With Christmas approaching how many Barbadians have registered the news that Grantley Adams Airport (GAIA) is going the route of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to fund the running of the airport? This is an interesting move by the government; a new transaction for Barbados concerning one of our main ports of entry.
As civic minded Barbadians we must insist on transparency. Government has teamed up with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) to help oversee the bidding process.
Reports indicate the government has received several offers from investors to invest $300 million in the PPP. This week we also learned that government granted a 5 year contract to a US-based firm to ramp up marketing of the island’s products and services at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
The upside is that a good PPP will be a win win for Barbados by providing access to the investment to maintain a world class airport therefore relieving government of the ‘responsibility of allocating scare resources and/or attract more debt in times of austerity. The downside is that there must be transparency and Barbados has struggled in this area of governance.
Submitted by CARIBBEAN GUYANA INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY (CGID)
Guyana’s Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), today (Yesterday), June 21, 2019 said via its Facebook Page, that it intends to “file private charges” against me for “inciting violence” because I called on Guyana’s security forces to investigate allegations that the PPP has been acquiring and stockpiling weapons. Calling on the police to investigate a crime or allegation of a crime is not a violation of the law. The responsibility of the Guyana Police Force, and other security forces is to investigate crimes and allegations of crimes. The PPP cannot intimidate me. I’m undeterred by its threat. I therefore reaffirm my call for the Police Force to investigate these allegations.
The PPP is smarting from its own sordid history of political and criminal violence. The PPP government, during Bharrat Jagdeo’s presidency, was accused of, and investigated for, killing over 400 Afro-Guyanese young men. The PPP was also investigated for torture and other crimes against humanity.
Moreover, I also intend to direct my Attorneys to file criminal charges against opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo for making reckless statements on March 10, 2019, at a political rally at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant, Berbice that incited violence against President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government ministers. Jagdeo repeated said statements at press conference at his Church Street, government office on March 14, 2019. Jagdeo’s incendiary statement incontrovertibly incited violence and racial polarization, and constituted a criminal violation of the law.
National Unity and modernity: Priorities For Guyana’s New Coalition Government
Rickford Burke, CGID President
Change has come to Guyana. The nation has put the dark era of the PPP domination behind. Diligent exercise of the franchise has secured the election of President David Granger and his A Partnership Continue reading →
Bisram’s diatribe amplifies the PPP’s tactics to block an Afro-Guyanese from being elected President
Vishnu Bisram, a Queens based pseudo pollster, in a letter published in the Guyana Times on March 1, 2015, alleged that I’m a racist because I established that his party – the PPP, traditionally practices racism against Afro-Guyanese but pretends to love us at election time. If he thinks that condemning the PPP’s oppression of black people in Guyana makes me a racist, then so be it. I wear that label as a badge of honor.
Bisram said my assertion that when President Cheddie Jagan died, Prime Minister Sam Hinds, an Afro-Guyanese, was eviscerated to allow a none-black to take over the presidency, is a fabrication. He also claimed that Mrs. Harper’s selection as the PPP’s prime ministerial candidate demonstrates the PPP’s “multiracial politics.”
The Guyanese nation now ponders the election of a new leader and government to chart a new course for our country.
Our nation needs a rebirth. It has been perennially plagued by racial strife; social and economic stagnation; morally and intellectually bankrupt governance; abject criminality; unparalleled PPP corruption and political decay.
Now is the time to unshackle our country from the morass engendered by the discredited PPP leadership.
To accomplish this, we need a new leader with a bold new vision to transform our society and inspire the current generation of young Guyanese, who long for advancement, prosperity and a better way of life. We need a new leader who can unleash our developmental potential and propel the nation toward the path of modernity.
Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (Press Release)
President Donald Ramotar(l) and former President Bharrat Jagdeo(r)
Recent reports in the Kaieteur News “Ramotar demotes Chronicle Editor after ‘Jagdeo’ story,” (22/3/2014), Guyana Times, “Jagdeo most formidable candidate –combined Opposition poll,” (20/3/2014) and Guyana Chronicle “Jagdeo favoured as PPP/C presidential candidate” (21/3/2014) confirms the disservice being done to this society by those misusing the fourth estate (media) in the façade for power grab. The GTUC is concerned about the level of misrepresentation and the implications it has for distorting public perception of understanding.
This society is being bombarded with fake polls, including the infamous NACTA poll, as a new weapon of the PPP that was good for President Ramator until the same weapon was turned against him. GTUC notes the president’s haste to act on this matter and calls on him to address the management of the State-owned media not only for self-serving reason but for the national good. The haste to address acts to preserve self-interest is contrary to action for the national good which the president can be very slothful about. This rapid reaction sends a signal that weren’t there negative reference to/implication for him, or his position personally threatened, this abuse of the state media would have been ignored.
GTUC is further concerned this Opinion Poll seems to have been conjured in some dark dungeon of Mr. Jagdeo and his cohorts corrupt minds and first published in the Guyana Times as a means of establishing face validity. The combined political opposition reportedly denied knowledge of commissioning this poll, which is contrary to the attribution given by the Times and Chronicle. The nation must now ask what ‘opposition’ solicited this poll and on whose interest it was commissioned, along with the methodology used. That this Poll’s coverage first appeared in the Guyana Times and storyline/plot later regurgitated in the Guyana Chronicle speaks to the misuse and abuse of the state media apparatus to positively rebrand Mr. Jagdeo’s despotic presidency, and foist on this nation its worst leader in history as more favourable in the public than other potential leaders.
Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
Rickford Burke, CGID President
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Rickford Burke is slapping libel and defamation lawsuits against the Guyana Chronicle newspapers and National Commutations Network (NCN) Television, entities of Guyana’s ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. A defamation suit is also being filed against PPP website Newguymedia.com. The legal action stems from publication of false and slanderous allegations that Burke was arrested in New York for identity theft, when he was in fact the victim of identity theft. Burke has retained prominent Guyanese Attorney Nigel Hughes.
The Institute’s Director of Commutations Jevon Suralie in a statement Thursday described the articles as “fabricated sleaze” and said the Chronicle newspaper and NCN TV were “utensils of filth and racist PPP propaganda.” Pointing to false and malicious comments from President Donald Ramotar’s communications officer, Suralie accused Guyana’s Office of the President of peddling smear. He noted that the president’s communications officer has been charged with assault and investigated for alleged child rape and contended that “It’s ironic he would indulge in defamation of this sort. It is also inconceivable that President Donald Ramotar would allow his office to operate as “cesspool for slander” he added.
Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: In the wake of last week’s Guyana Police shooting to death of three African-Guyanese protesters and wounding of thirty others in the mining town of Linden, the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), says it is “dismayed” by the “deafening silence” from African-Guyanese members of Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government and has called on them to condemn the killings.
“I’m dismayed and frankly disgusted that African-Guyanese members of the PPP Cabinet have remained silent in light of the unjustifiable shootings and killings of African-Guyanese. This is a stunning lack of dignity and value for human life. Apparently, compassion for the lives of their fellow Afro-Guyanese citizens and a sense of common decency are is too much to ask of these PPP members. They seem so struck by the ‘Stockholm’ or house-slave” syndrome that they have lost their sense of identity,” CGID President Rickford Burke said Thursday.
Burke’s fire was directed at Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer Westford, Human Services Minister Jennifer Webster, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon, junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, and junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker, the African-Guyanese members of President Donald Ramotar’s cabinet.
Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress - Press Release
In its usual politics of lies, fear and race baiting, the Government of Guyana has taken a legitimate response of Buxtonians to their façade of interest during an electoral campaign as an opportunity to drive fear in the minds of Buxtonians and by extension, the dissenting populace in an ongoing effort to paralyse them into inaction. The PPP political strategist knows only too well that the average human psyche will reject action deemed lawless, offensive and threatening social stability, and they will also reject those who it is claimed are responsible for this behaviour. As a result of their validated embrace of lawlessness and the rejection they now face by this nation it is clear that the machinery for creating public mischief has gone into overdrive. Their most recent and ongoing efforts to present a daily media image of behaviour intended to conjure images of fear, even as they label citizens exercising their right to expression, movement and assembly as hooligans, mobsters and lawless, should not be taken as an isolated action but a carefully orchestrated strategy to denigrate one section of our society and set them up as targets for social despise and even destruction.
Describing exuberant Buxtonians demonstrating during a PPP campaign in a village that has felt the brunt of PPP discriminatory politics, marginalization, destruction of their economic livelihood, and village pride, even as many were brutally gunned down, victims of extra judicial and state and narco-associated phantom squads, as hooligans and mobsters, is setting the stage for a continuation of state sponsored violence and pariah status of Buxtonians, the political opposition and the African Guyanese community. It is the ugly beginnings of a people set up for demonization, marginalization and destruction for political gain and entrenchment of political power. It is setting the stage for society to accept their destruction by this regime. This nation must recall the lies and unsubstantiated labels placed at the feet of others as the current regime covered their tracks and lied to this nation of their criminal links and associations established in the US court of credible justice and among the international and diplomatic communities as revealed in wiki Leaks.
Guyana's outgoing President Bharrat Jagdeo in a rambling tirade
NEW YORK: The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Sunday launched a scathing condemnation of Guyana’s outgoing president, Bharrat Jagdeo. Accusing the Guyanese leader of stoking racial fears to incite violence and civil conflict as a campaign tactic in the run up to the November 28, general elections, the group charged that Jagdeo violated newly enacted “anti-incitement” laws.
Jagdeo triggered a deluge of outrage Saturday night when at a PPP rally at Bartica, a town in Essequibo county, he railed that if elected the opposition APNU coalition would give criminals guns to kill residents. Bartica is the hub of the gold and diamond mining community and gateway to Guyana’s natural resource-rich interior. The town, an APNU monopoly, suffered a robbery/massacre on February 17, 2008, which claimed twelve lives.
Exploiting the security angst of citizens, Jagdeo speculated that if the opposition wins the November 28 general election criminals would be armed with weapons from security forces. “You have had some theft of weapons from the army in the past but if they were to get into power… they will get the weapons to give to the bandits…“They have a track-record of supporting criminal gangs like those that killed 12 persons in Bartica on February 17, 2008.”
In photo: Bisram in a vote PPP white hat and India's flag, holding on to his hero, Donald Ramotar at the Indian Parade in NY - Photo Credit: Guyana Observer
On October 31, 2011 Stabroek News published a letter by Vishnu Bisram captioned “NACTA poll puts PPP in lead.” The letter provided results of a purported tracking poll, allegedly conducted by an entity calling itself the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA),” which gauged popular support for political parties contesting next month’s general elections in Guyana.
Bisram, who published said results and wrote the referenced letter, also claims to have conducted this poll himself. His multi-tasking reminds me of the story told about a remote “Dixie” town in rural America; where an out of State driver passing through town was pulled over by a highway patrol and ticketed for speeding. He overnighted at a local hotel to attend court the next day. On exiting the hotel the following morning, he recognizes that the newspaper man is the cop who ticketed him. After breakfast he dropped in at the post office to send off a letter, only to discover that the cop is also the mailman. When he arrived in court, the same cop looked at him and said “court is in session.” He was also the judge!
Bisram said that his methodology for this ‘so-called’ poll was random “interviews of 500 voters to yield a demographically representative sample” of the electorate. This pool of 500 voters, he said, comprised: 45% Indians; 30% Africans; 16% Mixed; 8% Amerindians, and 1% other races. He did not specify the geographic locations of the respondents or if the respondents were just people of various races or truly registered voters – an essential factor in determining if this alleged poll truly reflects the views of a representative sample of the “actual” electorate.
I guess that President Jagdeo never read Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”. If he had, he would have assimilated some nuggets of wisdom that are very important and relevant to leadership in nations with diverse populations where there exists or had existed, some degree of tension and ethnic or racial security concerns. In one of his enlightening quotes Mandela opined, ….”No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.
People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally from the human heart than the opposite….”. If the mindset of his Excellency the President of Guyana was contoured in the fashion of leaders like Mandela, prior to making the kind of comments he made before virtually homogeneous audiences at Babu John in 2006 prior to the elections and again in 2011 prior to upcoming elections, maybe, just maybe, he would have recognized that such words were verbal fodders destined to invoke hate and antipathy.
What gives more legs to the thought process that his Excellency the President of Guyana is particularly selective in what he wants to create in the minds of different segments of the Guyanese population, was his admonishment to Buxtonians during his politically expedient visit to that village, that they should forget the past and move on.
PPP General Secretary Donald Ramotar and President Bharrat Jagdeo, the PPP twin devils of racism and deception
Since the PPP government took office in Guyana in 1992, it has systemically promoted racism and ethnic division, and has established an ethnocracy which has an insidious noose around the neck of African Guyanese population with which it attempts to subjugate and render it servile.
They have opposed every African-Guyanese former PNC government official who has been nominated for senior international and/or local positions, but has without reservation supported and embraced East Indians who have been similarly nominated – a manifestation of an entrenched, congenital belief in ethnic and racial supremacy.
Here are a few examples: Jagdeo and the racist PPP opposed Carl Greenidge for Secretary General for the ACP as well as Caricom Trade Negotiator and Clarence Ellis as Director of the World Bank and IDB.
To the contrary, Jagdeo and the racist PPP have supported Sir Shridath Ramphal in every international or regional undertaking and appointment. They have also supported the appointment of Dr. Mohammed Shahabuddeen to the World Court and the War Crimes Tribunal.
Submitted by Rickford Burke, President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
The principle of political exclusion articulated in the AFC’s statement of July 24, 2010 may transpose, if not obviate, consideration of that party’s political philosophy. Until now, the AFC’s ethos seemed stimulating and revitalizing to Guyana’s political culture – it endowed the party with an enviable momentum as general elections speculation become rife and election manoeuvrings gain primacy in the ruling PPP. But Guyana’s political history is replete with lessons of parties that adopt insular policies that paralyzed their evolution and reduced them to mere academic instruction – mere footnotes of history. In this regard, Edmund Burke’s axiom “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” proves timeless, and seems to have been envisaged for this circumstance. Is the AFC doomed to repeat history?
The AFC’s statement affirmed its executive committee’s determination that “Alliances and partnerships should be forged with the majority decision being that the AFC, as early as is possible, proceed to forge alliances with civic society groups, like-minded political entities, and even personalities from both the PPP/C and the PNC/R, but not with the PPP/C or the PNC/R as political organizations. The pre-election exclusion of the latter two from the process of alliance building and partnership was in recognition that these two parties are wholly incompatible with the AFC, which is the Party of the future; and, that the AFC ultimately will not be able to maintain its identity and core principles if it were to ally with either one of them.”
The anticipated election in Trinidad and Tobago is now history and Patrick Manning’s People’s National Movement (PNM) has been retired to the opposition benches. Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning in a fit of dementia decided to go back to the electorate almost two and a half years before the election was constitutionally due. He must of thought the T&T electorate was of his own state of mind. Perhaps Manning like Erskine Lloyd Sandiford before him believed it was better to sacrifice it all as a catalyst to usher in a rebirth of their respective parties.
Guyana’s election is the next which will be followed with heightened interest for more reasons than one. The election is constitutionally due in about twelve months. For those who have been following developments in recent years it could prove an important election for Guyana and by extension the Caribbean. The Indo-flavoured government of Bharat Jagdeo has been at the end of a flood of corruption and racially motivated charges in recent months. If one can judge from the level of emigration flows to the smaller and less resource rich neighbouring islands, conclusions can be drawn that the incumbent government has not been creating enough opportunities to reasonably satisfy its domestic market.
Regional Pollster Peter Wickham of CADRES has whetted the appetite of the pundits by issuing a Press Release (credit to Peter Wickham – summary of a March 2010 survey) which makes for interesting reading. One year out it looks like Mr. Raphael Trotman’s Alliance For Change (AFC) is a third party which cannot be ignored. Of interest to many is the support of the incumbent PPP/Civic, still leading the pack and this is despite a barrage of accusations alleging corruption in government.