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We observe responses by former Presidents Samuel Hinds and Donald Ramotar with reference to what Mr. Hinds in particular is alleged to have done or not done in the interest of the black brothers and sisters in Guyana.
In the letters, both Ramotar and Hinds went out of their way to criticise Lincoln Lewis and Hamilton Green.
Dear Editor, all I can do to debunk the false arguments advanced by the two former Presidents, is to give a few examples based on my knowledge as a resident of Laing Avenue and one who have kept in touch with the area where I live and more generally the south of the city.
After the hotly contested municipal elections of 1994, Mr. Green’s GGG gained 12 seats, the PNC – 10 seats and the PPP – 8 seats in Georgetown.
Before this, the PPP installed an IMC (Interim Management Committee), headed by a Professor, James Rose.
In spite of the great help, the PPP government gave to the IMC, for obvious reasons, Professor Rose publicly stated that taxes and other revenues were insufficient to provide a proper service for the citizens of Georgetown.
At a meeting held at the East Ruimveldt Secondary School, Mayor Hamilton Green was given the task to find new ways to raise funds.
As a result, Mr. Green proposed the setting up of a Lottery.
Permission of the government was necessary. It is well known that the majority of citizens residing in the southern part of Georgetown consist of ordinary folks, majority being Afro-Guyanese or black people, to use the words of our letter-writers
A municipal delegation met with Mr. Hinds and after briefing him as to the urgent need for works and employment that would benefit the residents in the city, the delegation, which included Hamilton Green, Philomena Sahoye-Shury (PPP), the late Robert Williams and the Town Clerk sought the support for a lottery from Mr. Hinds, who was then acting President.
Samuel Hinds solemnly declared that he could not recommend a lottery for Georgetown, Guyana because the churches and in his own words, our people would object to this form of gambling.
The delegation left empty handed but lo and behold a few short weeks later, a Lottery was launched with all the profits going to Mr. Hinds’ government and not one blind cent to the city, whose idea it was.
All of the above was reported to gatherings in Georgetown by the Mayor and Councillors.
In his letter, the Hon. Ramotar made several references, critical of Mr. Green.
One example is his suggestion that Mr. Green and his group were somewhat unkind to the late Police Superintendent Leon Fraser.
It is quite the opposite.
I was present at the funeral service for the late Leon Fraser and Mr. Green, when asked to speak said kind things about Fraser and proposed that some place or thing be named in his honour.
That Statement brought applause from those present.
May I remind Messrs. Hinds and Ramotar that as a Community worker, I maintain a keen interest in affairs of City Hall and attended Statutory Meetings from time to time.
Fact, in an effort to support the city, the Mayor received the assurance of help after Meetings with former President Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan and Bharat Jagdeo.
In fact, on one occasion, President Jagdeo met with the Mayor and Councillors in the Chambers of City Hall.
Fact, in spite of efforts, neither Samuel Hinds or Donald Ramotar, while in office, ever lent an ear with the then Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown. Not Once.
Mr. Editor, the above is from my personal knowledge and recollection and all above is the whole truth and nothing about the truth.
In closing, I pose to ask both former Presidents, Hinds and Ramotar, what specifically, not vague statements such as what we see so far, what did they do when no lesser a person than Dr. Cheddi Bharat Jagan, in a public statement noted that in ‘Guyana black people were at the bottom of the ladder.’
What did they do to alter this situation?
Was the assassination of so many black people, the neglect of several communities, thanks to our colonial history, we still have separate ethnically identifiable communities.
I follow the wisdom of my mentors including Mr. Hamilton Green, who I once worked with, that an important and vital requirement, if we are to reach the goal of peace, harmony mutual respect and justice is that we must be able to know the whole truth, and relieve us of the burden of half-truths and nonsense we heard from two Former Presidents.