…on children’s rights
On so many issues, the PNC-led Government has just been “all talk and no action”; invariably, their “talk” has just been political white noise. Take, for instance, the issue of “children’s rights”. In 2015, they were invited by the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) to talk to schoolchildren about their human rights; and, of course, seeing that he didn’t have a portfolio apart from writing a column in the Chronic, PM Moses Nagamootoo was assigned the task!!
Now, if there’s one thing Nagamootoo’s good at, it’s uttering meaningless platitudes! And boy, has he latched on to this gig, which has been the sum total contribution of this PNC Government to protecting children’s rights!!
The RCC, of course, was created by the PPP Government, but if the truth be told, it has failed our children in protecting their human rights. It fits perfectly with the PNC “all talk and no action” mantra.
Its officials are supposed to submit annual reports to Parliament on what they have done; and they have. Problem is, year after year, their reports, of about a dozen pages, are two-thirds filled with bios of the commissioners and executives!! The remaining pages detail their talks to various and sundry bodies. In this year’s talk-fest, the Chair emphasised that their “main focus areas” are “protection, education and empowerment” of children.
But let’s look at “protection”. From the newspaper reports, the most urgent protection our kids need is against sexual predators. There isn’t a day that goes by wherein a child isn’t sexually abused by someone or other; most often by someone in a position of trust. Guyana is one of the first countries to have signed on to the UN Children’s Rights Convention – just two years after it was promulgated in 1989, when, for the first time in the history of the world, children were accepted as rights-bearing human beings. And this was given constitutional protection in Art 212, when the RCC was mandated to ensure that Guyana complies with its obligations.
But can the RCC say what it has done to protect our children from sexual predators, or ensured the Government does so?? In its reports, its officials complain that they don’t have enough money to hire investigators (like with the Integrity Commission?!); but how come, when Nagamootoo and his cohorts come to deliver their homilies, they aren’t told about this to their faces?? Why are they even invited??
At this year’s “Workshop” – which was a “talkshop”, not a “workshop” – Nagamootoo complained that his MPs didn’t understand the Constitution on whether 33 was greater than 32!! Valerie Garrido-Lowe said much more needs to be done to protect the rights of children.
Damn right! But what’s their Government’s doing ‘bout it?
…with Buju tickets
The Opposition Leader claimed the Government was giving out $40 million in tickets (8000 times $5000 each!) for its supporters to attend Buju Banton’s concert at the National Stadium. “Not so!!” protested PNC General Secretary Amna Ally, who was caught distributing the tickets; it “wasn’t Government’s money” (meaning our taxpayers’ money), but PNC money!! But let’s not go into that right now, (after all, Patterson still has to show the paper trail of the US$9000 that was mysteriously deposited into his account!!) but is this what the PNC wants “Independence” to mean to its supporters??
Buju Banton is a CONVICTED drug smuggler, and there’s the not-so-incidental matter of his homophobic music!! While he’s dropped “Boom bye bye”, in which he advocated the killing of gays, he’s never apologised for such a reprehensible position – which is part and parcel of the whole dancehall phenomenon.
But we know what is going on here, don’t we?? The PNC’s willing to pander to the lowest common denominator for votes! It’s how they see their supporters!!
Britain’s PM, Theresa May, has just resigned over her failure to get the Brexit Treaty approved, even within her own party. But she had the grace to resign.
If this PNC Cabinet had any principle, they’d all be gone!!