…and GuyanaYou remember the ancient Greek story of Sisyphus; don’t you, dear reader? A real “wise guy”, Sisyphus thought he could pull a fast one on the Gods. But he was inevitably exposed, and sentenced to rolling a huge boulder to the top of a hill…only to have it roll downhill and he having to repeat the task. Again and again for all eternity. Those of us who lived in Guyana under the PNC during its first incarnation, and now again, know the feeling; don’t we?You would think we’d learn from that first experience, when some of our goodly citizens gave the PNC a free pass to rig elections to keep itself in power for 28 looooong years. But some people are “hard ears”, and fell in 2015 for the same ruse the PNC had pulled in 1964 to slip into office. Then, the hot-button issue was made out to be the PPP and “the spectre of communism”, so the PNC sweet-talked the anti-communist UF into a coalition…and the rest, as they say, is history — a most sordid history of betrayal and abuse that plunged all the citizens, including PNC supporters, into Sisyphean lives of futility for the aforementioned 28 looong years.Fast forward into 2015 – after the PNC had to roll the rock uphill for 23 years with its own dirty hands — when the issue is now ethnic security. The PNC has repeated the identical coalition ploy with the AFC to keep out the “racial” PPP. The “multi-racial” AFC insisted it could represent Indian-Guyanese on account of its 2011 performance at the polls!! But in just 3 years, Guyanese have seen the PNC just can’t change its spots – excepting, evidently, the much-abused AFC. In the first go-around, the leader of the UF refused to be a rubber stamp, and quit the coalition. But in the present, it’s clear that Nagamootoo and Ramjattan of the AFC have actually embraced their abusers. Stockholm Syndrome?But the results of the LGE show that the voters – including erstwhile supporters of the PNC – aren’t prepared to haul that rock up the hill for another two years, much less another term. By giving the PPPC 61 per cent of their votes, versus 34 per cent to the PNC and 4 per cent to the AFC, they’ve made it clear that they won’t be fooled a second time. Today, in his Budget Speech, PNC’s Winston Jordan will be announcing all sorts of goodies to convince the PNC supporters that the PNC’s spots have faded! Ain’t gonna work.The LGE also convinced some MPs from the PNC benches that they’d better hedge their bets. Come December, they’ll be giving Guyanese a Christmas present via the no-confidence motion.General Elections in three months!!…and rum in BaramitaThe folks up in Baramita in the North-West District are fed up with the rum-binging in their community, as it leads to domestic violence, suicide, and all sorts of dysfunctional behaviours. So their female Toshao has proposed a ban on alcohol in their community, complaining that after countless visits by Government officials to deal with the problem, there’s been absolutely no change. The Government have signalled they’ll support the ban.The residents of Baramita are mostly Carib Indigenous Peoples. It’s been shown that the idea that Indigenous Peoples are more susceptible to liquour is a myth. Having, for centuries, access to their own alcoholic drink – piwari – they never exhibited the present pathological behaviour during that time. That started after rum was foisted on them, and their relative deprivation and marginalisation were exposed.The solution is to develop Baramita economically – and educate its people about binge drinking.…and pie in the skyWith typical vacuity, Nagamootoo carried on about an “Atlantic Air Bridge” reversing the old “Atlantic Crossing” with the signing of an air agreement with Ghana.Does he have a clue about the economics of air travel?
Paris, November 7, 2013 – The Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna, MP has told global leaders attending the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris that there needs to be new thinking and action on the subject of youth development.In her intervention at the Leaders’ Forum on Wednesday, November 6, Minister Hanna said there needed to be a “re-calibration of international youth development initiatives as the approaches taken in the past were no longer effective or relevant.”The Leaders’ Forum is a policy dialogue involving Heads of State and/or Government as well as representatives of Member States at ministerial level discussing issues of strategic, global and interdisciplinary interest.Minister Hanna said: “The debate that we have at this level does not connect with youth on the ground, many of whom have had their own discussions on what they see as relevant and how they expect their leaders to satisfy their needs.“The fact that it took radio 38 years to reach an audience of 15 million and today YouTube takes less than a year to reach an audience of 1 billion gives them the opportunity to change the world in real time perhaps at the same time. We see them as the real catalysts of change.“Bob Marley did it and today if I ask all of you here regardless of language or country you will all know the words to One Love. That’s the culture of Jamaica at work. It’s powerful.“If we miss the opportunity to make the connection with our youth we would have squandered our responsibilities as leaders.”Minister Hanna cited the case of Jamaica where the Ministry of Youth and Culture was now re-evaluating and re-calibrating its youth development initiatives under the ‘Reset di ting’ campaign which was developed based on a Qualitative Survey on the Situation of Youth in the island. She said, like Jamaica, global youth development initiatives needed a “reset”.“In Jamaica we just completed significant in-depth consultations with our young people and even though, for instance, we have satisfied the MDG to have 100 per cent access to education it was clear that our youth still feel a sense of resignation to their purpose to productively participate in the country.Therefore, UNESCO must see its role as being relevant to this group, our youth, who will inherit the world in the next five, ten, or fifteen years.”“We must use best practices from each other. Jamaica did it will Reggae music which helped with the development of progressive legislation for the poor and dispossessed; maternity leave with pay; equal pay for equal work; refusing to trade with South Africa even before our own independence. And we can now see the success Brazil is having in science and innovation.“We must know that our youth have already passed us. So let us lower the altitude and get on the ground with them. Let’s listen, re-calibrate, reset and have the courage to do things differently.”‘Reset di ting: the courage to do things differently’ has been selected as the theme for Youth Month which is being observed during November.‘Reset di ting’ is a yearlong campaign of the Ministry of Youth and Culture aimed at inspiring and motivating young people not to accept the status quo as unchangeable. Under the campaign, the Ministry will be leading work across sectors to develop and implement policies and programmes that are relevant and responsive to the needs of youth. Story Highlights UNESCO must see its role as being relevant to this group, our youth, who will inherit the world. The Leaders’ Forum is a policy dialogue involving Heads of State and/or Government. Minister Hanna said there needed to be a “recalibration of international youth development initiatives’.