I found the President's
statements given in Berbice relating to Mr. Desmond Hoyte's $250M
socio-economic proposal for Buxton, etc. (see Stabroek News [SN]
Octoberr 20th), amusing; "We cannot be held to ransom by any
politician. You cannot put a price tag on peace. A lot of people
have also rejected this proposal." Additionally, commenting
on water supply in the Berbice community, and some of the "disturbing
reports" he heard, one is told, "If people are not doing
their job then they will have to leave."
Unfortunately, the evidence
says the contrary. It shows that the President
(and the PPP/C) has, since 1997, led Guyana under the shadow of
a gun. For the records, I remind the President, his entire
Cabinet, and his supporters, especially hardliners who delight in
terrorizing ROAR supporters, and the folks up in Berbice who continue
to pamper this failing political body,
of 2 basic examples
that illustrate how PNC-benefiting socio-political violence and
PPP/C (government) weakness go hand in hand:
1) The Herdmanston Accord (1998) reduced the usual 5-years term
of government to a 3-year one for the PPP/C, which was an affront
to its constituents. Even CARICOM admitted that it erred in support
of this accord thereafter.
2) In 2001, a mere few weeks
after garnishing 53% of the electorate, the PPP/C accepted unconditionally
a PNC-drafted Dialogue (built around 15-17 points brought by Mr.
On April 5th, 1999,
the Chronicle reported; "President Janet Jagan yesterday
announced she will in a few days be putting forward a solution to
advance the deadlocked talks between the governing People's Progressive
Party/Civic (PPP/Civic) and the main Minority People's National
Congress (PNC) party
The President said that in the 'heat'
of the attacks on the Government and repeated violence in the city
in January last year, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders offered
to have talks held between her and Hoyte, which ultimately resulted
in the Herdmanston 'peace' Accord." Did
someone say "peace"? Obviously, "Herdmanston"
did not succeed.
To demonstrate that
the PNC/R always dictates terms to the PPP/C when it really matters,
hear this; after the mayhem in Georgetown in January of 1998, the
PPP/C government banned protests for one month (see SN, January
13, 1998). The very next day, we read in Stabroek News; "Police
tear-gas PNC protesters"; "The Bourda ward in Georgetown
was yesterday transformed into a war zone, as pro-PNC protesters
threw down the gauntlet to the police despite an order banning processions
and tear-gas laced battles erupted between the two sides."
This came as a result of a demonstration led by Mr. Hoyte. This
march occurred, I repeat, the very next day after the ban.
Let us fast forward
to 2001, the year of the golden revelation (i.e., the Dialogue);
the Dialogue began on April 17, or thereabouts, less that 14 days
after the President announced publicly that his administration would
not talk under threats. In fact, speaking of threats, the very first
two meetings occurred while violent acts were still being carried
out against Indians by PNC supporters. Threat was always in the
air (and still is); PNC supporters were outside the President's
Office chanting, "No talk, more fire" as the two leaders
dialogued. The Chronicle itself hinted by declaring, "Mr.
Hoyte did not return the President's smiles" even thought they
had a "very fruitful session." Did
someone say "fruitful"? Obviously, the glorious "Dialogue"
I remind the President
and his supporters that the "Dialogue" belongs to Congress
Place, both in content and in nature. It is Mr. Hoyte (and not the
PPP) who sets the pace; for example, by May 2002, when the Dialogue
was stopped-it was because Mr. Hoyte wanted a "pause"
(see Chronicle 04/28/2002). This "pause" is still
in effect today. In fact, only this past week the PNC refused the
Commonwealth envoy's suggestion that the Dialogue be restarted.
The same can be said about politics in Guyana;
it is the PNC/R that
will dictate what shape the future of Guyana will take--not the
PPP, its 52%, or Civil Society (whatever that means). If Freedom
House can show us otherwise, let them do so. There have been numerous
Today, Mr. Hoyte still
refuses to smile, and I don't expect him to smile soon or say anything
contrary to what was said in and about Buxton. He must do what he
sees as necessary and practical to improve the position of his party
and his constituents, and for this, I do not fault him. In his letter
to Stabroek News this Sunday, he writes;
stand on Buxton is clear. I do not resile one inch from anything
I said or any position I took in my
speech at Buxton on
10th October, 2002."
We are reminded of
his stance on the "slow fire" slogan, in which he said
(SN 6/21/2001); "Dear Editor, I refer to your editorial captioned
'Fire' (SN Monday 6/18/2001). People's National Congress Reform
adopted the slogan 'slow fire' during the last elections campaign.
Obviously, with an intent to mislead you have misdescribed it as
'slow fire/more fire,' twisting the slogan 'to set a trap for fools'.
If the slogan 'slow fire' upsets you, so be it: it remains. You
can attribute whatever interpretation you like to it. Opinion is
So there, one cannot
be more forceful than that, unless we're talking about raping women
or bashing their heads with gun butts as the criminals are doing
in Guyana under the PPP administration. It would be wise if the
President refrain from making
bold declarations which
neither himself nor his party can support decisively. Sooner than
later, the President will concede in one way or another because
it is the nature of the PPP to concede (be it "critical support"
or what not) and, given the violence of today, Buxton will get its
$250M. Only in this case, it would be sensible indeed to concede.
Unless Buxton get some serious cash and economic programs, there
is no way of apprehending the criminals network within, or stopping
the anti-Indian campaign underway.
(or part of it) is
money (blood) and there is nothing that the old brains or flaccid
muscles of Freedom House can do about it, except come to terms with
Mr. Hoyte's proposal instead of headbutting it.The Buxtonians know
this and the PNC/R knows this. Perhaps the Berbicians who applauded
the President there do not know this. Or maybe the Berbicians pretend
to be deaf, blind, and mute. If the President cares to demonstrate
to the public that his words reflect his views, and his actions
reflect his words, then let him fulfill his own line, "If people
are not doing their job then they will have to leave," or explain
why today's Home Affairs Minister still receives a salary.
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