We should show our disgust quietly in our numbers at the President’s Appreciation Day

Dear Editor,
I reiterate the AFC’s call to citizens to wear something black or put something black on their home or vehicle to show displeasure with the President’s Appreciation Day today.

I remind the traditional supporters of the PPP, especially those who identify with Komal Chand, Navin Chandarpal, Indra Chandarpal, Moses Nagamootoo, Ralph Ramkarran and others, of Dr Jagan’s vehement opposition to the personality cult and abuse of state resources under the PNC.

Just the other day, our President admonished our youth to learn of Guyana’s past, especially that under the PNC.  However, today the PPP will engage in exactly what it just condemned!  But, I do not recall the PNC using paratroopers or a police gymkhana, courtesy of the state, to enhance their celebrations.

These probably cost as much as the hosting of Mass Games.  And, though Mass Games pandered to the personality cult, it had positives such as physical exercise, teambuilding, showcasing the skills of our young people and highlighting our nation’s beauty.  Nothing positive about the President’s Appreciation Day comes to mind.

Now that our President has exhorted us to study the PNC, especially under Forbes Burnham, this hypocrisy would not be lost on our young people.  Nor would the fact that the PPP chooses to spend billions of dollars importing computers, knowing fully well these can be assembled by our young people right here in Guyana, thereby creating hundreds of jobs for them.  Not lost on our young people either, is that the President’s pension is some 3 million dollars a month, while their beloved grandparents are given an old-age pension of a pitiable $7,500 a month or $250 a day.

Shameful too is that our woefully underpaid disciplined services will be paraded in front of the President and his adoring fans, not unlike in a dog and pony show.  These are the same people the President expects to put their lives on the line protecting the state on meagre salaries of $45,000, while he pays a Presidential Advisor almost $900,000 a month, some 20 times more.  These are the same people too, that the Home Affairs Minister admonishes to live within their means, while his salary (not counting allowances and other perks) is 10 times as much.

With our police underpaid and little forensic capability, is there any wonder there is so much unsolved crime?  The three months of August, September and October mark two years since the disappearance of 10-year-old Ricky Jainarine, one year since the killing of 20-year-old Sheema Mangar, and three years since the murder of 26-year-old Alicia Foster respectively, all unsolved.  How can this be a time for the President to be celebrated?

To everyone attending please whisper a prayer for Guyana.  Too many things need to be rectified and redeemed.  Like being induced or coerced to attend lest jobs or benefits are taken away.  Whatever guilty consciences may be borne will be eased by such a prayer.  Even Bishop Edghill will endorse this.  He may wish to even do the prayer.

And so, let us show our disgust quietly in our numbers, and wear something black or put something black on our home or vehicle.  And come Election Day, just how the PPP’s policy of “no child left behind” is leaving our young people behind, so must we leave the PPP behind.

Yours faithfully,
Gerhard Ramsaroop

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