Letter: We need narratives of whole truths for national reconciliation

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Samuel Hinds

Dear Editor,

No one should differ with our former PM Nagamootoo’s yearning for greater national unity, greater civility, and mutual respect among us Guyanese at all times, and very much so at times of change of Government in our country; and in this instance, the change of Government in August 2020.

We humans being what we are, Moses might have tempered his feelings of being disrespected had he recalled the events preceding that change of Government: five long, tortuous months full of anxiety following our elections of March 2; and more than 19 months after his government lost the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018. Moses, immediately after that historical loss, had asserted that his government would conform to the standard parliamentary requirement of arranging and holding new elections within 90 days.

We, Guyanese and Guyana, for 19 months were put to a severe test of not tearing ourselves apart. There are many to whom we should be thankful that we did not go over the edge.

Moses might have tempered his feelings if he recalled the change of Government when he, triumphant, took office in May 2015. Elections were held on Monday, May 11; by Wednesday evening, GS Jagdeo was preparing us for a possible exit from office, and although we were very disappointed that we were not getting some questionable boxes recounted, President Ramotar conceded early.

Changeover arrangements between the Hinds and Nagamootoo families were abruptly ended; a last walk-through was cancelled; the PM’s car was demanded, but soon demoted to the backup position. While I caught a minibus to travel to our city centre with my closeman, Moses made some disparaging remarks about how he found the PM’s Residence. For the cause of our “Dear Land of Guyana”, we do need to see ourselves as one, every one of us could have been in the other’s shoes.

I first met Moses and his wife Sita in about October 1990, when my wife Yvonne and I attended a cocktail reception hosted by Khemraj and his wife Ragmatti for us to meet leading persons of the Progressive Youth Organisation. Moses would have known of the anguish and wrongs done to Dr Jagan and the members of the PPP from the split of the PPP in 1955: the gerrymandered constituency boundaries, the rigged elections of 1968 to 1985, the travails to the 1992 elections after two aborted attempts, and the events from December 2018 to August 2020.

It is good to recognise that our “Dear Land of Guyana” needs greater cohesion; there are none but us to labour for it. Moses would know that we have a lot to clear from our chests. Our Dear Land of Guyana needs reconciliation. We need narratives of whole truths for national reconciliation. We must live in the spirit of “One Guyana”, as proclaimed by our President, working to hoist up each other, for the prosperity of each other, on a background of “One World, One Human Race”. This is particularly so now with our good fortune of ExxonMobil finding pools of oil off our shores at depths where it could not have been won a few years before.

There is no hiding from the fact that our good fortune would have brought with it great forces for disruption within and without Guyana.

It needs no saying that I keep hoping for a better contribution to national cohesion from Moses.

Yours truly,

Samuel A. A Hinds

Former Prime Minister and former President

Ambassador to the USA and the OAS