The contribution of the Working Peoples’ Alliance and Walter Rodney to the political development of Guyana is under discussion in the letter pages of the newspapers. Unfortunately in much of the emotionally charged comments, facts tend to take second place. I wish to add my two cents worth but I can only do so from the prism (not ‘prison’) of the PPP because it was through the PPP that I perceived and understood the WPA. I cannot claim therefore objectivity but I can try to be rational.
The role of the WPA, like that of the PPP (and the PNC, now PNCR), and their leaders, will always be the subject of controversy, because of their impact on the development of our political realities. Until history settles the arguments, if it ever does, differing perceptions will continue. But these can be expressed in more constructive and less embittered language. No purpose is served by conjuring up demons.
There was a sense of anticipation in the political air upon the return of Walter Rodney to Guyana in the mid 70s. Elections had just been rigged and our comrades killed. It was felt that the struggle for democracy needed to be broadened. We in the PPP were especially happy when Cde. Cheddi Jagan reported shortly after Rodney returned that they had met. He indicated that the discussions revealed a large area of agreement on the political situation in Guyana and the world and that there was agreement on the need for co-operation in the struggle to restore democracy. A good personal relationship and mutual respect had been established. This grew as their engagements intensified.
Continue reading “WALTER RODNEY, THE WPA AND THE PPP”
The 20th Conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers (CSPOC), of which Guyana was, until this conference, a member of the Standing Committee, was held appropriately in Delhi, India, the largest and one of the most enduring democracies in the world, between the 4th and 8th January, 2010.
The Conference brought together 50 Speakers and Presiding Officers from 42 Commonwealth Parliaments as well as 34 Speakers and presiding Officers of 34 State Legislatures in India. Also, 34 Clerks and Secretaries General attended and participated in the deliberations.
There is no training institute or organized training mechanism for Speakers and Presiding Officers. Even though most Speakers and presiding officers are experienced parliamentarians, presiding over parliament, one of the three independent branches of government in the Westminster system, can be a challenging task especially since the Standing Orders, key previous rulings and parliamentary practices have to be mastered from the first day. Most MPs, even those with great experience, traditionally pay little attention to the niceties of parliamentary procedure and so are thoroughly unprepared if elected Speaker. For the larger parliaments in developed countries with experienced clerks and huge, trained staff the burden may be lighter. But the challenges are enormous for smaller, less resourced parliaments like our own.
Continue reading “THE ROLE OF THE SPEAKER”
MAJOR STEPS FORWARD – MUCH MORE TO BE DONE
Continue reading “COPENHAGEN”
The season of goodwill consists of Christmas and New Year. In Guyana, Guyanese of all religious persuasions seize the opportunity of participating in the delights that the season has to offer. They undertake religious activities at Christmas and enjoy the fanfare of welcoming the New Year. In this period Christians generally take the opportunity of reaffirming their faith, to give thanks and to celebrate the life and work of Jesus Christ.
Continue reading “THE SEASON OF GOODWILL”
Our society places little value on human life.
The newspapers reported on November 17, 2009, that seven year prison sentences were imposed on two persons for manslaughter. Mahendra Singh lived in the same yard as his uncle, Ganesh Rai. He was drinking at Rai’s house. There was a mild altercation and Rai asked Singh to leave. Singh went to his house, got a cutlass and chopped his uncle to death. He was charged for murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Roxanne Daniels was at the home of her male companion. His estranged wife paid a visit to the home not knowing that Ms. Daniels was there. A fight ensued and the wife was stabbed to death. Roxanne Daniels was charged with murder but found guilty of manslaughter. She was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Continue reading “LIGHT PRISON SENTENCES ARE NOTHING BUT A SCANDAL”