At the time of writing, there is a news item that informs us that protest meetings against human rights violations in Guyana, organized by Guyanese, will unfold in Barbados and Toronto. One hopes that this is the reaction to November 28 last year when Guyanese the world over saw the election results as a dream come alive, not only in the sense that the opposition secured a window of opportunity but that there can be serious attempts at political reconciliation that could shape an optimistic future for this land.
The reaction of protest is ironic in that it means that far from rejoicing, Guyanese are demonstrating against continued human rights violations. An interpretation could be offered that the protestors are indignant that in the face of November 28, the PPP Government continues in its old ways. In my column yesterday, I offered a small list of this continuation. But the days bring more of the old Jagdeo style.
A majority of Guyanese do not know about the padlock circus that is taking place at the offices of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), the reason being that the GCB is not doing adequate PR work. I told the GCB Secretary, Anand Sanasie, that he and his executive must inform the press each time their sovereignty is assaulted by the Government. Here are some facts about the circus around the perimeters of the GCB offices. After the court ruled that the padlocks the Ministry of Sports put on the doors of the buildings must come off, the Ministry complied but couldn’t find the key for one lock.
Here is a Ministry that imprisoned the offices of a major sporting organization but couldn’t find the key to one of the padlocks. One would like to think that Clive Lloyd must have reflected on the people he is working for after this incident. While one of the GCB executives was in the offices working, the gates were “arrested” again. This time the Ministry officials didn’t know that an employee was inside. The Ministry of Sports denied it put the locks on for the second time. Who then had the brazenness to defy a judge and return to the GCB and forcefully close the area off?
When asked to remove the locks, the Ministry said it did not engage in such action. For the second time, the gadgets were burned off. Then the locks appeared again, the Ministry again is in denial, and again the stuff was burned off. This masquerade the Guyanese people are not aware of because the GCB did not inform the press. I am writing about it because Mr. Sanasie described for me what happened. Surely, Clive Lloyd should step in now. This padlock joke must have affected his image.
Important to note is, like my UG dismissal, the padlock masquerade took place after the phenomenal results of the November 28 elections. Next, there is the transfer of Overseers from their respective jurisdictions by the Ministry of Local Government. This has drawn the anger of the Opposition Leader, Mr. David Granger, who has requested President Ramotar to stop the process. The Opposition Leader contends that redeployment will be oppressive because people familiar with their territory or born within their borders are being removed and sent to regions where their knowledge of their new environments is inadequate. Granger complains of a lack of consultation.
Consultation has never been a weapon in the PPP’s arsenal, even under self-government in the fifties. This explains the demonstrations planned for Barbados and Toronto. One would like to think that these picketers have concluded that after November 28, there cannot be business as usual and since the PPP is continuing with business as usual then the need for the picket exercises outside Guyana’s High Commissions, consulates and US Embassies.
There can be no question about what those picket signs will read. One must carry the words; “Who or what is next?” That is the same question the Guyanese people have asked after what happened at UG with four lecturers, including this columnist, and the Registrar, Vincent Alexander. The specific violation we cannot predict but we know it will come. Intriguingly, all eyes will be on the Opposition as the budget reaches Parliament. If the budget is the same old PPP blueprint, the Opposition will have to vote it down. In the Social Sciences, there is the methodology of logical deduction. If after November 28, the runaway train is still out of control, then we can deduce that the budget will not be the historic moment that will stop the crazy engine.
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