EYEWITNESS: Blaming the victim…


…in sugar

The arrogance of this Government and its minions knows no bounds. Your Eyewitness still can’t get over the comments made by the PNC-appointed REO of Reg 6 at the event to commemorate the 105th anniversary of 14 workers murdered by the colonial government on behalf of the sugar producers in 1913.

She said the 5700 fired sugar workers are too “timid and afraid” to take advantage of the Government’s “diversification” of the sugar industry, and wanted them to know what it took for them to be “enjoying the good life” delivered by the PNC Government!!

Can you believe this? Especially being delivered to folks whose parents were among the 14 killed and scores wounded. And yes, that kind of carnage couldn’t be inflicted by single-shot rifles, but by one of the new “machine guns” that would be used in the upcoming “Great War”. It was like shooting fishes in a tank. And they would have grown up on stories of their parents’ sacrifice, not delivered to them from books, but at the knees of those who lived to tell of the horror.

“Timid and afraid”?? Does this REO know of the grit and determination it takes to wake up even before the cock has crowed to head to the fields to cut their minimum quota of two and a half tons of cane? And then fetching those two and a half tons of cane ON THEIR HEADS to dump in punts after jumping dozens of drains? And to do that six days a week for months? Does the REO know of the courage it takes to be a cane cutter, knowing before they turn fifty, “their hair will be grey but not with years”? And with broken bodies? Defining them as “cane harvesters” – as the PNC did in the seventies – suggesting they were gathering cane like flowers, didn’t change anything about lives that were “nasty, short and brutish”.

But what “diversification” is the REO talking about. The PNC Government PROMISED that all right; but where was it delivered? Have they even SUGGESTED grading the fields that are specially adapted for sugar cane to accommodate, say, lentils? How about “aquaculture,” which was also mentioned? Is this another case of waiting till “you GOTTA go”, before you start building latrines? Well, the s***t has hit the fan…but sadly it’s the cane cutters who’re caught in the mess.

“Good life”?? Where??  Your Eyewitness isn’t even confining his question to the sugar belt…pick ANY community outside of the Government’s ministers and favoured insiders and let’s see this “good life”!

This is the kind of contempt that’s developed when a party knows it is assured of being returned to office.

By hook AND by crook!! Mostly by crook.

…in green power generation

Well, here it was, one citizen wasn’t “timid and afraid” to respond to the new Government’s call for the nation to “Go green”. But, unfortunately, he dared to believe the Government really meant for Guyanese to explore and exploit non-fossil sources for generating energy, and not just painting his Hotel APNU green!!

The sad tale unfolded in the eastern end of our dear country (but no “wise men” advised this hotelier!), where the enterprising citizen imported a windmill that could generate 350KVA of electricity.

Being in excess of what he could utilise, he’s frustrated by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and GPL refusal to take off this power from his hands – in Berbice where power shortages and outages are endemic during the day. In so many words, the poor fellow confessed it was like tilting at windmills, and he’s about ready to ship the windmill from whence it came! (India, not Holland!!)

Seems like GPL has informed him that, unlike, say, California, where you can supply ANY amount of excess electricity to the grid (and be credited) in a process called “net metering”, you have to generate at least 1.5MW before GPL will look at you!!

The poor fella would’ve been better served if he’d painted his hotel green!!


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