Nov 26, 2020 Letters
I note with interest the news reports of the fruits of President Ali’s visit to next-door neighbour Suriname. I read of the positives, which I find encouraging.
I laud His Excellency for some good work that must now fling open wide the doors between Guyanese and the people on its eastern front. When that happens through an energized supporting bureaucracy on both sides, the public officers who make such things come to life, then the results are reaped where they count: in the trenches.
As examples, private commercial businesses are sure to capitalize and benefit, and new ventures spring up to take advantage of the new developments.
Also, transportation does not have to be as much as a trial as such has been the norm for a while now. Then, I learned of bilateralism and a collaborative mechanism serving as underpinnings for economic flights. Though I have compressed matters, these are all good things, and again this should inspire both sides, but especially Guyana, which has been languishing behind most neighbours to move up and ahead.
For these, I commend the president and his government, and look forward for some details (if touched) and developments (to follow) on some things that I would like to see being built on the headline items from the visit.
The media pointed to the leadership agreement(s) reached for a collaborative approach to characterize interactions. I agree, for whatever the endeavour, and wherever the watermark, the collaborative is what moves things forward past bottlenecks that come from disputes and which lead to impasses. And as I agree, I urge that the same standard and vision and vigour be applied here in our political and social (racial) spheres, where the collaborative is not just missing, but actually abhorred.
Interesting, close on the heels of the collaboration laid out, was identification of dialogue between partners. I interpret that to mean at every level, be such government to government and/or sector to sector.
I agree again and exhort again that dialogue, so glaringly absent within our boundaries, be prioritized as an integral component of our own internal relationships here. I do not elaborate or specify, because I am certain that none needs any enlightenment from me as to what is sadly missing. And, as always, I continue to insist that despite all the praiseworthy developments that signal a country that could be on the move unless we can speak to each other in our home (meaning Guyana) in civil and honest terms, genuine ones, too, then we are proceeding on one foot only. We are fooling ourselves, and to wax biblical, we run the risk of gaining the whole world, while losing our own soul. If we cannot fix our own wounds, then we are building on what will not hold.
In the current euphoria, I would not be surprised if this is frowned upon and roundly denounced. But I have no intention of retreating from the way I think and see that this Guyana of ours should be. For those who think differently, I encourage them to look at the historical precedents of the Balkans and parts of Africa, where the festering smoldered beneath the surface, until it manifested itself abruptly and devastatingly. We must spend time, effort and capital to fix ourselves.
Along the same lines, and with reference to more familiar terrain for Guyanese, I mention the situation in America. There is a society that has everything, including tremendous presence and influence everywhere, but its own house is in tatters. Rich, to be sure; but with limb warring against limb; and, thus, weakening its potential for greater fulfillment.
In closing, I return to Guyana and Suriname, and was hoping to see something more centre stage about reciprocal crime assistance. Specifically, I think there is need for more focus and cooperation in the areas of piracy and return of Guyanese hiding out over there for crimes committed here. Suriname has long been known, and has functioned, as an escape route for fugitives. Because as is obvious, bridges and liberal borders are inviting to those who collaborate and dialogue for criminal objectives. Indeed, a twin of progress and prosperity is the underworld, of which we have an overwhelming share. All in all, a significant visit, Mr. President.
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