A time to forge ahead Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
January 1, 2002

IT'S a time for resolutions, for vowing to change for the better or for doing things long left unfinished.

The start of a New Year is also a time for stocktaking, for looking back and for looking ahead.

It's been a testing year for Guyana and thankfully it has pulled through, its people showing a determination to overcome their differences and to forge ahead.

There could have been more from the political dialogue President Bharrat Jagdeo started with Opposition Leader, Mr. Desmond Hoyte but they have made a start and managed to stay with it up to the end of the year.

That is significant because as long as people talk, there is hope that their discussions will bear fruit and that barriers will be broken down for the common good.

The two men are expected to continue their `dialogue process' this year and if both pursue it with zeal and determination, there is no reason why political stability should not be preserved and built upon.

There is more than enough reason for them to persevere in talking their differences through and in trying to arrive at consensus on matters of national importance.

The post-elections period this year saw clear and persistent attempts at destabilising the country with disturbances and beatings and looting, particularly in parts of the East Coast Demerara.

That was a testing period but the majority of citizens showed they were determined to stay off that road and the Police and Army did yeoman service to ensure the rule of law prevailed and that the country did not go down the disastrous path some other countries have been forced upon.

Steps have to be taken to guard against similar attempts in the future and vigilance has to be maintained to preserve the gains achieved thus far.

As we have noted before, it is important for civil society to take a keener interest in the political process and to speak out frankly and fairly when the occasion demands it.

It should not be silent in the face of excesses from any quarter and it should be among those in the vanguard of building and preserving the fledgling democracy.

There are many challenges ahead and industrial and political stability would be critical if Guyana is to make any headway against the obstacles that would be thrown up this year.

Guyanese have shown that they can live peacefully together and that they can look out for each other.

They have shared this Christmas with the warmth and fervour of the traditional Guyanese Christmas spirit and are moving into the New Year with renewed hopes of building further on the ties that bind them.

The challenges of the time demand that Guyanese resolve to go the extra mile to clearing the hurdles to nation building and to stop dwelling in the caves of the past.

There must be resolute steps towards national unity and it is our hope that resolutions of this nature will feature prominently at the start of this New Year and take firm hold as the year progresses.