“Massa day done”

first_imgDear Editor,“Massa day done” Over fifty-seven years ago, Trinidad’s Dr Eric Williams rocked the West Indian psyche with his speech at the ‘University of Woolford Square’ in Port of Spain. That iconic moment spawned a new consciousness among our peoples and political class. Independence would come to Guyana five years after that event. Guyana’s own master orator, Forbes Burnham, worked tirelessly to build the Guyanese identity, one of a people intelligent enough to make decisions to chart their own destiny without assistance from the imperial powers.To the extent that I pen this letter, he was successful. I regard myself as a child of independent Guyana, born post-independence and educated in a time of revolutionary thinking. So one can imagine my dismay when I see my dear land subject to ‘advice’ on a daily basis from foreign emissaries of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in clear violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States, a well-established and important part of international law enshrined in the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.During the past year, High Commissioner Quinn has made pronouncements on corruption. At the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s (GMSA) 22nd Annual Presentation Awards Dinner, Quinn noted that Guyana’s score on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Index Report is “unacceptably low”, and he berated us for “failure to tackle corruption.” On the 10th April, he demanded that “corrupt law enforcement officials must be jailed.” Quinn also urged us to “have a clear plan to spend oil money” (in sections of the media 2017/02/22).Our Government has been shamefully quiet as the High Commissioner becomes bolder with his pronouncements, demands and advice.I believe Mr Quinn needs to be reminded that Guyanese are citizens of an independent republic, and unlike his home country, Ireland, we are not subject to the whims of Her Majesty or her primitive form of Government. Surely the time has come when an accident of birth accords one divine status has passed. His intentions may be good, but the history our nation speaks volumes on exploitation and abuse. The situation in the United Kingdom vis-à-vis corruption is far from ideal, and I see no move to jail their corrupt politicians. Indeed, it would seem only a resignation is called for when found with a hand in the UK cookie jar.To the Ambassador of the United States, I have also noticed your increased pronouncements on our possible oil revenues. I would advise you share that advice with your home country. On what ground do you stand to give advice? We have not yet forgotten or forgiven your last interference in our affairs via the CIA in the sixties, as your declassified documents show.To Guyana’s present administration, I beseech you not to forego all of our nation’s toil in achieving Independence and identity by your silence in the face of pronouncements on our internal affairs, which are demeaning and insulting to our collective intelligence. We all celebrated our Golden Jubilee of independence, now is the time to give meaning and significance to that milestone. Dr Williams said, “With his backward ideas of aristocracy of the skin…Massa still has his stooges who prefer to crawl on their bellies to Massa … instead of holding their heads high and erect”. Let us not be that stooge, let us not fail to remember the past, lest we repeat it.Sincerely,Robin Singhlast_img read more