Sep 18, 2020 Letters
The essence of democracy, the hallmark of decency, the question of justice and fair play are elements that should identify a truly free and fair media in what we know to be an authentic democracy.
As such, I hope and pray that your newspaper will have no difficulty publishing this letter of mine.
Yesterday’s front page article in the Chronicle noted, ‘A champion of Democracy arrives.’
It is of course, the right of everyone to designate who is a champion of what, and there is no need to comment further. However, my concern is a consistent propaganda policy by sections of our media to denigrate the APNU/AFC Coalition, saying it sought to derail democracy.
I have noted before that the coalition political directorate simply followed rules of legal and constitutional opportunities available to every citizen. If the coalition truly wanted to “derail” democracy, there is no way that President Ali could have been sworn in as President on August 2, 2020.
Whatever may be the real story, a large number of citizens truly believe the advent of the dead and others not qualified, voting on Election Day, still question the authenticity and validity of the declared results and the question yet to be answered is what is a valid vote? That is a matter that will hopefully soon be dealt with by our judiciary. I recall after President Ali was sworn in, I offered my congratulations and best wishes for him and his colleagues, hoping that the fine words used at his inauguration will soon be made into a reality.
The headlines story of today’s Chronicle was well written and mostly factual. It was tarnished by what appears to be an obsession to use every opportunity to tarnish the image of the coalition partners. I say to the author of the article, congratulations on your research. Why did you, as we say, have to ‘go overboard’ with your lofty headline?
One must perforce, have due respect and regard for the Secretary of State of the most powerful nation on earth today, but the Chronicle, which we know speaks for the PPP administration, seem to have forgotten the ‘Feral Blast’, given by PPP’s Priya Manickchand, when at an official function at the US Ambassador’s residence, she delivered what Guyana regarded as a fine busing, accusing the United States of being complicit with the then APNU/AFC grouping,
But I suppose in life, there is nothing constant and as a young political activist in the 50s and 60s, I quickly learnt that what is democracy yesterday, may not be democracy today. All of Guyana, and I must emphasize, all political groupings must be wary when we deliver encomiums lavishly. Forgetting this fact, that when the interest of powerful nations collides with those of small nation states, the latter never end up with glory and honour.
It is unnecessary to remind readers that a few centuries ago, that “manifest destiny” led to genocidal wars against the Native American peoples. There was Mexico, Vietnam and of course the ‘Cold War’, which for forty years saw the super-powers in ideological war, while the smaller nations looked on helplessly.
We must remember this old African proverb “when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
Make no mistake, we are like the green grass – no pun intended. In the United States, ask the Afro-Americans and liberal White-Americans, Martin Luther King, Jnr., Rosa Parks, and the likes of George Floyd if the US has fulfilled the real objectives based on the statement that all men are created equal. Equality is the lynch-pin of democracy.
Let me make it clear, I am among the Guyanese, who admire the courage and progress of the American people, and as such, welcome the Secretary of State, hoping that the message he would leave with this Administration is the old wisdom that we can only succeed if we are united, and any message which stokes the flames of division, dis-unity, or forms of apartheid must be rejected and considered unhelpful. Let us use this visit to see efforts on all sides for a united, peaceful and torture-free Guyana.
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