By  stabroek news December 23, 2016

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Hey and hello all. I hope to be relatively light-hearted dealing with three (3) serious issues as many (most?) of you attend to Christmas-time matters – in the country or in the home.

For today is the “penultimate-penultimate day” before the 25th – the fictitious birth anniversary of the Holy Christian Baby Boy. Today also marks fifty (50) years since I – a young “teachers-boy” married my “teacher-girl” wife. (Happy (separated) anniversary to us – who are still legally hitched and will marry no other at this age and stage.) To all you others out there a peaceful restrained season making ready to face 2017.

Recall that six weeks ago, in this space, I implored our Brigadier President D. Arthur Granger to leave lasting light as his legacy. At least one of his lasting impressions and achievements. I mentioned that no government since the seventies of Republicanism has managed to provide this small nation with continuous, uninterrupted power-supply.

As the KN columnist has declared – “from play school/nursery to university” – a full, very matured generation of Guyanese know this phenomenon of “blackout”. What have we done to suffer this uncivilized state? Chose the wrong political managers, election after election?

And as I appeal directly to our Commander-in-Chief to intervene with the GPL Board, I won’t even dwell on the latest “facts” that Canadians are receiving US$7.5 million to strengthen GPL’s management and days ago, a South Korean firm – Byuckstan  – received a $454 million (G) for a “consultancy” to do lots (??). Meanwhile…

 

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Bethlehem couldn’t complain…

At the time of    the divine miraculous birth of the Baby Jesus, His parents-to-be had to leave Nazareth in Lower Galilee to journey to Bethlehem to be counted and/or to pay taxes. They must have been using solar or wind energy in those days because homes and the stable/manger had only candles or lamps perhaps at the birth. Not much has changed here in Georgetown – from time to time. Baby Jesus, please assist us.

 

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Old Lily and legislation

In a not-so-faraway territory there lived an old 80-plus lady named Lilian. All seemed to like calling her “Lily”.

In that land Lily’s government treated her – and all its citizens over seventy – just as seniors in Guyana have been treated for decades. With relative neglect! Even though, as in Guyana, her nation “boasted” only 50,000-plus seniors past seventy.

Well an opposition veteran legislator succeeded in tabling a motion to increase old age pensions and related conditions. The government there debated the projected entitlements robustly. The veteran MP was himself approaching 70 years of age. As in Guyana the so-called Commission for seniors seemed toothless and dormant.

Believe it or not, both Lily and the old legislator passed away before any version of that legislation was passed by that Parliament.

 

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SARA/SOCU: Neither prosecution nor conviction…

For the second time in a month I have reason to agree with the Ram and McRae folks regarding the government’s already–crumbling credibility and perceived lack of effectiveness.

This time I share the view that Brigadier Granger’s administration is not demonstrating – at least with any assured public disclosure – that it is fussy to prosecute those former government or executive individuals who allegedly pilfered with impunity the public purse.

Ram and McRae points out some shortcomings in the (draft) State Assets Recovery Bill, overlapping amongst other legislative and constitutional provisions, even the status and role of Director Clive Thomas when SARU becomes SARA,

Long story short is that all the promises by the President, Prime Minister, Public Security Vice-President and Mr Harmon about penalizing the alleged executive crooks who allegedly stole poor people’s state assets are wearing thin and useless. Some alleged executive bandits are no longer even in the Guyana jurisdiction. SOCU head Mr James now speaks of more “sensitization” for our legal fraternity as SOCU confronts “money laundering” activities.

For months I held the top three to their public word about prosecutions. Next year?Should we hold our breath for collective justice? Even as the alleged crooks keeplaughing all the way to the overseas banks?

 

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Crime, the police and us

I repeat my weekly advisories and suggestions for personal and community security even as the government tries to implement the latest “national security strategy.”

Happily, I see the Police Commissioner zooming in on a strategy related to my firstsuggestion below: Each police station must construct hand-drawn and/or electronic profiles of its division and community (know every nook and cranny); village cops and community police must frequent pools bars and wedding yards/houses; community police must monitor known abusive spouses,  junkies, trouble-makers and community hot-spots; local businesses and private sector entities must assist stations with two (2) good vehicles, street lights and working telephones; rotate station police in the hinterland; Commissioners and Commanders must ensure four/five ranks at stations at all times; traffic cops must monitor night-clubs and highways from dusk (6/7 pm) to dawn.

Simple layman’s remedies pending the more macro strategic plans and “operations.” Meanwhile pre-empt the thinking of the Christmas-time bandits. Where/who next?

Ponder this weekend…

.1)  A young lady columnist has observed: “Opposition scrutiny later exposed that millions of tax-dollars are being injected into foreign establishments (instead of local economy) to provide higher education for two Government Ministers ($6.9 million), several affiliates of the regime, and even Education Minister Rupert Roopnaraine’s daughter, Alicia Roopnaraine ($2.5 million). How do we explain this to the fisherman or the cash-crop farmer who can’t afford to send their children to the University of Guyana (UG). Have a long reflective weekend.

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)