– Roopnarine tells audience at Linden rally
“Guyana will never progress, will never become a twenty first century country of which we could all be proud, until we get rid of the racial tension and the racial division..”
Even intermittent showers and the threat of more rain could not prevent the huge crowd that assembled at the old Palm Tree Cinema Square for the APNU Rally on Saturday evening.
The people stood in the streets, many with their umbrellas, and cheered and clapped and waved as speaker after speaker outlined reasons why they should vote for the APNU come November 28th and so effectively oust the current government from power.
All the social ills that are currently plaguing the country, like poverty, escalating crime, drug trafficking, suicides, murder and money laundering were laid squarely at the foot of the Government.
Lawlessness and alleged corrupt Government officials were also highlighted.
And the question was asked repeatedly about what happens to the consolidated funds from the Lotto Company that doesn’t go into the National Treasury, and why the absence of a Public Procurement Commission.
Speaker after speaker also openly condemned what they called the open discrimination and marginalization of afro Guyanese, especially in the placement of prominent and ambassadorial positions.
Debra Backer, apart from highlighting the myriad social ills, drew attention to the Linden Legal Aid Centre which she pointed out was doing a wonderful job of helping people in Linden, but unfortunately never received a cent from the Government. The result was that the service had to be suspended she noted.
Carl Greenidge said that the Minister of Finance has suddenly discovered that Guyana’s prospects for investment are greater than they have ever been.
“They have been in power for nineteen years, and suddenly the prospects appear very good at the end of the nineteen years and not at the beginning.
Investments are very necessary if employment levels are to rise. A government has to ensure that investment is undertaken so that factories are built, so that education can be at the level that’s appropriate to equip people to find jobs, so it is that important that a Government carries out investment continually. It cannot be undertaking it just before elections. It cannot be promising people things to woo them, and that’s what’s happening to us.”
Greenidge also alluded to the present volume of external debt accumulated over the past ten years which he said far exceeds what both Burnham and Jagan accumulated during the period 1964 to 2002.
Rupert Roopnarine the main speaker, engaged the audience by telling the crowd of the alleged ‘secret contract’ which reportedly seeks to divert the road from Lethem through the old cattle trail and thus ‘passsing Linden by’. He told the people to demand to be told whether such a contract exists.
Roopnarine said that even if such a contract does exist the APNU will tear it up, when it accedes to power.
He said that there was really too much ‘eyepass’ in Guyana and alluded to Rusal which he claimed feels free to abuse the laws of Guyana and abuses bauxite workers by threatening them with physical violence. Roopnarine posited that if that company cannot obey the laws of Guyana, then they should go back to Moscow. “Burnham, if he was around- Rusal would be on that big boat(ship) you see passing there”.
Roopnarine demanded that NCN be opened up to the opposition and for the awarding of equal time on radio and television.
“NCN is not the private property of Freedom House, NCN is the people’s television station and the Government is merely the custodian and we are demanding the right to be on NCN to answer the vomit that is coming out of Robb St.”
He also drew attention to the lotto funds which he said are withheld “and Jagdeo can keep it in his pocket and run around the country playing Father Christmas. Imagine months after the flooding of the Rupununi, he chooses weeks before the election to hand out brown envelopes with money to all the villages in the Rupununi.
And we are saying to GECOM take note of that, we regard this as election bribery. That is against the laws of Guyana.
“Robert Persaud said that we should sign the code of conduct, and he is threatening Lincoln Lewis and the rest of them who are on the committee in defense of human rights and free and fair elections; he is saying ‘yall better tell these parties to sign the code of conduct or else’- but let me tell them that until they put inside that code of conduct the issue of dealing with election financing, until they put in issues dealing with free access to the media we are signing nothing.”
Guyana will never progress, will never become a twenty first century country of which we could all be proud, until we get rid of the racial tension and the racial division.”
Roopnarine urged the crowd to vote for the APNU. “Enough is enough, we must put an end to racial division for all time. I feel ashamed to live in a country where twenty eight out of twenty nine ambassadors are East Indian, and not a single ambassador representing Guyana to the outside world can be African Guyanese. Luncheon said that himself.”
He alluded to the genesis of racial animosity which he noted came about from the divide and rule system practiced by the slave masters, and which has been perpetuated.
“A Government of National Unity would bring about a deeply rooted racial harmony in our country, because we are engaged not only in the election campaign sisters and brothers, we are on a crusade of National reconciliation, that is what we want in Guyana, national reconciliation, where sisters and brothers of Indian descent and sisters and brothers of African descent will join hands together work together and build Guyana together. That is the Guyana we want to build after November 28th’,” Roopnarine declared.
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