Nov 17, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – What Guyana’s Head of State has committed to doing certainly has a beautiful sound to it. Our caption on November 16, captures this well, ‘President Ali pledges to crush racism, discrimination during term in office.’ The President’s vision and public position via his ‘One Guyana’ initiative does have an appealing ring, but only if solid. Only if he is sincere to make his words match with his deeds can there be the traction towards what this country most needs. That is, togetherness, reconciliation, even growing, which was what he shared with his audience of Christian church leaders.
Nothing could be better than that, and we wish the President and his audience well, the whole of Guyana also in succeeding at what has eluded and destroyed the fabric of this nation. But there is cause for concern, reason for questioning, whether President Ali is about cosmetics (saying the right things), or about deep, heartfelt convictions, which his actions and that of his PPP/C Government speak a different kind of language. The actions of both the President and Government are, of what separates instead of what unifies, of what is self-serving and not of what is sensible, where race relations are concerned in Guyana.
The President has to learn to deal better, more equitably, with communities not known to be PPP/C strongholds. There have been frequent failures, and approving a bridge and a basketball court under pressure are a start, but can never be enough. Why only under the duress of circumstances? The President has been hearing the calls from all corners, especially this newspaper, to do something, give some tangible relief, to public servants, but has pretended to deafness. Except now that as the holiday season nears, he suddenly finds it convenient to make a speech about some form of ‘adjustment’ to the pay of those in the public sector. Those struggling workers in some of our essential services should not be seen by President Ali and his Government as an uncooperative Opposition constituency, but as hurting Guyanese first.
When President Ali is about what is fair, what is proper, to all, with all attending circumstances considered, then there will be an absence of the distinctive bias that has accompanied relief monies extended to workers in other struggling Guyanese sectors, such as sugar, fishing, and farming. He will be about more than leadership pledges. He will be about what is of performance, delivery, and reality across the board, regardless of what the political leanings are of the recipients. President Ali sounds well, may even mean well, but he has not done well, when his actions had to be more than about plasters and splints and bandages.
It was good that the audience for the President’s message against racism and discrimination consisted of religious people. Perhaps, they will be more about what Almighty God and Scripture recommends than about the divisive in their own congregations, less helpful to the political cause of one party or the other. We at this paper applaud the President for the wisdom of having his Honorable Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, be in the meeting and sharing with the Christian leaders. We will applaud some more when the Minister Bishop is of more of a Bishop, and less of the clever political operator that he has become, and cherishes. As a Christian Minister in Government, he can speak to truth, and set what the standard should be for his colleagues and Leaders. Only he can know (and God) as to how well he has done in terms of the trusted brotherhood and fellowship so desperately needed in this country.
Anybody, any Leader, any Pastor, can make a pleasing speech, proclaim that they are about what is dedicated (‘pledged’) to eliminate racism and discrimination, the most commendable of objectives. It is what they do after as individual, as Leader, as religious shepherd that matters. If we come across as slightly on the skeptical side, it is because President Ali has made so many public speeches and pledges on important things, and look where we are. Try transparency, corruption, oil deal, and straight talking followed by clean dealings. They stand as the best evidence of his truths.
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