Videos on the global Guyanese


Saturday, January 14, 2012

President peeved at new Parliament

by Shaun Michael Samaroo
New Guyanese President Donald Ramotar sounded alarm bells after the nation's 10th Parliament created history with the first Parliamentary Speaker elected from Opposition benches.
President Ramotar
While citizens welcome the election of leader of the third force Party, the Alliance For Change, Raphael Trotman, as the new Speaker, the Executive President expressed horror that Guyana had shunned a Speaker from the Government benches.
“This gross violation of an established convention is not a healthy development in this new dispensation,” the President told reporters at a media briefing after Trotman's election.
President Ramotar deplored the lack of what he called the “Commonwealth precedent” in the country, whereby the ruling Party holds the speakership.
Opposition Members of Parliament say they plan to use their one-seat majority in the National Assembly to curb alleged widespread State corruption, reign in Government abuse of the State media, and demand strict accountability of State funds from bureaucrats.
The Speaker determines Parliamentary procedures, and holds overriding powers.
Across the country, and throughout the global Guyanese community, citizens welcomed the new dynamics in Parliament, despite the Presidential tantrum.
Tweeting, Arnold @aplus21 said: “Good luck to Raphael Trotman and all the members of the 10th Parliament. Make it count!”
Citizens hope to see the new Parliamentary dynamic deliver tangible results, functioning as a democratic institution that grants the people power to play their role in governance, along with the elected Government. The “make it count!” advice refers to the lack of teeth in the previous nine Parliaments, in the face of an Executive President constitutionally immune from Parliamentary procedures.
Raphael Trotman
The local News Site, Demerara Waves ( generated heated debate from citizens when it reported the story of the President's displeasure.
In the Comments section, poster Kris said: “An interesting development but an even more interesting pronouncement. I trust that we will now have the parliament we all longed for. Let progress begin!”
Demerara Waves reported the President saying he would “closely monitor” the Parliament. To which mohamed29 replied: “Ramotar what are you going to monitor? It is all about not having you and the PPP way because when Ramkarran (ex-Speaker) was there he sided with only the Jagdeo (ex-President) and the PPP. … So I think you ramotar can go and burn cane like you used to do in the seventies.”
The negotiations between the Alliance For Change (AFC) and the main Opposition party, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had generated nationwide acrimony and strife as each party rejected the other's candidate. They agreed at the last minute on Trotman after President Ramotar surprised them with a snap convening of the House.
The fight over the Speaker had rankled and disillusioned citizens.
And they vented with passion, as this comment from poster Mother Sally on the above Demerara Waves report sums up the feeling: “The people of Guyana have spoken and unlike the peasants and mud rats of the PPP - Raphael Trotman is not only a distinguished lawyer and son of this soil but also comes from a very respected and reputable family of high standing in the annals of Commonwealth jurisprudence.
What credentials does Ramotar really bring to the table so to speak other than having been an underling of the late communist bogeyman - Cheddi Jagan.  (Ex-President) Jagdeo - Baby Hitler - claimed that Ramotar was a brilliant economist which we all know is a farce as he (Ramotar) is an idealogue at best.
Like the rest of the nation, we hope to the Almighty that Raphael Trotman, Deborah Backer, Ramjattan, Nagamootoo and Granger (opposition members) will find the necessary courage and conviction in immediately going after those that stole, plundered and raped the treasury of Guyana in recent times.
People are looking on and have the highest hopes for this parliament so if they think that any of them are going to go into parliament, get comfortable and live high on the hog they had be better be prepared to face massive social agitation and protests. Please note that it will not and cannot be ‘business as usual' because the likes of the Youth Coalition for Transformation and GUYANA UNITED are not prepared to accept any more foolishness from anyone or from any side be it PNC, APNU, AFC, PPP, Catholic Archdiocese, the CIOG, the Maha Sabha, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, the Bahais, the Hare Krishna Movement or even the Moonies to boot.
It is time to rescue this nation from the treacherous hands of demented characters such as the PPP. It is time to say enough and it is time to put them all on trial for grand larceny for a start including of course seizing all their assets and dealing with their families condignly as well.NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW AND WE MUST TAKE BACK GUYANA BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.”
The parliamentary drama could play out into the President calling a snap election in hopes of regaining a majority for the ruling Party, as a bitter feud has already started to brew between Opposition Leader, Brigadier David Granger and the verbally pugilistic President, over the upcoming national Budget.
The November 28, 2011 elections saw bitter ethnic divisions and fears of unrest.
Efforts to work for conciliatory cooperation among the three Parliamentary parties broke down after the elections, with each blaming the other in distrust, and the ruling People's Progressive Party refusing to share power.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

World stage feels jaw-dropping Guyanese impact

by Shaun Michael Samaroo
When we look across this 21st century global landscape, we see Guyanese play amazing roles in societies spanning the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Asia.
Yet, the local leaders in the homeland fail to grasp the enormity of the responsibility for building a global nation.
The image of the Guyanese, of what it means to be of this quite astonishing nation, takes a global battering. The State refuses to see the need for an emergency Global Image Strategy. The State refuses to develop its international consulates and embassies to paint the Guyanese nation for what it is, a people of warmth, friendliness and peaceful embrace of diverse cultures.
The Guyanese nation lacks the image of a people contributing in awesome ways to this 21st century global village.
Local news depress Guyanese everywhere. But international news paint a particularly ragged, poor, immoral image of the nation.
First we see the Ed Ahmad Real Estate fraud allegations that dog New York's American-Guyanese community with stigmas of high-level corruption reaching to the highest echelon of the US Congress. 
The New York Times reported this week in a blaring headline that: Queens Broker Is Accused of Bringing Immigrants’ Ruin.
The story won front page headline in the most credible and respected local daily, the Stabroek News: Scores of Guyanese facing ruin after Ed Ahmad-brokered loans – NYT.
Other media carried the story in glaring headlines, including the local online web portal, Demerara Waves
The story got such wide publicity that it drowned out other stories of Guyanese running afoul of good global citizenship.
In Canada, for example, the Canadian Border Services Agency reported authorities had issued a wanted bulletin for a Canadian-Guyanese wanted for rape and violent assault. He was, the cops said, "armed and dangerous". They plan to deport him to Guyana, but he's in hiding.
The State-owned Guyana Chronicle newspaper gloated this news item on its front page this week: Canadian law authorities seek Guyanese sex offender Vibert Henry, aka ‘Tiger’.
Strange that the Chronicle remained mum and in loud silence concerning the Ahmad story, as US authorities mentioned Ahmad's close business links with ex-President Bharrat Jagdeo. 
This linkage cements further widespread suspicion at home and abroad that the Guyana Government and State institutions indulge in gross corruption. The current government's two-decade rule includes street talk of electoral irregularities to stay in power to protect its powerful shady, underhand friends.
To top off a week of global Guyanese jaw-dropping impact on the global village in the area of questionable public conduct, cops in Antigua slapped a multimillion US dollar fraud allegation of suspicious transactions on Sir Ron Sanders, a popular local columnist with ties to the Government.
Then, the nation watched as Saunders' lawyer, a Guyanese of high legal rank in Antigua, got into a fiery furnace for conflict of interest allegations regarding the Saunders case. The story also got plastered for citizens all across the Caribbean, and at home, with citizens wondering what hell had descended on their nation.
The story made mammoth headlines in several other media, not to mention receiving hundreds of online comments.
To compound the battering the Guyanese image took this past week, the nation got into a massive fight over choosing a Speaker for parliament, as backroom deals between the opposition parties got nastier and nastier, before a deal was trashed out late Tuesday, January 10th. The story got big play in the Guyana Times, a government mouthpiece, in a provocative headline, New Gyrations.
The nation started 2012 with a shaky street-protest, nasty acrimony and strife over the Speaker chair, and international coverage of badly-behaving Guyanese, from petty criminality to high level corporate and political illegalities.
And, believe it or not, this is just a sampling of the stories that show how mean and nasty and bad Guyanese behave. We have, for example, left out of here the allegations of rape against the Guyana Police Commissioner, who is on leave as a squad of Jamaican cops probe the woman's charge against him. The story got serious play at this blog: Guyana Commisioner of Police Henry Greene should be interdicted at least – AFC.
With several State Ministers and other senior functionaries allegedly banned from the US, and with serious talk of the country being a narcotic haven - including such allegations from a Police senior rank - Steve Merai who runs the Berbice division, making such remarks on a Surinamese radio station - the nation seems bent on destroying its image, and its chances of becoming an emerging power alongside Brazil, its giant neighbor.
Guyanese tend to do well as a migrant nation. Living all over the Caribbean, North America and in England, the nation's sons and daughters make excellent global citizens.
But no one would notice given the recent headlines making Guyanese infamous around the world.
Guyanese see their leaders behave with alacrity for illegal gains, and they duly imitate, at the expense of the nation's image.
One hopes the national Government would wake up from its slumber to lead the nation as a global citizenry. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our body politic rots at the soul

by Shaun Michael Samaroo  |  
Thursday, January 5, 2012

We start the year 2012 with the hung Parliament hanging over our heads, as the political parties bicker and quarrel in acrimony and strife over the Speaker’s chair.
Guyanese all over the world – for we are now a global nation spread out across this 21st century global village – watch their homeland in sad frustration that our leaders cannot reconcile their diverse desires for seats of power.
Our nation seems plunged into a leadership crisis, a quagmire where leaders of strength of character, selfless sacrifice and visionary ideal may have gone missing.
Maybe it’s the brain drain effect, as official reports say close to 90 percent of skilled Guyanese continue to migrate. Those who take on the mantle of leadership take on a burden that may be too weighty.
Whatever the cause, the Guyanese nation stands poorer for the Parliamentary morass that faces citizens this brand new year. How inspired could citizens be to design their future?
Across the social landscape we want to see leaders stand up to make an inspiring difference. Our nation has come a long way since Independence, and as our neighbour Brazil, and even our Caribbean friends, advance their societies, we must delve deep into our soul to bring the Guyanese nation to world class standard.
The Guyanese body politic is sick, ailing with an alarming lack of sound diagnosis. Yet, few introspect for us to come up with workable solutions.
What’s to be done?
We have to know who we are as a people – our strengths and our weaknesses. We need introspection and analysis of the body politic, a probing to find where and why the sickness rots the soul.
Our political leaders face two exceptional challenges that tend to affect the rest of the society.
First, these leaders bring their character flaws, their inner weaknesses and strengths, to the public domain. And the society suffers if the flaws outweigh the strengths.
Shakespeare dealt with this brilliantly in his political play, ‘Coriolanus’. The play explores the character of the fascinating Roman politician Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Shakespeare had read of Coriolanus in a historical biographic account written by the Roman writer Plutarch.
Shakespeare’s amazing insight shows us that the body politic becomes sick and rotten if the persons forming the head – the leaders of the State, or the Parliament – lack the strength of character to nurture a healthy democracy.
Coriolanus, despite his absolute brilliance as a military general, lacked the humility, and hugged too much pride, to bow to the wishes of the people, whom he scorned as mere plebeians. Coriolanus felt he was above the crowd, and failed as a political leader.
Yet, Coriolanus had no idea he harboured such fatal inner flaws. He thought he was the best leader for his society. Shakespeare, in analyzing his character from Plutarch’s record, saw otherwise.
Shakespeare showed the character of the man through the language he spoke. Coriolanus used lots of plosive sounds, harsh words, and metaphors that mirror those harsh, plosive words.
If we look at the language of our politicians today, we would see words that lack the spirit of reconciliation, healing, forgiveness and reaching out in good faith. Their words show that our body politic lacks the spirit of cooperation and trust.
Secondly, we get a profound understanding of why we face such a quagmire in the first week of 2012 through the insight of the French thinker, Rene Girard, himself a Shakespeare scholar.
Girard found through studying great literature and history that in any group or society, a “satan phenomenon” rears its head.
We would do well as a society to be aware of these insights, if we want to build a society that plays a dynamic role in the global village.
Girard found that in any group, or society of people, the tendency to scapegoat shows up. He calls this scapegoating effect the “satan phenomenon”.
We see the three political parties vie for power in the Parliament in Georgetown.
These groups, these political parties – if they are to construct a new culture and a new spirit in our 50-year-old body politic – must watch out for those in their midst who would resort to scapegoating others.
We are struggling to free ourselves from decades of ethnic political insecurities and distrust. And so it’s easy to find a few within a group who would harbour these insecurities and influence the rest of the group to act out the distrust through scapegoating someone outside the circle.
Scapegoating, Girard asserts, breeds a “satan phenomenon” because it destroys rather than builds.
These political parties have the best interest of the nation at heart. So why do we see the destruction of that spirit of consensus-building, reconciliation, cooperation, forgiveness, trust and reaching out to each other in good faith?
The reason may be that within these groups certain persons of particular influence cause the spirit of hardness of heart, of rigidness, of destructive social behaviour to rear its ugly head. The society suffers.
The acrimony and strife over the Speaker’s chair reveals volumes about the character of our current crop of leaders, despite their good intentions.
The verbal wars also show that the political parties may not be healthy organisms; harbouring influential voices inside that tear down instead of build up.
As we look to build a Guyanese nation over the next 12 months, one based on the noble ideals of reconciliation, trust and brotherly kindness, those who take on the weighty responsibility of leading us must introspect and openly deal with their character flaws, and the groups to which they belong must purge and cleanse themselves of divisive personalities.
As a nation we have so much going for us. We could contribute so much to each other and to this global village.
Yet, our leaders bicker and quarrel over the Speaker’s chair in the House of the National Assembly.
Author’s web: