Their predictions and hopes for 2003
What the People say about...
By Andre Haynes
Stabroek News
January 13, 2003

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This week we asked the man/woman-in-the street what were their hopes and their predictions for 2003.

Mugabe Hinds - student: `I hope that Guyana can be a better country and for peace and unity among the races. What I think is destroying the country is the race problem that we have and if we can't work on that there will be a big difficulty in the country. I want to think it will improve this year because when you look at the situation now, we have races working together in offices and in churches. Actually in our church we don't have any problems, we have a mixed congregation. And I think that will be the basis for the better relations.'

Karen Bayley - cashier: `I just hope that it will be a better year. Everyday you're hearing a next bandit was caught. I hope it will be better this year and I think it will be. I don't think this year would be worse than last year, you have police around all the time now. It makes me feel relieved. I used to be afraid when I first started my job in June last year, but now I am not afraid anymore. And I confident that the police would be more successful this year.'

Harry Rampersaud - driver: `For this year I would like to see everyone living in unity, especially the two major races. And if the opposition gets back to parliament and the dialogue continues, I believe the country will move forward. And I have a strong belief it will happen, because that is the only option. I believe that the next leader of the PNCR is going to be Mr Raphael Trotman and he looks like a very reasonable guy. I see him becoming leader and the nation will move forward. We will have dialogue and the PNC will go back to Parliament.'

Beverly Leacock - accounts supervisor: "I hope that peace and tranquility could return to Guyana, but I predict that in this year the economic situation will not improve. It will continue to deteriorate because of the political struggle. And the crime rate is an effect of this, so too is the drug problem that we have. Look at the streets, there are a lot of young guys, intelligent young men who are coming out of school and not doing anything because of the situation, our economic situation, our poverty level. I definitely don't see this year being better than last year."

Sandra Gonsalves - housewife: `I only hope that the country gets better, that we have more jobs and that the crime stops. And I think it will. I see the army and the police are trying harder and I expect them to get results this year."

Don Edwin - private sector employee: `I hope that they create more jobs because a lot of people are not finding work right now. And I also hope they resolve the crime problem. But I think the crime will continue, it will be the same this year. The authorities are trying to stop it but I don't think they will succeed. They didn't last year and I don't see them doing this year either.'

Kenesha Johnson - sales girl: `I hope this year will bring happiness in my relationship. As for the country, I hope things will change for the better. Things went terribly last year, especially in terms of the crime situation. But I expect things to change this year. If the two parties [the PPP\C and the PNCR] come together we will have some kind of peace. I think they will, because although at the moment they don't seem to want to come together, in the present situation they'll have to and I believe they will. I think there will be some peace in the country this year.'

Peter Garraway - businessman: `I hope that the country can get back to what we were before, to being the breadbasket of the Caribbean. In light of the crime situation, I wouldn't hope for the worst, I hope for a reduction. But so far, from the beginning of the year it doesn't seem likely. The year has begun with crime. As for the political situation, I think we will get past this impasse because persons are now coming to the realisation that it doesn't make any sense. More people are coming to this realisation and that is why I think the political leaders will come together and the nation will move forward.'

Adjua Boucher - housewife: `Right now I hope for peace. I hope that everybody tries to live in peace and the crime situation can come to an end. But if the government doesn't step up and try to take charge, things will never change. The President, along with the Opposition needs to initiate the first steps. They should work together. And when I say work together, I don't just mean talking to get the communities to believe that they are doing something when they are not. I mean actually working, a lot of work needs to be done. And if they can work together, I actually believe that it can happen. That we can have peace in the country. But I don't think there will be any changes.'

John Beaton - security guard: `I hope for betterment, in employment and in salaries. Once the police force gets strict they can solve the criminal situation. And I believe they are getting more strict. Hopefully this year will be better than last year. And I think the government is working to better the situation. Look at the rise in gas prices. I had to pay $140 on the minibus from Zeelugt to town, now its back down to $120 because they lowered the consumption tax. And if they continue working like this, I think we will have a better year.'

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