There was a collective hush in Guyana last night as local citizens, investors, the diplomatic community and the diaspora awaited words of wisdom and brilliance from
Guyana’s president, Mr Donald Ramotar. If the nervous stakeholders expected to be calmed by words of unity, compromise and a declaration to move Guyana forward, they were sorely disappointed.
The stakeholder community was instead subjected to 40 minutes of raving lunacy from an obviously overwhelmed man. Instead of hope, they were sold fear, instead of compromise, they saw stubbornness, instead of skillful navigation, they were forced to endure lies, vitriol, threats, name calling and a speech which hacked a meandering path to nowhere.
Citizens of Guyana have good reason to be anxious today, the PPPC government is withholding salaries and has a plan to spitefully lay off more than 300 workers in an attempt to rid the workforce of “problem employees”, most of who will be Afro Guyanese. Their goal is to incite an uprising against the opposition parties, but the citizens of Guyana know better, they have suffered for far too long and they have hope for a new tomorrow. They will not give up now.
Ramotar disgraced the people of Guyana with words which were more reminiscent of a dictator under siege, a Jim Jonesque tirade, a neighborhood “bad man”, than a statesman and competent captain to whom the country can look for guidance and leadership. Could it be possible that the people of Guyana must endure a replay of the arrogant, deceitful, corrupt Jagdeo reign in Guyana?
The president was deceitful when he failed to inform the stakeholder community, that the joint opposition insisted on improved financial controls, transparency and a focus on the people instead of a return to the era of “back room deals”, rampant corruption, and spending of the people’s hard-earned taxpayer dollars to enrich PPPC politicians and their friends. The opposition had no choice but to cut the budget to force the PPPC to make responsible changes and to refocus on the citizens of Guyana who the PPPC government continues to indiscriminately “pimp”.
As Ramotar lied and bullied his way through his speech, he failed to mention that the opposition proposed a ten point strategy to the PPPC which was soundly rejected. The strategy included no bailout of GPL and Guysuco without restructuring management, no tariff increase on Linden electricity rates, a restructure of NCN and GINA to make them responsible National Institutions, a restructure of NICIL to bring the people’s financial assets into the consolidated fund, a restoration of the subvention to the Critchlow Labour College, an immediate Introduction of a National Procurement Commission, an Introduction of programs to reduce the plight of depress Communities, a reduction in the toll to cross the Berbice River Bridge from 2,200 .00. to 1,000.00, an increase in Public Servants Salary, an increase in the Public Servants Retirement age, an increase in subvention to the university of Guyana, and an extension of the list of zero rated items on which vat is paid along with a 2% reduction in the 16% VAT tax which continues to strangle ordinary citizens in Guyana.
It should be clear to the citizens of Guyana that the demands of the opposition are neither unreasonable, nor unaffordable. PPPC Ministers and “advisors” have without conscience enriched themselves with the people’s money, have stolen millions, and have run the country like their own ATM machine for more than 19 years; and yet today they insist that they cannot afford to relieve the burden crushing the Guyanese people. Citizens of Guyana voted for change, yet it is clear that this fact is lost on Finance Minister Ashni Singh, President Ramotar and their partners in crime. The joint opposition must hold firm; their demands are honorable and their fight is just. The people are aware.
President Ramotar will do well to remember that the PPPC ruling government are stewards of the people’s assets, that they represent all the citizens of Guyana, that the people want a better life and that the people voted for a new dispensation. Business as usual is not an option and no amount of whining, weeping, waling, threats, intimidation and abuse will change the demands of the opposition, on behalf of the people of Guyana. (OneVoiceCanWin)