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The Irfaan Ali government continues to demonstrate the “One Guyana” he is preaching about does not mean all Guyanese. This One Guyana means what the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government says and not anyone else, even if their proposal or suggestion makes more sense. The government also continues to manage the affairs of state at the exclusion of the main political opposition, the Partnership of National Unity and Alliance for Change coalition, which represents half of the society.
Guyana is a Republic, which means that we are the final moulders of our destiny. Suffice to say this destiny must be guided by the desires of all Guyanese not a few. In building Guyana, based on the motto of One People, One Nation, One Destiny, it means Guyanese must move forward on common people with a common purpose. For instance, what are the determinants in building a nation where all are allowed equitable participation, not only at elections but daily, to benefit from the nation’s resources, irrespective of race, class, creed and political association?
Will the environment be protected for all based on common values of cleanliness, health and sustainable development or will political narrow mindedness and the oil companies be allowed to determine this, including dealing with oil spill, local content, flaring and a dirty city, etc? Guyanese know we are courting disasters allowing multinational corporations with the support of the government to do as they please with our national resources, and that political spitefulness will rule the day. There is no National Development Strategy that will include all Guyana and all Guyanese or any sense of assurance this is likely to happen.
These aforementioned are genuine concerns in ethnically divided societies as ours to be answered; problems to be addressed and resolved in the interest of Guyana and all Guyanese. This is the One Guyana Guyanese deserve but which is not happening.
The PPP/C government has hired an international public relations and international firm, at the hefty price tag of US$25,000 per month to promote its image in the international community. This princely sum will also be paid by those who are being excluded from Guyana’s development, marginalised or feel compelled to hang their mouth where the soup is dripping or pick the crumbs that fall from the table in order to survive.
Guyanese tax dollars are funding the international deceit of the Government and their internal subjugation of sections in society. And whilst it is true Guyanese should be capable of settling their differences amongst themselves and working together to build a Guyana where all can succeed, feel safe and live in a healthy environment that is not the government plan. Their failure to include all necessitate a call to action by the excluded.
The “One Guyana” is mask to implement the plan of exclusion and discrimination. The government has already shown they are prepared to spend the people’s money to prop up this farce. In circumstances like these political Opposition, civil society and trade unions have a responsibility to internationalise the true reality of Guyana. The world must be told the truth lest it be misconstrued the marginalized and disposed are comfortable with their dispossession and exclusion.
In the global environment, particularly where there are caveats to secure international funding and support for government’s projects, people have to start speaking up and lobbying internationally. The saying that no one can speak for you other than yourself holds true. Whilst it is all well and good to speak out in Parliament, media, social media and other platforms these communications have to also be pointed and specifically directed to the right international sources which could make more meaningful difference.