Dear Editor,I would like to dwell on a letter which captions “Give ghetto youths a ladder to climb out of that despair “by Dr Mark Devonish so as to put the murderous crime situation that has engulfed this country into perspective. The world needs to be informed that in this country, hardhearted bandits chronically kick down the doors of helpless citizens to gain access to their homes to brutalise, rob and murder them. Of course, such a problem tarnishes our national image, divides Guyanese and destroys our economy. So, there is nothing good about crime. Also, I would like to remind Dr Devonish that the majority of Guyanese never fall into crime, even though Guyana is poverty-stricken and most communities can be described as ghetto-like.If anything, poverty should at least instinctively drive Guyanese into survival mode to unite as one, to work hard, to make sacrifices, to penny- pinch, to show empathy and to respect others but never to engage in inhumanity.And most Guyanese have been doing exactly this. I remember how my family made our meals without oil and various necessary ingredients to cut cost and to save money for our house rent which was our priority.Also, I remember walking miles and miles to and from my school even in bad weather so that I could hold onto money to buy school supplies etc. And in spite of having very little, we tried our best to save for a rainy day.In short, we handle poverty though thrifty means, personal sacrifice and hard work. Such values enable us to survive on our own sweat and I am extremely proud of this. So Dr Devonish, even if we did not raid trash cans like you did, it does not mean that our lives are great.We also never entertained the idea of doing anything criminal because we are cultured to see crime as inhumane and shameful. These are part of our value system that steers us away from crime. And in the face of our difficulties, I am understandably angry that we also become victims of brutal criminals who are nothing but lawless bullies.This then sparks all sorts of logical questions, including why is it that only some Guyanese fall into crime and the majority of us don’t, even though we are all sailing in rough waters?And the answer primarily lies in the differences in our values, not poverty. Examples of this analysis are practically seen everywhere in this country. Editor, just look around you and you will see that most Guyanese lives in poverty but only a fraction get into crime and destroy this country. Any behaviourists would agree that human behaviours are driven by good and bad moral values. Good moral values entail: respecting others, working hard for success and living off of one’s own sweat. Bad moral values are the opposite.Sincerely,Annie Baliram
Despite what President David Granger calls a “delay to set the context to ensure that other deserving Guyanese would not be subject to arbitrary recommendations”, the Cheddi Jagan commemorative stamps to honour the late President have been approved.According to President Granger, the persons who applied for the stamps misinterpreted the purpose of the honour.The Head of State noted that his Government supports the honouring of its former Presidents but was however concerned with the context that this particular request was being made.“The persons who applied for that I think misinterpreted the purpose of the honour. The Government of Guyana supports honouring its former Presidents, all of them, but we were concerned that the request that was put in the context of honouring President Jagan rather than a postal function. It’s a function of honouring a distinguished Guyanese and we wanted to put that in the correct context and we wanted to ensure that other distinguished Guyanese are also honoured,” the President explained.However, following the eight-day delay, Granger announced that the stamps have been approved.“There was a delay but we have approved the issue of the stamps but the delay was as a result of setting the context and ensuring that other deserving Guyanese would not be subject to arbitrary or ad hoc recommendations but nobody thoughts Dr Jagan’s contributions to the development of Guyana and it has been approved”.The stamps, Granger revealed, have been already printed, however a fixed date was not given as to when the public would be able to access same.“The stamps have been printed but the point is that the persons who wrote the application wrote to the wrong person. One letter was sent to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, one to the Ministry of Telecommunications and others to the Prime Minister. As far as I’m concerned, these are national honours and there is a constitution which deals with the national honour system”.Public Telecommunications Minister, Cathy Hughes had announced last month that the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) would be issuing commemorative stamps to celebrate the former President’s 100th birth anniversary, following an arrangement with the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre.However, on the day of Jagan’s birth anniversary, March 21, the Research Centre never received the stamps from the Post Office.Following questions, GPOC referred the media to the Ministry of the Presidency to direct their questions.After being accused of political interference, the Ministry issued a statement claiming that President David Granger will not allow national symbols to be used for private, partisan or political messages.“The Government of Guyana will announce shortly, national symbols to celebrate the life and work of former Presidents of Guyana, H E Raymond Arthur Chung, OE and HE Dr Cheddi Jagan, OE, within the context of set criteria for honouring eminent Guyanese. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of both former Presidents”.President David Granger said Cabinet has taken a decision that commemorative stamps, which are national symbols, must adhere to national criteria.However this was met with backlash from former Chairman of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), Juan Edghill who called for the Post Master General and the Directors of the Agency to resign for allowing the Government to interfere and hijack a business transaction it had with a private entity.“When the President of Guyana is trying to use fancy language to hoodwink the population, I stand by my original statement that I made, this intervention by the Ministry of the Presidency is petty, partisan politics,” Edghill said.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall also calls the President’s intervention unlawful.Nanadall argued that the GPOC is a statutory body corporate managed by a Board of Directors and possesses its own persona. He said that it is not a department of the Government but an agency of the State.