The Chimera of Mr. Mervin
I refer to Mr. Emile Mervin’s letter of February 21, 2009 in the Kaieteur News, with the caption “The President did make promises he never kept”.
I thank Mr. Mervin for conceding that he did imply that the President has a record of broken promises. Mr. Mervin continues to try to discredit the economic achievements of Guyana because these achievements were made under the PPP/C Government. It should be noted, that these achievements are facts and not rhetoric; presenting the record of the Government is not a ‘spin’. It seems that the real spinner is Mr. Mervin himself, spinning facts into a chimera; and he is a poor ‘spinner’ at that.
Let’s pursue this point further. Mr. Mervin stated that, “The context of what I wrote about had to do with the President’s statement in Trinidad during the Summit of the Americas that he will not seek a third term after 2011, and I reacted by stating that other noted politicians elsewhere in the world found ways to serve beyond their constitutional term limit, so his promise not to seek a third term was a comfort to a fool. Why Dr. Misir would use that as the basis for accusing me of insinuating that the President made and broke promises can only be explained by Dr. Misir’s job as a spinner to take anything anyone says and use it as material for media spinning.”
This is such a poor spin on Mervin’s part, but a spin anyway, concocting a chimera that President Jagdeo may be able to secure an amendment to the constitution and run for a third term. This is indeed a spin, a very poor spin. Mr. Mervin really needs to engage in some reality check, as securing the process to run for a third term is not automatic, and he oversimplifies this process.
Mr. Mervin also stated, “As a Guyanese who has been observing this President’s autocratic style of governance, I really had to extend in the public domain the life of this issue of the President not seeking a third term because I have become firmly convinced that he does not inspire confidence in the people that he can be trusted with anything he says, anyway”. What empirical evidence prevails to allow him to make that subjective and opinionated conclusion?
Mr. Mervin’s behaviour is reminiscent of a ‘sour grape’ type of behaviour. As soon as investments come to hand, there are the usual suspects who unleash the forces of their ‘spin’ to link investments with some sort of negativism. We see the attempt to do that with the Berbice River Bridge, a major investment for Guyana and all Berbicians. Yet, the usual suspects are trying to dilute the merit of investments on that bridge with linkage to CLICO Guyana. The usual suspects’ nefarious behaviour is not surprising and I suspect that their reprehensibility will continue to be the order of the day. And I hope that when election time comes, these same suspects will ask for forgiveness from the Berbicians for their scandalous attack on a major piece of investment, that is, the Berbice River Bridge.
With regard to the Berbice River Bridge, critics fail to realise that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provided a grant of US$10 million to build the approaches to that bridge, so investors can benefit. The Berbice River Bridge investors were well aware of the investment they were making and were investing with a head start that the IDB provided. Today, critics who believed that the Bridge could not fiancé itself, pay the fair rate to investors, and would be mismanaged, have now been dumbfounded by the progress now being made vis-a-vis the management, collections, and overall performance of the Bridge.
The CLICO Guyana issue was ventilated at the highest forum of this country, that is, Parliament. And so, Parliament was privy to all the aspects of the issue plus the matter went to Court where the Judicial Manager was appointed and pleadings had to be made by interested parties.
Mr. Mervin is like a broken record, repeating stuff that already received responses. Releasing tapes may place the respective parties at risk.
With regard to this statement, “When the President also said he knew who killed Minister Sash Sawh, and we looked forward to the killer having his day in court, the President’s knowledge was never proven via our justice system, because one of the alleged high-profile triggermen ‘escaped’ from police custody only to be killed by the Joint Services a couple of weeks later. No evidence was tendered in a court of law proving the suspect was the killer.” The suspect’s escape and his subsequent demise obviously averted the trial process. Mr. Mervin is unaware that he has answered his own question.
Mr. Mervin really misses the point about debt relief; debt relief facilitated the pace toward reaching financial viability and channeled enormous sums of funds to revive the ailing social services sector and the dilapidated physical and social infrastructure, a nightmare of a legacy from the PNC.
Make no mistake about the view that securing debt relief was significant for Guyana’s development; but simultaneously, the Government consistently seeks out foreign direct investments. I want to reiterate some information on the annual average foreign Direct Investment flows (in millions of dollars) from 1994 through 2007: 1994-107, 1995-74, 1996-93, 1997, 53, 1998-47, 1999-48, 2000-67, 2001-56, 2004-30, 2005-77, 2006-102, and 2007-152. And, indeed, there are other types of investment other than FDIs that engage the Government.