Aug 21, 2010 Letters
With great interest, I read Mr. Amar Singh’s article entitled ‘Improvements in the Education Sector’ which was published in the Kaieteur News of 28th July 2010.
Firstly Mr. Editor, I am happy that you have indicated to your readers that the figures quoted by the writer are highly inaccurate. However, I am saddened that this distortion of fact did not prevent the publication of the letter.
Secondly, as we approach election, it is expected that letters of this nature will be written for political mileage. There is a ‘kind of a democracy’ and as such there is no harm in engaging in this activity.
However, Mr. Singh must be told the truth about our education system which he seems to see as utopia.
Mr. Editor, I will provide one piece of statistic. If Mr. Singh can justify this statistic then his postulations about the education utopia we have in Guyana will be correct.
No education system is good if the two main subjects are the worst. I await Mr. Singh’s response!
M. S. Hussain
The road to Lethem may soon hit the Guinness Book of Records
This is the only road on our planet, where people are forced to pay tolls to drive their vehicles on mud roads, and swamps.
In the year 2002 the Government signed an agreement with a private contractor, who agreed to rebuild and maintain the road, from a point 15 miles north of the Kurupukari Crossing to Lethem. The road is to be kept in good condition throughout the year.
Although this was a multi-million dollar project, no advertisement was made in any of our newspapers, requesting tenders or public interest to rebuild and maintain the road to Lethem.
Every year the road is officially closed for some time during the rainy season, and all the blame is on the rainfall. I cannot see our yearly rainfall in Guyana as a disaster; or is it a case, where our engineers and contractors, do not know that the rain will fall during the months of May and August every year?
Although the contractor agreed to maintain the road throughout the year, from Kurupukari, to Lethem, the Government never seems to take any disciplinary action against the contractor, when conditions deteriorate every year.
The Government allowed the contractor to set up a toll collection system to compensate for the maintenance.
Although the road is officially closed for long periods every year, and a few brave truckers decide to risk their lives and vehicles, to provide the much needed service to the Rupununi, the full toll still has to been paid; the road is closed, but toll collection never close.
The toll of $25,000-for one 5-ton truck every trip to Lethem, is also a financial burden to the people who are living in a heavily depressed area.
Although the farmers in the Rupununi have the longest and most expensive travelling distance, average 400 miles, from farm to markets on the coast they have to pay $25,000 toll to transport their produce. This is unfair competition with other farmers around the country.
The road to Lethem is the only public road in Guyana, where people have to pay toll why? This is clear disrespect for the poverty alleviation strategy. As a construction and building contractor, with over 40 years’ experience in the field, I wish to offer my suggestions for a proper all-weather road to Lethem.
· Take the highest water level of the Rupununi River the Takutu River.
· The road must be at least 2-3 ft, above that level, with at least 6″ of laterite cap.
· Check the highest amount of rainfall in the mountain-side area and determine the volume of water per km. or mile.
· Provide adequate water-ways, culverts/or bridges across the road, and drainage leading to the nearest river or creek.
· A yearly check must be made, and drains to the rivers and creeks, must be kept clear.
· Regular maintenance, at least two times every year, in the months of March and October, must be provided.
This system will be far less costly, than to turn swamps into roadways every year, and will also alleviate the unnecessary sufferings experienced by the already depressed people of the Rupununi.
What will happen to Buxton if President Jagdeo’s call goes unheeded?
On Wednesday, August 18th, 2010, I had the opportunity to watch a news item via Capitol News which featured President Bharrat Jagdeo’s visit and address to the villagers of Buxton.
In his speech the President’s main point was a call to the residents to forget what had happened in the past in the village, and called on them to focus on the future and how to generate economic activities to produce employment.
Mr. Jagdeo’s position confirmed that he is not an enlightened leader but an arrogant oppressor. He is well aware that in the annals of human history oppressors, whether individuals, groups, states or nations have often resorted to the old trick of calling on those they oppress to forget the past. Buxtonians are being asked by the ruler to erase their historical memory and embrace the regime which is responsible for the plight they are faced with in order to ensure economic development. The question which follows is what will happen to Buxton and by extension Buxtonians if Jagdeo’s call goes unheeded?
Mr. Jagdeo descended on Buxton like a conqueror extending the olive branch to a defeated people on his terms. He was devoid of any self criticism of his and his government’s actions which negatively affected the village before and after 2006. One cannot escape the feeling that this is a case of a ruler demanding from his subjects a new beginning and like good house slaves they are expected to fall in line.
The people of Buxton are well advised that it is the duty of oppressed people to keep and cherish their historic memory and use it to inform their present and future actions. They should seek to ensure that the errors of the past are not repeated and the deadly trap the rulers are setting for them is not sprung.
They should note that President Jagdeo is yet to make a similar appeal to his Indian supporters to forget the past. Instead he and the PPP/C do the opposite.
They call on their Indian constituents not to forget the 28 years of the PNC rule and events following the jail break in 2006.
That being the case why then should Buxtonians forget that it is this same Jagdeo who ordered the destruction of the farm lands in Buxton in his quest to manners Buxtonians?
Let me remind Mr. Jagdeo and the “misdirected new activists” of Buxton of the saying, “the road to hell is always paved with good intention”.
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