ON SPEAKING OUT


ese problems. I and both the PPP and the government have repeatedly pointed out  the measures which have been taken. Nevertheless these remain matters of concern to many people. I have written articles urging that additional measures, already outlined by the Government, be taken to eliminate or reduce the subsistence of these problems so that the continuing concerns of citizens will be addressed.

One thing I cannot do, unless I am prepared to resign from the PPP, is to add condemnation to my appeals. Firstly, these alleged issues listed above have a genesis which is not rooted in >wickedness.= Increased corruption, for example, has arisen from increased public spending. Infrastructure spending in 1992 was $2 billion. Today it is more than $20 billion and increasing. This is the root cause and the institutional mechanisms have not kept pace with the increased spending. Similar circumstances apply to the other issues.
These matters are often discussed in the leadership of the PPP. These discussions could be vigorous and disputatious. Assuming without admitting that my views that more measures should be adopted immediately are not being acted upon as quickly as I would like, I then have to decide whether I should resign and go public. In contemplating what I should do I have to understand that I will be leaving an organisation to which I have belonged for three-quarters of my life, that still upholds the ideals I believe in, that I am convinced will work further to eliminate or reduce the problems of which I am concerned and that my lone voice outside would be far less effective as compared to my voice inside. 
Let me make plain that the PPP remains the only party equipped by its history, policies and track record to deal with and resolve the problems which exist in Guyana including those which are referred to above. 
Emile Mervin criticised me on July 6 in a letter in the Stabroek News for not speaking out. He said:
AMr Ralph Ramkarran reportedly said if he is the PPP=s candidate, he will continue the PPP=s Apositive qualities….@ He also reportedly said if he is elected President that Athe country can be assured that corruption will be tackled from day one, that transparency will be implemented, [and] that we will work as hard as we can to bring unity. Y as Speaker of the House, he never did or said anything to address these very problems he implicitly acknowledged exist. Why should anyone believe him now? @
I have written repeatedly about these problems. It is not my fault that Mr. Mervin has not read my articles. As a prolific public commentator, Mr. Mervin has a responsibility to his readers to inform himself before he decides to make accusations. I refer him to my blog which contains my past articles, the address of which is set out below.
 More recently, on July 11 in Kaieteur News, Mr. Frederick Kissoon, in his usual mode of villification, accused me of failing until only recently to criticise the NIS for failing to pay medical benefits to those over 60. Well, I only recently became aware of this rule when I attained 60 and had to face expensive eye surgery which could not be done in Guyana.
  
Commentators and critics who scrutinise statements by others would do well to abjure prejudices or superficial considerations when deliberating on their conclusions. I have spent much time, albeit modestly and hardly worthy of a footnote, to secure the freedom of my country from authoritarian rule, for free and fair elections, for constitutional reform and for the building of parliamentary democracy, all through the PPP, to which goals it was committed. And if the PPP can deliver on these, as it has done, then it will deliver on all the concerns of Mr. Mervin, to which it is also committed. It is with that confidence that I have remained as part of the PPP and have abided by its rules.

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