GUYANA: A week of the usual – more minuses than pluses – By GHK Lall

Dec 18, 2022 Features / Columnists, The GHK Lall Column 

Kaieteur News – I start with the positive.  Thanks, Dr. President for that December hand to workers in the public health sector.  It was overdue, and it was meaningful.  This relays that His Excellency knows where the problems are, who are the citizens (and segments) feeling the viselike squeeze, and what has to be done.  My concern is that the President has displayed a marked preference for proceeding in this manner that smells of humiliating some citizens, as if to emphasize to them who is the boss, and which is the group that is in charge.  That is, who has the power, who is forced to wait patiently, with their hands extended in supplication, and their hopes callously stretched past the breaking point         

I point to that other group of nurturers, our teachers, and ask of the nation’s leader: why not at the same time, Excellency?  Guyana is not waiting on the approval of a loan; nor is money in short supply, skipper.  This piecemeal approach registers as having its own objectives, among which is to teach the unruly some hard lessons.  One is ‘wait till we ready.’  Another is ‘line up and shut up.’  All this seems rather whimsical and self-serving to me.  Now the hope is that I did not incur the wrath of PPP Guyanese gods, who search for some law (or agent) to demonstrate to me the fruits of my audacity.

This is as good a time as to bring in one of the negatives from last week.  It involves Georgetown Mayor, Ubraj Narine.  He spoke in a fashion with which I disagree, and I have publicly said so.  It should be noted that it is how he said what he said; and against whom he directed his pent-up frustrations.  On both issues, he tabled so pungently, there is much smoke, and we all know what is said when there is smoke.  What was interesting was how the PPP well-tuned, standby machinery, its media delta force, sprang into action.  In addition to the avalanches of criticisms that were dumped on his head, a series of volcanic eruptions quickly engulfed Mayor Narine, and carried him along to the court and bail.

Mayor Narine spoke of discrimination in Guyana, as meted out by the PPP Government to carefully targeted sections of this country’s population.  Immediately, he turned into Satan, Rawana, and Shaitan combined.  As the world knows, I have written and spoken about discrimination by the PPP Government against real and perceived enemies, which usually takes on a mostly racial strain.

Hence, there is familiarity with what is happening to Mayor Narine currently.  In terms of that other aspect of the mayor’s remarks, I have been privy to that reality, as uttered very quietly by PPP supporters themselves.  For emphasis, not PNC mischief makers, but incensed PPP loyalists.  So, when I observed the extremely fevered reactions from under the PPP tent, a conclusion came.  It was that Mayor Narine had to be shut down immediately, and by any means.  What he said could not be allowed to gain any reception, any traction.  It must stay within the PPP family.  When I studied the all-points, all-hands steamroller response of PPP hypocrites and self-deceivers, it was clear that the more the mayor’s message was tried to be suppressed out of existence, the more energy it developed.

A third alarming development involved the foreigner who stabbed the President’s security detail, and the mayhem that ensued.  Thank God for quick reactions, and the human damage was confined to where it is.  I salute the Presidential security circle for bravery, dedication to duty, and resourcefulness under attack.  That said, the questions come with a rush.  How does a man, anyone, get inside the gates?  With reports of a knife, what about screening for such prior to taking one step within that complex?  What about security cameras at the perimeters of the compound? The alarms should trigger on the inside, starting at the guard enclosure; hopefully, overlapping rings of such. What happened with all of those essentials?

I table this because if the most innocent appearing of citizens were to even show their faces around that presidential complex, then all agents as a matter of routine would go to a different state of watchfulness.  So, for anyone, especially an armed individual, to reach the point that he did, just does not come over right.  I am going out on a limb for now and assert that there is more to this than what is in public at present.  Already, one strand, and one posture, has commenced making the rounds, which is a word beginning with an ‘a’.  It is not apartheid, but assassination attempt.  In Guyana, the art of the possible has no bounds, particularly when in the hands and minds of the calculating.  Like I said, it was one of those regular Guyanese weeks, and I didn’t say a word about the pending sale of the Marriott; or who makes out like Bill Gates at the beginning, middle, and now the end (sale).  Lovely country!

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