Kaieteur News – One of the Guyanese I have had a long friendship with is Dr. Mark Kirton. I am talking about almost 45 years of a relation which started as freshmen at UG and lasted as UG lecturers for several decades.
Mark and I did not and do not share the same attitude to politics in Guyana. In the 2020 election, Mark was the consultant to the PNC’s campaign. I, on the other hand used my Kaieteur News (KN) column to expose the reasons why people should not vote for the APNU+AFC. But we have not allowed politics dissolve our friendship.
Then there is Adam Harris. We worked together at KN for over 25 years. But I had known Adam during my long years of political activism. I took umbrage when in 2017, the government gave Adam and Mark the award of Arrowhead of Achievement and at the same time assigned CCH to Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, the then Vice-Chancellor of UG.
There was something that Dr. Griffith told the Stabroek News that triggered my interest. He explained the things he learned for the 36 years (yes 36) he lived outside of Guyana. I knew Griffith as a UG student. He was junior to Mark and me. On graduation, Griffith left Guyana.
I wasn’t against the CCH for Griffith, I was annoyed that Mark and Adam deserve the same CCH or higher because they stayed and contributed to their country; Adam in journalism, Mark in academia. See my column of Saturday, June 3, 2017 titled, “Politicians in all countries use national awards as patronage.”
I have absolutely no problem with Guyanese who leave, never kept in touch with their homeland and are gone forever. That was their choice. I welcome those in the diaspora who still connect with their country and are willing to make a tangible contribution that can be regarded as adding to our stock of assets.
What I will reject from Guyanese who have left is their unwillingness to serve in their land of birth but have the temerity to tell us how we should shape our sociological, political and economic approach to nation-building. If you get a doctorate in forestry, agriculture, engineering, computer science and you choose to leave, then that is your choice.
But you ignore our local university where your presence can add to the institution’s pool of talent but you stay in your job in the developed world and you tell us how to shape our agricultural directions or how to make policies in the forestry sector. My point is why are you not doing so at home?
There are also those who hold dual citizens and they pronounce on the shape of our economy and they make consistent comments on what industry should be scrapped or downsized. But they use their dual citizenship to acquire immense benefits from their adopted country. They are not giving up their Canadian, UK and American citizenship.
Their family members and relatives and they, themselves, know of the disadvantage of living in Guyana. I firmly believe that those people who want to reshape the fulcrums of Guyana’s economy know that services and medical facilities are not on par with their adopted country so they are not prepared to live here but just visit. Why then, you want to determine the economy of Guyana. Let the people who live here decide that.
Why in the discussion of which industry to downsize, which industry to scrap, which industry to avoid, the voices of Guyanese living here are not solicited? In the world today, polls and referenda allow the people to make a choice.
A referendum in Quebec showed the citizens in that province did not want to breakaway from Canada. The same thing happened in Scotland. In the UK, the people voted to leave the EU. In Czechoslovakia, a poll allowed the different nationalities to decide if they wanted to have their own separate state.
Finally, we live in an unfair world where countries that have undermined climate stability for over 100 years are so rich that their resource and wealth attract Guyanese to go there for a better life. But that enormous wealth accumulated for a long period of time is not used to dissolve poverty in the developing world. Sir Ron Sanders, a columnist in this newspaper, published an admirable analysis three weeks ago. He wrote, “The 14-nation CARICOM have been at the bottom of US official development assistance for decades. In 2019, for instance, total US foreign assistance globally was US$47 billion, of which collectively, 13 CARICOM countries received US$70 million only. For 9 of the 13 countries, the sum provided did not amount to US$1 million.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Nov 30, 2021– Foster unveil plans to produce ten West Indies players at all levels in two years Kaieteur News – “On behalf of the Berbice Cricket Board, I would like to welcome you back as an...
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Kaieteur News – One night, moons ago, as editor-in-chief of the Kaieteur News, Adam Harris and I were discussing my... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – COP26 in Glasgow offered no hope to small island states which continue to face... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]