Roopnaraine has been demoted

By Staff Writer On June 16, 2017 @ 2:09 am In Letters

Dear Editor,

Dr David Hinds may be tugging at straws when he asked in the press for a meeting between the WPA and President David Granger. There is no need for such a meeting.  The Granger government marketed the APNU+AFC brand in 2015 for deceptive purposes.  In actual substance, this government is a PNC-led Granger administration. Everyone else is a ‘tag along’. In such circumstances, the now much discredited WPA and AFC should understand their roles today; they are nothing else but political window dressing.

It is unfortunate that Dr Hinds and his colleagues in the WPA did not take on board the Guyanese proverb ‘When two large rum bottle deh ah table, quarter bottle nah gat business deh’.  A government is constructed with a Constitution.  Both the WPA and AFC had power in their hands and they threw it away all because opportunism and perks, and because they were unprepared to be the balance of power.  The rest is history and Guyana is now back to square one, where we only have two large rum bottles on the table – PNC and PPP. There is no place in 2020 for the WPA, AFC, KFC, JFAP, LFC or any third force. The people will reject them all convincingly after observing what the AFC and WPA have turned out to be.  In 2020, Mr Granger can campaign with a 50 party coalition, the Guyanese people will recognize it for what it really is: a PNC dominated, controlled and led electoral machine with some opportunistic individuals stitched on as window dressing.

It is clear as day that the WPA and AFC have now played out their trump cards and they have no choice but to accept their new roles as the 5th wheel to a coach. Would Walter Rodney or Sheila Holder have accepted this political abuse? The WPA and AFC will have to accept the wisdom of my ancestors who advised: “When yuh play out all yuh trump cards, yuh gat to lose till game done”.

It is deeply sad that the occasion of the anniversary of my soul brother Dr Rodney, (whose ideas formed the intellectual soul of the WPA), was chosen by the PNC as the date to formally devour what was left of the WPA in government.  There are positions and there are positions.

The facts will show that Dr Roopnaraine was transferred from a portfolio (Education) that was valued at $43 billion in the 2017 budget to a role that is worth 1/20th or 5% of what he previously managed.  Further, he moves from a portfolio in which he had his own budget, his own ministry, and his own permanent secretary.  Now he is nothing but a department head in Mr Harmon’s Ministry; is part of Mr Harmon’s budget and have to work along with Mr Harmon’s permanent secretary.  He is in no better a position than Moses Nagamootoo who is also subject to similar rules in Mr Harmon’s ministry.

If that is not a demotion then what is?  I like and respect Dr Roopnaraine, more especially for his intellect and gentlemanly attitude.  When he became the Minister of Education, I was proud because here was a man who had served education all his life at all levels and was being given a chance to make policies to change the way we educate our people.  Yes, his success was limited, but do we think his intellectual inferior, inexperienced, and underskilled replacement is any better?

Why was Dr David Hinds not asked to be the new Minister of Education?  Why was someone  who cannot measure up to Dr Roopnaraine or for that matter Dr Hinds on the policy front, on the organizational front, on the intellectual front, for that matter on all fronts, being asked to carry a portfolio that I thought was reserved for the WPA?

But then again, with all things considered, this is a PNC-led Granger administration.

Yours faithfully,

Sase Singh

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