Unpatriotic actions must not threaten national development


Dear Editor,
DISTURBINGLY, a recent public disclosure at the National Toshao’s conference, “PPP tries to block funding for infrastructural projects”.

Though one will deem it unbelievable at such a report, it follows a pattern, as with some other known cases, beginning with a visit to Trinidad months ago by a senior PPP/C operative who sought to advise the island’s businessmen not to invest in Guyana. One may remember that this would have occurred shortly after the successful visit by a high-level government ministerial team to the twin island.

This anti-national mindset, the primary aim of which is to cause disaffection between citizens and the government, and subvert the development process, then rides home, smack into the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) bastion of traditional PPP/C support, where a businessman publicly reported to a ministerial visiting team, the refusal of the PPP/C-controlled Corriverton NDC to install 200 streetlamps given by the APNU+AFC Government for community illumination.

Next was the other example at the Mabaruma municipality, where its Mayor, a PPP/C supporter, was reported to be refusing to implement government projects. And now we come to the latest examples of the PPP/C writing the funders of a vital hydro facility, among others, that will make life easier for the community at Kato, in Region Eight.

Editor, it is unheard of, even if it is a political opposition, for such a party to carry the well-known tradition of such brand of politics to such an extreme of stymieing vital social development for even what are supposed to be your constituents. Even the claim of adversarial politics cannot stand as defence for such shameful, narrow-minded, reckless political behaviour, claiming as cause an ‘illegal’ government. How many times has this unsubstantiated description not been debunked?

At best, this is vindictive politics that reeks of the darkest kind of anti-people intent that informs of a particular calibre of political leaders who are petty minded, and deliberately blinkered in their understanding that personal and selfish ends do not bring any value to the understanding of country first. Such a brand of diminished political actions is a self-constructed mental hindrance for harbouring such an unpatriotic collective.

Every sensible parliamentary opposition should want to be associated with socio-development projects for its country, despite being in the parliamentary status of an alternative administration, as such actions are still seen as being part of the enabling process of socio-economic development, which can still garner development support for their constituencies. It begs the question, therefore, as to claims of care and concern, as expressed by the PPP/C, when those become superseded by acts that fall outside of the realm of political maturity, inclusive of understanding the role of a national leader, particularly that of the Opposition, that is an important equation in the national political firmament.

There can be no denial that Government’s Hinterland socio-development policies have been consistent with its intentions of narrowing the development gap between coastland and hinterland. This vast land space, underpopulated and underdeveloped for the rich potential it possesses of becoming the modern metropolis of a transformative Guyana has, under the coalition’s administration, began to experience the early march to parity with its coastal other half. Leading this crucial development thrust, has been the building of vital infrastructure, such as the repairs, upgrades and construction of roads, at a cost of$8.7B since 2015; the repairs and building of 200 bridges, with a hinterland budget that has been doubled since 2014, with capital works tagged at $2B for 2019.

Already, there are the key aspect of the decentralization of some public services now available in Hinterland communities; as well as four radio stations, commissioned in hinterland areas that are broadcasting to Hinterland communities, in their native languages, in addition to bringing timely national information to citizens. Additionally, 66 indigenous and hinterland communities already connected to free internet services.

And so, the question is pertinent, when asked: which responsible and enlightened parliamentary opposition party would seek to advise for the cessation of funding of a Hydropower facility in Region Eight that would not only power the important Kato Secondary School, but which would also transmit power to neighbouring villages, while complementing the already photovoltaic solar systems across the Guyana, aimed at improving the quality of hinterland life? Which political opposition, should indulge in such anti national strategy, in seeking to prevent the finally acquired financing for the important corridor of the Linden – Lethem Road, especially its first phase, inclusive of the Linden to Mabura Hill section, and the construction of a bridge across the Essequibo River, beginning at the Kurupukari.

Emphatically, these samples of on-going Hinterland development are designed to improve living standards of our Indigenous peoples, reposing in them a sense of their communities being a vital part of the national development process. What the government has done since 2015, is to give genuine impetus and meaning to Hinterland socio-economic development, much to the satisfaction of Indigenous locales, which are continuing to experience qualitative changes in the way they live, particularly in efforts at empowerment and self -sustainability. It was both inconceivable and disrespectful that they and their communities could have been conveniently used for selfish political ends, by a former PPP/C regime, as was the known instances at election time.

Such behaviour, of an opposition, seeking to undermine the national development process, is totally unbecoming; highly misplaced; and underlines a proven predilection for attempting to sabotage social progress, so long overdue in most parts of our country, but especially in our hinterland regions. Such actions were clearly attacking the nation’s right to development, providing a better life for all Guyanese.

However, the fact that such unjustified requests by the PPP/C for withdrawal of such development funding for critical infrastructure, have been emphatically denied; with the government of Guyana recently invited by the government of India “to submit proposals for funding of renewable energy and climate change related projects”, again exposes as unsustainable, the opposition distorted reasons for its unpatriotic behaviour.

Mark DaCosta