OPINION: Guyana: Encouraging events; disturbing developments – By GHK Lall

—- Random issues from last week

GHK Lall

I start on an encouraging note. From Friday September 4 (KN), I read that, “Six patients released from COVID-19 ICU after restorative plasma treatment.” That is as good as any news around here in ages. I know Dr. Mahendra Carpen well, who shared the positive news, which was that six pandemic patients in “extremely critical condition” have a new lease on life.

Extremely critical from COVID-19 and ICU could mean goodbye. But this pioneering approach, where the plasma of recovered patients struck by the deadly virus was used, proved successful.   

There is a limitation issue where “the blood that is collected from the recovered patient is compatible and can be used on those who are critical.” Bottom line, the “anti-bodies” in the compatible blood from the recovered were administered successfully in all six critical patients. I think this shows the groundbreaking stuff Guyanese are capable of, and which Dr. Carpen has done before in local cardiology. Nicely done, doc!

OIL and EXXON

Now it is downhill from here. On oil I learn that, “Exxon spends US$186M to fix flaring at Scottish plant” (KN September 4). These are the same people who dodge Guyanese fines levied, make a mockery of our political leaders by having them eat out of the company’s hands after bending over backwards in abject surrender. What’s going on here? I ask further: if this is not discriminatory, then what does?

For here it was that Exxon refused to pay a measly fines or have regard for EPA regulations, but rush to provide relief of US$186M to quell “the hundreds of complaints” from residents” near to the “Mossmorran Natural Gas Liquid Plant, which has two plants under its wing. I say, good for the Scots. But when I examine how Exxon responds to Guyana’s environmental concerns and the flaring problems at Liza-1 and Liza-2, I wonder why the Africans of Africa, the Hispanics in Latin America, and us Guyanese are treated differently. Like dogs is how different as if we are barbarians.

And now that we delay Payara, Exxon is kicking up a stink and threatening to walk away. We must not fall for that deception. The company has too much at stake here; it has betted much here and has few other equivalent prospects to pursue. Here is the bottom line: Exxon needs Guyana more than Guyana needs Exxon. Guyana’s new government must show what it stands for and how much it is going to take from Exxon.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Next was this, “Over 80% ERC complaints received are from social media spats” (KN September 4). Facebook, the darkest dangerous back alley of Guyanese political brawls, leads the way. Nothing surprising in this, since it is: a) anonymous, b) can be deleted, c) ownership almost untraceable, and d) many maniacs become magicians there. The problem is that great damage is possible in deeply polarized Guyana. Some I know are not attending the same houses of worship anymore, nor conversing with others, have no regard for still others, and all because of savaging, incendiary posts. Ugly ones are circulated widely. The temperate ones suffer in silence, they lack spark. Like the movies, sex and violence sell. On Facebook, blasting others racially allows every idiot to pretend at intellect. It gains friends and following, who spread dirty words. Meanwhile, the ERC is limited in resources, reach, and raw power, while many Guyanese run amok.

Last, I brace myself. Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, spoke of 1,000 samples being readied for testing. I have one big problem: more testing means more confirmed cases. Guaranteed!

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On September 8, 2020 at 3:55 am

    Excellent synopsis !
    Comrade GKN Lall (spelt with two L’s)
    please move to classroom front.
    Today the teachers desk is in middle of
    classrooms in Germany !
    Please allow me comment on your blog
    /post.
    1. CorV in decline.
    2. Oil is in decline
    3. Social media history

    I have been banned for 2 days for
    “Inappropriate” share on FB.
    Big brother is watching you senario ?
    Hope GOL does not follow FB.

    Thanks for your enlightening contribution
    on this forum.

    Kamtan UK-ex-EU

  • Kman  On September 8, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Show Exxon who is the boss or kick them out.
    They are really there to spy on the Venezuelans on behalf of the CIA, oil revenue is the gravy and yet they are not satisfied. GREED.
    As l have always stated, it is a white man’s world. Even though China is bad, at least they are standing up to the mighty US. The rest of the non white and oppressed world need to unite and take charge.

    • Georgy Porgy  On September 8, 2020 at 11:40 am

      Kman, if you’re going racial with your comment on the “white man’s world” then you should take a look at Guyana and you’ll see the kind of world that Afro Guyanese are living in. Hope you don’t get upset if the oppressed Guyanese unite and stand up.

  • Yvonne-K  On September 8, 2020 at 11:44 am

    GHK Lall I’m surprised that you failed to mention the sending home on Leave of Dr. Vincent Adams, Head of the EPA at time when Exxon is trying to bully the Guyana government. Why would the government do that at this critical juncture? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

  • brandli62  On September 8, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    I agree with Yvonne’s statement. GHK Lall complains about the Exxon not respecting EPA but fails to mention that the new government has put the head of EPA, Dr. Vincent Adams, on leave.

    Regarding Exxon, the Guyanese government is currently in a strong position. It’s economy has not yet become dependent on oil revenues. Hence, you can build but pressure. 1) There is no need to rush the Payara deal until international experts have reviewed the contract and made their recommendations. 2) If Exxon has indeed violated EPA regulation, they should be slapped with hefty fines and given a deadline to fix the problems other wise operations will be suspended. These actions can however only be taken, if the environmental laws provide for them. It not, parliament needs to revise the laws as soon as possible.

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