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    31st of December, 2021. Guyana, South America

    Last updated: December 31, 2021 at 21:59 pm

    Dear Editor,

    I watched with disgust what played out in Guyana’s parliament on the evening of Wednesday, 29th of December, 2021, and I’d like to direct a few words to the APNU/AFC members and supporters.

    IS THIS WHAT GUYANA’s PARLIAMENT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO?

    If you are unsuccessful in all your attempts to stop a bill from passing, just grab the Speaker’s MACE…so that later you can say the bill was null and void because the MACE was not present? “Is wah century yuh living in man?”

    As hilarious as this may sound, it is equally disrespectful, unlawful, and unconstitutional, and opens door for practicing “gutter politics.”

    “HOUSE NEGROS/HOUSE SLAVE”

    Then, on top of that, you abuse and assault an Afro-Guyanese patriot for protecting the mace, calling him a house negro, house slave, etc…all because he was doing the right thing. He was doing his job . “YALL HAVE LOW OR NO ETIQUETTE AND MORAL STANDARDS.”

    There are rules, guidelines, and regulations as to how one must behave and conduct themselves in parliament. Should there be any disagreements or disapproval on specific bills, there are processes and procedures to be followed, and I am certain grabbing the speaker’s mace in order to stop a bill from passing is certainly not one of those procedures. I also believe its unlawful and unconstitutional.

    Our democratic principles and values must be protected at all costs. Likewise, our laws and constitution. As a politician, the position that you hold, and the oath you took binds you to both legal and moral obligation. Some of you are role models to the younger generation, so there’s a certain expectation. Your every action will trigger an equal and opposite reaction. After reading this, it is my hope you hold yourself to higher moral standards, and start to lead by example.

    DISORDERLY AND DISRESPECTFUL CONDUCT IN PARLIAMENT

    We must be sure we are sending a strong message. Hooliganism, bullyism, vulgarism, and unprofessionalism will not be tolerated in parliament. Standing up, gallivanting, making noise with intention to cause disruption, then later claiming that a bill was null and void because a group of parliamentarians were standing instead of sitting…again I ask, “is wah century you living in man?”

    Frankly speaking, that wasn’t quite a show. It was very distasteful, disrespectful, unethical, and unprofessional. And especially so since it was coming from people who are well educated, people whom society look up to as role models. I heard APNU/AFC members often speak of making use to the internet/social media and technology, but what about DIALOG AND DEBATES? This would have been a more fruitful approach. I’m sure if the bill had to be reviewed or reconsidered for any reasons, then meaningful dialog and constructive debates would have achieved that.

    Two bill were brought to parliament. The opposition had some concerns. They went to parliament to stop the bills, but they went “like a carpenter who showed up for work without his tools.” It was not surprising they failed to debate the bill and address their concerns. They were unsuccessful in proving that anything is wrong with the bill and therefore couldn’t stop the bill from passing.

    Apparently, they ran out of options and ideas. They began standing up and gallivanting while parliament was in session to show their disapproval. Then suddenly, they tried to grab the MACE of the speaker. This was neither strategic planning nor critical thinking.

    POLITRICKS AND TACTICS

    Why were the opposition standing and gallivanting in parliament instead of sitting? And why did they grab the speaker’s mace? We soon found out why: to say that the two bills were NULL AND VOID.

    Reasons:

    a) several of the parliamentarians were standing rather than sitting.

    b) The speaker’s MACE was not present.

    However, luckily, the mace was back before the Speaker put the question for the National Resource Fund Bill to be read a third time.

    NEXT TIME YOU PULL THAT STUNT, YOU LOSE

    There should be a law that stipulates that if a bill was brought to parliament and if any parliamentarian tries to grab or hijack the mace, regardless if their attempts were successful or not, the bill will be passed without any future debates or delay. This should be the consequence and punishment for those who think they can use unruly tactics and tricks.

    RIDICULING AND DEGRADING A BLACK MAN IN PUBLIC

    CALLING HIM HOUSE NEGRO/HOUSE SLAVE AND PRETEND AS THOUGH IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL.

    Is it ok for blacks to call other blacks those two names in public? Or does it depend on which side of the aisle you are standing? Is it ok for black professionals, politicians to be calling other blacks house slave/house negros? What is even more interesting is that these same people who had ridiculed this black man in parliamentarian in public were the same people that would show support and stand in solidarity with “black lives matter.” Isn’t this double standard and hypocrisy at it’s finest?

    If it had been a white man or another race calling a black man a house slave and house negro, it would have been big riots, looting, and racial tension in the streets. There would have been big commotion followed by demands for monetary compensation to settle racial discrimination and political justification. Question for Black Lives Matter: doesn’t the life of this black man matter? Or it only matters when money is to be made? Or is it because black on black issues are out of control? Maybe it’s simply double standards, hypocrisy, stupidity.

    Yours respectfully,

    Rakesh Gopaul

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