GUYANA: Changes in political cultures demonstrate mutual respect and common decency – Letter by Andre Brandli

By Stabroek News – LETTERS: January 7, 2023

Dear Editor,

I am referring to the news from earlier this week that President Irfaan Ali bestowed Guyana’s second highest award, the Order of Roraima, on the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. According to press release of the Department of Public Information (https://dpi.gov.gy/pm-gonsalves-conferred-with-order-of-roraima/),

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, former president, Donald Ramotar, ministers’ Hugh Todd, Oneidge Walrond, Nigel Dharamlall, Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, and other officials were also in attendance at the ceremony. This was also documented by the photographs accompanying the report.           

Interestingly, all living former presidents (Jagdeo, Ramotar) were present at the ceremony with the exception of President Granger, the only opposition politician who held that office in the last 30 years. Why was he not invited? Established in 1976, the Order of Roraima is awarded by the people of Guyana, represented here by the President of the Republic, to any citizen of Guyana who has given outstanding service to the nation. Citizens of foreign nations, who are deemed eligible, may also be appointed as honourary members of the order. Fittingly, Dr. Gonsalves was honoured in recognition of his dedicated and sustained leadership and commitment to regional development. Given the prestige and honour associated with this national award, wouldn’t it have been appropriate to invite also all leaders of the parties represented in the National Assembly to witness the ceremony?

This would also have elevated the event from one merely being staged for the ruling party and its dignitaries to one of national unity in the spirit of President Ali’s “One Guyana” vision. On January 1, 2023 I had called, in letters published by Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, respectively, for a new political culture of mutual respect and reconciliation in Guyana.

Sadly, my message was not heard to date by the political leaders of the nation. Changes in political culture starts with small gestures of courtesy. They demonstrate mutual respect and common decency, which should be the basis of the political discourse.

They set the tone and demonstrated appreciation and inclusiveness may trigger a genuine reconciliation for the good of the nation.

We are just a few days into the New Year. Hence, I still have not given up my hope for meaningful and sustainable change in Guyana’s political culture.

Sincerely,

Andre Brandli, PhD

Professor, LMU Munich

 

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Comments

  • Jasmine  On 01/08/2023 at 9:08 am

    It could very well be that President Granger was unwell and unable to attend.

    • Andre Brandli  On 01/08/2023 at 9:49 am

      True, this is a possibility explaining the absence of President Granger. If this is the case, we will hear about this in the coming days. The letter was published also in the print version of SN and KN. It does now however explain the absence of all opposition party leaders.

  • Brother Man  On 01/08/2023 at 2:06 pm

    “ Sadly, my message was not heard to date by the political leaders of the nation.” No surprise!

    It’s doubtful the occupants know anything, or care to know, about a fella living in a faraway, foreign land pretending to be a full fledged Guyanese.

    • Age  On 01/08/2023 at 3:24 pm

      Remember that a Jamaican politician once remarked that PPP politicians were going around the world with a “begging bowl” asking for money.

      What you said was insulting to the OP and this is exactly why there are problems between locals and the diaspora. The locals believe that they will become the princes and princesses of the Gulf States with this oil.

  • Age  On 01/15/2023 at 1:22 am

    Dr. Brandli,

    Your friend Freddy finally wrote something that is sensible:

    https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2023/01/15/guyana-the-country-with-the-worlds-largest-diaspora/

    The quote was from a PPP politician.

    Guyana, the country with the world’s largest Diaspora
    Jan 15, 2023 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

    Kaieteur News – I was speechless when the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Manzoor Nadir, said the following words, “We must make it harder for people to become citizens.”

    ……………………………………………………..

    Probably many of the anti-migrant crowd get remittances from overseas though.

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