The opposition People’s Progressive Party announced on Wednesday that it intends to attend the 50th Anniversary flag raising ceremony to usher in the country’s jubilee celebrations but wants the President to talk about the role the Party’s founder leader and former President, the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan played in the achievement.
Opposition Leader Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo confirmed the PPP’s participation even as the Party has been criticized for its absence at several other government sponsored events. “Yes we will celebrate and will attend the flag raising ceremony because we believe it is a very important event… we do hope that on that occasion the President will not miss the opportunity to talk extensively, not just about past, but the future,” Jagdeo said.
He said the President missed the opportunity during his recent address to Parliament. Jagdeo, who was present in the Parliament for address, said he thought President Granger would have used the opportunity to explore the role former Presidents Jagan and L.F.S Burnham played in the achievement.
“As controversial as people may view the role of those two men, nevertheless we have to explore the role that they played in the Independence process and thousands of others followed them and who made ultimate sacrifices,” he said.
Mr. Jagdeo said he was disappointed that neither of the two names were mentioned during the President’s address and he hopes he will do so in his Independence address on May 25th.
The PPP, led by Jagan, played a significant role in the fight for Independence during the pre 1966 period. Jagdeo said the PPP has planned a few events to observe the historic occasion.
“Maybe in an attempt to avoid controversy, he did not really explore the challenges the country faced as a pre independent country, the struggles endured to gain independence, the sacrifices many Guyanese made to achieve that status, it was not handed to us on a platter by the British,” Jagdeo added.
The Opposition Leader said he also wants the President to talk about the entire history of Guyana post Independence even when the country did badly in some periods. “I was disappointed that he would have mentioned 18 years of no local government elections when he knew the party he represents now was a major contributor… how could he talk about 18 years of no local democracy and not talk about 28 years of no democracy at all in Guyana,” he added.
Jagdeo said the President’s rhetoric on national unity and social cohesion must also match the practice of his government. “I really hope the President don’t miss opportunity to define the course of the future,” he insisted.