…at humiliating Cheddi

The news that the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre’s been given one day’s notice by President Granger to vacate Red House just doesn’t make any sense to your Eyewitness. Evicted??!! It smacks of such small-mindedness and pettiness against one of the founding fathers of this nation that your Eyewitness is just gobsmacked. But he was taught when someone says something, in addition to the words they use they’re also performing an action you’re supposed to “read”.

We know the eviction notice means the PPP-committee has to “pack their traps” and leave pronto! But what exactly does the ACTION of the President, who not so coincidentally, is also the leader of the PNC – meant to convey?

Well, just earlier in this week of Christmas cheer, the President had indicated he was interested in “peace” – as had also the leader of the Opposition and the de facto leader of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo. Now, one thing for sure, this action of throwing out the belongings of the founder of the PPP out of the house he’d been identified with for so long, is an act of war. And that’s no hyperbole.

First of all, let’s not waste any time as to whether the lease is or is not “legal”. Not that the law is irrelevant but the law is not an ass. We can wade through the citations by the former PPP Attorney General and his PNC successor all night long – but the lease is just the occasion for the war – not the cause. To get to the gravamen of what’s going on – as the lawyers are wont to say – let’s step backwards.

The government’s first move on Red House was to have SARU examine the lease of the property. Last year, Clive Thomas, the head of SARU said the rates were too low and should’ve been at “market rates”. He suggested the Government “challenge” the lease in a court of law. At the time the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, also concurred.

AG Basil Williams then proposed the facility must accommodate the papers of ALL former presidents – (read Burnham) – not just Jagan. If the AG had doubts about the legality of the lease of the facility, it wouldn’t have been cured by expanding its usage, would it? Burnham may’ve been a good lawyer, no doubt, but even his most fervent acolyte wouldn’t claim including his legal papers can vitiate illegalities!

So, the problem is the PPP honoured Jagan but not Burnham – especially when the PPP summarily dismissed Williams’ suggestion to include him.

The President’s action is meant to show “who is man”. War Break!!

…on “oil facility”

Our Minister of Natural Resources has to be on something with his pronouncements on oil…maybe he’s inhaling too much gasoline fumes? First, we had him “solving” his Government’s economic problems by suggesting ExxonMobil would pay us “up front” from future revenue streams! The folks at ExxonMobil must’ve had a good chuckle! Those natives!!

Then he kept harping about “jobs” and “value added” for us, when ExxonMobil told him – until they were blue in the face – that at most there might be 300 jobs. All production and shipping operations for our oil will be done from the offshore FPSO. Value added? On what? The food we may be supplying the 100 persons on board the FPSO?

Then there’s his latest utterance on initiating a US$500 million “oil support facility” on Crab Island near the Berbice Bridge. So, which “private company” is gonna spend this kinda money for “support services” – when revenues aren’t generated till 2022 at best?

Maybe it’s something stronger than gasoline fumes?

…on traffic deaths

The year hasn’t quite ended as yet but the Traffic Department announced there have been 127 traffic deaths so far. Pretty much on par with what’s been going on over the past few years. This isn’t far away from the number of murders.

But where’s the outrage?