January 22, 1998
I am able to access Stabroek News once again on the internet. Thank you for your swift response to my e-mail. Like other Guyanese I would also like to comment on the situation in Guyana.
The present problems in Guyana in my view stems from the unilateral declaration of the election results and the clandestine swearing in of Mrs Jagan. This was done in a country where the word "democratic" is being bandied about constantly but there is nothing democratic in such actions. To win an election with a convincing majority and then have so hurried and secretive an inauguration that not even your own voters know about it seems to me more like a slap in the face rather than a "thank you." Such actions also leave all kinds of doubts in people's minds. Everything went wrong from this point. It was unwise and foolish. This type of action would not be accepted by the British or American electorate in their respective countries even though both governments have recognised Mrs Jagan's government. It is no use trying to make Mr Hoyte the scapegoat for the present situation. Mrs Jagan and Mr Doodnauth Singh have to share the blame too.
One letter accused Mr Hoyte of turning his back on "local and foreign businessmen in order to obtain the political kingdom." I never heard voices being raised when the Guyanese economy was being destroyed by constant arson in the canefields year after year. Many of those taking the "high moral ground" now sat back and allowed the sugar industry to go up in smoke. Setting fire to the sugar-cane was a political strategy used to destabilise the incumbent government. Yet no one criticised.
The business situation in Guyana is an interesting one. Indo-Guyanese are sellers, Afro-Guyanese are buyers. They depend on each other but sadly the business community does not respect its Afro-Guyanese buyers. Too much contempt is shown. This was evident on the Internet (13.1.98) in the letter of the Past Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Beni Sankar's response about "Afro-Guyanese and women." Mr Sankar's reply was both racist and sexist. Such remarks don't heal wounds.
When Mr Hoyte was President, I witnessed what looked like "love scenes" between Mr Hoyte and Indo-Guyanese. They garlanded him, they hugged him, they followed him and would not leave his side at functions, many times to the exclusion of Afro-Guyanese who stood on the periphery. I observed these scenes with amazement for I was new back in Guyana and had never seen anything like it before. On enquiring, I was told that the PNC was now more an Indo-Guyanese party than an Afro-Guyanese party. Desmond Hoyte was even being called "Desmond Persaud." Thus it is difficult for me to understand Mr Collymore's remarks that "Indo-Guyanese voters know on which side of their bread the butter is located." If as he claims Indo-Guyanese were suffering then those scenes of affection that I witnessed between the then President Hoyte and Indo-Guyanese were not genuine. I do not want to believe that. I would like to think they showered affection on him on "the basis of issues."
Like all Guyanese, I would like to see peace restored to Guyana, but peace without justice is no peace. With more and more Guyanese migrating to the USA, all the so called terminologies used in white dominated societies are being transferred to Guyana. Hence, in Guyana with a population of only 800,000 or less, people are speaking in terms of "minorities" to show dominance. If Afro-Guyanese are "minorities" I shudder to think what term is being used for Guyana's indigenous people the Amerindian? Or Chinese? Or Portuguese? Many things have to be straightened out in Guyana before the new millennium. The sooner the better for all Guyanese.
Dr June Evans