AFTER reading Freddie Kissoon’s column: “President Ramotar’s Logic” (Kaieteur News, Oct. 26), I must conclude that this character is delusional at best. Kissoon’s rants are getting worst by the day, and it’s only a matter of time before his publisher puts an end to this personal outrage and vendetta against the PPP/C, that threatens to endanger the credibility of his publication.
In his attempt to rationalise his belief that the executive branch of government must
make concessions with the opposition in drafting the national budget, he painted this dumb, childish scenario:
“Your only access to the road is via a waterway. But the waterway is privately-owned. Sailing then is your main method of transport. You bought a boat. You took the boat into the water to get to your destination. The owner of the waterway asked you to take his son to school every day when you go on the water. You refused. He refused you permission to use his passage. Who is the foolish one? You are. Your access to your work is the man’s river. You automatically have to enter into some form of concession with him and his concession is that you take his kid to school. The simple fact of life in your world is that you have to negotiate if you want access to the road. It is the same with the national budget.”
To put it mildly, Freddie Kissoon is a pathetic, dishonest peddler of misinformation, and needs to apologise to His Excellency, Donald Ramotar for trying to discredit and intimidate him.
I vividly recall the consultations that took place between government and leaders of the opposition, at the invitation of President Ramotar immediately after his victory, despite the busy Christmas holidays. President Ramotar met with members of the opposition, and agreed to consult with them on the budget while it was being drafted.
He set up a bipartisan team of professionals that included Cyril Solomon, Clifford Reis and Ronald Alli to review the tax system and policies.
Kissoon is as delusional as his fictional character who buys a boat before securing an agreement to use someone else’s waterway. How dumb was that? And Kissoon must be conveniently suffering from amnesia by his failure to recall and recognise how willing President Ramotar was, to embrace the opposition in meaningful dialogue at the beginning of his term. But what resulted can best be described in my letter published in Kaieteur News on December 29, 2011.
I wrote: “However, despite the President’s willingness to work with the opposition, David Granger’s APNU seems determined to continue the chaos, vowing to intensify protest action next year (2012) and to give government a number of deadlines to make key decisions.
According to PNC/APNU spokeswoman Lurlene Nestor, she wanted Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee to resign by the end of March 2012; she wants Guyana to have a government of national unity, and the Elections Commission and Chief Elections Officer to be replaced in six months.”
Editor, it is important to note that these threats of creating chaos by intensifying protest action, and the demands by the PNC/APNU mouthpiece, Lurlene Nestor, which specified the resignation of the Home Affairs Minister, were made and documented last December long before the violence and lawlessness that culminated in the protests in Linden and Agricola and long before the unfortunate shooting deaths of the so-called “peaceful protestors”.
But as part of their devious plan, the opposition used those events to intensify calls for the resignation of Rohee, as Lurlene Nestor demanded since December of last year. This is clear and convincing evidence that the leaders of PNC/APNU, in collaboration with their new partner, the Alliance For Change, of deliberately exploiting the loyalty and willingness of their supporters to provoke civil unrest in a well executed, well-planned strategy, and to blame Rohee for any action taken by the police. They instigated and financed the havoc, and abandoned their misguided followers to fend for themselves, in order to avoid being labelled as organisers.
The drafting of the national budget is the responsibility of the Executive. By their confrontational actions and denying critical support for projects, pivotal to job creation and growth, both the PNC/APNU and the AFC have demonstrated their willingness to oversee the destruction of all the progress made over the years by the PPP/C administration. They have not yet demonstrated political maturity, vision, nor the willingness to compromise in the national interest. As such, President Ramotar will not be railroaded into handing over his responsibility to a bunch of losers who are determined to bring down his administration at any cost.
Freddie Kissoon just doesn’t get it. Neither the AFC nor PNC/APNU is in any position to issue demands and ultimatums. They contested the election and lost. As I’ve said before, it would be a mistake for the opposition to take President Ramotar’s willingness to cooperate with them as a sign of weakness. For as the Kaieteur News editorial of December 23, 2011 so eloquently stated: “We hope that the opposition does not demand a mile now that they have been given a fathom. Consultation does not mean capitulation.”
Freddie Kissoon would do well to listen to his boss. Maybe he will learn a thing or two about civility.