Sharma should tell the truth
Guyana Chronicle
March 23, 2002

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I noticed that Mr Sharma had a protest march against the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) recently.

First of all, this action highlights the fact that democracy has been restored to this country by the PPP/C Government and citizens are now free to enjoy all those civil rights which were denied them in a previous era.

In addition, the march was open to participation for all and no political/police action was in any way used to inhibit the enjoyment of this fundamental right. I hope Mr Sharma will now go on his TV and acknowledge this fact. Let him praise the Government, as he is so obsessed with criticising them. I also hope that Mr Sharma will make it abundantly clear that the police did not in any way try to prevent the enjoyment of his right to freedom of assembly.

It is a fact that the Head of the Presidential Secretariat (whomsoever he happens to be) is responsible for granting permission for use of the Square of the Revolution. This was the law under the PNC regime and it still is. Donít you agree that we should observe the law, Mr Sharma?

The police also must be cautious in giving permission for use of noisy instruments because of the obvious abuse to which this could lead. Again, it was the PNC who legislated this law, and therefore, this fact should be mentioned on your TV Programme.

The other point is that Mr Sharma is now criticising President Bharrat Jagdeo for not joining in the march. As I understand it from Mr Sharma himself, many other prominent persons, including Opposition leader Mr Desmond Hoyte, Parliamentarians, business people, etc. were invited to join the march.

Mr Sharma should let this nation know that the President was the only person who had the courtesy to respond to his invitation by written communication informing him of his busy schedule and his inability to accept his invitation at this time. None of the other prominent people emulated this courteous action of the President.

How is it then, that Mr Sharma in only crtiticizing the President but the others are not being mentioned?

Come on, Mr Sharma tell the nation the truth! Let the people understand that His Excellency is a very busy person and although he sympathises with them on many issues, they should be satisfied that the President is looking after more important matters of state, rather than frittering away precious time and energy in such a manner.

Even then Mr Sharma, we should all appreciate too that, while we can engage in action at a certain level, the President is expected to focus on those matters at another level. I am sure all will agree that a protesting street President is infra dig for His Excellency as well as for the people of this nation.

Finally, a dignified intervention by the President on this issue does not necessitate his presence on the street. He is more likely to achieve the desired result by remaining in his office and dealing with the matter as President, not as a street protestor.

This nation will be proud to have a dignified, resolute President.
JAMES PHILLIPS