Yesterday was “World Indigenous People’s Day”. Unfortunately, even though they’re the fastest growing segment of our population – and now approach 12 per cent overall – there was almost nothing done by Government to highlight the significance of the day. This is more than passing strange. First of all, on their own merits, all Guyana must acknowledge the significance of our Indigenous peoples.
Whether we like it or not – and there are some in the Government who don’t like “it” – we are inheritors of folks who used the principle of “might is right” and seized all the land on which we live, from the Indigenous peoples. There’s no “ifs and buts” about THAT fact, Jack!! We can’t, on one hand, seek reparations from the Big and Bad “white man” for enslaving us, while at the same time pretend to forget we’re squatting on the Indigenous peoples’ lands seized by those same “Big and Bad”.
The least the Government could’ve done was thank the Indigenous peoples for allowing us to live here. Since back in the day, those white men arbitrarily rewrote international law to justify them taking “ownership” of the lands, how would we feel if the Indigenous peoples now reject those laws and drive us back into the Atlantic Ocean across which, we were brought?
After all, over in South Africa, some Indigenous peoples (African tribes) have demanded the courts reject those old land ownership claims based on conquest and the courts have given them title. Check it out!! The courts rejected the riposte that when the white Dutch “Africaans” arrived in that part of Africa, the particular African tribes there now, hadn’t been “indigenous” then!!
Even if they’d been living elsewhere – they were living in Africa! Not having the Dutch notion of “land rights”, they obviously couldn’t have stated their claims in that idiom!! The Indigenous peoples of Australia (“Aboriginals”) are making similar claims and having them accepted!
But your Eyewitness was sure, for more prosaic reasons, the Government would’ve “bigged up” the Indigenous peoples yesterday: their voting power. With the gap between the Government and the PPP Opposition only a measly 4500 votes, one would’ve thought the fifty-thousand plus “hinterland votes” – plus their “regional seats” on account of their distribution was a valuable prize to woo.
So there must be very powerful Anti-Indigenous peoples forces in play for them to be given such short shrift. As explained above, your Eyewitness believes this is very sad on both pragmatic and moral grounds. Or is the Government biding its time until they officially launch “Amerindian Heritage Month” in September.
Too late shall be the cry!!
The Public Infrastructure Minister just said he’s sorry about the ever-increasing spate of blackouts the country’s been subjected to over the past six months. He’s clearly forgotten that being Minister in Guyana means “never having to say you’re sorry”!! But really…your Eyewitness isn’t surprised at the blackouts. Ever since the leaders of the PNC vowed to continue with the “legacy” of their comrade leader Burnham, what other course of action was there?
Ask anyone old enough to “have sense” during the Burnham years as to what do they remember most about those days – and without fail they’ll shout (in anger) “Blackouts!!” Since at the death anniversary of Burnham last weekend, the “legacy” vow was reaffirmed, it wasn’t surprising that some sections of the country hadn’t received any electricity for almost a week. Even though GPL’s awash in cash because of rock-bottom oil prices!
Your Eyewitness is just hoping the Government isn’t planning to widen the “legacy” to ban “ice apple”.
What would his Christmas be without this essential reminder of the Divinity?
In passing over the Queen’s Baton to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, shouldn’t Prezzie have been running to ensure his deputy keep up with him for the hand-off?
Or did he suspect there were going to be issues not covered under Cummingsburg??!!