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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. 
email: beingshaun@gmail.com
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1 comment:

  1. nice article. Just to note that Ed Ahmed transaction in Queens did not have any financial impact in Guyana. What happened over there is or was just purely an American thing. Ed Ahmed is an American with Guyanese roots.

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