Jul 09, 2011 Letters
I know that old saw about those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, but my reply is those who dwell on the past live in the past.
That is why I think we should bring closure to some of the unpleasant things that happened in the past of our country, which is necessary for its good health and progress.
So when Mr Granger of APNU promises to build a park at the site of the Sun Chapman tragedy he is unwittingly opening old wounds that really will not do him or anybody else any good.
Maybe he was moved by sorrow for the untimely deaths of those poor people, but in all fairness by the same token he will have to build another park right there at Wismar, and then at a great many other places all over Guyana.
I would suggest one near the old court house at Suddie in commemoration of that magical moment in the night of December 16, 1968 when rubber-banded bundles of ballots fell out of a newly opened ballot box.
Nobody died then, but that event symbolised the advent of a new era in Guyana in which very many innocent persons of all races were to die untimely deaths, with families torn asunder and scattered all over the world.
Mr. Granger’s statement left me with a feeling of sadness and disappointment.
I was hoping that a man of his age, training and educational accomplishments would have brought to APNU someone who really knows how to go out there and impressively make friends and influence people, not only among his traditional PNCR party supporters, but more importantly from the other camps which because of fear were shunning his party for so long.
Now he is reinforcing that fear and I wonder why. In search for an explanation the thought occurred to me that for a nearly sixty-six years old man entering national politics for the first time, not at the bottom but at the top, the new territory would be strange to him and the rules for engagement and survival may not be very well known.
He may find that his old traditional attitudes nurtured in an vastly different social environment are incompatible with the mores of the present age.. Whether he will see the need to adjust, and then have the strength of mind and body to do it is the big question.
It is all the more sad when one looks at the field in which Mr. Granger has to contest. It is not as formidable as in past years, and the chances if not of all-out victory but at least of effecting important changes are greatly improved.
My intent is not to bad-talk anyone when I say in all honesty that Ramotar is not an impressive leader, he is not a Cheddi Jagan or a Bharrat Jagdeo, and he will need the full support of his party machine and the State and friendly media in a determined struggle to make it through.
This is where men like Granger and Ramjattan should be able to make their mark, but it will not be a cake-walk for them either.
Granger will have to make his peace with all the elite members of the PNCR and they will have to come out unstintingly in full and unequivocal support of him.
He will have to get other races and particularly East Indians of repute to support him, and Roopnaraine and Haripaul will not be enough. He will have to abandon his effort to get AFC to join APNU and stop attacking them. He must clearly identify his real opponent.
Ramjattan will have to get Trotman to abandon his perceived sulk because he had to give up the Presidential Candidacy, if it is yet there, and really get down to it. Hard unremitting labour must be their mantra until Election Day.
Those two leading and working genuinely and closely together could probably create the miracle they are hoping for.
I am sincerely hoping that these leaders will carefully survey the field of battle, familiarize themselves with its terrain and its weak and strong points, abandon any inhibitory or negative factors in their own characters and personalities, and then use their own skills and intelligence to fight a good clean campaign and gain victory.
Kumar D. Doobay
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