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Jan 26, 2023 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
Kaieteur News – As I look back at 2022 in this country, I am wondering if economic development is not moving so far ahead of moral progression that by the next five years, the population will easily define what modernization, infrastructure, oil revenues are but, will have not the remotest idea what moral rights are.
The hardened obliviousness to justice, fairness, equality by the population was so pronounced last year that Guyana is slowly becoming perhaps the only country where even an elementary understanding of what conscience means does not exist.
I look back at my country in 2022 and I cannot find one instance in which voices and pens were raised against some of the most egregious manifestations of wrong-doing. I go back over 362 columns last year, and I cannot find any manifestation of redemption.
I remember a few years back when it was revealed that veterinary surgeons at the Ogle Airport were killing dogs because owners had to produce a birth certificate for the pets and if they didn’t the pets were killed. The Kaieteur News and the state-owned Chronicle found it unbearable and they covered the tragedy.
Just to digress. I will answer a writer in this newspaper last Monday that wants to know where Frederick Kissoon is. Just some brief words about the response. I believe any government leader that allows their officials to murder lovely dogs without intervention is a philistine that has no right to be part of ongoing society.
I remember when I investigated the story of the APNU+AFC government secretly burying foreign prisoners locked up at the Diamond Police Station there was an outpouring of outrage. People volunteered to help. That kind of conscience was completely absent in 2022. Where to start is difficult because there were so many examples of wrongs in this society that proved we are moving to the point where people in this country will have only biology and not psychology.
1-Adam Lynch told me and Leonard Craig, formerly of the AFC, that a certain man with extensive state contacts was helping him with his gun license. On the day of the conversation, he left to pick up the permit at the Police Commissioner’s office. On his arrival, he was arrested and kept in custody for two days. When released on bail, he went home and committed suicide. I told one of the most senior police officers that I would reveal the name Adam gave me and Craig but not on the phone. The officer never got back to me. Adam is dead. His story left untold.
2-Banks DIH in the presence of my wife, ordered me out of the building because I furiously complained that the company had no right to line the public parapet from Meadow Bank to Mandela Avenue with traffic cones. I took the Traffic Chief and his senior ranks to Banks DIH. The company’s senior officers refused to meet with them and then hours after, replaced the cones with permanently implanted “no parking” signs.
3-A company with close affiliation to the government held a holiday concert on the Movie Towne car park from 8 PM until 5 AM the next morning disturbing thousands of residents from Liliendaal, Pattensen, Turkeyen, Cummings Lodge and Industry. It was to date the most graphic manifestation of the banana republic syndrome in Guyana.
4-Commercial banks demanded that people cashing cheques have to pay a service charge if the cheque recipient did not have an account with the bank. Only in Guyana this depravity can take play. The purpose of a cheque is for the depositor’s bank to facilitate its customer. That is why the bank offers cheque book facilities to its customers.
5-The constitutional advisor to the President, Professor Randolph Persaud gave me permission to publish a conversation between him and Mr. Anand Persaud, the editor–in-chief of the Stabroek News. Before printing the revelation, I called Mr. Persaud for verification. He stood by what he told Dr. Persaud and informed me he will not discuss the issue with me.
What was the conversation about? Dr. Persaud complained his letters were not being carried. Mr. Persaud informed him that they will not be carried if they continue to castigate civil society organisations that are critical of the government.
These examples are just a tiny cluster of samples from the disturbing year of 2022 in which a society went into a dark and menacing direction that holds frightening consequences for the future. But there was no response from the society. But Guyana society in 2022 was like a fish. A fish swims, it does fly. Don’t expect it to fly. Don’t expect dead souls to have a conscience.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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