>>>Encouraging Events, Disturbing Developments<<<
Kaieteur News – Vincent Adams, former Head of the EPA, highlighted the need for training and compensating our people for monitoring and effective compliance with our laws and regulations. I am encouraged that Dr. Adams pinpointed this policing of our ballooning oil industry, which has relevance in other resource areas. To be ahead of the multi-nationals, we must be better than them.
It is a huge order of many pluses, which encourages because of its significance for us, as an oil-producing nation and as to how much we extract from what is extracted. There is a downside to this, which I share from past experience. The highly trained overseers – the recognizably tough ones, the ones manning the bridge – usually get wooed away. Though well compensated, the trained ones that stand out a lot of the times end up on the side of the same companies that they were responsible for probing, monitoring, challenging, and stopping from continuing their violations.
They end up on the other side, because no matter how richly compensated; the state cannot compete with the deep pockets of the heavy hitters in the corporate world. When those are of the heft of an Exxon, it could be over before it started. I know of men and women – well trained and well paid – who were successfully recruited by the same businesses, which they oversaw. Packages offered were just too rich. As evidence, there were Arthur Andersen auditors and Enron. In addition, Guyanese learned of Canadian Payara reviewer, Alison Redford, and Exxon monies funneled to her people.
Competitive training and compensation are mandatory, but the big companies can outspend and outlast. In fact, the SEC of America was prompted to make it a hard condition for its staffers – attorneys and accountants – to prevent them from taking up a position for a minimum of two years with a company from the time of their last engagement. The revolving door slowed considerably. The disturbing was discouraged.
In the villages, two citizens are dead within two days, a mature woman of 62 and a young man of 20, at the hands of close blood relations. Both the woman and the man died in the bloodiest of circumstances, and in both instances, chemicals were involved.
From the media reports, I gather the disturbing story of a hardworking woman brutalized and murdered allegedly by her own son, a confirmed drug addict. In the instance of the dead man, he was stabbed by his own sister due to his drunken violence against his wife.
He was the one that was intoxicated in this instance.
Violence against women by their own in Guyana, is almost an accepted cultural practice, the dead mother being less frequent, while the deceased husband killed during his drunken rampage is a relatively rare phenomenon.
Regardless, this troubles at several levels, battered women living in continuous fear; the resignation, even tolerance with which such is treated in and out of the family home by a jaded and distancing society; the limitations of court orders and moral suasions; the almost always lateness of neighbours, friends, relatives, or the law to make a difference, through no negligence of each of those groups.
It disturbs that we seem so helpless in the face of what amounts to a national scourge, a societal disgrace. Recently, the Hon. Minister of Human Services, Ms. Vindya Persaud, used the vast reach of social media to recognize and align with the UN’s 16-day initiative against gender-based violence under the theme: “Orange the world: Fund, Prevent, Respond, Collect.”
I support all of those action verbs, if only they give a chance to save one life, usually a woman’s or that of a child’s prevented from growing up motherless and ending up who knows where and in what shape.
If a son, as a perpetrator? If girl, a punching bag, a bulls eye for target practice? It disturbs that this is so prevalent; I am encouraged that we keep trying to fight it.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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