Tearing each other down

Stabroek News
August 24, 2001

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] by Bobby Gossai captioned "Dr Hinds' power sharing proposals are not accurate" (2l.8.200l). I have no claim to scholarship in political science but I find it disturbing that so many talented and educated Guyanese spend so much time tearing each other down and so little time striving together for solutions to the many crises that our small country faces.

Having read Dr Hinds' submission I am only left to conclude that Mr. Gossai wrote his piece, hoping that very few persons would have read Dr. Hinds' letter or accessed his website themselves and so would not know that Dr. Hinds stated the following "I wish to caution those who have been clamouring for a structure that these are meaningless if the case or the justification for shared governance is not properly appreciated by the masses of Guyanese people..." and "Ultimately, in a democracy it is the people's support of a system that gives it legitimacy. So they must know why there is need for power sharing." Why else would Mr. Gossai suggest that consent of those who give power is something "Dr. Hinds' thesis failed to address".

Mr. Gossai goes on to imply that Dr. Hinds fails to identify the government institutions that will help in making the implementation process a reality. Again Dr. Hinds' letter went to great lengths to suggest the structures that would support power sharing in the context of Guyana. It places emphasis on the constitutionally enshrined safeguards that are required. In my humble opinion it is not up to Dr. Hinds to guarantee a system that will facilitate the smooth transition of the process. What is required is a willingness among the politicians and the people to make a system work. It is most perplexing that anyone, especially a doctoral student, would suggest that Dr. Hinds' proposal will be "hanging on the walls of abstraction" unless he can ensure that government institutions are capable of managing anticipated inertia in the society.

Finally Mr. Gossai is inclined to dismiss power sharing for Guyana since there is no universal model that can be applied. I am sure Mr. Gossai would have observed that Dr. Hinds' proposal does not attempt to follow a "specific prescription" as he puts it, but rather it represents an attempt to put forward a system that takes cognizance of the peculiarities of politics and life in Guyana. Of course constructive criticism makes for enlightening discussion, but what is most alarming to me is Mr. Gossai's need to be so negative without any attempt to build on what should be seen as a worthy suggestion, especially in light of the continuous turmoil in our country. One would think that every enlightened mind would be working assiduously towards finding a solution and be more than willing to explore any well thought through proposal that comes to hand.

In closing I look forward to the time when I can read the letters in the media and see a genuine effort among our people to support each other's efforts to make Guyana a place where the thought of sharing power does not evoke such desperate responses.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address supplied)