Sunday, May 16, 2010

An award for the forest while Guyana sinks lower

The United Nations has long and respectable history. Having replaced a failed League of Nations, the United Nations under various stewardship over the many decades have investigated some of the world’s most horrific crimes against humanity.

And, the United Kingdom has recently recommended that the Guyana government independently investigate the death of more than 400 Guyanese and asking the government to bring the perpetrators of the death squad killings to justice.

But there is an obvious double standard that the United Nations and its members have overlooked. It is with no doubt that the dictator they awarded the Champion of the Forest award, is the person who has stifled the essence of a democratic society.
We know the UN is fully aware of the existing situation in Guyana as contained in the Gay McDougal Report of 2009.

In that report, McDougal examined the racial complexity of the society and listed a number of what was believed to be racial discrimination as complaints of the violent deaths of hundreds of Guyanese were also brought to her attention.

The UN is aware that the PPP government shot down the McDougal Report and even attacking the professional who spent time in Guyana meeting officials including the government.

The existing hold of the government has on the state media is no secret either to the United Nations.

Guyana has a very poor record with the onlookers and it ranges from the withdrawal of the ads to the independent Stabroek News, closure of CNS Ch 6, the refusal to address Broadcast Legislation, the manipulation of the State Media and the constant threat to media houses by the Head of State himself. And more recently, the steady increase of state ads to the Guyana Times, well-known best friend of the president.

These are no secrets.

Several international bodies have ranked Guyana’s corruption - both government and other wise, the crime situation and the delicate investment situation but yet the double standards that exist awards a dictator with an award. On first look that award is unjustifiable - and a large part of the LCDS money is being spent to "honor" Jagdeo for his award. Yet, it has to be a cruel joke that he gets an award for the forest - trees and animals, while the people are starving and the nation sinks in a rot of corruption that the awardee is himself a part of.

It is a timely reminder that there is no helping hands - but our own to ourselves.

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