The culture of lawlessness is many pronged
Stabroek News
January 31, 2002

Dear Editor,

Guyana is like a garden with a very large tree in the centre of the garden, with large branches extending to all the borders of the garden and because of the lack of adequate sunshine reaching the ground all else in the garden suffers. That tree is "the culture of lawlessness."

There is one branch named "carnage on the roads" with sub branches:- (a) Animals straying on the roads. (b) Building materials dumped on the roads. (c) Drying of paddy on the roads. (d) Private construction on the roads. (e) Obstruction of the restricted areas at the junction of roads. (f) Dangerous drivers on the roads. (g) Driving licences in the hands of unqualified drivers. (h) Noise nuisances from vehicles in the form of music. (i) Overcrowding of passenger carrying vehicles. (j) Deterioration of roads because of bad practice etc. etc.

There is another branch named "corruption" with sub branches:- (a) In deeds registry. (b) In the ministries. (c) In the legal system etc., as explained by Dr R Luncheon at one of his cabinet media briefings.

There is another branch named "the government's blind eye to illegal activities" with sub branches:- (a) Illegal squatting which grows to such an extent that the government is incapable of handling. (b) The sale of alcoholic beverages without a licence. (c) Abusive language in public places. (d) The flourishing black economy. (e) The problem of littering the city and countryside.

There is another branch named "government's action that is bad for the economy". Due to a bad economy, businesses are finding themselves in problems and have to cease operations. Lots of businesses cannot compete with the vendors who have little or no overheads. When businesses close some of the employees turn to vending, resulting in the ever growing black economy.

There is another branch named "poor education system" with sub branches:- (a) Which ignores the need for a proper education in the English language which is needed if we are to fit into the global economy. Creolese will not get us anywhere. I have seen interviews on the TV, most of the interviewees speak a dialect that will not be understood by the rest of the world, (at times I have difficulty understanding the dialect). This is no credit to our education system. (b) The alarming amount of males under the age of 22 years that cannot read or write (the same cannot be said for the females).

There is another branch named "the inability of government to recognise what is really happening in Guyana" with sub branches:- (a) Mainly because of the culture of lawlessness, asking people to do the right thing does not work. (b) One of the basics of human psychology is people will do the things they know they will get away with. (c) In lots of cases the tail is wagging the dog, this happens when there is a weak government. (d) Lack of recognition of what really adds up to carnage on our roads (a few cosmetic changes will not stop the carnage). (e) The law of the jungle (too many big ones who are not setting good examples).

The government will have to seriously attack that tree, "The culture of lawlessness". It is the only respectable way forward. No country on earth could eradicate lawlessness completely, but with some effort it could be alleviated.

Yours faithfully,

Vic Lobert