Impressed by these examples of crossing the political divide
Stabroek News
March 16, 2004

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Dear Editor,

Permit me to express the joy that comes to my heart when our government can cross party lines to recruit the skills and talent that reside in Guyanese across the political divide. Our government's willingness to engage the services of Mr Rashleigh Jackson, Dr. Kenneth King and Sir Shridath Ramphal-all former ministers of the PNC government-is indeed commendable and a demonstration of maturity. Equally commendable was the willingness of these distinguished sons of our soil to put narrow partisan interests aside and come to our nation's rescue.

Although this is a far cry from the level of inclusiveness that is really needed and the Government may have only done so out of desperation, when its back was against the wall, we will all agree that this is a step in the right direction. These experiences are living examples of what we can achieve when we synergize. To derive maximum benefit from our human resources we need to practice synergy with greater enthusiasm and increased frequency.

The willingness of these gentlemen to bring their talent to bear for the good of all Guyanese should serve as a great lesson to those who are of the belief that those on the opposite side are only bent on removing the government from office. This reminds me of what Mr. Hoyte - my mentor and my hero - once told me. He said, "Artie, despite all this talk about race, I think that in their heart of hearts our people couldn't care who is in government, as long as there is fair play and they can enjoy a decent life."

I think this is so true. He further went on to say, that he would have really loved for the PPP to do the right things and govern properly so that he can resign from the leadership, as it was not his desire to die in politics. His wish was to spend his final years peacefully at home making up for lost time with his loving wife, reading some of the many books he had accumulated in his library, and listening to his collection of music. Unfortunately, fate did not have it this way-he was suddenly called to higher service.

It is time our government realizes that we can ill afford to continue the sidelining and exclusion of those who are not supporters of the ruling party. Contrary to what exists in communist countries, in a democratic society there will always be opposition, and after eleven years in government we should have already gotten used to this idea. It is a great folly to see the opposition parties as enemies (rather than competitors who are also interested in the good of Guyana). The fact is that many of us who enter the political fray do so out of a yearning to make a contribution to our country's development, and a burning desire to leave a proud legacy. It will be judicious of our leaders therefore, to take advantage of this desire if our nation is to ever have a rendezvous with prosperity.

Yours faithfully,

Artie Ricknauth