Archive for August, 2012

Elites control Guyana two major political parties

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Editor,

The PPP and PNC are elitist political organizations. As race-based parties, they use their primarily Indian and African support and see these two ethnic groups as politically expedient. These parties have always acted in the interests of the few who dominate them. This elite is comprised of a handful of men and a few women who believe they own these parties.

There are no term limits and an incestuous system of cronyism and nepotism within these parties that ensure the elite remains firmly entrenched in power. The PPP and PNC may pretend to be working class parties but they are in fact bourgeoisie entities. Once in power, those who dominate the party situate themselves, their families and friends in plum positions where they benefit handsomely while the ordinary man and woman in the street who voted for them is left holding the empty end of the stick. A scan of the executives of both parties shows the majority have been there for decades. There is functional superiority galore. Decisions are made that offend the dignity and good sense of the membership but the leadership elite does not care. PPP supporters who are enraged that Kwame McCoy remains in the PPP upper hierarchy despite his recent conviction are ignored. PNCR supporters angry with APNU’s sloth and laziness on a legislative agenda since the last election are ignored.

The PPP and PNC are con artists. The AFC will head down that same road if it does not change its ways. Racial politics make it easier for a few members to accomplish control. The ordinary rank-and-file membership of the PPP and PNC is there simply to rubberstamp these individuals back into power congress after congress. The congresses are carefully controlled affairs, to ensure the old boys club is maintained. Where the party feels its elite will be threatened, it suspends the congress to prevent ordinary members from voting. This is what the Jagdeoites did with the PPP. Donald Ramotar was handpicked by the Jagdeoites and rammed down the throats of PPP supporters. What the Jagdeoites did by suspending a congress was to annul democracy within the PPP. Forbes Burnham is probably rolling in his grave wondering why PPP supporters and mainly Indians were so vehemently opposed to him then for disregarding democracy when PPP supporters approved and endorsed the candidacy of Donald Ramotar which was imposed on them, and delivered the sound of silence on the suspension of the party’s congressional election. It becomes profoundly difficult to argue that it is acceptable to condone authoritarian behaviour from your own but not from others. You are either for or against it in all its manifestations.

Elitism within the PPP and PNC leads to corruption, as these individuals believe they are un-touchable. They also assume delusions of grandeur. The PNC did not fix the debacle of the 1980 Burnham constitution, although it knew fully well it was going to lose power in 1992. The PNC wanted that exact same instrument in place if it regained power. It backfired on PNC supporters who felt the brunt of the PPP’s use of that constitution against them. Similarly, the PPP has gone from condemning corruption while in the wilderness to condoning it by implication.

Strong anti-corruption legislation will never be passed in Guyana because there are many skeletons in the closets. This is why the American political system allows for a John F Kennedy or a Barack Obama to emerge to shake the very foundations of power and redraft the social contract. That will never happen in Guyana.

Dynamic figures will be vilified by the elites in these parties and forced to toe the line. When an entire country is held to ransom by a handful of elites controlling political parties, and those elites have a deep-seated self-interest in preventing good, decent and virtuous laws to be enforced, that country cannot advance.

Yours faithfully,
M Maxwell

Categories: Corruption, Cronyism, PNC, PPP Tags: , ,

Remigrant launches incisive publication on corruption in Guyana

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

…tells horror stories of GRA, Customs and greedy contractors
His letter writings in the daily newspapers are provocative, raising serious issues regarding life in Guyana. But all that may very well pale in comparison to what he did on Friday.
Gabriel “G.H.K.” Lall, who returned to Guyana in the early 2000s after living for 30 years abroad, has penned a book on corruption in Guyana, insisting that the issue is a deep-rooted one that may have to take leaders from both sides of the divide to help root out.
It may very well generate hot controversy and debate.

G.H.K. Lall with his insightful book on corruption in Guyana
Titled, “Guyana: A National Cesspool of Greed, Duplicity & Corruption (A Remigrant’s Story)”. The book is a brutally honest one, filled with strong descriptions of Lall’s experience with the Guyana Revenue Authority and “greedy” workers there.
Lall also told tales of being ripped off by contractors, scams by bank employees and auto dealers and even of corruption at the Deeds Registry.
The remigrant, now in his 50’s, does volunteer work in the education field.
The book, which was launched Friday to a small gathering at Marian Academy, chronicles Lall’s return to Guyana and a growing intolerance of the “corruption obscenity of public officials and fellow citizens.”
Among those present at the launching were trade unionists, former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Michael Khan.
Lall said that what he has written on corruption in Guyana is nothing new and is known to all Guyanese.
“It is not a story about one crooked public official, or one sleazy borrower, or one counterfeit contractor, or one traitorous family member. Rather, it is the accumulated, searing revelations highlighted from the journey of one man in the untamed jungles of Guyana,” the Preface informs.
It went further. “Greed and duplicity and corruption in Guyana cut across race – I have had terrible experiences with Indian, Black, Dougla and Amerindian folks: those I had the misfortune to deal with manifested certain common characteristics: a serious lack of scruples, a sense of entitlement and an unwillingness to travel the hard, grueling road of sacrifice.”
In one instance in the book, Lall whose wife has passed away, spoke of bringing in his prized possessions and being forced to fork over $150,000 after they were assessed as commercial and not personal items. It was the same attitude of corruption that he found at GRA while processing his application for duty free concessions.
“Corruption is not a Georgetown, Berbice or Essequibo problem but rather a “national” one,” he stresses.
The author described as an insult, the decision by the US Embassy not to accept local documents from Guyana when an application is made for a visa. He likened the revelations of corruption to incest, which nobody wants to talk about, but needs to come to light.
The remigrant, lauding Kaieteur News and Stabroek News for their exposure of corruption, urged for political leaders, professional bodies and other pressure groups to apply pressure to weed out a system that is deep-rooted.
Earlier, attorney-at-law, Gino Persaud, who also happens to be President of the Chapter of Transparency International, noted that corruption hurts everyone and feeds inequality.
“It affects the building of roads and schools, and payments to teachers, nurses and police and takes away resources from the masses, enriching a few,” Persaud stated
He also pointed out that it is a fact that Guyana has rated a lowly 134 out of 183 on the global Corruptions Perception Index.
Also speaking at the launching was former Auditor General Goolsarran who noted that he too returned to Guyana as a remigrant, only six months ago, and said he is “angry, sad and ashamed” at the corruption level in the country which is at the “crossroads”.
Goolsarran, an outspoken letter writer also, admitted to being targeted and even ridiculed by family members because of his stance on corruption. He urged for Guyanese to speak out more.
The book is being sold at the Austin’s Book Store, on Church Street.