A society gets into extreme trouble when the state that supposed to protect us from violence, disregards the law, uses violence and find such a method effective. Imagine a Minister of the Government told reporters that he has more pressing things to do than worry about allegations of torture.
At the same time he uttered that asininity, his mentor writing a weekly column in the PPP newspaper, denounced the use of torture of Guantanamo prisoners. The incoming President of the US was quite emphatic in saying that his administration would not allow America’s name to be tarnished by the application of torture as a policy.
This is a country where even the function of language amongst office-holders in the political establishment has violent connotations. We hear that opposition parties support criminals. We hear that if the opposition gets into government it will give away AK47s to the very people that stole them from the army.
We are told that businessmen are ignorant of the tax laws; not unfamiliar with but ignorant of (note the use of the harsh word). Commentators are not called propagandists but sleaze-balls. It came as no surprise when the state-owned commercial business, Guyoil, sent security personnel with large guns to recalibrate the fuel pumps of a private gas station because it alleged that the franchise holder was retailing gasoline at a lower price than his contract stipulated.
The symbolic and actual use of violence is ubiquitous in Guyana. The owner was not selling gasoline to arsonists, was not watering down his fuel, was not robbing customers. On the contrary, he was helping the economy by lowering his price. Instead of being applauded for his patriotism, he was greeted with four guns.
Not only is violence welcomed in our society but there is a cruelty in the administration of government never before seen in this territory. A man spends thirty-five years cleaning faeces in the city and on the basis of one accusation lost every single cent of his benefits. And he was fired by people that make Forbes Burnham look like an angel.
I had an absorbing conversation with Avery Gomes, former editor of the Guyana Times. He informed me that in his long years in the media he has seen the same manifestations of power and that power will always behave the same way. Then I told him that some of us in life cannot accept that because we invested our entire lives fighting to change people who were dictators and when we succeeded, we have a right to demand that our new rulers behave democratically.
I mentioned names like Clive Thomas. Rupert Roopnarine etc. So did Walter Rodney die in vain? If Avery accepts the inevitability of misused power I can understand that and millions and millions in this world share his view. But people who make sacrifice to change society for the better have the right to demand justice under the new rulers.
This man had no right to be treated so harshly after doing a nasty, dirty, demeaning job for the people of Georgetown for over 35 years. The cruelty of life in this land is accompanied by acts of craziness that are chasing young people away from this country. They think Guyana is violent, crazy and cruel, and they will take their chances outside. Imagine a man is remanded to the hell-hole of the Brickdam remand for stealing a cell phone. A Jamaican is found to have entered Guyana illegally and he remains in the remand until he can pay a fine of $100,000.
Look who is deporting foreign people for being illegal in dirt, poor, miserable Guyana. We should be glad for other people from different countries to come here. Let the Chinese and Brazilians come because no other nationality wants to come. The American Embassy has stated that Guyana has the highest visitor visa abscondees for the entire western hemisphere and one of the highest in the world.
Fleeing Guyanese intend to ravish little Barbados but the new Prime Minister is fighting back. The Barbadian leaders are quietly rounding up Guyanese illegals all the time in Barbados.
Let me say for the umpteenth time, I think that most of our magistrates are people who have no respect for the sacred concept for freedom. These people are unconscionable. Do they understand what freedom is? I passed by the picket of Juliet Holder-Allen, and I stopped in my car. The pickets turned their backs on me. It appears the former magistrate has a case of justice denied but when she was on the bench, did she dispense the same justice she is now asking for? Life is funny!
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