The Green pension Bill will not further reconciliation or enhance social cohesion

Dear Editor,

Two recent developments in Guyana are raising alarm bells regarding the direction of the coalition government in Guyana. The Working Peoples Alliance Overseas Associates (WPAOA) would like to voice our concern over the recent decision to hold the meetings of the cabinet in the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna. This decision sends the wrong signal to the population which has already expressed some reservations over the prominence of active and retired military officers in every facet of government. Not only is the advisory arm of the President over-weighted with military and former military personnel, the government through this decision seems to be cementing the growing perception of a militarized governmental culture. We call on the President and his cabinet to revisit this decision and to find a civilian friendly location for meetings of the cabinet.

Secondly we are shocked that a Bill titled the Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Bill is being debated in the Parliament. This is a travesty. While we do not object to public officials receiving due recognition and compensation for services rendered to the country, Mr Hamilton Green is already in receipt of a parliamentary pension, a retirement package from the Georgetown City Council and a salary as Chairman of the Central Housing & Planning Authority. To identify him for further remuneration is an insult to all public servants whom this government claims could only be afforded a ten percent wage increase. It is apparent that there is a trend developing in this administration that only those in authority should live the good life. Further, Mr Green did not positively contribute to the political culture of Guyana, and striking workers and polling agents can attest to this.  We believe that a government, any government, must be sensitive to history. Governmental actions and activities must be a signal of intent to put the authoritarian past behind us. This is even more troubling to us because this is a coalition government that supposedly brings together the historically aggrieved with representatives of the party of the old perpetrators of violence against the people. It is time for the government to begin to exercise good judgement. This bill would not further the national interest of reconciliation or enhance social cohesion.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Branch

Press Secretary


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