A missed opportunity

first_imgWhat was expected to be a historical event at the D’Urban Park arena where the Government and Opposition would have sat side by side to celebrate Guyana’s 50th independence anniversary turned out to be a huge blunder and embarrassment for the Administration.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was no doubt insulted and disrespected when they, just like other Guyanese, committed to patriotism, put politics aside and joined the Government in celebrating the country’s significant milestone.Rather than being welcomed for this act of partnership, the country’s Opposition were given a cold shoulder and left standing, with no proper accommodation for them at the country’s premier event. This act defies all calls of unity and social cohesion. As a matter of fact, the ill-mannered act comes 24 hours after Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo in his address to the National Assembly said Guyanese need to work together in order for the country to truly prosper.In his speech, the Opposition Leader also pointed out that the Party wants the country’s people to live together in harmony and not be divided by history and by current circumstances.More importantly, the Opposition Leader said that “regardless of the robust debates that we have; regardless of the numerous encounters we have wherever we go in the streets or on television or in the debates, we are all children of this soil. We all share its history.”The sincerity of this speech was demonstrated when Jagdeo and his MPs turned up at D’Uban Park on Wednesday night. However, this act by the Government now raises the question of their genuineness when calls are made for unity and social cohesion. The President on numerous occasions outlined that the country’s future depends on deeper social cohesion and political inclusiveness.Only recently in his address to the National Assembly, the Head of State said, “Social cohesion is about fostering greater integration in our nation. Integration can increase a sense of belonging. It can give recognition to all groups and to allow them to freely practice their culture… Our nation’s future stability depends, also, on wider political inclusiveness…”As a matter of fact, no other than the Head of State himself, in his independence message to the nation said that the country has made headway in uniting its people. To give lip service to such an important issue in a delicate nation, by all means should be rejected by Guyanese.The political Opposition’s acceptance of the invitation to participate in the events at D’Urban Park demonstrates maturity and seriousness towards inclusiveness as Guyana moves forward. However, to leave the Opposition standing at such an event sends a message of pure disregard and disparage.The President should launch an immediate investigation into such humiliation especially given the fact that the Opposition Leader spoke to the Attorney General and Minister responsible for culture about the concerns of the PPP/C MPs being seated.Both Ministers should be held accountable for the utter disrespect since although requesting an intervention, the concerns aired by the Opposition Leader fell on deaf ears. It can be recalled that at past independence celebrations that were held at the National Park, the VIP sections were reserved for all MPs, diplomats and special invitees.Such uncouth behaviour was not extended by the previous Administration and the President should not condone it either. As a matter of fact, a public apology should be extended to the People’s Progressive Party and the President should reprimand those responsible for such callous, irresponsible and destructive behaviour extended to the political Opposition.last_img

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