All is not well in the Mabaruma sub-region

Dear Editor,

Since the 2015 General Elections, my sub-region has gone through many different changes. I have written about some of these changes before.

I have observed an unpleasant phenomenon that is becoming evident in our sub-region. It is affecting our traditional way of life. When people decide to come into the region because of economic circumstances, regardless of where they are coming from, they do not leave their bad qualities; they bring everything with them. They bring their culture, their religion, and their political conceptions, and, in most cases, they would try to integrate their political conceptions into our society. The last thing they take care of is their health.

Living in the Mabaruma sub-region many years ago was easier and comfortable amongst all of the ethnic races. Mabaruma, in those days, was a paradise; your farms filled with fruits and ground provisions of all types. Whenever you passed by a farm, you would ask the farmer for some fruits and he would ask if you have a bag. Farmers from the riverine areas would bring provisions for their friends with no cost attached. In those days, the police and government officials enjoyed living in the area but not now. Things have changed dramatically over a few decades. We had known nothing of ethnic division, ethnic marriage, ethnic employment, and ethnic political preferences.

It may look as if all is well but it is not so. In certain parts of our sub-region, racialism is quite noticeable where one ethnicity predominates. It has become established in different areas, such as the working environment, business establishments and even at bars.

I am writing about what I have observed and heard. There is an office where only political supporters work. If you look, you will see contractors bringing workers from their own regions, leaving our people here without jobs.

Some of our own contractors do not have the luck to secure a contract below five million dollars. I told them if they are in possession of the relevant documents and experience, they should be given a chance.

We need to have a job balance because this is a multi-ethnic society; we do not want councillors to be influential in making job decisions; we do not want ethnic dominance.

I wonder how the Ministry of Social Cohesion is coping with the togetherness in our country. If they are doing well, then they should introduce their experience here and bring harmony to our region.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Hope

Former AFC Councillor

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