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The attempt to pull down the sugar industry to advance one’s narrative should not be condoned

GTUC General Secretary, Mr. Lincoln Lewis, in a letter appearing in the June 02, 2021 Stabroek News titled “GWI must provide reasons why they cannot afford to keep these workers” in expressing his views regarding GWI’s decision to terminate workers has decided to take a swipe at the sugar industry for no apparent basis. This is a continuation of similar remarks Mr. Lewis has made about the industry as he seeks to find red herrings to justify his contentions. We acknowledge and respect Mr. Lewis’ advancement of solidarity with the affected workers. We too are disheartened by the GWI decision but we see no rhyme nor reason to use it at a launching pad to argue as the GTUC General Secretary does. His reference to the sugar industry appears to be the pursuit of some ethnic rationale. As a trade unionist, Mr. Lewis knows that genuine labour representatives do not apply lenses to germane workers issues. The GTUC General Secretary in justifying his stance shared that others held the sugar industry benefits from some unique, maybe favourable, treatment. We, unfortunately, do not harbour similar views and cannot agree with Mr. Lewis.

We hold that the industry is no different from other sectors which are similarly benefitting from state support to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. Yet it appears the sugar industry is scapegoated for no apparent reason other than to advance some warped perspective and possibly to engender ideas of divisiveness. Our Union holds that the support to the industry is not without good reason. Indeed, it is generally known, that the Granger Administration deliberately starved the industry of resources and in the process weakened it considerably. In such context it requires support towards its resuscitation. We have not been shy in expressing that we believe the industry has all possibilities for success. Certainly, given the opportunities available we ask rationally why they should not be pursued. Genuine leaders are not ostriches with their heads in the sand but they are rational thinkers who seek to advance development and well-being of their people. We do not believe we can ignore the varied and various contributions of the sugar industry. This is visible to the naked eye and does not warrant any extensive examination. Therefore, we find the apparent divisive attempts disturbing and disconcerting. The seeming attempt to pulldown the industry and by extension the thousands who depend on it to advance one’s narrative cannot and should not be condoned.

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Guyana Diaspora Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

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