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A Letter To Santa

Vibert Parvatan

Dear Santa,

It has become traditional for me to write to you at Christmastime with a “Wish List” for Guyana.

We are thankful for the favourable responses you gave to some of last year’s requests and look forward to your positive and joyful support this year.

Santa, the girls, boys, women and men in this land of hospitality, look forward to welcoming you and appreciate your kind and generous spirit.

Santa, in accepting responsibility for your welfare when in Guyana, you need to be advised and guided inspite of your vast experience.  Please do not display any sign of military training and experience.  It will attract recognition and attention of administrators who may be inclined to recruit you.  We prefer you to stay as Santa, sharing gifts and bringing joy to people.  Santa, you would have observed the same pattern of military recruitment now emerging with the U.S President elect.  Is it coincidental? Or are they learning from us?

Santa, in the A B C of our vocabulary these days, certain words often surface.
A - arbitrary, alienation and arrogance
B - bureaucracy, bigotry and blame
C - confusion, contradiction and confrontation

Santa, you need to de-emphasize those words and give prominence to
A - accommodation, affinity and appreciation
B - benevolence, bonuses and blessings; (we already  have bicycles, bridges and buses)
C - compromise, cohesion and civility

These gifts must be shared generously countrywide in Guyana where divisionary forces find fertile ground.  Santa, please be generous with “unity” tablets to stultify the divisionary forces which undermine nation building.     

Santa, over the past year and a half, winds of speculation, information gathering, curiosity and a search for solutions to problem areas, led to the setting up of Forensic Audits and Commissions of Inquiry.

Santa, give to the recipients of those reports a sense of urgency and confidence to make timely decisions and recommendations on the way forward.  Remind them that satisfying the expectations of everyone is impractical.

Santa, politics continues to dominate most activities in our troubled world.

In observing political developments and occurrences in certain countries regarded as pillars and symbols of democracy, Guyana seems to be on the same page.  Aggressive and bitter political campaigning at the expense of dividing a nation.  Attractive pre-election promises, followed by facing the reality of managing many complex affairs of a country.

With the rising disenchantment of voters in many lands with the status quo, small political parties in Guyana may recognize new opportunities.

Santa, the gift of reconciliation between the major political parties in Guyana will enhance nation building and give optimism to so many people who rightfully believe they deserve a better quality of life.

Too much time and human energy are dissipated in attacks and counter-attacks rather than nation building.

Santa, in the presentation of the Guyana National Budget for 2017 in Parliament earlier this month, there was sign language showing the Parliamentarians what was being said. 

It was a confirmation of the view expressed by most Guyanese that the members of Parliament are deaf.  They do not hear the voices of the people.  The same applies to some Municipalities and Regional Democratic Councils.

Santa, kindly give to all elected and appointed Officers who are supposed to serve the People of this land, hearing aids, lie detectors and the human quality of respect for the people they are supposed to serve with humility.

Santa, the streets and stores are not as busy these days; the purchasing power may have diminished.  You can bring large amounts of foreign exchange as gifts to improve the situation.

Santa, Power Generation (not political but electrical) is again becoming a problem.  Given the emphasis on a green economy, you may consider gifts of solar energy.  Hydro power is still a dream with ongoing indecision.

Santa, your gifts of crime kits, training and equipment last year has had positive results.

The Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Force is once again solving crimes. This is commendable!  Did you say Ho! Ho! Ho!

Unfortunately, Santa we have a serious crime situation causing fear in the hearts of many persons.

The Police have a long “wish list” this year, including functional telephones at every Police Station or Outpost; good radio communications; working motor vehicles and personnel at all stations for quick response.   

While on the subject of Police Station, please provide gifts of cameras with audio recording facilities at every Police Station or Outpost and in the interrogating rooms and holding cells. 

Remove the veil of secrecy which covers many matters which ought to be in the public domain.

Santa, for decades, workers’ representation has been prominent.

The Labour Unions and the workers they represent are asking you for the gift of a Ministry of Labour in the new year.

Santa, the noise nuisance and dangerous driving of motor vehicles continue to cause suffering and grief to many persons.  Provide gifts to alleviate those situations.  In this regard, too many are suffering and hurting.

Santa, give to the Judicial System - Judges, Magistrates, State Counsels and revised procedural systems to expedite court matters. Currently the process is slow, frustrating and disgusting.  

The government and opposition must work together to strengthen the rule of Law which must be efficient and independent.

If Justice delayed is Justice denied, then too many now experience injustice. 

Santa, I referred to the ABC earlier.  If I go to the letter ‘D’ , it will deal with the word DEMOCRACY an overused and misunderstood word in many lands.

Give to all Leaders, decision makers and those who impact on the lives of people the clear understanding that certification of national election being free and fair is not the end.  It is only the beginning of that journey.

VAT

As a boy having a Vat in the yard was necessary.  Rainfall was collected from roof tops and stored for drinking, cooking, washing, etc.  These days potable water is supplied to homes.  But in the capital, water supply may not be available throughout the day.  As you are aware, Guyana is the land of many waters.  Santa, give to the people pressure pumps but do not drink our tap water.

From next year VAT (Value Added Tax) will be placed on electricity and water for some consumers.  We do not mind having gifts of Vats in yards for storage of rain water; but let us not go back to kerosene and gas lamps as the source of light.

The significant sums provided for consultancy studies in GPL’s power generation and transmission could best be utilized in routine operational matters.

From VAT, let me go to CAT.  This has nothing to do with milk and pussy cats.
CCorruption
A
Accountability
T
Transparency

Those subjects always remain an ongoing concern for only the opposition.

When parties’ positions are reversed or exchanged, only the opposition will be critical of those sensitive issues.  The same applies to constitutional reform.  Only when in opposition, that need is recognized.

Santa, for decades the political divide was mainly on choice of “ISM”

Capitalism vs. Socialism.  In that struggle Guyanese suffered.

Santa, give to our leaders and aspiring leaders, the gift of pragmatism.

Santa – Please give to the thousands of children who are not assured of regular meals, something special at Christmas, such as love, goodies, toys, joy and hope.

SANTA, LET YOUR GIFTS UNITE OUR PEOPLE, IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE AND BRING THEM HAPPINESS NOT ONLY AT CHRISTMAS TIME BUT ALWAYS.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU SANTA AND A SAFE RETURN TO THE NORTH POLE.

Sincerely,

Vibert Parvatan

 

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