Eyewitness: Conversations…

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…and hot air

Imagine the UN office in Guyana teamed up with the University of Guyana and the ERC (constituted of a representative of EVERY social group in Guyana – no matter how they define themselves!) organised a virtual “National Conversation on Ethnic Relations” and they weren’t able to attract more than 60 participants!! And those 60 consisted of the dozen or so participants and the usual suspects from the chatterati class in Georgetown.

It was a big yawn. First of all, the programme was supposed to start at 9am, but didn’t get going till some 40 minutes had elapsed. During which, all sorts of candid (and not so flattering) shots of the organisers and the moderators were flashed to the public! If this is the lot that’s supposed to help us to find some sanity out of the political bog that the PNC had thrown us into, God help us all! Now before the selected “ethnic representatives” from Guyanese society gave their spiel, the heads of the aforementioned sponsor organisations uttered some meaningless, anodyne platitudes. The one from the UN rep was especially objectionable. When she invoked the BLM movement that just swept the US protesting “white oppression”, she never got around to showing what this had to do with Guyana where a Black government ruled Guyana for 33 of the 54 years we’ve been independent!!

Surprisingly, the PNC’s Joseph Harmon was invited to speak as the “Leader of the Opposition” (LOO). Since Harmon insists the PPP Government is illegitimate, one wonders why the ERC accepted his LOO credentials – since they’d also be illegitimate since it emanated from the same disputed elections!! Anyhow what shocked your Eyewitness even more was that Harmon – the man who along with his boss Granger incited mayhem in W. Berbice after the murders of the Henry cousins – had the unmitigated gall to criticise ERC Commissioner Roshan Khan (he didn’t have the guts to call the man’s name!) for telling Indian Guyanese, who were being beaten and assaulted, to protect themselves!!

Then, finally, came the invited presentations. And more confusion. Nascimento, billed as the “Portuguese Guyanese” representative, insisted that he was speaking on his own behalf as a “GUYANESE” and NOT Portuguese!! But why didn’t he tell the ERC before?? Maybe Jerry Gouveia – who’d acknowledged his Portuguese roots to Desmond Trotman – but pointed out they didn’t own slaves – could have filled in! And then the “Indigenous People’s” rep Schuman also insisted he wasn’t speaking on behalf of that group! He complained, however, that unlike Harmon, who was addressed as “Honourable”, he was dubbed as plain “Mr Schuman”! What a comedy of errors!

And imagine we hadn’t even gotten halfway through the programme with African Guyanese and Chinese Guyanese representatives!!

 …without communicating

The main event was clearly supposed to be the presentations by David Hinds representing “African Guyanese” and Ravi Dev representing “Indian Guyanese”. To no one’s surprise, THEY had no problem with being daubed with an ethnic hyphen. After all, this “ethnic talk” has been their bread and butter for donkey’s years, hasn’t it? The problem with these academic types, however, is their heads are so far into the clouds with their theories, you wonder if their feet ever touch the ground!

While Hinds performed his usual mental gymnastics to justify rejecting the last elections (not REAL democracy!), Dev carried on about his “Ethnic Security Dilemma” that he’s been hocking forever. To his credit, however, he did make the point your Eyewitness had been stressing for years: that as a nation of minorities, there’s no need for the shared government calls of Hinds and company.

The PNC had won with the AFC coalition in 2015 and the PPP did so by wooing crossover votes in 2020.

Democracy is back in Guyana!

…on outing gun sales

The APNU/AFC coalition’ve been embarrassed by revelations that their financier Larry Singh never delivered the guns to the GDF, for which he’d been paid.

Was it for balance some “senior” AFC Exec sold guns on the side?