Appreciating a unique democratic tradition
Guyana Chronicle
October 21, 2003

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We tend sometimes not to recognize or appreciate what is closest to us, or something we see very often.

For example, the weekly report to the news media by Dr. Roger Luncheon, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Presidential Secretariat, is so regular and consistent that there is the possibility of us failing to recognize the worth of his contribution.

Are there many countries in the world where the media is briefed weekly on the Government's Cabinet decisions within a day of its decision-making? Look around and observe that such examples are hard to find.

But this service can be said to be part of the democratic process, wherein transparency supercedes secrecy or delays in informing the citizens of a country what is taking place that affects the lives of one and all.

Sometimes the media, which not only are invited to hear of Cabinet decisions every week, but also find there are no restrictions on questions, ignore the wealth of information being provided and treat the information with scant attention.

In most countries where this service is not available, print, TV and radio journalists have to dig for such information - information that is provided in Guyana with such ease and frequency.

Dr. Luncheon and his Cabinet colleagues are to be complimented on and encouraged to keep up this service to the country's citizenry.

The restoration of democracy eleven years ago has brought so many changes to our society that some fail to understand or appreciate what we have now. But our gains must not only be appreciated and nurtured; they must also be understood in the context of what existed before and what exists in countries not so advanced in democratic standards, as is Guyana.

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