I am told that the attendance at the second annual dinner of the Transparency Institute, Guyana held at the Pegasus Hotel on Friday evening, November 22, 2013, was an encouraging improvement over the first year’s engagement.
It was indeed an evening worth spending, not only because it provided an occasion for well-respected and qualified presenters, of whom Professor Trevor Monroe was easily pre-eminent, in painting a canvassed landscape of the deleterious effect of corruption on global economies in general, and ‘developing’ ones like Guyana’s, in particular; but perhaps more importantly be-cause of the opportunity it presented to assess who, and how many, were concerned about the endemic afflictions upon our state, and dared to express it by their presence. There were others who reportedly made donations, but chose not be identified openly with the cause.
The real men and women; individuals and groups; local and foreign, first stood, then sat and listened, their respective body languages reacting to the different orations – sometimes in dismay, even fleeting moments of hopelessness, eventually enlightened by perspectives of possibilities of stopping the rot – reinforced by a climactic commitment to disrupt the corrupt, and to reverse the descent into the depths of degradation of our own human dignity, and the respect by others who bear witness.
It is in this context that one pondered the absence of important practitioners – leaders who are statutorily responsible for effecting balance, and promoting fairness, integrity and transparency in our national life. While the Speaker’s absence was explicitly noted, the latter was perhaps counter-balanced by a visible AFC presence.
Not so APNU, however, whose notable absence (with but a single exception) only helped to project an image of contradiction with their earlier intense advocacy in Parliament, as well as their public campaign, against the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.
The implicit inconsistency was not missed.
Finally, we missed the blessing of the scrupulously clean religious community.