Eyewitness: Disputations…

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…on next year
Here we are, on the third day of Christmas, and while we don’t know what our “true love” brought us, we certainly know what fate will bring us. There will be many and great disputations as we gather around the Christmas Table, bereft of our masks and social distancing!

How many? Let us count a few. The first one will be on whether there’s actually any virus to worry about. Yup! You’d be surprised at how many of our revellers this Friday think this whole COVID-19 pandemic is a tempest in a teacup!

Now, don’t call them “crazy”. After all, you can’t actually SEE the virus, while there’s almost half of Guyana who SAW Mingo doing his thing with that dirty bedsheet, but insist that’s just the PPP throwing shade at the PNC! And we don’t call THEM crazy – just “PNC supporters”!!

Another wrangling will be about when are we actually get our vaccines? We hear it’s gonna be “next year”; but WHEN in next year, and in what order will be getting our shots? The elderly? The healthcare workers? The FRONTLINE healthcare workers? The rich and connected? Then who’ll take the vaccine? Is it halal? Is it another ploy by “the man” to use black and brown folks as guinea pigs?

And this conspiracy “perspective” will segue us right into the biggest disputation of them all – the election petitions that’ll be heard by the Court starting next January. Disputations will be most febrile on this one, since the stakes are so humongous. Here you have the PNC staring in the face of not just confirmation of their defeat at the polls, but OBLIVION after the PPP’s blitzkrieg since Aug 2! What’ll make the invectives fly more “fast and furious” will be dawning realisation by PNC supporters that Granger has given them basket to fetch water by imposing Harmon as their Opposition Leader!

Another hot topic – which might even cause fists to fly – will be whether we should allow “all these furriners” to enter our country and remain here. Why this is gonna be so contentious is because we’re already seeing that rationality goes through the window on this one, since there are in play motives other than what’s good for our country. And to be blunt about it – as with the argument over the “Case of the Disappearing Haitians” – the heat’s being generated by politics. Will the Haitians perform the task “small islanders” did for Eric Williams and his PNM over in Trinidad, to help them secure office for thirty years?
Sadly, there will be no disputation on the effect the pandemic will have on work, play, and relationships in the coming years.
We Guyanese don’t look beyond our fists!

…on the border controversy
As a kid growing up in a very grounded neighbourhood, your Eyewitness was often advised to look carefully at how rum bottles were stacked on the shelves. “Lil” bottles were never ever on the same shelf with “big” bottles. The lesson, of course, was that we shouldn’t involve ourselves in situations wherein we simply don’t measure up. Your Eyewitness hopes that some of the local interlocutors entering the disputations following the ICJ’s decision that it has jurisdiction to hear our submission that the 1899 Arbitral Award on our border with Venezuela is valid will heed the advice.

International Law is a very specialised body of law, and there aren’t too many experts in that field in Guyana right now. It’s for good reason that both the PNC and PPP-led Governments have gone to the World Court with the few locals who were around for decades dealing with the matter – Ramphal and Greenidge, for instance – but also with very high-priced foreign experts.
This isn’t the time for armchair experts.

…on seabobs
A staple of your (humble) Eyewitness’s diet is what he knows as “fine shrimp”, or “white belly”, and “coarse shrimp”, or “seabob”.
All he demands – after the “gillbacka” debacle – is that the supply better not be depleted!