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Monday, May 29, 2006

By Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA

Last week, we once against witnessed the lack of leadership by the President when he said he would restructure the Army and Police Force upon a PPP/C victory in the upcoming elections. Many in the Government have publicly said there is no need for an Army. Some have even gone as far as bringing the race element into play.

These statements along with the many hours of racial insensitivities being broadcast daily on NCN should become a national warning of what is in store for our nation, if this party gets back into power. We have seen recent attempts to discredit the chiefs of both of the forces, as the first indication of what the definition of the President's promised restructuring would mean.

Most likely, wholesale firing of those who are not aligned to the party politics will occur.

There have been so many free societies throughout history that have succumbed, oft times willingly, to the dictatorship of one man. We have all studied such historical events because it never makes sense as to why an entire country of intelligent and capable people would voluntarily lay their down their rights as citizens, and put themselves at the mercy of a single individual.

This is a phenomenon that should be thoroughly explored by all Guyanese, since we are at a crucial juncture of exactly this type of occasion in our own country.

The situation in our nation is that there is still no peace, justice or prosperity. We have no reason to feel indebted to this would-be-king, who has brought no reprieve from crime, poverty or racial division.

In fact, our country is presently in a state of confusion and on the brink of chaos.
Removing those who do not wholly support a particular party from positions of influence and instilling fear into the people are commonly used methods to sneak a dictatorship into a free country. Saddam Hussein is a modern day example of this method, where fear is used to goad the people into submission to the dictatorial rule. This is a ruthless technique that silences opposition in any fashion deemed necessary and governs with a strong hand. This type of dictator also tends to be more concerned with selfish ambitions like attaining power and money than with the citizens of the country.

One wonders if the President feels that crime will be solved by restructuring the forces. Why then wait until after elections? Is the current crime situation a benefit to the PPP/C so that the President and NCN can continue to blame the entire town of Buxton? Why is the Ethnic Relations Commission allowing the President to make racially charged insensitive remarks, especially to his constituents? Is that commission under the dictatorial control too?

These are methods of dictatorship that are tiptoeing their way into Guyana. Fear is rampant and the people crave peace, justice and prosperity. Our country is weak, beaten down from years of lack and lawlessness, and seeking a saviour from our incessant despair. I beg you, fellow countrymen, do not turn to dictatorship for help.

This is not the answer for our woes; it will just bring even more anguish into our already pathetic existence.

Some may say the political watchdogs of our country are just being oversensitive, but that is the same approach taken by the naïve citizens of Rome before they lost their freedoms forever. In fact, let us examine this subject, based on recent events, to see if one can actually draw a correlation with past dictatorships and what is now occurring in Guyana.

What are some steps taken by a latent dictator? One of the very first measures taken is to squelch the citizens' freedom of speech. But a good dictator will go much farther than that. The outlets for this freedom, such as television stations and newspapers, will be targeted. These outlets will be shut down or intimidated into submission to the controlling despot.

Have we seen this sort of behaviour in Guyana recently? Overwhelmingly, yes! A television station was shut down for speaking out against the government and a newspaper suffered the same fate. Citizens themselves are being sued for voicing their opinions about the administration. We have even seen persons seemingly killed for being anti-government on television stations. I think we can safely say this step has been marked off the list for impending dictatorship.
Another step on the road to domination is to control the educational institutions. It is vital to attain the loyalty of the minds you want to dominate – especially if these minds are independent thinkers who buck the notions of tyranny. If these freethinking minds cannot be acquired, then they must be eliminated.

Another pungent modern example of this step to domination was in 1989, when the government of China , in an attempt to silence about 100,000 protesting students in Tiananmen Square , sent in the military to take care of the situation. What were the students protesting? Inequality and government corruption. They simply wanted a return to the socialist values of equality and the communist government just wanted them to shut up. The result was a death toll numbering in the thousands.

Can we see the controlling hand of a tyrant in Guyana? As a matter of a fact, last year we say where the government chose to step in and impose a Vice-Chancellor of its own liking on UG against the protests of the University of Guyana's wishes.

Certainly, there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that the current administration is attempting to control the minds of the academics of Guyana with the end goal of national domination. Anyone who comes to any other conclusion is just as naïve as the Romans who forfeited their freedoms out of gratefulness – not fear.
However, there may be a portion of the population who can actually see this creeping dictatorship and view it as an opportunity to advance monetarily or to further gain political/social power. These people need to realise that a dictatorship is loyal to no one, as is evident in tyrants like Saddam Hussein, who killed even those who were closest to him if he had the slightest inclination of disloyalty.

These are strong correlations that can be drawn from the last few months to prove that Guyana, unless she fights tooth and nail against the looming storm, is in fact on its way to another era of dictatorship under the current administration.

What can be done to save her? We must speak out. Students, speak out! Mothers, speak out! Fellow countrymen, speak out! Do not allow Guyana to fall prey to the hungry eyes of tyranny. Guyana, free and liberated Guyana, awaits our reply. BEWARE !

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