Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 06, 2023 News, The GHK Lall Column
Hard truths by GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – I noticed a media picture of my three brothers from the Environmental Assessment Board, and the look on their faces was what could have launched a thousand ships. It was of a picture of those in a losing battle. It is meaningless to me whether they consider me a brother, but they are so to me, and I feel for them. To repeat:they are in a war, and even if the Battle for Wales is won, it will be a tattered, pyrrhic victory, for their side is still going to lose the war. The people have a cause to fight for in front of them; in fact, it is hanging over their heads: safety, continuity, life’s quality.
As I assess the efforts of CEO, Dr. Mahinder Sharma, CHO Dr. Gavin Cummings, and PS Mr. Joslyn McKenzie, two of whom are known fairly well to me, I would not want to be in their shoes. Individually and collectively, they have been given baskets with big holes to bathe ducks. Their problems are manifold. The ducks are loud in their objections; the ducks are unruly and uncooperative; and the ducks are up to the games, and ready for a fight.The trio already used up a month to review what is before them. It would reveal much of them re what angle is taken (define issues), what stand they take (decide), and whose interest is prioritized (defended).
I discard defending the indefensible. Guyanese want cheap energy; would love more a steady supply of what is now an elusive household and commercial commodity locally (I do, would support). But what Guyanese do not want, and what Guyanese do not love is more of the skips and skates and songs of the Hon. Vice President and his ball of yarns. I urge EAB brothers (Sharma, Cummings, McKenzie) to pass on the message to President and Vice President (brethren, too): “de people aint tekking it any muh”. De people want fuh get the true story and the whole story. The local lingo should register better than the more formal vocabulary of studies that stand up to public scrutiny. Studies that are credible because of completion by trustworthy people. Updated documents from expert sources about financial underpinnings, and environmental truths, of which Guyanese dismiss what is fed to them.
The EAB three musketeers have to face the fire and ire of the people because the main man behind the Wales caper (gas-to-energy) has lost his once hallowed gloss. The real thing, the real man, is now coming to light, and Guyanese don’t like the alarming apparition. The more they think of what they could be getting, the more they are incensed at being taken for granted, dismissed as simpletons, disdained as dolts. I think that the Vice President overplayed his hand; in typical fashion, he hands off the ticking grenade to the EAB’s Sharma, Cummings, and McKenzie. Considering the troubled circumstances, the sketchy foundations, of this much-hailed, much-cursed, witches brew in Wales, even the Magnificent Seven would have failed at overcoming the growing resistance to the skimpiness placed before them.
Guyanese are no longer impressed with Cousin Winston’s PowerPoints, spreadsheets, and slide rulers. Not when he makes up his own rules of the game, is suspect. Like Rodney King in Los Angeles, he goes along to get along. The EAB sentinels should learn from their pal, and become invisible; they should study Justices Sandil Kissoon, Gino Persaud, Nareshwar Harnanan. Of conspicuous note is how this oil wealth and its management have escalated into one overheated potato. The Vice President lateraling to Vick, and Vick passing it right back to the big man. Nobody wants to be left holding the bag. Consistent with his longstanding practices, the Vice President of Oil and Gas (and the rest of Guyana’s goodies that grow too hot to handle), the poor, powerless, pathetic EPA has been repeatedly called into action to run failed rescue missions. Now it has been judicially insulted and slapped: “submissive.”
Now, it is these three fine Guyanese gentlemen-Sharma, Cummings, and McKenzie-from the EAB coming to grips with the dirty job that they have been given to do. Their salvaging duties amount to this: clean up the mess left by the Vice President in his passage. Even the decorated and doctored President is smart enough to steer clear of the snake pits in which the master magician creates for himself, but is slick enough jump out and dump others into, while smiling sweetly. Take one on the chin for the comrade leader. Better days are ahead, for as the Vice President knows, he who conjures, usually endures and secures very, very rewarding futures, of which he himself stands a remarkable Guyanese success story.
That may all be so, but more and more furious citizens have their backs up, and they are not backing away. These ducks are not taking well to bathing, which is strange given ducks and their known likeness for water. Must be something to do with its cleanliness, its smell, taste. Something about that Wales project is not adding up.
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