Burnham must be judged on the effects of his rule

Stabroek News
August 18, 2001

Dear Editor,

The letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] from Mr Hamilton Green on the Burnham legacy (9.8.200l) made for interesting reading. There seems to be this co-ordinated effort to rehabilitate Mr Burnham's image, to show the man as someone that he was not. We must judge a leader by when he came into office and what he did, what lasting legacy he left.

The Burnham years in office left a nation badly divided, racially and economically. In the sixties Guyana was ahead of any other country in the Caribbean in economic progress. When Mr Burnham was out of office in 1985 we had hit rock bottom. A proud people, we were worse off than Haiti.

While Mr Burnham may have had some good ideas it was always his and the party's way over that of the nation. It was not what was good for the nation that came first. Mr Burnham's interest was first, the party's second and the nation came a distant third.

Guyana has some of the brightest and finest minds both Africans and East Indians, these people were made to flee to North America because of Mr Burnham' s policy.

The East Indians, apart from the wealthy ones, were made to feel like third class citizens. The Africans were made so dependant on the party that they forgot to think for themselves. He put in office some of the most incompetent people. The bright Africans who could have made a huge difference in his government left the country when they realised what his policy was.

It would take many years to repair the damage and distrust that Mr Burnham wreaked on the Guyanese people.

It's so shameful that a once proud people must be harassed by the Barbadians. It's the Burnham era, Mr Green, that has turned the Guyanese people into beggars whereby they have to seek employment with the arrogant Barbadians. Remember when the Bajans used to come to Guyana in the sixties, we never treated them like that.

To the Guyanese people I say please look beyond the race issue do not let yourselves be used for political gains, to the leaders stop fighting among yourselves and put the country first.

Yours faithfully,
Roy Khan