Corbin calls for progress on national development plan
August 29, 2004
LEADER of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Mr. Robert Corbin has issued a call for progress on the national development plan based on the principles and objectives outlined in the National Development Strategy (NDS).
Delivering the keynote address last Friday at the opening session of the PNC/R’s 14th Biennial Congress being held under the theme `Building a Platform For Peace National Cohesion and Reconstruction’ Corbin commended the work by those who were involved in putting together the NDS.
He acknowledged that the 189 persons who were involved in drafting the document transcended political, ethnic and religious and cultural barriers. He urged Guyanese to get a copy of the document and study it because it is a useful tool in putting together a developmental model for the economic and social transformation of the Guyanese society.
Conceding that the task of achieving consensus on a development plan would be challenging and difficult, he proposed that the NDS form the base from which the process can begin.
The NDS was developed with the aid of the Carter Center but faded into the background because of political differences between the major political parties.
However, it returned to the limelight when ex-US President Jimmy Carter visited Guyana recently and advised that its major provisions be implemented.
On the issue of national cohesion, Corbin urged that both the PNC/R and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) put their pasts behind them as one of the first steps in bringing cohesion in the society, noting that both parties made mistakes in the past.
Concentrating on the faults would only “open old wounds” Corbin contended, adding that if there are still people who feel aggrieved, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, similar to the one in South Africa, should be established.
Corbin was forthright too in condemning race-based violence aimed at Indo-Guyanese, calling on party members and all Guyanese to once again become their “brother’s keepers.”
The PNC/R Congress concludes today with a rally at the Square of the Revolution. (Chamanlall Naipaul)