“He’s making a list//He’s checking it twice//He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…”
Through a usually reliable source, the Sunday Stabroek was able to have a look at Santa’s naughty and nice lists prepared for Guyana. It was just a peek, so we were not able to see all of the names and all of the reasons why they made the different lists. Below are a few of the ones we did notice. We have to say that Santa does have a really discerning eye.
So who are some of the people likely to receive a lump of coal tomorrow?
PPP/C MP Juan Edghill made Santa’s naughty list. No amount of spin could hide the fact that his behaviour on December 11th in the Chamber of the National Assembly was disgraceful and unparliamentary and certainly not representative of the ‘man of cloth’ he claims to be.
He is joined by parliament colleagues Needkumar and Cornel Damon who chose to trivialize rape, not even thinking of the many women, children and men who suffer daily from this horrific act. They were shouting rape during the melee in Parliament and Damon went as far as shouting, “Police raping female parliamentarian.”
Minister of Education Nicolette Henry definitely made the naughty list for a number of reasons, not least among them was her performance at the country’s 50th independence anniversary celebration last year and then by mixing up Phagwah and Diwali. Santa thought of giving her a pass but her recent retort in the National Assembly to a heckle during her budget presentation sealed her fate. Her “I am not a chhatri, so I may not know when is Phagwah and Diwali,” statement placed her firmly on the naughty list.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan is also on the naughty list for cruelly denying public servants a bonus. But he compounded that by trying to dodge the question of the government receiving a signing bonus from ExxonMobil and using obfuscation as to whether it was US$18 million or US$20 million.
For the first time in years, both the President and the Opposition Leader are on the naughty list! President David Granger is on the list for many things, but we noticed that he was tapped for spending government funds on too much green paint and trying to be funny about it and failing. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo made it on the list for several things, but we noticed that Santa cited him for the “devide” poster. He might not have written it, but he sure should have read it before holding it up for all to see.
PPP/C MP Priya Manickchand was moved from the nice list to the naughty list. While Santa believes that her tears on December 11th in Parliament were genuine—she was shaken—he says she was wrong to accuse the men in blue of deliberately assaulting her in the melee. She seems to have received injuries to her hands at least. But there were a lot of arms flying and whatever blows she received were not inflicted with intent, but because she was caught in the melee.
Town Clerk Royston King and Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene are on the naughty list for many reasons not least among them their bungling of the investigation into the sexual assault of a minor at City Hall. King has the added accolade of being the worst ever Town Clerk. Who would have thought it after Carol Sooba?
Over on the nice side we saw the STEMGuyana team which finished in 10th place out of 164 countries at the First Global Games, a robotics competition held in Washington.
The perseverance of young Anije Lambert saw her being placed on Santa’s nice list. This teenager is the force behind Project Development Consultancy (PDC), better known as PDC-Research which has been providing services to larger research organisations, academic institutions, small to medium sized companies, non-governmental and public-sector institutions interested in research assistance across the Latin American nations. But more importantly PDC and Lambert have been providing opportunities for young graduates.
Superintendent Charmaine Stuart made Santa’s nice list last year, when she shattered the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ to become the first female director of the Guyana Police Force’s Band Complex, 177 years after its founding. But as luck would have it she is on this year’s nice list after becoming Best Cop. Apart from those two achievements she is also Chairperson of the Joint Services Committee, Vice President of Guyana Association of Women Police and the Coordinator of the Force’s Literacy and Debating Society.
Also on the nice list is Deshana Ashanti Skeete. She made Guyana proud when she produced what was described as a “stirring” 400m run to give the country its first gold medal of the second South American Youth Games held in Santiago, Chile earlier this year.
Krystol Chandraban, Deion Nurse, Matthew Assing and Dillon Mahadeo, the power lifters who represented Guyana at the Phillips and Springer Weightlifting Championships held in Barbados and came home with two best lifter trophies, three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals are also on the nice list.
First Lady Sandra Granger made the nice list. She has been a strong supporter of the STEM Guyana initiative and she has been championing the rights of women. And let’s not forget her stance on the sleeveless dress code issue.
And then there is her view on the buggery law. This is what she had to say: “My personal view is that if two men engage in consensual sex and they harm no one that is their right and their business. The government has no place in their relationship.”