The political prudence, immaturity and justification of this government must come to an end

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Police’s lack of cooperation with the Argentinian international expert, brought by the Guyana Human Rights Association, to assist in the investigation of the murders of Joel and Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh must be of concern to all Guyanese. This was an opportunity not only to solve the crimes but to settle differences between and among groups as rumors related to issues related to these crimes and not verifiable evidence.

The attack on the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) by President Irfaan Ali for starting a national conversation on race is worrying. The ERC is an independent constitutional body and does not have to consult the president to establish his agenda, because his agenda and program are clearly set out in the Guyana Constitution. Through his attack, the President suggests to society that this is how the ERC acted during successive PPP / C administrations, which is contrary to its mandate and duty to the citizens of this country.

The ERC must not be regarded as serving a party political interest. It was established to serve the national interest for the benefit of all. She must create the place to speak truth to power, because this nation cannot continue to deviate from race relations while the ERC is like Nero’s violins as Rome burns. The initiative by the ERC, the United Nations and the University of Guyana to jump up a national conversation on race is most welcome. The ERC has not yet expected whether it ruined its existence during the Constitutional Reform process.

The President’s continued refusal to involve the Leader of the Opposition in moving the nation’s business forward in a collective way that would ensure that no group feels excluded is not only unconstitutional but contravenes’ w a consistent conversation about governance for the benefit of all. The Leader of the Opposition conveys the interest of his constituents. The government needs to be reminded that this is almost half of society based on the numbers declared by GECOM.

No president can govern for the benefit of all when, at the most basic, he is refused to engage with the other side, even when the Constitution requires the same thing. This disregard for the law and disrespect for others must stop. This nation is made up of several groups with similar and competing interests. One’s development depends on the development of others that the president should know.

The right to freedom of association is one of man’s most fundamental rights and the president must respect this for those who have chosen to elect others to represent their interests. These holdings are enshrined in the Constitution over which the trade unions and the Founding Fathers and Mothers of this nation fought. Yet despite this some workers continue to be treated with contempt by the Ali government.

The fundamental right to manipulate their union of choice and to collective bargaining is violated. In the case of the employees employed by the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated, repeated attempts to get the government to fulfill its duty under Labor Law continue to be ignored. There is still a difference in treatment for some workers because of who they are and for exercising their right to free choice and association (political and / or trade union). This conduct by the Ali administration is inconsistent with the laws and its commitment to be inclusive as required by statutes and principles with the honor of time.

For the second time under the PPP / C government, the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) was denied a seat to the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Congress (TURCB). The trade unions have three seats on the Board. This administration has chosen to deny employees represented by this federation, and the Guyana Public Service Union that the GTUC represented on the Board, from sitting at the table. This act violates the principle of Article 149C which enforces trade union participation in the management and decision making processes on matters affecting their welfare. The TURCB is the most fundamental of this and the other federation does not speak for the workers represented by the GTUC.

Political prudence, immaturity and justification must come to an end. You do not have to like someone to respect their right to legal justice, to participate and be involved in national import matters that affect their welfare; their right to racial, political, social and economic justice. These scenarios reflect the importance of understanding why rights and freedoms are included in the Constitution. In the absence of this, these cruel and petty men escape liability and would prevail over others.


Lincoln Lewis