Acknowledging Crowd: Look at you today: a sea of humanity. You are beautiful for your loyalty to this party. You are truly deserving to be the children and grandchildren of Cheddi Jagan.
You are the reasons why I am back.
For an entire generation, you have struggled under the flag of this party. You have sacrificed for the great cause of this party for freedom and a decent and happy life. You have suffered with this party in the troubled times, and through the crises of floods and crime. Yet, you have not walked from this party. My inner morality is based on profound respect for your struggles, sacrifices and sufferings, and that is why I am back with the PPP.
For me, the PPP is not only my political party. It is my extended family – the family of Cheddi Jagan. And though we have differences, and we occasionally quarreled, and sometimes walk away – the PPP is always home.
A son may walk away from home, but he always returns.
I AM BACK WHERE I HAVE ALWAYS BELONGED – IN THE HOUSE OF CHEDD1 JAGAN. I have refused to join others to betray you or to destroy this home. I refused to be a neemak haram! AND IN THIS HOUSE THERE IS ROOM FOR ALL!
In Cheddi Jagan’s house, there is and must always be room for all races, all ethnicities, all cultures, all beliefs. In Cheddi Jagan’s house, there is room for all shades of opinions, different views and critical analysis.
I AM BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH THE PPP/C BECAUSE THIS IS THE MOTHER OF ALL ELECTIONS. IT IS THE ELECTION THAT WILL DELIVER GUYANA TO THE FUTURE. ELECTIONS BEFORE HAVE BEEN ABOUT FIGHTING COLONIALISM, OR FIGHTING FOR FREE ELECTIONS AND RETIFYING OUR PAST. THIS NEW TERM BRINGS GUYANA A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR ALL OF OUR PEOPLE.
Lack of Vision
Unlike the PPP, which relies on a positive campaign based on its record in government, the PNC took the negative road. It revealed lack of vision, and refused to see the bigger picture.
They became obstructionist, and opposed every move towards holding this election. They even took to the street in protest and promised protest after elections.
In Mexico, the party of Obrador protested against the results after taking part and documenting irregularities. Here, the PNC pronounced the elections to be rigged even before a single ballot has been cast, and wrote to the UN Secretary General to this effect!
The PNC cannot get rigging out of its psyche, out of its nature. The shadows of past have enveloped the PNC to such an extent that it has become insensitive to the feelings of the people.
In the past the only word the PNC knew best was “RIG”. So, they come to you in 2006 and ask the electorate to vote for PNC-RIG. They want you to say “Yes” to PNC-RIG. What do u say? Nooooooooooooo! Not again. Never! Nada! Niet!
When BJ came to office in 1999, he was tested by fire of POLITICAL ARSONISTS WHO SET THE CITY ON FIRE; THEN HE WAS CHALLENGED BY THE CRIMINAL GANG AND THEIR BACKERS. But he arose from the ashes and, like a Phoenix, he emerged victorious in the 2001 elections. He stamped his own style of leadership, one that saw him in the trenches – out in front.
If he was tested by fire, by 2002 he was challenged by terrorism from the prison escapees – the like of which was never seen in this land before. It was brutal, senseless, cold-blooded. Then by floods. Some one told me he was the “Teflon Guy” – water does not penetrate him.
But he stood the test of time, and we now know that he is made of the good stuff. Like MOSES, he parted the flood waters and made this land dry and wholesome again!
Bharrat Jagdeo deserves credit for his leadership. Reward him with a second term. It is always sweeter than the first. He is hard-working and capable. He has his fingers on the pulse of the nation’s problems and, in all cases, he has delivered solutions.
I have watched Bharrat Jagdeo with unbiased eyes. I see in him a good person, who loves his country dearly, who portrays love of all races, love of children and our youth, and concern for the elderly. Moreover, I see in him as a leader with an agenda to push development. I share his broad vision to modernize this country, so we may create more jobs, more opportunities, and raise the standard of living of all.
After the elections, the PPP has to be more responsive to the needs of its supporters, to fight for an equal space for them, to deliver services and care for them.
We must continue to image ourselves after CHEDDI JAGAN – lean and clean, incorruptible, accountable. We must push his agenda for eradication of poverty, for creation of sustainable livelihoods, for accelerated development for Amerindians, for social and ecological justice.
WE MUST BE UNCOMPROMISING AGAINST CRIME. THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE SWORD MUST DIE BY THE SWORD!
WE BELIEVE IN THE RULE OF LAW, NOT THE RULE OF GUNS. THOSE WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE LAW ARE OUTLAWS. THEY WILL ALWAYS BE ON THE RUN. FOR THEM, THERE CAN BE NO “GREEN GREEN, GRASS OF HOME”.
TO KILLERS, I SAY: YOU EITHER LAY DOWN YOUR GUNS OR BE LAID DOWN BY GUNS.
There are some criminal enterprises in Guyana that are snatching our children from the arms and breasts of their mothers. They are turning them in baby killers. They follow the killer gangs like those in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
THESE MODERN SLAVE CATCHERS MAKE OUR CHILDREN DIE BEFORE THEY KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE A MAN.
ALL RACES, ALL AGES, MALE AND FEMALE, CHILDREN AND THE ELDERLY, RICH AND POOR ALIKE, HAVE FALLEN VICTIMS OF MINDLESS AND SADISTIC RAPISTS, BANDITS AND KILLERS.
WE HAVE ALL MOURNED FOR OUR DEAD; WE HAVE ALL CARRIED SCARS OF LOSS AND GRIEF.
THE PEOPLE WITH ONE VOICE THROUGHOUT GUYANA HAVE AT LAST RISEN UP AND ARE SAYING WITH ONE VOICE: GET THE KILLERS! TAKE THE FIGHT TO THEM! BRING THEM DOWN!
WE MUST NOT SUBMIT TO CRIME AS A WAY OF LIFE. NEITHER MUST WE SUBMIT TO FEAR. CRIME HAS ROBBED US OF OUR BEST TALENTS, OUR LOVED ONES, AND THE INNOCENTS.
NOTHING CAN JUSTIFY THE KILLING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS, ELECTED OFFICIAL, MEDIA WORKERS.
The ashes of Sash Sawh, like the beautiful wings of a butterfly, are still blowing warmly in the wind. We feel his presence here.
When Cheddi Jagan died, I said in 1997, I asked you that as you voted, as you marked your “X” you must say, ‘THIS ONE FOR YOU PA.” On August 28, as we vote, remember Sash Sawh. Remember his big, broad smile, and his warm heart full of love for Guyana. GIVE HIM YOUR X. We must show the cowardly beasts who took his life that our ballots are mightier than their bullets! YOU HAVE POWER IN YOUR HANDS. AS YOU GRASP THE PENCIL OR PEN TO MARK THE BALLOT, GRAB IT FIRMLY AS IF YOUR FINGER WERE ON A TRIGGER, AND AS YOU MARK YOUR “X”, DO SO FOR SASH SAWH. USE YOUR “X” AS A BULLET FOR JUSTICE AGAINST HIS KILLERS.
In all countries, the one factor that is constant is change. In 1992 it was the PPP that campaign on the slogan “time for a change”. And change we had with the removal of the PNC dictatorship. 14 years have passed, and today we must shift to the politics of adjustment. We must adjust to the reality of a multi-party political system, and to the ethno-political nature of our society.
In the new term there must be wider space for all political parties. We must refine our concept of inclusiveness. Under the new Government there must be extended room for the politics of consultation, consensus and compromise. All of the parties have a stake in Guyana, its people, its future.
There is promise for the greatness of this land. Though we take pride in calling ourselves Berbicians, Demerarians and Essequibians; though we take pride in calling ourselves Indians, Africans, Amerindians, Portuguese, Chinese, Europeans and Duglas, we are one in our nationality – we are Guyanese!
Like the Guyana 20-20 team, we must all bowl for Guyana, bat for Guyana, run for Guyana, and win for Guyana!
Voting on August 28 was a duty of all Guyanese of age. They have a right to a government of their choice. Elections Day must not be the end of our world. It must be the beginning of a new period of our development. No one must feel he or she is a loser when the results are known. It is in our interest to have quickly a new government and a stable political environment.
We must all, as we did during the 20/20 game, wave our flags for Guyana, rejoice for Guyana and show the world that our Guyanese civilization allows us to choose our government in an environment of peace and togetherness.
(Reconstituted Text For Good Hope, ECD PPP Rally, 19 August, 2006)