Mr Ramjattan has demonstrated qualities of leadership
Stabroek News
March 3, 2004

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Dear Editor,

Your letter columns have been very useful in updating me on many issues that Guyana currently faces. The views expressed therein have elicited from me reactions from consternation to absolute agreement.

When I read letters sanctioning the crimes of the 'phantom squad', I am deeply troubled. After eight years of killing Guyanese babies inside the womb, we now feel comfortable executing Guyanese of any age once they cause us some inconvenience. Eight years ago, the Christian church had warned the PPP/C government that they were on the 'slippery slope' when they took the decision to legalise abortion. Those warnings were disregarded with the result that the culture of death has become deeply entrenched in the psyche of that party so that even in the face of serious allegations against the Minister of Home Affairs, the President of Guyana, has not seen it fit to treat investigation of the matter with any urgency, and has, in fact, by his actions endorsed the disregard for the rule of law and the right to life of every single Guyanese. It is difficult to feel comfortable under such a government.

I have followed the fracas between the PPP/C and Mr Ramjattan that has led to his expulsion from the party. I am of the view that Mr Ramjattan has demonstrated qualities that recommend him for leadership in this nation, and I want to take this opportunity to commend him for his boldness and fairness. A country that is so deeply divided along racial lines needs the quality of leadership that responds to issues in a magnanimous manner thus satisfying the cry for justice from the diverse groups it represents. To my mind, Mr Ramjattan's recommendation that Mr Gajraj step down and allow an independent inquiry is such a response. The PPP/C continues to mouth its commitment to all the Guyanese people, but their actions only disqualify them for leadership of this nation. They continue to sweep under the carpet the issues that divide our people in the hope that they would just be solved by magic. They continue to justify their actions by comparing themselves with the worst examples of 'best practice.' And their claim to a new era of democracy is made a mockery of when within their own ranks they fail to demonstrate the regard for dialogue, debate, and participation that now characterizes encounters at every forum. What we, as the Guyanese public, have been able to glean from the PPP/C's 'washing their dirty linen in public' only confirms that the party lacks the breadth and integrity to lead this nation along the path of development.

A word of advice to Mr Ramjattan: You don't put new wine in old wine skins; you don't put a new patch on an old garment. I recommend that he reads Jesus' words in Matthew 9:16 & 17. Mr Ramjattan doesn't need the PPP/C to fulfil his political aspirations.

There are many Guyanese who embrace the same ideals that he has dared to stand up for and they are simply waiting for a critical mass of people of like mind to arise and refuse to be manipulated by the narrow-minded, partisan, race politics and politicians that have hindered this country's development since its independence.

Let go, Mr Ramjattan. There is future for a man of your courage of conviction in this country. Fate will help you and all of us.

Finally, I have noted that your paper has repeatedly highlighted the issue of corporal punishment in a bad light. This has saddened me, because truth is not served when we equate corporal punishment with child abuse. There are clear differences in motivation, method, and end result.

Many a scholar who would have been branded autistic, attention deficit disorder (ADD) can testify to the effectiveness of a judicious caning among other methods of discipline. I would be first to do so since some of my primary school teachers may still be alive and reading this letter. Let's not do what the old adage warns against: "throw out the baby with the bath water."

Yours faithfully,

Phyllis Jordan