by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 11 June 2006)
In less than one week there has been two letters to Stabroek News trying to discredit Sweet and Sensitive Freddie and yet another letter to Kaieteur News - from someone I did not know at all - attempting to discredit me by acting like he or she knew me personally.
Me thinks the current government, which according to the Information Liaison to the President, Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud, MBA, is "renowned for its ultra-democratic tendencies," may be a bit perturbed with all of the abundant freedom of press that being enjoyed by the Kaieteur News columnists nowadays.
Speaking of good ole' Smart and Sharp, I received a biting email this week from a kindly housewife named Lolita who was bitterly upset with me for being so harsh on Mr. Persaud about his column from last Sunday. The email was laced with a racist nuance to which I will never succumb no matter how many stories I hear of yesteryear.
Lolita also said she thinks I have a crush on the President (are we still in primary school?) and used some intimidation techniques that included my daughter and a separate statement about skeletons creeping out of my closet. I did not respond to the email, but I would like the alleged housewife to know that I have nothing more in my closet than any other average 37 year-old woman.
The issue with these letters to the Editor and the emails I receive is that one can never be sure if the author is indeed a real person or a phantom name being used by a member or supporter of the government.
I did get an email from a Christian to let me know someone is praying for me in my backslidden condition. Although I truly do not see a return to my former faith, I do appreciate the kind gesture and the prayers.
On a more serious note, I have been corresponding with a young woman who lives in a Berbice village near the Guyoil robbery this week. She relayed the terrifying experience to me and my heart broke when I thought about what she and the rest of her neighbours had to endure at the hands of these terrorists.
This scared young woman told me, "In Guyana, human life it seems is considered equal to that of chicken and fish. A guy is dead and a place is robbed, many were scared and at risk - and that is ok, right? Who cares? No one." Such extreme hopelessness at such a young age struck a chord in my heart as a mother.
There was also a very intelligent and hardworking 16-year-old young lady who was brutally raped and murdered this week. When I consider the fear that plagues the lives of the people, I cannot help but wonder why someone like Clement Rohee is spending so much time writing about the political role Freddie Kissoon played in Guyana decades ago when the young women of Guyana are being killed and terrorised today.
Actually, now that I think about it, Clement Rohee is the Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation. It seems to me that Rohee's focus should be on foreign investment, an area in which Guyana could assuredly use some competent experience, not on a campaign letter writing crusade as if he were in charge of the communications aspects of the party.
Is that not Robert Persaud's job? Why is Rohee doing Smart and Sharp Robert's job? Does he not think Persaud is as Smart and Sharp as the rest of us do? Rohee had better watch out or he may soon be getting an email from that same housewife who shook her finger at me this week. She seemed very protective of Robert Persaud. I wonder if she has a crush on him.
Come to think of it, Persaud did import his fancy MBA pretty quickly. Perhaps he would do better job as Minister of Foreign Trade than Rohee. He is a pretty slick talker too. I bet he could do a great job selling Guyana to investors.
However, I suppose if the members of the government fully and effectively functioned within their assigned roles, they could rely on a solid track record for this campaign season instead of resorting to ancient history and racist politics to get a trickle of votes.
I suppose the question at hand that the people of Guyana should be asking the PPP is, "What have you done for me lately"? Have you stopped the flooding? Have you stopped the crime? Have you fixed the economy? Have you enhanced the educational system?
The answer to all of these critical questions is a resounding no. Just ask those in Lethem about the flooding and my young friend in Berbice about the crime. Maybe Rohee needs to spend more time on fixing the economy and less time writing letters.
For every full-page letter he writes, that is a solid two hours or more he could have spent on trying to enhance relationships with some foreign investor to create jobs for the people. Or if he spent that time reading the letters to the Editor from the people about the issues that are actually important to them, then maybe the PPP would have a better idea of where their focus should really be in this election season.
As an afterthought, while we have everyone switching roles, maybe I could switch roles with Sweet and Sensitive Freddie and become Guyana's premier columnist. Nah, I just don't think I could ever measure up and I'm sure Rohee could uncover a skeleton in my closet and prove that I was never part of helping to unseat the Burnham government.