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President Granger “carrying forward the ideas of Burnham”- party General Secretary

PNCR General Secretary Oscar Clarke addressing the launch of a programme of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of his party.

President David Granger is following in the foot-steps of the founder-leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Forbes Burnham, party General Secretary, Oscar Clarke said Friday.

“Dare I say, our present leader has taken that mantle and is carrying forward the ideas of Burnham today because they are relevant to what is happening in this country even now,” Clarke said at the formal launch of activities to celebrate the PNCR’s 60th anniversary.

Burnham is admired by some for, among other things, promoting self-reliance, having a strong foreign policy, political shrewdness but his detractors say his administration retained power by rigged elections, banned or restricted basic food items and crushed political opponents by killing them and violating press freedom.

Clarke recalled that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) split in the 1950s into the Burnham and Cheddi Jagan factions over the latter’s insistence on pursuing the ideological path of communism. Burnham, according to Clarke, preferred socialism that was suitable to Guyana’s development objectives.

The PNCR General Secretary noted that everything that Burnham has said as far back as 1955 “we are seeing now coming back to us as if they were never said before.” “Everything he said then we are seeing it happen in Guyana today and we who are the present leaders- the present comrades in the struggle to build Guyana- must recognise that were it not for this foundation laid by Linden Forbes Burnham we would not have the privilege that we have today,” he said.

PNCR Chairman, Basil Williams argued that since the embryonic years of the PNC, its founder-leader has described that political organisation as one of protest and struggle against corruption, misrule and narrow partisanship- similar challenges Williams said Guyana had endured under the PPP between 1992 and 2015. “Comrades, but doesn’t that strike a bell about how prophetic this man was  since sixty years ago. What is our main beef now? Isn’t it corruption? It is! Misrule, partisanship. That’s twenty-three years of that we inherited and is only now people getting locked up,” he said. Six PPP supporters, who were Directors of the Guyana Rice Development Board, were Friday arraigned on fraud-related charges and each was granted GYD$500,000 bail pending trial.

PNCR Chairman, Basil Williams addressing the event held at his party’s Congress Place headquarters, Sophia.

With the PNCR being the largest party in the coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), they clinched a one-seat victory at the May 2015 general elections.

Clarke recalled that ahead of those polls, there were many criticisms about the PNCR coalescing with other parties, but he noted it was the same way that the PNC had come to power in 1964 when it had coalesced with the capitalist-oriented United Force led then by businessman, Peter D’Aguiar. “Burnham, to get independence for Guyana, joined with Peter D’Aguiar and went to London and Peter D’Aguiar…but he was being consistent and relevant- Independence for Guyana was the grand objective,” said Clarke.

Historical documents  released by Britain and the United States in recent years have confirmed that at the height of the Cold War the US had persuaded Britain not to grant political independence to Guiana under Cheddi Jagan for fear that he would have turned Guyana into a communist satellite state of the Soviet Union second to Cuba. Instead, the West had preferred Guyana to be granted independence under Burnham, a moderate.

Under the theme “United and Strong, 60  Years On,” the PNCR’s activities will include fund-raising, education and awareness, a membership drive, medical outreaches, establishment of a Congress House on the East Bank Demerara,  rehabilitation of party offices, symposia, party history lecture, and an awards ceremony for party stalwarts.

The PNCR’s Chairman listed several achievements in the areas of health, education, infrastructure, women’s rights and youth development since the party was founded in 1967.

In terms of achievements since the PNCR returned to power in a coalition with other political parties, Williams said they included increases in public servants salaries by 37 percent, increase in the minimum wage from GYD$39,540 to GYD$55,000 reduction of the Value Added Tax from 16 percent to 14 percent, 45 percent increase in Old Age pensions from GYD$13,125 to GYD$19,000 and  a GYD$644 million housing subsidy for Regions 1 and 9.

He also listed the holding of local government elections for the first time since 1994, creation of more towns,  establishment of the Public Procurement Commission, aggressive diplomatic campaign to protect Guyana’s territorial integrity, and the rehabilitation of roads and bridges as other achievements since 2015.

Absent from the well-attended event was President David Granger who left Guyana earlier today for Saudia Arabia.

  • Col123

    Good job Mr President and thanks for having Naggie carrying your bag. We now have those Indos in the corner for another fifty years. Go for it!

  • Queen

    What ridiculousness. Burnham ruined this country in the 70’s and 80’s and it was Desmond Hoyte who started the reversal of the slide. And we want to go back to that?

  • Second Coming

    After Jagan’s failed attempt at communism, Burnham’s failed attempt at socialism, Hoyte’s failed attempt to reverse Burnham’s failure, Jagdeo’s failure at corruption-free government, and Ramotar’s full-blown failure, Granger has to be a certified mad man to come in 2017 and promote Burnhamism.
    Maybe somewhere in Granger’s soul resides a desire to make up for a past failing of Burnham, because no sane Guyanese can agree with him that Burnham was a leader whose policies and practices are worth emulating.
    Is Granger such a poor leader that he has to emulate failure? Even Jagdeo, who practised aspects of Burnhamism, was a failure. How can anyone not conclude Guyana has suffered a leadership crisis since 1966?
    With this revival of Burnhamism, are Jagdeo and the PPP dead meat for the foreseeable future?

    • rudeo

      yes….Indo Guyanese are just necessary nuisances to plant rice and greens…..a la Idi Aminism…….but they have an enduring and surviving spirit…..can feed themselves….don’t attend every tin cup call….no splurge on new threads for every occasion… consumerism a la spending every last dime for the moment….no children mother syndrome… plenty women culture….no school dropouts….the list is long….they may not have the vote….but certainly the power to hurt with starving bellies…and they can live through any crisis…..their dharma teaches and practices that

      • Col123

        Hey … what’s the problem with having many baby daddies… have some respect for my culture!

  • Lancelot Brassington

    One would have thought that anyone with half a brain in his head would know that now is not the time to be heaping praise on Forbes Burnham of old. The coalition is facing enough re-election challenges as it is, without the PNC showing reverence for this former despotic ruler. With the AFC wanting to review the Cummingsburgh Accord one would have expected the PNC leadership to have enough common sense to steer clear of minefields (if you’ll pardon that military reference). Furthermore, what about the best president Guyana has ever had? I am referring to the lion-hearted Desmond Hoyte who had the courage to change gear and change course by relinquishing state control and placing Guyana firmly on the free market path in the face of horrendous opposition from within his own party. He had results to show for his efforts too. Didn’t he deserve some mention? Or has he still not been forgiven for making Joe Singh Chief-of-Staff?
    Basil Williams needs to devote more time to studying his law books and Oscar Clarke needs to go home and occupy his rocking chair because he is not thinking straight. Incidentally I thought Granger disliked ‘elderly’ guys but that must have changed since he became one.
    The PNC needs to learn what to say, when to say it and how to say it. They had better start getting it right and stop spewing forth things that don’t serve any useful purpose, because 2020 will soon be here.

    • Col123

      It is called social cohesion Guyanese style.. the man spoketh the truth… the next step is to pull the Idi Amin thingy… at least Naggie would not have to fetch his massa bag after that.

  • ExPPP_Man

    Black people don’t know how to live a decent life. They cry out to live in poverty so, this is right up their alley. They will duck salt, but as long as they have power, they happy. They will starve for a blackman to have power.

    • Col123

      Hey ex KKK… a how much white people live in Guyana?…you must be the only white maan deh…

  • BeFair_SeeClear

    If I were Granger, I would disassociate myself from the sentiments of a bewildered mind like Oscar Clarke…..Every Leader has their own thrust although some may be similar ….If Granger accepts Oscar’s speech as a compliment ….Guyana is doomed.

  • Lancelot Brassington

    ‘ who had the courage to change gear and change course by relinquishing state control and placing Guyana firmly on the free market path in the face of horrendous opposition from within his own party.’
    We can also include having the courage to hold a free and fair election. Its all about the courage to bring about change.
    These things make him the best president Guyana has ever had. If any president was better than he was it would have to be Arthur Chung who made no negative impact because as a ceremonial president he was not positioned to make ANY impact.

  • Col123

    You need to wake up bro… what guide for development?

  • Col123

    “corrupt PNC illegal rulers”…which planet are you from boy?…our chaps are the law and order people with development on gyam fyah!…how many of these bloggers lost piece of their brains pre 1992???

  • Col123

    you should give credit to the singer of that song…there are copyright laws, you should know that, given the armani suit you wearing from the flea market!