Roll out a massive Emotional Intelligence Awareness campaign geared to support all

first_imgDear Editor,Some of us are born in this country, we grow and live therein, and have never heard of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA). That is because our parents gave us stability and safety in our homes, and teachers provided support through the school system.I am one such individual, and I remain eternally grateful to my parents and grandparents for exemplifying what stability in family life looks and feels like.However, I recently had cause to interact with this Agency on behalf of a single parent family (father in care of his children) in need of support, and I am in shock to see the level of incapacity at the Agency.Functional literacy is a problem in Guyana; so basic reading, report writing, comprehension, listening and organising skills are in short supply at this Agency. Forget any expectation of common sense, and please don’t even think about such maturity as impartiality, objectivity, truth, fairness and wisdom. Visit any Police station and you find the same problem.If a citizen wants to access intelligence in this society, that citizen is forced to go to the Court System, where they will find professionals with a higher level education and greater capacity for problem-solving.The insight that I gained from my recent interaction with the Guyana Police Force and the Child Care and Protection Agency, which I wish to share with the general public, is the shocking absence and complete disregard and lack of support for the mental health of males in our society.Our agencies are experts at persecuting males; morning, noon and night they know how to do this. They breathe and sleep persecution. Is there one existing agency where men are even heard? They first need to be heard and understood, before they can be supported.This deafness to supporting — rather than persecuting — poor male members of our society is a policy gap that screams across the nation, and it pushes men into a corner to find solace in drowning sorrows.How many men and children in our society deal with verbal and psychological abuse from mothers and female spouses on a daily basis? Yet such women find ready comfort and a sympathetic ear with the gullible authorities. Why is female persecution of slander, lies and threats against men not an issue of concern to any of our agencies? Why are females not given the help that they also need to learn to communicate more effectively?For the creation of a just society, we must engage in systems thinking, do deeper analysis, and provide the mental health support needed by ALL members of our society.Are our agencies aware that people in this country are hungry, with a day-to-day struggle to find food for their children? From their regular, salaried positions and air-conditioned offices (with visitors often left to wait in the sun and rain), are Government officials capable of understanding the support needed by poor families?How do we ease the desperation in society?From my experience with the Child Care and Protection Agency, I have come to realise that there exists a lack of understanding of the living conditions of the poor, and the support being provided to poor families struggling to raise children is way short of inadequate.With a paucity of analytical skills, the right problems will not be solved, because they are not being diagnosed.There are, in this nation, many single-parent families in which men, fathers, are the single-parent struggling to raise their children. Male single-parent families need support as much as families with mothers as the single-parent. The psychological mindset at our agencies, however, is that fathers must work, and mothers must be supported. Mothers can be abusive, drunkards, liars, prostitutes, and guilty of child neglect; frequenting bars with their girl children, who are often prostituted, raped, and made to become mere teenage pregnancy statistics. However, they are mothers, and an agency incapable of proper investigation but is biased against fatherhood cannot act in the interest of fathers and their children.We don’t only celebrate Mother’s Day in this country and around the world; we also observe Father’s Day. As a nation, and part of the Western World now waking up to mental health issues, I urge our agencies and policy makers to remember that men are people too, and that the hard-working, stressed-out fathers are as much in need of support as the destitute mothers.On a recent visit to the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Protection, my attention was drawn to an apparently humble notice inviting members of staff to ‘Emotional Intelligence’ training. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the silver lining. If there is a single policy initiative that can have resounding impact on our mental evolution and our nation’s human development and capacity building efforts, it is the development of our collective emotional awareness.As they say in Trinidad, we can all ‘make nice’; first with ourselves, and then with others.Men and women in Guyana cannot improve their coping strategies for dealing with life’s frustrations without a deeper understanding of their emotions. The lot of the emotionally hijacked – the torrent of emotional abuse, impoverished communication skills, and the murders and suicides – would improve only with knowledge of how to manage the many frustrations of life. As a Rastafarian recently said to me, “We all must learn to bring the ‘I’ over the ‘E’.I wish to encourage our policy makers to roll out a massive Emotional Intelligence Awareness Campaign across the length and breadth of this nation. It must be geared to supporting the needs of ALL in our society.Sincerely,Concerned Citizenlast_img read more

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Hamilton Green’s distortion of history – setting the record straight

first_imgDear Editor,The media recently carried a letter penned by Mr Hamilton Green in relation to the tragic sinking of the Son Chapman due to an explosion in the Demerara River. This incident occurred on July 6, 1964.In his letter, Mr Green said he was not pointing a finger at anyone for what happened, however, his entire letter was pointing a finger at the PPP.In recent times, the PNC-led APNU has been trying to use this incident to whip up racism for political mobilisation. Racism is their main weapon to try to cling to power.Mr Green is aware that neither the enquires that were held, nor the colonial police, which at that time was working with the PNC to force the resignation of the Government of 1961-1964, ever made any changes against the PPP for that incident.Mr Green resorted to circumstantial evidence to prove his point.He insinuated that it could have been a reprisal for what occurred at Wismar/McKenzie on May 25 and 26, 1964. This is how he put it “… over 75% of the Indo Guyanese were roughed up and forced to flee their homes and businesses…”A worse understatement was never made. The “roughing up” that Mr Green spoke about were the dozens of persons killed, women and children raped. Many of the women had bottles rammed into them. Even little babies were torn from the hands of their mothers and murdered. Two hundred buildings, homes and businesses were destroyed completely. Many perished in the flames. This included the family of Senator Christine Ramjattan, who almost lost her sight and her father was brutally murdered.The first report on May 26, 1964, of the previous day’s events, put the amount of dead at twenty-seven (27) and forty (40) injured by gunshot, many of the forty died later. Of course, dozens more died on May 26, 1964, in that massacre.Mr Green wrote that that was a reprisal for what was happening on the Coast, mainly the East and West Coast of Demerara.That is just not true. Most of those who suffered death and destruction of their homes were Indo Guyanese. The death count just before the massacre at Wismar/McKenzie was thirteen (13) Indians and five (5) African Guyanese.The truth of the matter is that the PNC, with the support of the British colonialists through the British Police Commissioner, had gone on a terror campaign against PPP supporters.During the strike by GAWU for Union recognition that Mr Green spoke about, the police were used to harass sugar workers. The PNC supplied scab to Bookers to break the strike.PNC recruited thugs to go into villages to beat and harass sugar workers. They were often transported by Police vehicles. It is clear that the British decided to use the strike to create mayhem as part of the destabilisation. The PNC and MPCA were the main tools of the colonial master.While the colonial police facilitated the attacks on the PPP members and supporters, they prevented sugar workers who had formed committees to guard their villages from the frequent attacks. Many times the police, accompanied by thugs, arrested and delivered serious beatings on them. One at Blairmont was murdered in his yard. Needless to say, no one was ever arrested.The PNC X-13 plan that was exposed in this period was a terrorist plan to create as much violence as possible to prevent independence from being granted. It was in operation since 1962 but only exposed in 1964. It was that plan that was being executed by the PNC. That is why the British-controlled Police took no action to stop the violence directed against Indian and African Guyanese PPP members and supporters.Coming back to the Son Chapman tragedy, let me say that the most likely cause was accidental. I say this since if the PPP had anything to do with it, that would have given the British the condition to jail and disgrace the PPP and in particular, Cheddi Jagan. It is apposite to point out that by then a large part of the PPP leadership was detained without trial or even charged.What was known also, was that Son Chapman was ferrying explosives to Wismar/McKenzie, for a while before the PNC’s murderous rampage of May 25-27, 1964.The police had many reports of this. The Premier, Cheddi Jagan, told Peter Owen, the British Commissioner of Police, that he had information that this was happening months before the explosion in Son Chapman. And months before May 25 and 26, 1964. Of course, the colonial police paid no heed.Indeed, from all the papers that have been released from the US State Department and the British Foreign Office, we see how they were protecting the PNC leadership and their criminal acts. Even Mr Burnham, who was found with an illegal weapon in his house, was protected by the Governor. He ensured that the case against him was dismissed.Moreover, the papers revealed that the PNC via Mr Burnham was collecting money from the CIA that period to help with their organisation. That continued until 1973.The Governor even went so far as to decree that individuals or organisations who or which were found in possession of the PNC’s X-13 plan would face compulsory jail time. This was another demonstration of the British protecting the PNC in their efforts to frustrate the granting of independence.The question may be asked, where was the PNC getting the dynamite from. Those old enough would know that dynamite was the preferred explosive used by the PNC at the 1963 and 1964 riots.Recall that large quantities of dynamite were reportedly stolen from the quarries owned by Correa (A PNC legislative member) Martin Fredericks (he was a candidate on the UF list) and De Freitas (supporter of the UF). The police never recovered the explosives, nor were any arrests made.The amounts taken were large. Fredericks Quarry, for instance, lost 500 lbs. of Gelignite (dynamite), 2 coils of Fuse Wire, 1600 Detonators and 400 electric wire. This was reported by the police. The number of explosives taken from Corriea and De Freitas was just as large or even greater.It was those that were ferried up to McKenzie and were used in blasting buildings during the holocaust (using Burnham’s description) at that location. They were also used extensively on the Coast by PNC’s terrorists and in Georgetown in 1963, at Rice Marketing Board and the bombing of stores owned by Indian Guyanese.It was very clear that part of the cargo on the Son Chapman was dynamite from the stolen amounts.In passing, let me state that none of the explosives came from Demba Bauxite Company at McKenzie; their stock was not breached and all were accounted for.Historians can be sure that these explosives were in the possession of the PNC for the following reasons:In the yard of Mr Reid, who became number 2 in the PNC, dynamite and detonators were found. He was then in a senior position at Bookers and living in Bel Air Park. He was never charged.On March 27, 1964, an explosion took place in the house of Joseph London at Asylum Street, New Amsterdam. London was a PNC activist. He lost seven of his fingers in the explosion. He obviously had the explosives in his hands when it went off. When the police searched his house, they found “seven (7) sticks of blasting gelatine and ten (10) detonators with fuses.Finally, on August 17, 1964, the colonial Commissioner of Police, who collaborated and defended PNC thugs and terrorists, was forced to admit that it was acts of the PNC. He had to in light of many exposures that were taking place internationally, including the United Nations. Peter Owens said; “… enquires so far have revealed that there exist an organised thuggery which is centrally directed…” He later, in a sworn affidavit, stated that “… subversive and criminal activities of a criminal gang attached to a political party known as the People’s National Congress…” existed. This was the gang responsible for the destruction of that period.What action did he take? None. Instead, he used the occasion to further persecute the victims. A large part of the PPP’s GAWU leadership was detained without trial.These included the Deputy Premier Brindley Benn, Education Minister CV Nunes, President of GAWU, Harry Lall, General Secretary of GAWU, Phelomena Sahoye among others. Thirty-four PPP leaders were held at Sibley Hall in the Mazaruni River.Only Robert Jordon from the PNC was held. He was a Legislative Assembly Member for the Wismar/McKenzie Constituency. He was quickly released.For its part, the PPP never stopped fighting for a unity of the Guyanese people. Immediately after the Wismar/McKenzie massacre, the PPP in a statement said “Yesterday, May 25, 2019, Guyanese were given a foretaste on what they might expect from a Government constituted by a coalition of the UF and the PNC. In Wismar, one hundred (100) dwelling and business places were destroyed by fire and eight hundred (800) non-PNC-UF Guyanese became refugees from an area in which many of them had spent most of their lives.“It is a sad commentary on the quality of the UF-PNC leadership that by such going on as took place yesterday at McKenzie our Afro-Guyanese citizens are made to appear to the world as a ruthless and destructive mob whereas their whole history shows them to be a kind-hearted and generous people.”“Afro-Guyanese must surely stop now to think about the leadership they have been following and the direction in which they are being led. As was evident after 1962 and 1963, violence can only lead to economic stagnation and unemployment. The leadership of the UF need not work for a living it is wealthy, but the working people who follow the UF and PNC should look ahead to discover the faith of their future”.Mr Green knows all these things, he played a big part in it. It was in this period that he gained the reputation as being one of the PNC’s notorious strongmen.Distortions and half-truth will not serve any good purpose at this time. If our country is to heal, we need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!Isn’t it time to come clean Hammy?Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more

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SADNESS AT DEATH OF FORMER SINN FEIN COUNCILLOR

first_imgDonegal North East Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has paid tribute to former Donegal County Councillor and Buncrana Town Councillor, Jim Ferry who has died today.Mr Ferry had served on Donegal County Council for eight years from 1991 to 1999 and on Buncrana Town Council for over ten years from 1991 to 2002, serving as Chairman of Buncrana Town Council from 1997 to 1998.Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “Jim Ferry was a highly respected republican who had dedicated decades of his life to the service of the people of Donegal and Derry. From enduring a hunger strike for 47 days in the Curragh to becoming Chairman of his local town council, he carried his republican responsibilities with decency and dignity. “He will always be fondly remembered for his courage at the time of the assassination of his close friend, Cllr Eddie Fullerton and the way that he accepted the responsibility of taking Eddie’s town council seat and successfully winning back Eddie’s county council seat in June 1991”.“On behalf of Sinn Féin and republicans across the North West of Ireland and beyond, I convey our deepest sympathy to his partner Jeanie, son, Noel and extended family. Go ndeanfaidh trocaire uirthi.”JIM FERRY, RIPThe death has taken place in Letterkenny General Hospital of Jim Ferry former Sinn Fein Councillor, 4 Tobh Na Strutain, Buncrana. Removal from Chapel of Rest Letterkenny Hospital today at 6pm going to his late residence. Funeral from there on Tuesday at 10am going to the St Mary’s Church Cockhill for Requiem Mass at 11am. Interment afterwards in the adjoining Cemetery. Family flowers only Donations in lieu if desired to the Donegal Hospice c/o McKinney Funeral Directors Buncrana.   SADNESS AT DEATH OF FORMER SINN FEIN COUNCILLOR was last modified: March 25th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SADNESS AT DEATH OF FORMER SINN FEIN COUNCILLORlast_img read more

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