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On Monday, President Irfaan Ali announced the Government will double the pay for local artistes who performed in the ‘one Guyana’ Cricket Carnival concert. The announcement came less than a week after Ali announced an across the board eight per cent increase for public sector workers.
Shadow Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Ganesh Mahipaul, weighing in on the pay matter said he is not against the support for local artistes but would have also liked the president to pay public sector workers more.
According to the shadow minister the artistes, “are all doing well for our country but I want to hear an announcement for the doubling of salaries for all public servants, teachers, doctors, durses, policemen and women, firemen and women and our soldiers.”
“The funny thing about this installed regime,” said Mahipaul, “is that the hardworking tax-paying Guyanese who pay their fair share of taxes by way of PAYE and when shopping are the ones not being treated with respect.”
“The drivers of the public service, the people who serve us, our children and grandchildren in the schools, hospitals, public offices and for God’s sake the people who serve in the Office of the President and Ministries are being disrespected the most.”
Sending a message to those he thinks is receiving less than deserving treatment he said “I support civil disobedience now!!!”
Civil disobedience is a form of peaceful protest against the status quo (political or otherwise) to bring about positive changes in society.
Mahatma Gandhi is famed for his use of civil disobedience to effect change in India, including the achievement of independence.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, an icon and Leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States used a similar approach to change laws in a racially divided society. He achieved among other things the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, Equal Employment Opportunity.
Dr. Cheddie Jagan, Forbes Burnham and other earlier leaders of Guyana’s political struggle used civil disobedience to force the Crown to grant independence and other rights to Guyanese.
According to Mahipaul, “public servants, teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen and women, firemen and women and our soldiers need to send a strong message to this installed regime.”