Home Letters The PPP should have honoured deserving members of public
Reference is made to former President Donald Ramotar’s commentaries exposing and condemning the racist or discriminatory policies of this A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government in its appointments, awarding of contracts, granting honours, removing Indians and Amerindians from State positions, adopting villages, training of staff, etc. The ex-President must be applauded for his courage in speaking out against racial and political victimisation and ethnic persecution. But in my travels around the country, voters are scathing in their remarks about the former President. They say he also discriminated against Indians, and that he failed to honour deserving members of the public.
Voters note, for example, that while under this regime, as Ramotar exposed, only 14 Indians out of 77 awardees (a mere 18 per cent) and virtually no Amerindians are on the list of this year’s independence honourees). Ramotar hardly honoured any Indian during his three-year term. The People’s National Congress (PNC), on the other hand, took care of its supporters and loyalists, recognising them even when they don’t deserve an honour or even when they murdered people (primarily opponents). Last year (2016) and even in 2015, right after it came into office, the PNC-AFC coalition distributed around 125 honours, with only 11 per cent being given to Indians. Voters note that the PNC approved pensions for its former MPs and loyalists, whereas the PPP did not do same for its deserving former MPs.
The PPP Government bent backwards to reward and distribute various handouts to supporters of the PNC (believing it will get votes) alienating itself from its own supporters in the process. Why the PPP refused to honour and engage in actions to benefit its deserving supporters is inexplicable.
Voters also point out that Ramotar and his predecessor hardly granted silk (Senior Counsel) to deserving Indian lawyers whereas the PNC boldly distributed Silks to its supporters, most of whom are undeserving. Voters assail the PPP leadership for failing to do “the right thing” (discriminating against its own) when in government.
It is inexplicable why the PPP alienated itself among its traditional supporters causing them to defect to the AFC and leading to its loss of power. It is a lesson to be learned. But voters query whether the PPP has learnt anything from its behaviour or actions.