No poll needed to know that coalition was the right thing to do

Dear Editor,

I am responding to a letter written by one Balwant Persaud if he exists (‘Study the past and you will know the future,’ SN, March 6).’ The reason I question whether he exists is that no party would have such a person within their ranks making these largely unsubstantiated and embarrassing charges, when he/she supports and presumably loves the party.

I do agree that some sort of poll ought to have been conducted to determine how such a coalition would be received by the public, but it is done now and the results have been very encouraging. The standing ovation the APNU-AFC got at the National Park on Mash Day tells me that this coalition is now massively supported by the public, in addition to which the very large crowd (some say 500 persons) which turned out to the launching of the coalition at the Pegasus despite poor advertising was for me an eye-opener.

The people, it seems, have by their actions spoken. I don’t need a poll now to tell me that this was the right thing to do.

As far as the coalition aggravating racial politics and division is concerned, I do not see Mr Persaud’s argument at all. It’s very opaque and obscure, since I see this coalition as the first time that we have seen any attempt in this country to mend the racial division which has existed since independence, and I congratulate the parties for overcoming the difficulties of doing it.

Mr Persaud tells us that we must “Study the past and you will know the future.” I have to say that I have never heard this saying before, but if we study the past we will find that Sir Winston Churchill when Prime Minister of England during World War II made a pact with Stalin to fight the greater evil of Hitler. He was highly criticised, since up to then Stalin had been perceived by the British and indeed Churchill and the US President Roosevelt as bad news. When faced with the criticism Churchill responded that he would make a favourable comment in the House of Commons about anyone willing to help him fight the devil [Hitler].

The quote I know is this: “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Guyana is what it is today, due to racial strife. And this racial strife has thrown up the PPP of today which is not competent to service the nation and is unwilling to obey the laws of our country since they believe that they are above them. This has happened because the PPP does not believe they can be defeated in an election, but the last election in 2011 showed them that this is not so. In their arrogance, however, they did not pay attention to the fact that there are still Indian Guyanese in this country who will draw the line when faced with the kind of open corruption and unfairness they see going on. It is my fundamental belief that were Dr Jagan to come back to speak to us today, he would be the first to condemn what his party has become. At all times we have to remember that to fight the British for independence Dr Jagan had as his deputy leader in the PPP a gentlemen called Forbes Burnham. This animosity between the races was not always there; it came later. And it is time, not to lay blame, but to combine our efforts to fight a greater wrong, since the past has proven that this conflict between the races is not the way forward to prosperity, and in fact has been a disaster for Guyana.

Yours faithfully,
Tony Vieira

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