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Guyanese Excels in Law May 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leguanite @ 3:30 pm
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Blessings and Congratulations to my good friend and brother, Dwayne Braithwaite who graduates today with a Juris Doctorate from The Southern University Law Center in Louisiana.

He is also being presented today with Certification in Public Interest Law, making him 1 of 2 persons in the Law Center’s 66 year history to be granted that honour. Another young Guyanese excelling on the international stage.

As it is written in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Blessings Bro. (New Legal Adviser lol)
(From Facebook by Gordon Moseley)


Ulele Burnham Defends her father LFS Burnham – in Letter to the Editor May 10, 2013

The conversation about Rodney’s death requires an arbiter to halt the cleavage’ says: Ulele Burnham

By Staff Writer

May 9, 2013
Dear Editor,

Public figures, their legacies, and of course attempts at memorialisation of such figures, always remain to a large extent beyond the reach of their families or others who wish to privilege their most favoured or favourable attributes.

“The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.” So let it be with Burnham?

For the most part, I would have been content to accept Mark Anthony’s (and I don’t in this instance mean Mark Anthony Benschop) rhetorical wisdom. But this murky business of the Companions of Oliver Tambo Award has caused the “good” rattling to be exhumed from those bones to collide, forcefully, with the far more commonly rehearsed characterisation of Burnham as only, always and already, despotic and venal. It surprises me little that the South African government’s proposal to confer on my father a prestigious award for his contribution to the liberation of Southern Africa has unleashed salvos, ranging from the legitimate to the apocryphal. Many contend vigorously that the posthumous privilege should not be his and that such acclamation ought not to be even a small part of the way he is remembered.

Those who were alive, and alert, during the years of my father’s tenure as leader of Guyana are entitled to judge his impact on the body politic and the extent of his contribution to international struggles against structurally racist regimes. And they are also entitled to ask others who seek to honour him to consider what might have been ignoble or unhappy about his own regime (Apologies, posthumously, to Bob Marley and Haile Selassie.) Now, I might think, as I do, that some of those opposed to the award squandered the opportunity to add to the sum of informed historical record when they claim that he did nothing for African Liberation movements. Their objections are cheapened, I fear, by an implacable and wholesale contempt for him; the mainly unmediated rage steadfastly refusing to entertain the possibility that character is not indivisible, that context is everything.

Whereas it must be left to others to set straight the official historical record, I know that his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle was not nothing and that knowledge alone is, for me, accolade enough.

My plaintive point really, however, is this: There isn’t any bone in my (live) body that fails to recognise the right of the public to engage in reasoned debate about the function that state-sponsored awards can play in obscuring the misdeeds of political leaders; in undervaluing the lives, and the worth, of those who stood against them; in sanitising the annals of history. The arbiter in the necessary transnational conversation about the Companions of Oliver Tambo Award must, ultimately, be the South African government; a government upon which I intend my influence to continue to be a big fat zero. I was informed of the potential award possibly at the same time as other Guyanese came to learn of it, and am probably less well informed than many are about the reasons for its deferral.

It may be the business of others in the international community to prevail upon the South African government to grant or not to grant the award, but it is no business of mine.

There is, though, one aspect of the debate that has unfolded on which I do wish to comment, and comment publicly. I have learnt that the principal objection of those who have petitioned against the posthumous award being conferred on my father relates to his assumed role in the death of the acclaimed historian and activist, Walter Rodney. The body politic has been riven, for decades, by unresolved imputations that the government led by my father was responsible for Rodney’s death.

The conversation about Rodney’s death requires an arbiter to halt the cleavage; it requires a full, frank and formal public inquiry by as independent an international tribunal as can be convened. Then those dead, and alive, can properly be made to bear the true burden of responsibility they have been adjudged to owe.

Yours faithfully,
Ulele Burnham


Happy day? Don’t know – What do you think? May 6, 2013

Filed under: education — Leguanite @ 12:47 pm
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Speech at the Guyana Convention Centre on the 175th anniversary of Indians in Guyana
Eric M. Phillips Jr.

Chairman Sase Sankar; Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport; Mr. Puran Mal Meena, High Commissioner of India; Dr. Yesu Persaud, Chairman of The Indian Commemoration Trust; Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, President of GOPIO; Member of Parliament Kemraj Ramjattan; Members of the Head Table, Distinguished Guests and especially our Distinguished Visitors from Overseas; Ladies and Gentlemen, Students of the University of Guyana; Members of the Media, Guyanese All.

It is indeed a great privilege to speak here today, and to be associated with the remarkable undertaking of the Indian Commemoration Trust and GOPIO, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, to celebrate 175 years of the arrival of Indians in Guyana.
I have been asked to speak as a Guyanese of African origin and that privilege carries a humbling responsibility. So I thank Dr. Yesu Persaud and his Team not only for inviting me here, but for the outstanding example of Leadership which they are supplying to a Nation that is suffering an epic famine in Leadership and Self-love.
This year, we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Guyana, the 175 anniversary of Emancipation of Captured Africans, the 169th anniversary of the Portuguese in Guyana, and the 160th anniversary of the arrival of Chinese in Guyana.
Anniversaries allow us to reflect on our Guyanese ness………… well as our ethnic and cultural ness.
I have been asked to speak about the suffering of Africans during slavery and their contributions thereof.
History has recorded how they contributed their lives, families, dignity, names, land, blood etc. etc. but history has hidden the larger sacrifices they made even before they even got here.
Although the horror of slavery is well documented, it is not taught in our schools. So Emancipation Day is seen as a holiday in Guyana not as sacred day of remembrance, and African Holocaust Day on 12 October is ignored although Guyanese wear poppies for a few hundred dead on November 11….but not for the millions who perished during slavery.
Slavery annihilated Africa, African culture, African family structures, African institutions, African commerce, African growth, African history, African Pride and African economic development.

Slavery stole Africa’s light and replaced it with darkness. Those whose inhumanity and moral degeneracy benefitted from this earthy purgatory called slavery, called Africa the “Dark Continent”. This perhaps as they tried to purge their guilty conscience which would have made them be known for what they were…. “Evil incarnate”.

The enslavement of Africans, beginning with the Arab Slave Trade which lasted for 11 centuries from 650 AD to 1900 AD, was the first “nuclear bomb” the World has ever experienced. Although much has been written about the European Slave Trade and the Middle Passage, quite amazingly, the Arab Slave Trade, although it began almost 1000 years before the European Slave Trade and continued for almost a century after the abolition of the European Slave Trade, is hidden from Public domain, especially in the West and definitely in the Middle East.
The main difference between the Arab Slave Trade and the European Slave Trade was in their intent.
The Arab Slave Trade centered on sexual pleasure and hence the majority of slaves were women and children. The European Slave Trade centered on labor and hence the majority was young men. The Arab Slave Trade took away African women, the source of African procreation.
There seems to be a great conspiratorial silence centered on how many Africans were taken in either the Arab Slave Trade or the European Slave Trade. Estimates of 8-25 million are used for the Arab Slave Trade and 10-16 million for the European Slave Trade.
The plain truth is that slavery was a 1200 year Arab criminal enterprise that occurred between 650 and 1900 AD and this holocaust was followed by another holocaust , the 400 year criminal European enterprise that occurred between 1441 and 1888 AD.
The numbers of this “greatest crime of mass murder and destruction” are incredible. So incredible is it that the World has used millions of words to hide this unique horror and evil.
Let us forget the intellectuals, racists and apologists who want to mask the truth about this” heinous crime for profit”. In his article “ The way I see it-“The Missing 100+ million”, Jack Crawford provided the following information from the World Almanac in the area of World population (1990 Edition page 539).