Guyanese need a Govt beside us, not on top of us

first_imgDear Editor,The contemptuous sentiments expressed by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, against the people of this nation would have been shocking and disappointing had we higher expectations from this Government.As expected from our brand of “us vs them” politicians, more than half of Mr Bulkan’s interview with a section of the media centred on idiotically attacking the PPP/C, and nothing that he said there is worth engaging, unless one is an idiot too.What cannot be condoned, however, is the contemptuous attack on us, the people of this country. Apparently according to the dear Minister, the people of this country don’t know what Local Government is all about. The minister claims “it will take time for persons to fully grasp the benefits.”Sections of the media quoted the minister’s arrogance and big talk as follows: “We are empowering people ultimately for their own benefit. The PPP will either conform or step aside.”So, in the Minister’s mind, it seems clear that the Local Government Elections are a battle between the two major political parties currently in the National Assembly; Local Government Elections are just like National Elections. So who is it that needs the education on what Local Government is all about, and time to fully grasp the concept: the people of this country, or Minister Bulkan and cohorts?The system for Local Government in Guyana is heavily structured in favour of political parties. This is a system of Local Government that is supported by both major political parties in this nation. President Granger, when questioned about the heavy participation of his party in Local Government Elections, expressed a view that was biased against the participation of individual candidates in Local Government Elections.With politicians who are invested in consolidating political power, controlling the activities of NDCs, and directing the future activities of our communities; and who believe in state control, we cannot expect any other sentiment more in alignment with freedom and the spirit of democracy.The governance architecture that we have in Guyana is a set of self-interested politicians operating at the Central Government level. Politicians at the Central Government level infiltrate the Guyana Public Service directly, and also through the recruitment of partisan staff. We have seen in this country Permanent Secretaries – the backbone of stable Government across political transitions — who are directly affiliated with political parties. We have Mr Mortimer Mingo, holder of an “Independent” position — Chairman of the Local Government Commission – being also a PNCR Executive.What is it about our country and the political culture of the political parties that allow these kinds of corruption to thrive? What happened to ethics, and how can it be institutionalised?Contrast the behaviour and ethics of Elisabeth Harper, who resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to venturing into a career in politics.The Laws of Guyana support a Local Government System that has pushed out all the capable, independent and civic-minded citizens to the fringes of Local Government, so what we have is complete political domination, with a corresponding path for the free flow of corruption from Central Government to Local Government, and a corresponding lack of diversity of perspectives within our politics; with the creative, independent-minded professionals and individuals on the sidelines of society while the corrupt and the partisan take centre stage in the administration of the nation. This model allows for too much corruption and too much political control. We need freedom from this oppression.If we wish to have a truly democratic nation, and a knowledge-based society free of the weight of oppressive politics, we need to identify those structural elements that are blocking the sunshine. This is not a job that calls for political consensus in a model of the cat guarding the milk. With oil and gas at our heels, this is an urgent job that requires national consensus and the coming together of all those disenfranchised on the fringes of society. We cannot have an oil and gas economy that sits on top of a dense and Third World Government; for if we do, we will have a Third World outcome.The people of this country need Government beside us, not on top of us. We are not a monarchy. We are not only an Independent nation, but we are also a Republic. And while the political class, in their mad rush for Local Government Elections to control Amerindian lands and dominate our future, have forgotten the true meaning of a Republic and the role of the people, we, the people, are very much aware of our role.All over this country: from Region 1 to Bartica to Lethem to Corentyne, Guyanese are desirous of changing our politics. We may, at present, be amorphous, but we are everywhere.It might take Mr. Bulkan some time to fully grasp what all this means. Let him save his breath, for we know that the rush to Local Government Elections has nothing to do with benefiting the people, and everything to do with consolidation of political power in pursuit of their own personal agenda.Sincerely,Sandra Khanlast_img read more

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GARDAI FORCED TO JUMP OUT OF WAY OF MOTORIST AT LIFFORD CHECKPOINT

first_imgA Garda had to jump out of the way of a speeding car after it drove through a checkpoint in Lifford.Gardai were manning the checkpoint at Coneyburrow, Lifford on October 1st, 2011 and were wearing reflective jackets and using torches.A car came speeding from the Castlefin direction, went around a traffic island on the wrong side of the road and then drove through the checkpoint. Gardai were forced to jump out of the way of the car, a ‘96 Vauxhall Vectra, but took a note of the registration number.Following enquiries, Gardai called to the home of Daryl Kelly at 32 Beechwood Grove in Lifford where they found the car in the driveway.When questioned by Gardai, Kelly, 22, said his brother occasionally borrowed the car but said he had only owned it for six weeks.He also said he was at a house party and couldn’t remember coming across a checkpoint.Kelly did not appear in court.Judge Denis McLoughlin said that in the absence of Mr Kelly, he was forced to convict and fined the accused €150 for failing to give information.GARDAI FORCED TO JUMP OUT OF WAY OF MOTORIST AT LIFFORD CHECKPOINT was last modified: November 13th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:checkpointDaryl KellyGardaiLiffordlast_img read more

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Edmonton shelter issues call for warm clothing as cold snap grips Prairies

first_imgChris Stewart APTN NewsAn Edmonton shelter is appealing for more help, after a recent cold snap across the Prairies left many people struggling on the streets over Easter weekend.Hope Mission has been helping the less fortunate in Edmonton for 89 years. The non-profit houses 500 people and provides 1,000 meals a day.Though it’s early April, winter is keeping its chilly grip on the Prairies. The shelter is still in need of warm clothing donations, said spokesperson Robin Padanyi.“Socks and underwear are the two biggest needs we always have,” said Padanyi. “Especially when you think about the snow melting, the spring thaw coming. If someone’s feet gets wet and their socks get wet, and the temperatures still dipping to minus fifteen at night, they are in serious danger of frostbite.”Rose Rodriguez, a kitchen helper, has been with Hope Mission for 26 years. She says the shelter’s work is vital to helping the people she calls family.“Many of them don’t have a house, a home or family, so it’s very important because we can let them feel like this is the home for them, cooking for them,” she said. “They bring their kids and it makes us feel so happy and important in this community.”Terry Jackson, who uses Hope Mission, said he’s grateful for its services.“When you come in and you have a meal like this, it keeps the tummy warm and the midsection stay warm,” he said. “That’s the most important part. Everything else is still cold, but you’ll live. You will live with a nice hot meal inside you.”last_img read more

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