H.E. President Donald Ramotar, in addressing the Guyanese nation concerning the recent budget-cut crisis, stated that “my faith in dialogue remains undiminished.”
These words are indicative of a responsible, reasonable and mature leader, and the importance of his judicious words must be emphasized rather than trivialized if we are to indeed bridge the parliamentary gaps and work together in furtherance of a brighter Guyana, particularly in these dark hours of uncertainty.
These words must resonate in the minds of both sides of the legislative battleground if we are to plot a course of mutually satisfactory betterment for our nation. We must all take lessons from these wise words and strive to be liberal and open-minded at the proverbial bargaining table with but one goal in mind: the best interests of Guyana and of all our Guyanese brothers and sisters.
President Ramotar’s gallant call for continued inter-party dialogue came at a much needed time; at a time when hundreds of our Guyanese brothers and sisters are sitting at the self-reflective crossroads where they ponder over job security and their family’s livelihood. Moreover, it comes at a time of uncertainty over the developmental path of our nation.
No, President Ramotar’s call is not a miraculous fix-all solution to our crisis, but what it is, is our way forward, and for this reason we must draw from his justified confidence in the fruits of what a consultative process can possibly produce.
Truthfully, what is important to realize is that President Ramotar’s call for continued dialogue is precisely what our nation’s founding father, Dr. Cheddi Berret Jagan would have advocated for, were he faced with our present budgetary crisis: broad-based consultative and democratic dialogue.
On January 30, 1985, at the National Assembly for the 5th Parliament of Guyana, in his Budget Debate address, Dr. Jagan stated that “The P.P.P. has always expressed the view that even though it can win free and fair elections, it believes in the interest of national unity and social progress…The P.P.P….calls for the convening of a conference of all democratic and political forces to iron out good ways and means whereby all Guyanese can cooperate and build a new Guyana. The Party intends to hold dialogue with its membership and will also carry out the broadest possible consultations with other progressive political and social forces including trade union businesses,professional, religious and other bodies.”
Dr. Jagan concluded his address by stating that “The P.P.P. intends to invite all the progressive forces in this country to see what should be done to take our country out of this mess and to build a new Guyana, a people’s Guyana.”
What Dr. Jagan spoke of in 1985 is directly applicable to our present political environment and offers us a guide to our nation’s way forward, which, as aforementioned, is through broad-based consultative and democratic dialogue. This has always been the philosophy of the P.P.P/C.
More so, the fact that President Ramotar is putting into practice the infinitely astute instructions of his political hero and teacher Dr. Jagan, proves beyond any reasonable doubt that President Ramotar, and by extension, that the P.P.P/C, is interested only in the best interests of Guyana and of all our Guyanese brothers and sisters.
Despite the recent occurrences with regards to the budget-cuts by the AFC and APNU, it is my sincere belief that due the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population are in disapproval of and condemn these cuts, those men and women comprising the AFC and APNU, who are also presumably concerned with working in furtherance of a brighter Guyana, can now set aside their partisan robes and be reasonable, mature and open-minded enough to meet President Ramotar’s noble call for continued consultative dialogue and thereby, in doing so, undo some of the societal and economic wrongs which we have recently been witness to in the past week.
Let us all now work together, towards the one goal that President Ramotar had in mind in calling for continued inter-party dialogue: the best interests of Guyana and of all our Guyanese brothers and sisters.
Cheddi Berret Jagan II, Esq.
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