other relatives buried in Le Repentir cemetery and we all know this is not how we treat our ancestors.
This disrespect for the remains of the dead will change under an AFC government. In the first year of the next AFC government, the Prison Services will be used to organize the prisoners to clean Le Repentir grave by grave, block by block until the entire cemetery is clean again. The drains shall be re-dug, the road shall be fixed and pretty trees shall be planted and a subvention shall be given every year to the city council and all NDCs countrywide to clean all cemeteries in their jurisdiction.
The AFC will be training thousands of young people in the art and science of landscaping. It will offer them their basic tools free of cost (cutlass, rake, fork, etc) and set them up with a low cost loan to buy their grass cutters upon graduation to commence the beautification of Guyana.
No leader of any pedigree can live in a country that is a national garbage bin.
Our Khemraj Ramjattan and Sheila Holder made it very clear to us, they will not continue this PPP tradition of Guyana being one big garbage bin. The AFC will lead in the launching of the national beautification campaign, which will enforce building codes, slashing the grass on our national roadways, planting trees and developing parks and gardens at strategic locations.
The PPP will try to fool people that there is no money for this, but a forensic audit on just a few contracts with their business buddies will release enough funds to deliver on this dream of making Guyana the garden of the Caribbean.