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The views expressed are entirely the opinion of the writer

A Letter to Santa

Vibert Parvatan

Dear Santa,

The children and the people of Guyana look forward with great expectations to your annual, traditional Christmas visit to Guyana.

You have always been a source of kindness, compassion, problem solving and generosity which in our troubled world today are much needed. 

My CHRISTMAS WISH LIST this year is somewhat modified with an awareness of greater needs of people in other countries where millions are seeking shelter, food, water and are dying from falling bombs, where conflict, hatred and bitterness suffocate their lives.

In reviewing my previous wish lists over the years, I do recognise your good gifts which have helped in some areas, while noting that some major issues over the years, maybe decades, remain unchanged.

These recurring problems include blackouts, noise nuisance, unsafe roadways where people are being killed by reckless drivers, crime - murders and robberies which engender fear even in homes.

Other troubling issues which continue are the absence of zoning, growing poverty, unnecessary conflict, corruption, secrecy, selfishness, use and abuse of power and authority, the accentuation of divisions which undermine social cohesion and purposeful unity in our multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious society.

Santa, I recapitulate these subject matters in my wish list, in order that you can prioritise those gifts which would alleviate fears and bring resolution to those matters which affect the quality of life of people.

Last year, I had asked you to look at our alphabet:-

Letting go of

A - arbitrary, alienation and arrogance
B - bureaucracy, bigotry and blame
C - confusion, contradiction and confrontation

And replacing that with:

A - accommodation, affinity and appreciation
B - benevolence, bonuses and blessings (we already have bicycles, bridges and buses)
C - compromise, cohesion and civility

There is no evidence that you gave to us that gift.  You may wish to reconsider this year.

Santa, a special gift which would be useful, informative and allow persons to think before they speak may be:

Lie Detectors

In the social, cultural and political landscape, there is too much contradiction, and confusion creating uncertainty for the populace.  It is difficult to determine what is true, and what is false.  I think you should give priority to gifts of powerful, effective Lie Detectors.

These Lie Detectors must be placed in all places where important discussions are held and decisions taken.  It should be so designed that whenever a lie is uttered, a red flash will brighten the building both inside and outside, with sound effects saying “that is lie”.

The locations for the placement of these Lie Detectors must include:-

parliament, municipal councils, the courts, press conferences - by administrators, and also all meetings especially in negotiations with the unions, commissions of Inquiry and police investigations.  Such a system will simplify proceedings in the various fora including the courts.  To strengthen that system there must be some form of disciplinary action against liars, including suspension and even expulsion.  It will lead to a form of purification.

Lifetime Heads of State

Santa, in several countries there is a determination of leaders to hold on forever to their presidential or prime ministerial positions. 

Even if they demit office they fight to bounce back to their old powerful influential positions.  The experiences in which Presidents and Prime Ministers want to stay in office for their lifetime must emphasise the need to correct and restrict those over-ambitious, selfish, bombastic persons.


Santa, to remedy that situation,  your gift to such countries must be to revise the constitutions and specify that only one term of office is allowed and for not more than four years.  Such administrators will focus on the immediate problems and their legacy, rather than daily concentrating on holding on to power at the next election.

The Military

Last year I had advised you not to make public any military experience, with concern that you may be asked to stay in Guyana.  That is no longer a problem as all those vacancies have been filled. 

An imposter as Santa

Santa, to ensure that you encounter no problems in beautiful Guyana and its hospitable and appreciative people let me alert you that an impostor dressed in a Santa Costume barged in to the Parliament of Guyana while in session and created confusion.  He shocked the entire assembly by not saying HO HO HO but GO GO GO GO.  The Ministers and members of Parliament including members of the opposition were very offended when they realised Santa was shouting to them without a placard GO GO GO GO.


What I will now caution you on will be the significance of Colours.

Santa you have to be very careful with colours you project.  The traditional colours with the decorations of red on a green Christmas tree must not be changed.  I need to tell you in confidence that the colour green is gaining greater significance in Guyana especially in the political arena.

Some persons are of the view that painting the office of the Presidency and State House green are symbolic and indicative of Guyana’s commitment and support for a green economy in the fight against the degradation of the environment.

Fit and Proper

Santa, please establish and publicise desirable personal and national values with codes of conduct which could be recognisable and clearly define Fit and Proper persons.

Law and Order

In spite of your many gifts to suppress crime, it is apparent that law enforcement is weak.  As a Christmas gift, the People’s Republic of China has made significant contributions to this country.  That list includes:-

54 Patrol vehicles; operationalising the  911 number for recording and responding to cries for help.  Kindly give to the Guyana Police Force mechanical workshops and preventative maintenance systems.  It not those vehicles will be parked and abandoned in a short period.

With that positive development, I have confined my wish list for the law enforcement agencies to human resource at all levels, reinforcing, training, orderliness and curbing the use and abuse of power.  Also making staff appraisals and succession planning meaningful.


An interesting development is emerging in which many persons who are being investigated even for major crimes, are reported to be admitting to committing the offence.  Hopefully, at the trial, claims of giving such statements under duress will not emerge. 

Santa, you decide what is the appropriate gift for that situation.

Secrecy vs Transparency

Santa, there seems to be a misunderstanding of obligations to the people by the persons they elected.  Their positions came from the people who have a right to be kept informed on matters which affect their lives.

Santa, you decide what gift you will make to erase the perceptions and allay the fears of the population.  No contract whether at a city council or governmental level should be deemed secret.

Climate Change

Santa, as we look to the future there is concern about the melting of the North Pole.  In your own interest you may have to consider some form of relocation.  Guyana will be too hot for you in many ways. Climate change with global warming is certainly a harsh reality.  Santa do give some of those disbelievers the mental acumen and analytical skills to face facts.

Santa, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, you have to design welfare programmes for many governments to help and support the elderly so that they can be happy and comfortable in the sunset years of their lives.


Give to the children of Guyana good health-care, education and employment opportunities and a spirit of hope to face the future. 

Santa, let the Christmas message of peace, love, charity and goodwill to all be always evident not only in Guyana but throughout the world.

Have a good stay and a safe return to the North Pole.


Vibert Parvatan
December, 2017

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