Shuman is about political power rather than development for Guyana, inclusive of Indigenous communities
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Dear Editor,

LENNOX Shuman is an ambitious young Guyanese with political aspirations, which has been taken to its officially-announced level, with the formation of his Liberty and Justice Party (LJP). But he is arrogant, as is clearly displayed by statements publicly made some time ago, when he said that if Amerindians do not get what they should have, there would be a political cost of political support.

Also, he would have been known to criticise the coalition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government, for allegedly not doing enough for Indigenous peoples. This was a call to political opportunism, since it was clear that he was making a pitch for leadership, issuing statements about socio-economic development for his Indigenous brethren from a purely uninformed position, because of absence from Guyana, although he had served as Toshao of his community for a period.

What Shuman perhaps did not understand, or perhaps not realise, was that the Hinterland Development Strategy, deployed throughout Indigenous communities since 2015, had begun to bring about impacting changes that were removing this segment of the Guyanese nation from its subsistence level of dependency to a gradual level of self-sustainability through a multi-pronged programme of empowerment of Indigenous women; bringing economic projects to communities for providing citizens with employment opportunities of a self-sustainability nature, for themselves and communities; the opening of skills training centres that have attracted scores of Indigenous youths, many of  whom would have since graduated to their own businesses; ICT facilities, and radio communications which today have facilitated a better informed Indigenous people and their communities, but which have also been reducing the mental distance between hinterland and coastland.

Billions have been spent on vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges, providing for better inter-connectivity among hinterland communities, while  fostering economic activity; electrification; building of more schools and health centres, that have been moving  the nation’s largest geographic space from its traditional backwater, into the highway of modern development; and the upgrading of scores of aerodromes. And there is more to sing the praises of the coalition’s socio-economic development programmes, in the form of gushing commendations from Indigenous community leaders, who continue to hail the marked development progress being experienced within their regions, compliments of the coalition government.

But fast forward to Shuman’s candidature as presidential nominee for his party, apparently finally settled with GECOM, and his statement about preventing either of the two larger parties from gaining a parliamentary majority. Does one detect a subtle hint here of garnering votes from Indigenous communities because of mere ethnic identification? In asking this question, one must have discerned Shuman’s silence on criticising the government, simply because of what it would have done for hinterland communities and Indigenous Peoples, what no other administration prior, had ever done for these well deserving people. And this would have also included the right to making their own communal decision, especially with regards their Village Improvement Plans, a right denied them by the former PPP/C.

Of course, it is Shuman’s right to dream big on the national political stage, but where is his programme for the hinterland, especially, and by extension, Guyana? He must say, in quite clear terms, what different can he do for Indigenous Peoples and their hinterland communities that the ‘Coalition’ has not done, as well as how does he tie it in with the whole of national development.

Mr. Shuman must be reminded, as well as all the other parties and their leaders, inclusive of the PPP/C, that it is one thing to aspire to, and gain, political power; but, the biggest challenge is always the vision to utilize this most potent of personal acquisitions: whether for selfish  and criminal ends like the PPP/C had done for its over two decades of office; or for  the benefit and whole of the nation and people, irrespective of ethnicity/race and political affiliation, such as what the APNU+AFC government has overwhelmingly proven, in just over four years of being entrusted with the mandate to govern.

Regards,
Earl Hamilton

Original Post

What is arrogant about speaking the truth? It is clear even to the low IQ types that Amerindians are the forgotten Guyanese. The ranking as being 70 percent in poverty speaks poignantly to that tact. That they are trapped in such dire straights is a consequence that they were hopeful that the two tribal parties will one day mean what they say. But all such hope is lost. The mere fact that Shuman decides to speak truth to power has the APNU dark arts department in a tizzy.

You do not intend to inform us on any thing. You are here in the usual role to beat down on the head of the good Shuman by casting him in the role so familiar to us; that is he is “arrogant”, “uninformed” and mentally ill equipped and not competent to have a voice. How dare he break out of the subaltern backward box and speak in the public square!

If the above tome is your case against Shuman’s competency to speak then you are claiming privileges and smarts you do not possess. The world knows by osmosis that we are poor; we are powerless; we are wards of the state ( by definition) ; we await handout by decree and are  conditioned habit to a status of mandatory subservience and knee bending to the resident autocrat in power!

As long as those conditions are met; men like you can call our leaders stupid. Sorry, we know wherein that quality resides and will no longer sit back and be quiet. We are here; this is our grand father's patrimony and while we know we must share we will no longer accept being treated as mere tenants in our own home with those like you land-lording over us. We want to redesign, the house as it suits us, when it suits us and also to select who are our architects. You will not stop that. 

All the claims of grand schemes and great transformations since 2015 is unadulterated crap. Poverty in the nation has not decreased one bit and Amerindians who are usually the last in this trickle down development stream are still waiting their for the first drop in their desiccated communities. What we do know is that over the tenure of the APNU our d our land rights were tied  up  to a Commission on  supposed African ancestral rights. We also know that  a prominent member of said commission declared that a few of our tribal siblings do not even belong! Imagine that. The creep even elaborated spurious theories that we were not even to be called first peoples since that belonged to Africans! 

Whatever billions you chime about in infrastructure building is not for us or because of us. It is because you must as a national necessity. We are incidental to all things as usual. When we are in the room and have a voice in what happens to us; when we can control who marches into our communities;  squats on our lands and when we can be sure of protections against those who casually defile our women and children then you can speak to us of “development”. Since we do not trust you we hope Shuman prevails with a few seats and be the sword of Damocles over the heads of both APNU and the PPP.

That you insist that Shuman is gaming the system by playing to ethnic identity is also utter nonsense. Is that not implacable cultural practice by the two large tribal parties to press race buttons at all times? Just look at the make up of your party and the ones in leadership across all political and civic organizations since the APNU came into power and tell me who is using race as a foot stool! Could you point me to a statement from the reverent leader granger or from you admonishing the virulent racist statement by the minister about knowing only PNC types?

Lets be clear, it is insulting to insist Shuman lacks understanding, is uninformed or is by any means a man of lesser caliber than you or any one. What he speaks offends you and  fail to acknowledge is the persisting condition of impoverishment of Amerindians. Neither the APNU or the PPP has shown us any respect. Both parties have treated us as children of a lesser god. Well no more. We cannot beings with virluent agit prop defile our leaders. We will call you out.

I exhort Shuman to speak like the good friar Antonio Montesinos did some six centuries ago about the cruelty and injustices that has been and continues to be meted out to our people. And Amerindians, if you are listening, know you can only lift up yourselves only by and through those who know, understand and recognize your pain. Obviously this nit above does not.

cain posted:

Yeahhhhh, that's all that's needed to be wealthy, land and culture, yeah, hip hip hoorayyyyy. Not!

Everywhere in the world people are sitting on large tracts of land and on vast wealth potential and are mired in the deepest poverty. One takes for granted that as there are no mute human group similarly there are no group without a culture!

Maybe we should ask the fellow to elaborate on what are the magical formula that would transform these societies to one of status and wealth. Guyana itself has been trying since the founding of the state. 

I think Shuman will succeed in influencing Amerindian voters who have been voting for the coalition. The coalition got approximately 15% of the Amerindian votes and most of them are now disillusioned with the PNC.  During the PPP time in office over 600 Amerindians became doctors through generous scholarships offered by the government. Amerindians are not just hammock sellers in GT. They are people with medical degrees. Be careful how you speak of Amerindians. They have made their presence in the medical field and they are not going to be fooled. 

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

I think Shuman will succeed in influencing

Amerindian voters who have been voting for the coalition.

The coalition got approximately 15% of the Amerindian votes and most of them are now disillusioned with the PNC. 

During the PPP time in office over 600 Amerindians became doctors through generous scholarships offered by the government. Amerindians are not just hammock sellers in GT. They are people with medical degrees. Be careful how you speak of Amerindians. They have made their presence in the medical field and they are not going to be fooled. 

The disillusioned is fairy tale story. Keep the hope alive.

Nehru posted:

One has to be the biggest ass to vote for the socalled coalition!!

True! Also the same for those who voted PPP, they both screwed the people and that is why the smaller parties should take votes away from them both.

cain posted:
Nehru posted:

One has to be the biggest ass to vote for the socalled coalition!!

True! Also the same for those who voted PPP, they both screwed the people and that is why the smaller parties should take votes away from them both.

Looks like ANUG doesn't have staying power. Send dem some herbs. 

I would like to know how much land these millionaires D2 and Cain have. Letting the Amerindians be exposed to the Guyana capitalist economy is putting them at risk of losing their lands over mortgages, loans and other money swindles which they would not be able to pay back. When their lands go then their culture goes.

Mitwah posted:
cain posted:
Nehru posted:

One has to be the biggest ass to vote for the socalled coalition!!

True! Also the same for those who voted PPP, they both screwed the people and that is why the smaller parties should take votes away from them both.

Looks like ANUG doesn't have staying power. Send dem some herbs. 

They probably have their own erbs including some peyote

 

Prashad posted:

I would like to know how much land these millionaires D2 and Cain have. Letting the Amerindians be exposed to the Guyana capitalist economy is putting them at risk of losing their lands over mortgages, loans and other money swindles which they would not be able to pay back. When their lands go then their culture goes.

Holy smoke, I just found out I am a millionaire.

Prashad knows that Stormborn has 1000 acres of land in Guyana. He is sophisticated when it comes to finance.  He does not have to worry about being swindled out of his land by crook loans and mortgages. His cousin D2 does not have to worry also.  So I say to my Amerindian brothers and sisters be aware of primitive capitalism, it can take your land and destroy your culture.  

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