In response to my letter in Stabroek News on Oct 31, Mr Harry Hergash argues that a monument remembering the Lusignan massacre is more important than an official Commission of Inquiry into the East Coast crimes (SN Nov 2, 2013). Readers may recall that Mr Hergash chastised Brigadier David Granger for not calling for a monument. I responded pointing out that Mr Granger called for an Inquiry into the crimes committed on the East Coast; furthermore, I argued that an Inquiry is more important than a monument. Here are some reasons why. (i) The Inquiry adds closure for the families. It will not remove the pain, but it will provide mental closure knowing what went on and why. (ii) It will help us to understand the root causes of the crimes and violence. So far the Roger Khan trial in New York and Wikileaks have revealed the potential narco connection to the destabilization.
(iii) The East Coast violence is relatively recent so an Inquiry is better and could be more effective at this point. The monument can come after the official Inquiry. (iv) The Inquiry will lead to factual historical accounts so that 25 years from now politicians will face reasoned rebuttals should they exploit the crimes and murders for political gains. Future generations must know the official documentation of these crimes, something which my generation was denied. All my generation gets is loaded propaganda and tales of one-sided victimhood of the previous political unrest in the 1960s.
Mr Hergash wants to know what my work and training in finance and economics have to do with the Pro Guyana theme of Unity and Human Development (UHD). The connection is obvious yet Mr Hergash attempted to insert personal motivations. Economics and finance are at the root of any set of proposals seeking to reach the goal of UHD. Let me give some specific examples. (i) Any development plan has to be financed. If we can’t finance the plan, then it’s better to just pack up and go home. The financing must be believable and attainable, unlike the objective of the Low Carbon Development Strategy that sought US$580m in yearly payouts. (ii) Ethnic distrust will grow if people believe government spending and projects are not fairly distributed. The issue of distribution is intertwined with economic growth. Unfair distribution will stymie GDP growth in the long-term. (iii) Reckless government spending and printing of money will destabilize the exchange rate, resulting in suffering for the poor and those with fixed incomes. This can derail any attempt to achieve UHD. Therefore, any plan of UHD must also include a stabilization agenda to preserve the value of the currency.
Everything in life has an economic root and therefore has economic incentives intertwined with political, social, legal and moral solutions. A development agenda of UHD has to be financed. They are all connected Harry.