Wishes and predictions for 2003

Stabroek News
January 5, 2003

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Sunday Stabroek asked a few prominent citizens in Guyana for their wishes and predictions for the New Year. Here is what they had to say.

Michael Gilkes,

Wish - "My wish is a general one - that we learn that conflict resolves nothing and that war cannot bring peace."

Prediction - "It's a tough one and I'd rather not say, but I predict that people would eventually discover that similarities are more important than differences. My prediction is that people will discover this and world peace will then become possible."

Nigel Hughes
Presient, Bar Association

Wish - "That we resolve the underlying fundamental problems that affect the society - politically and economically."

Prediction - "It will be a very depressing year nationally, worse than 2002."

Ravi Dev
Leader of ROAR

Wish - "That we will have power-sharing in 2003."

Prediction - "We will not have power- sharing in 2003."

Robert Hanoman

Wish - "The two parties come together and have dialogue and get this country off its feet. The economy will kick-start. It would not take much for this country, for the private sector which is the engine of growth, could be firing on all cylinders based on the fact that there is dialogue between the two parties."

Predictions - "2003 will be the turning point. I feel that good things are in store in 2003. I predict that two young men should be at the helm of the country because as the Bible says, 'young men have vision, older men have dreams,' [and] we need vision not dreams. I believe in young people and if it happens I see light at the end of the tunnel. Two young men will turn this country around."

Ryhaan Shah
President, Guyana Indian Heritage Association

Wish - "I wish that God will guide, bless and have mercy on Guyana during 2003. Only through His will are our wishes made possible.

I wish that there be peace and justice in Guyana in 2003 and beyond. I wish further that we find ways to govern ourselves whereby each ethnic/racial group is included and has a meaningful role in the administration of our country. Given the letters that I have been writing to Stabroek News for years, I wish that there would be respect and tolerance from all quarters for Guyana's rich cultural diversity. (Should this happen, I may never have to pen another letter to SN again!)...

There is strength and dignity in honouring the values and beliefs that are at the very core of our essential self, and I hope that all my Indian sisters and brothers will take pride in their heritage and find there the courage to act, speak and stand firm for what is just...

Given Guyana's current morass of hatred, violence, and bloodshed, I wish, finally, for the emergence of young new leaders in all sectors of Guyanese life, leaders who will not bring with them the baggage of our divisive history but leaders who shall stand firm for justice, dignity, decency, grace and strength. This more than anything else is what I wish for."

Beverly Harper

Wish - "My first wish is that the PNC go back into Parliament, that they would seriously sit down with the government and the private sector and discuss and resolve the crime situation, find out where it is coming from and do something about it. They need to do something about crime, poverty, the economy. Most of the people will leave if it continues. My next wish is that the people abide by the seatbelt law and that other traffic laws be put in place to ease the unnecessary death."

Prediction - "That what I wished for will not happen. We will see an escalation in crime and unless it is resolved many of us that are predicting this year will not be around in 2004."

K. Juman-Yassin
President, GOA

Wish - "I wish for peace and stability. Our politicians who are being paid by the taxpayers need to put Guyana first. We should not wait until our problems get out of proportion and then try to solve them; we should look at other countries who had similar problems and ended up with civil wars, and at the end the politicians had to compromise. We should start doing that now."

Prediction - "Uncertainty in the political arena."

James McAllister

Wish - "That the policemen will be better paid, trained and equipped to provide quality service and protection to the citizens."

Prediction - "During the year the stakeholders will positively and productively engage each other on shared government.

Winston Felix will be appointed Commissioner of Police and there will be parliamentary reform thus making parliament more meaningful. West Indies will do very well at the World Cup 2003."

Violet Jean Baptiste
President, African Cultural Development Association

Wish - "I wish that the Government of Guyana moves quickly together with the Opposition of Guyana to work out modalities of co-existence of the major groups of Guyana, which we believe is only possible through shared governance and constitutional inclusiveness."

Prediction - "That the situation in Guyana will deteriorate unless the modalities to co-exist are worked out, to build a society where all groups have a stake in nation building."

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