I wish to respond to some poisonous attacks on my character that were published in the Guyana Chronicle of 20th April, (‘Parker’s reputation is not one of credible leadership material’) written by a phantom Mary Charlie; one of 24th January (‘Parker’s track record will be interesting to the people of Rupununi’), written by Peter Persaud, the Leader of the United Force; and one of 30th January (‘Carl Parker, an APNU activist masquerading as someone of importance’), also by Peter Persaud.
Firstly, I would like to state that when I write, I write as a resident first and foremost. Politics is just a bi-product. I write on issues affecting ordinary residents irrespective of their political persuasions. I call the issues as I see them. Other persons have the right to dispute what I have written, but to descend into venomous attacks is an abuse of privilege.
The things written against me beg the question, where were the police in all of this? Why wasn’t the information passed on to them? It also reflects very negatively on the august body known as the Public Service Commission because in spite of all these ‘nasty’ actions of mine I was promoted continuously while still in the employ of the Public Service.
Throughout the years I have had to fight one battle after the next. I came to the Rupununi in July 1991, during the last days of the PNC administration. Because of my outspoken attitude, I was branded a WPA, which was far from the truth. Almost immediately on assuming office, the PPP/C took the fight to me.
To deal with the specific accusations: The phantom writer, Mary Charlie, stated that my colleagues from APNU had distanced themselves from my “political posturing.” Isn’t that proof that APNU is a really democratic organization, where difference of opinion is tolerated? I must thank this phantom for bringing out that fact so plainly.
The writer also claimed that I resigned from my position as Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Region 2 when it was apparent that I would have been dismissed, and that I was dismissed by the PSM. How untruthful. The fact that I was appointed from a field of eight applicants for the position did not go down well with the PPP/C hierarchy. The fact that I was not welcome in Region 2 was demonstrated in the way I was treated from the start. No house was provided for me as is the rule. I had to spend three months at my sister-in-law’s in-laws at Airy Hall, some 19 miles from my office. I am very grateful to that family. A house was being prepared for me at Cotton Field, but I was told that I had to wait until the PPP/C Congress was over to get it since it was being used to house delegates. I never got it and I was never paid the subsistence due to me for the three months that I stayed with that very noble family. I was instead given a house at Adventure, 17 miles from my place of work. That was unprecedented in the history of the Public Service. Nevertheless I performed my duties as professionally as always, in spite of the fact that my meagre resources were being drained on a daily basis.
I suffered several other discriminatory acts at the hands of the administration. On my familiarization visit, I noticed that the Registry was equipped with a bank of manual typewriters. I immediately made a case for computers since I could not understand why in this day and age offices still had manual typewriters. I was told that Region 2 was not ready for the transition to computers. Lo and behold, not 2 months had passed when an REO was sent to the Region and he too made the same observation and recommendation. That was hailed as a brilliant idea from the then Regional Chairman. The point is ideas are good depending on who they originate from.
Some time during my stay at Adventure I took in with some chest pains while I was working in my garden. I was taken to the hospital by my wife and I saw Dr Rama. He advised that I had a heart condition and gave me medication and advised that I avoid stress and anxiety. I was sent to a workshop subsequently in Georgetown when my condition resurfaced.
Knowing the hassles associated with the Georgetown Hospital, I travelled to Linden where I am well known and got medical attention. I then stayed at my father’s to recuperate before making my way back to the Region. This was promptly told to the REO and the issue of reimbursement was discussed. I was told that since I went on the Region’s business I was entitled to the reimbursement which was paid to me. I got the shock of my life when a delegation of my peers came to visit me in 2007 to investigate financial improprieties in relation to my visit to Georgetown. I refused to partake in such a ‘cowboy’ investigation for several reasons.
The main reason was that in 2006 October, I had written President Jagdeo about pervasive corruption in the Region. That was after the REO, Chairman and the RDC failed to address same at my instigation, and the President called on citizens to provide proof of such corruption. Having not heard from the President, I sent him a reminder in 2007, March, to which I
got a response saying that the matter had being sent to the PS Local Government for him to investigate. That investigation never took place. The investigation was against me instead. By that time I think I was battle weary since the GPSU and the PNCR failed to respond to my many cries of help. So I resigned. Maybe I was too naïve to think that my concerns would have beenaddressed.
So to say that I was dismissed is a lie. It must be noted that I was on the fixed establishment and as such PSM had no jurisdiction when it came to instituting disciplinary action against me. That authority is vested in the Public Service Commission by the constitution.
This takes me to my employment with SOL at Bartica. On gaining employment at SOL, a senior Region 2 official went so low as to contact the company and tried to persuade them not to employ me. During my stay at SOL, and this can be verified if anyone cares to, I had to implement several security measures to prevent theft of fuel which was occurring almost on a nightly basis. This was reflected when we assessed our opening stock as against our closing stock. I sought and gained approval for my many preventative recommendations. Suffice it to say, however, Bartica was a dangerous place to be at that time. Subsequent events which occurred not long after I left the location could verify that. Therefore to say that I was dismissed for financial irregularities is also false and wicked.
I was dismissed alright, but I am not at liberty to disclose the circumstances. I will not disclose here what transpired unless adequate guarantees are given for the safety of my family. Until then I am prepared to accept the blame for what transpired that Sunday afternoon, but I know my conscience is clear.
I came to the Rupununi in 1991 as a bachelor. I was posted to Aishalton in October of 1991. I had two initial relationships that were terminated by mutual consent. The circumstances are purely private and need not be ventilated here. If Mary Charlie and Peter Persaud so wish, I could arrange an interview for them where I will tell them my life’s story. Suffice to say, however, that the ladies and I are still very good friends.
The relationship I am in presently is 19 years old – 19 long, hard years. This surely has demonstrated my commitment to long relationships. My children are taught the virtues of life. In spite of what they have suffered because of the campaign against me, they are happy, contented and educated.
In relation to my lessons, the only reason why I discontinued was the inability of parents to pay the meagre cost of $2,000 per month per subject. I started off by offering 6 subjects – Maths, English, Social Studies, Accounts, Principles of Business and Office Management. My first class
was exceptional, two students were able to gain grade 1 passes in Maths, a first time for the school, I was told, for 15 years. I did not get, nor did I seek credit for the results, the school got all, for which I was happy. There was a police officer who never attended secondary school. He wrote all 6 subjects gaining passes in three, inclusive of Maths, and that was after only one year of tutoring, that I can take credit for.
I have no knowledge of students engaging in sexual activities. What I know is that students are very close and maybe this was interpreted as sexual behaviour by a demented mind. People who know me, know that I am a strict person and would never tolerate deviant behaviour. So that allegation is meant to deceive. Maybe a survey of the students who passed through my classes
may reveal the truth. I deny also categorically, an attempt to insinuate that I molested a student. I enjoyed the trust and confidence of each and every student that attended my classes. To date all the students who passed through my classes still refer to me as ‘Sir.’ That is a sign of respect.
The issue of rent owing to the community centre was already answered. My ability to pay the rent was hinged on the parents paying their fees. Since I am still being owed for lessons, the IMC should put that down to community service.
I am the voice of the ordinary man, and I will not shut up. The fact that I cannot afford many things is not something to be ashamed of. It is confirmation of the fact that people who do not conform to and challenge the status quo, are singled out for special treatment by this
regime. They have been accustomed to getting a free passage by previous RDCs. They were never challenged like this before. Opposition councillors just sat on the RDC to represent narrow selfish interests, while the interest of the masses went to zero. Not this time around. We have a band of aggressive councillors who are asking probing questions, and this, the PPP/C is uncomfortable with.
I’ve taken an oath: “without fear or favour, affection or ill will, so help me God.” I will execute that oath with all of my faculties because I know I am in damn good company. I have suffered many ignoble deeds in silence for 14 years, with the only reassurance coming from my long-suffering family. They were the reason I kept going, and most times down a lonely road.
What the likes of Mary Charlie, Peter Persaud and those at Freedom House do not understand is once there is dictatorship, once there is inequality – and especially those who are deemed unequal know differently ‒ once there is injustice, there will always rise up among the people patriotic persons or groups of people to oppose such ills. They must know that they will not be given a blank cheque to do as they please. So the next time there is an inclination to con or deceive the people, I will advise: think of Carl Parker. He’ll be watching and waiting, pen in hand, at the ready.
Regional Councillor (APNU)