Aug 04, 2010 Letters
To all African descendants of Guyana and the Caribbean, at home or elsewhere in the world, and to all Guyanese who value the significance of August 1, Emancipation Day, or who enjoyed the holiday the WPA sends greetings of proud re-memory and of hope and determination to achieve despite difficulties freedom and prosperity.
Our forbears who, mainly on their own strength and supported by social groups in the dominating country, succeeded in breaking out of enslavement of over two centuries here and in the rest of the Caribbean, altered the fate of human beings for all time.
Cuffy, the 1763 revolutionary, had declared: “But we shall not be slaves again.” That uprising was defeated, but the determination never to be slaves again has somehow become a sentiment, a principle and a resolve which has informed the psyche of almost every man woman and child in Guyana from that time onwards.
The dream of full human dignity did not fade. It must have become the bottom line for all segments and batches of indentured servants from various continents. It was always a backdrop and point of reference in the minds of leaders like Critchlow and Edun and their followers through the years of the struggle for trade union rights, a living wage, humane working conditions, women’s rights, education, against non representation, under representation, full adult suffrage, local self-government and independence.
The struggle against chattel slavery here as elsewhere has made it virtually impossible for exploiting groups to resort to it although in various areas of the modern world they have resorted to new and subtle forms of bondage and subordination, especially in the formal and informal labour markets.
It inspired the whole human rights ideology and philosophy which today is expressed in a wide network of voluntary, specialised and professional institutions, official and popular, and in an increasing complex of economic and social, civil and economic rights, including rights of the child and of the disabled, In the 1970s in the face of various pretences of paramountcy, it was Clive Thomas of the WPA who argued that so far as the Caribbean and the hemisphere were concerned the experience of indigenous genocide, of enslavement and of indenture had sharpened the freedom instincts and determined that an advanced society should endow not fewer rights but an expansion of human freedom.
As we face the issue of local government reform and note that both Victoria the first village and Buxton are at present seeking to retool their human and other resources, it is time to pay tribute to the village pioneers, who in the opinion of many laid the basis for human existence in communities on the coastland.
It is time to note also that the indigenous people’s interior villages set the primary pattern of local government and that indentured Indians added to the experience of developing and sustaining villages as areas outside of plantation control.
The promise of August 1 Emancipation Day 1834 and 1838 is ultimately a promise of the human entitlement to freedom regardless of origin, or pre-existing status, regardless of race, gender, political, religious or other reference, orientation or conviction.
To be true to the gains of Emancipation in the 21st century the WPA renews its pledge to the struggle for bread, justice, equality, inter-ethnic respect, gender equality and to the development of plans for economic expansion and prosperity in all areas of Guyana, urban, rural and hinterland, excepting none.
Come 2011 let us choose a leader who is effective, intelligent, active and action-oriented
One facet of social influence is leadership. The process whereby a person has the ability to recruit the willingness and support of others in the execution of a common task can be simply referred to as leadership. The skill of leadership is seen throughout all areas of life both good and bad, which clearly shows that not all leaders are created equal.
Some persons have the ability to lead several groups, organisations, and institutions simultaneously. In Guyanese parlance many would say that some folks are just ‘born’ leaders.
Be that as it may, leadership comes with responsibilities that serve as gauges, measuring the effectiveness or the lack thereof demonstrated by the leaders to whom they belong.
Leadership can be accessed through a variety of ways. In some instances leadership is earned, bought, fought for, stolen or inherited. Conversely, by as many ways as it is earned, leadership can be lost. Leadership can be taken away, misplaced, stolen or it just ceases to exist. Whatever the fair or foul means by which a person assumes leadership one thing is sure; leadership is not forever.
Many human beings I believe have as a part of their DNA an undying desire to lead. They believe that regardless of their disadvantages they must be allowed to lead. This problem is ubiquitous. The conviction and forceful manner in which some individuals get about demanding leadership roles, border on the insane. This confusion often results in very bossy displays of arrogance and ignorance with very little (if any) substance of leadership present.
Then we have those complicit individuals who sheepishly sit around in a group and subscribe to its activities for years, even decades, with docile acceptance and as soon as they see an opportunity to lead, miraculously sees all the faults that suddenly needs fixing. It is really ridiculous for a person to sit around subscribing to policies that severely affect the lives of people and just when an opportunity suddenly is presented, they instantly recognise that they somehow possess the ability to make a difference.
A person who is part of an executive group that pillages and terrorizes cannot expect to emerge as its leader and all of a sudden decide that he is going to bring salvation to the oppressed masses by using the same group. It just is not logical. That individual cannot and must not be taken seriously.
Leadership embodies a number of qualities like honesty, confidence, patience, focus, dedication, and consistency, along with the ability to motivate and communicate effectively. These attributes and others will have to be present in the next batch of potential political leaders to be selected for the next general election in Guyana.
Some other qualities to look for when selecting a new political leader must include impartiality, an action-oriented approach and positive attitudes. A good political leader should always be impartial towards all of his or her followers, because the moment that person becomes partial, he no longer remains a leader as he loses the confidence of others.
A leader should be able to encourage everyone through his words and actions to do constructive work. In Guyana, the constitution has given us the right to democratically choose our leaders. Please let us choose one who is effective, intelligent, active, and action-oriented who can encourage the masses and do what is necessary for all people.
University students also need computers
I have noted the President’s promise of laptop computers to poor families.
The President surely has a good idea, but it should have been more structured.
I am a University of Guyana student and my time there has not been easy. I am a student with a family to take care of and cannot afford to purchase a computer with internet access.
This equipment is extremely important for research and typing assignments. I am appealing for the President to consider that many University of Guyana students are poor also. I am a resident of the interior and I wonder if I will be eligible for a computer, since we have no electricity there.
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