Civil society, Civil Christmas

“Politicians Think Power, Leaders Empower”

– Americans against Christmas?

With a mere five days to the December twenty-fifth date chosen by some long-time Christian (?)

Religious/Imperial Hierarchy as the day to celebrate the birth of God the son, here I go discussing Guyana’s Civil Society. Seems slightly irrelevant in this time of genuine – or forced – “merriment”.

Still, I need to pay tribute to a person and Civil Society Organisation (CSO) which has attracted an almost disproportionate amount of commendation, cynicism – and Governmental ridicule.

Already it’s nearly three years since I became associated with Dr Philip Handel Mozart Thomas and the Guyana National Council on Public Policy (GNCPP). I was attracted to the concept of a Think Tank-type NGO which would create a reservoir of local and overseas-based brains to confront local issues of an intelligent, social and development nature. With its own resources, the GNCPP, according to Thomas, would also attend to poverty- alleviation and constitutional and electoral reform, utilizing both public education and job-creation (inclusive of scholarships).

But when the well- qualified, corporate lawyer who, reportedly, was once touted to be Desmond Hoyte’s PNC successor, revealed to me that his GNCPP would mobilise and organize hundreds of Guyana’s NGO’s and CSO’s into establishing a Civil Society National Council, I smirked at his then additional objective and rather grandiose proposals for such a project.

Because we both suspected that Guyana’s long-standing NGO’s (1) would be wary of a newcomer wanting to really operationalize the constitution’s article 13; (2) would be dissuaded from collaboration if they were/are fronts for more political entities and (3) would be suspicious, sometimes justifiably, of this American-sounding dude who, in challenging the regime’s status quo and mismanagement of the country’s resources might have hidden, even political agendas.

However, Dr Thomas persisted. We used a case from nearby Suriname to illustrate how think-tank NGO’s could actually assist governments with legislation and reforms. But we all know the type of regime we are saddled with.

The National Summit/Conference

For those of us weary with daily struggles but still interested in our patrimony – now being systematically manipulated, seduced and raped it is now public knowledge that the GNCPP-facilitated Civil Society Conference began on Wednesday morning at the International Conference Centre controlled by the Office of the President.

Though booked in advance, Dr Thomas was informed about air-conditioning and seepage problems early in the week. He told them he would use the venue whatever its state. A post-Office-of-the-President consultation saw the Centre suddenly ready for the meeting. (Have these dudes no shame!? Y’all will still share Yuletide cheer with them?)

On Tuesday evening the Office of the President issued a poisonous “Advisory” denigrating the imminent establishment of a National Civil Society Council and assassinating the character of Thomas himself. So far, he has responded by lamenting that the Parent – the government- should seek to brutally scold its article 13 constitutional child. Is he not going to sue them? To garner some funding for the GNCPP’s/Council’s people’s work?

I’m not going to delve into the Conference’s objectives and accomplishments. That’s bound to be dealt with elsewhere. I was there only for the elaborate opening ceremony and the first morning’s speeches. But it was expected that this type of regime would attempt its bad-talk rejection of such a people-oriented enterprise. Elections are nigh. And if this regime contemptuously disregards an elected majority opposition, what does it care about any “article 13” Civil Society voice!? Fear, however, is not an option.

If the more than 400 groups consulted did not all show, I won’t be disappointed. I’ve been telling Dr Thomas that it would be a local record for 40 or 50 to gather in one place. My real disappointment?

Well it was expected that President Rabindranath and his voters’ reps would not have shown, as well as other “political” MP’s invited. But what of Georgetown’s diplomatic corps? Why did they take a cue from the government’s anti-people bile?

Don’t lecture me about diplomacy’s protocols.

The lady minister recently abused the American ambassador’s residence and presence- backdam style.

And I was present when the GNCPP received support in principle, from the European Union, the Americans, Brazilians, Chinese, British and Mexicans. The Americans, British and Canadians cast protocol aside whenever they call for Local Government Elections, don’t they? So what was wrong with attending an opening ceremony? Score one for Rabindranath’s regime!

 

A “Civil” Christmas…

I mean civil as in courteous or polite. I’m feeling defeat but I have to continue. Celebrate this Christmas with restraint I say again.

Do not overspend your measly five-percent increase. It’s your money the ministry is spending on the staff party. Take the food and vouchers—and leave them! Goodwill is not prorogation! You prorogue your friendship with devils this season.

During my recent American vacation Billy Graham’s son, the Reverend Franklyn Graham, outlined how some “Americans” non-Christians, Muslims and radicalized others were denying Christian Americans, their full-fledged Christmas Festival. Even some State governments try not to “offend” non-Christians. So no Happy Christmas, just Happy Holidays! No Nativity Plays or Carols at some schools. What abused “rights and freedoms” can do: Those immigrants certainly find in America what’s wholly absent in their original lands. (They’re making an activist Christian out of me?)

 

Power, Politicians and Leaders

Two remarks, of many resonated with me at Wednesday morning’s Civil Society Summit.

Motivational Speaker Astel Collins remarked: “Politicians think about power. Leaders Empower!”

Think about both good and selfish politicians.

Rev. Sansculotte declared: “The devil is running scared of the people. Why this far? Y’all tell me.

 

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Ponder….

.1) I understand that the Legal Instruments that Justice Trotman handed over to Dr Thomas grants Legal Standing to the new Civil Society Council.

.2) what do Ed Ahmad, Roger Khan and the two Aeroplane men have in common?

.3) Check your voting status – on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

.4) Have a quietly Happy, Different Christmas Day

Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)