Dear Editor,I write this letter prompted by the letter entitled: “APNU and PPP/C must use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for meaningful constitutional reforms” in Stabroek News, Friday, July 12, 2019, and “The prisoner’s dilemma and a call to extend and reform”, in Kaieteur News of the same date, by Terrence R Blackman and Thomas B Singh. I am responding because I think that they are both earnest and well-intended. And, I would say that taking account of the social peace and quiet in our country since the NCM, the overwhelming majority of us Guyanese of all races, classes, religions, and regions is all pondering our situation and looking for a way forward. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grapple with the many things that have been holding us Guyanese back. We are all sensing that we are at an important juncture: I would draw notice to a number of recent letters from our former Prime Minister, Hamilton Green, and my appearance with him on the Internet GlobeSpan talk show of Wednesday, July 10, which you can find on YouTube and Facebook.Editor, in our current situation, full compliance with the spirit and the letter of the NCM and the related constitutional provisions, including those related to GECOM, is the gateway towards our desired ethnic-social-political harmony. I am aware that a number of persons argue that such compliance is insufficient for harmony, but it is an essential first step for everyone.Editor, if there is one thread that runs through our history from the mid-1950s, it has been the refusal of those who would have seen themselves as the elite of Guyana to accord full equal weight as fellow Guyanese citizens to the average Indo-Guyanese, Dr Jagan and the PPP. I am willing to acknowledge that this period has been a difficult and uncomfortable transitioning and learning period for us all; that the majority of us would have been confused, confounded and vulnerable to exploitation by the overlapping of the differences in our country, in race, class, city people, country people (urban/rural) and religion. Individual personalities and the international situation added more fuel to this already explosive mix.From mid-1950, many, who have gravitated to being supporters of the PNC and to the other third parties as they appeared, have to a greater or lesser extent spoken about and represented Dr Jagan and his PPP supporters as not being sophisticated, urbane, nimble nor smart; country, agricultural rice and sugar, people; leaning towards godless communism; our brothers and sisters – yes, but second brothers and sisters who must wait their turn; not ready for Government.Those sentiments provided fertile ground for the manipulative change from constituency First Past the Post to a Proportional Representative (PR) system for the 1964 elections – it was a calculated change to get Dr Jagan and the PPP/C out of office. Those same sentiments also motivated and enabled the active participation of a few and passive acceptance by many of our rigged elections from 1968-1985. People, however, became less wedded to this rigging approach as our social, political and economic situation continuously deteriorated during the 1970s and 1980s when we all suffered greatly and in many ways that we were not conscious of.The vacillating position of the leaders of the coalition Government since the NCM demonstrate that they are still having difficulty to do the right thing and accept us supporters of the PPP and PPP/C as equal brothers and sisters and citizens. We of the PPP and the PPP/C want to be nothing more nor less. We recall our Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo being moved not long ago to plead during a debate in our Parliament that we of the PPP and PPP/C are filled with “not one dollop less of patriotism” than they the leaders of the coalition Government.Editor, my fellow citizens, Messrs Terence Campbell and Thomas Singh, for us to go ahead without first the full acceptance of and compliance with the spirit and letter of the NCM would be for Guyana to put itself once again on the road of getting around the PPP/C and their supporters, the road of 1964-1992. On the other hand, It is my belief that full compliance with the NCM (and the Consequential Orders of the CCJ being delivered as I write) would open the minds of us all to the harmony that we all desire and which is necessary if our recent find of oil is to be a boon and not a damning of us. Let us take that first step.Sincerely,Samuel AA HindsFormer President andformer PrimeMinister
Johannesburg, Monday 19 March 2018 – Brand South Africa will, from 19-21 March 2018, engage with South African citizens living in Australia. In executing its mandate to position the country positively and manage its reputation, Brand South Africa participates in and organises a series of engagements with citizens both domestically and internationally. These engagements are aimed at highlighting the status of the Nation Brand while encouraging citizens to become brand ambassadors and rally behind efforts to strengthen the country’s reputation and profile. Through this, it is anticipated that South Africans can become citizens who actively play their part in this national endeavour. Explaining the importance of South Africans in the diaspora, Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela says, “South Africans living abroad are one of the most important constituencies because of their ability to promote and profile the country positively. “As part of the engagements in Perth, Brand South Africa will share information on of the performance of the Nation Brand. Through this process it is anticipated that these Global South Africans can be encouraged to fly the South African flag and therefore contribute to collective efforts to promote South Africa as a globally competitive business and tourist destination.” Brand South Africa is the custodian of South Africa’s image and reputation and is targeting the 180,000 South African immigrants in Australia, to define their own niche and contribute to the promotion of their country there. Interviews can be arranged with identified spokespeople.