…or underdevelopment under PNC?
If the PNC are known for one thing, it’s got to be for “talking fat” when it comes to “development”! If someone had dropped in (say, from Mars!) and had listened to them back in 2015, they would’ve thought we would’ve surpassed Singapore by now!! And it’s not just the puffery that’s normal in Manifestos:
Industrial estates; new cities; interior mega-farms etc…etc.
They really believed the BS they’d spouted about the PPP’s handling of the economy over the preceding 23 years; and assumed that, once the PPP were gone, development would bloom like sunflowers in the sun with just their spouting rhetoric!
And, mind you, this was AFTER Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP has performed the Herculean task of wiping out the US$2.1 billion debt the PNC had saddled the nation with by 1992; moved us from being a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to being a Middle Income Developing Country; reduced poverty by 7 per cent in the PPP’s first decade in office, and kept the economy buzzing with the highest growth rate in the region.
Asked from where they’d get the money to fund all the “development” they were yelling about from the rooftops, they said that’d be the easy part. With them stopping the PPP from “siphoning off” into its pockets the billions and billions from the Treasury, they wouldn’t be able to spend fast enough!!
Well, four years have come and gone, and it’s a good thing their supporters didn’t hold their breaths!! They’ve spent all right – but just on themselves!! Industrial estates? Maybe they were confused about the SUGAR estates they closed, and thought dismantling of the factories was an “industrial” activity? But even the funds for the scrap metal have all been pilfered, and the activity now has to be audited!! New cities?? Well they DID baptise four old settlements as “towns”…but is that development, without a single new job being created?
There’s also lots of huffing and puffing about hinterland agriculture…but is huffing and puffing “development”?? How do you destroy agriculture in the hand (56,000 acres of drained and irrigated sugar lands on the coast) to just TALK about agriculture in the arid interior savannahs?
But the PNC are simply repeating their history. In 1970, they declared their “cooperative” strategy would create a utopia in Guyana. They’d “feed, house and clothe” the nation in five years: food from farmlands doled out to their supporters along with farming implements; they’d create 60,000 new homes and produce enough cotton at Kimbia to clothe the nation from fabrics woven at the Chinese- donated mill in Ruimveldt.
But it was just fat talk!! By the end of their reign, Guyana was left hungry, homeless and naked!!
Which will be repeated if the PNC’s allowed back after 2020.
Oil? Think Venezuela!
Your Eyewitness is not surprised by what occurred over the Easter weekend in Sri Lanka – 207 Christians and foreigners killed in bomb blasts by Muslim militants. Shocked, but not surprised. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist-majority island which was wracked for decades in a guerilla way by Tamil Sri Lankans against Sinhalese (Muslim and Hindu) Sri Lankans that took the lives of 100,000+ civilians and 50,000+ militants.
After two millennia, Buddhists were considered as the ultimate pacifists after the Emperor Ashoka reflected on the futility of war in dealing with disputes, and decided to spread the message of the Buddha’s “middle path”. But in Sri Lanka it was the Buddist monks who were most extreme about keeping Sri Lanka “pure”. And it’s from Buddhist-majority Myanmar (formerly Burma) that hundreds of Muslim Rohingyas were brutally expelled into Bangladesh. The irony is that the Rohingyas had themselves turned against fellow Buddhists and Hindu villagers.
The message for us Guyanese is that exclusivist religions are always potentially dangerous to peace!
The neo-liberal mantra dictates that foreign investment is good. But is that necessarily so? Surely, investments that develop resources beyond our capabilities are okay.
But what about those that displace businesses Guyanese have already created, like Chinese supermarkets? Who approved those?