Tag: 夜上海论坛FL

Democracy in Guyana: The URP vision

first_imgDear Editor,By any measure, democracy can be described as a governing system in which the central power is vested with the voting population. In such a political system, government, and the officials that make up such a government, are legally and morally obligated to attend to the needs of its citizens. By extension, in a democratic system, supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by the people or by their elected representatives under a free and fair electoral system. Since our independence in May 1966, Guyanese have not really had a chance to experience a prolonged period of stable democratic government. The PNC, when in power, abolished the basic elements of democracy in its quest to build the Burnhamite dictatorship.The PPP came into office amid a great deal of national and international support in 1992. The expectation was that with the democratic opening that occurred after the 1992 elections, PPP leaders would reconstruct the fragile Guyanese political system to create institutions that would ensure a democratic political order would be established. However, the opportunity to do so was woefully squandered by the ruling PPP, which mimicked in many ways the actions of the dictatorial Burnhamite PNC (now calling itself The Coalition).This authoritarian entity is back in control, many of whose members are from the PPP and PNC. The APNU-AFC coalition is governed by the same undemocratic means that characterized the PNC. Much of the leadership style of the PNC and PPP is guided by a dictatorial desire to centralize political control both at the local and national levels.In reality, the policies of the PPP, PNC and AFC have served to benefit a small group of loyalists and party elite, while the majority of the Guyanese people still live in poverty.The AFC has become an abysmal failure. They came onto the scene promising to be an objective broker and they won the confidence of a healthy cross-section of the Guyanese support, both locally and from the Diaspora. However, they have now merged into the PNC apparatus and have completely lost all of their independent objectivity. Their supporters are at a loss as to where they now stand. The acceptable notion is that the only AFC members left are those currently in parliament.The failure of the PPP, PNC to build a sustainable democracy in Guyana is compounded by a number of factors, all of which have contributed to the erosion of a democratic tradition in this young nation. Included among these factors are preferential treatment for loyal party supporters, the widening gap between rich and poor, a failed education system, the out migration of skilled people, an increased drug trafficking and money laundering, widespread corruption, and a very vindictive government that considers all non-supporters as enemies of the ruling party.Democracy cannot be institutionalized in Guyana unless there is respect for democratic principles and some sharing of power. The PPP was removed from office because of its arrogance and corruption, among other unacceptable behaviours.Corruption has not stopped under the coalition government. The situation continues to look hopeless under this regime with crime spiralling out of control and people being removed from their job on account of their race and political affiliation. This government has let down the population.Guyana needs a government that can provide hope for the future, trust in its people and stability in government. It is only then that we can begin to establish a system that will work towards securing the social, political and economic interests of ALL Guyanese.The United Republican Party (URP) has been appealing for a national unity government that will serve the interests of all. The URP will work with any political party to build and establish stronger democratic institutions; establishments which will serve the interests of all of Guyana’s citizens. The URP is committed to working with other local and regional organizations, international organizations, support groups and sympathetic governments to help keep Guyana on a democratic path.We need to have a clear democratic system which will create conditions in our society that will enable all Guyanese to help transform our society. It is time we recognize the great potential of our citizens. More importantly, the URP will continue to work with its grass-roots supporters to build such a system from the bottom up, thereby creating a fair and no-discriminatory system.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu BandhuLeader URPlast_img read more

Motel Managers Plead Guilty to Enslaving Indian Immigrant in U.S.

first_imgTwo motel managers in Western Nebraska, accused of enslaving an Indian migrant, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of alien harboring for financial gain. The victim was kept enslaved for over a year by Vishnubhai Chaudhari, 50, and Leelabahen Chaudhari, 44, of Kimball, Nebraska.The couple pleaded guilty on Dec.18 in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, to one count of conspiracy and one count of alien harboring for financial gain, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. “The duo has admitted to conspiring to harbor the victim, an Indian national who lacked immigration status, at a Super 8 Motel in Kimball, Nebraska, between October 2011 and February 2013,” the statement said.Their sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2018. The Chaudharis face a possible sentence of up to 18 months in prison according to their plea agreements. They are also expected to be removed from the United States when they complete their sentences.The duo has also paid the victim $40,000 in restitution at the change of plea hearing, as a condition of their guilty pleas.The victim has been identified as M.C. in the court documents. He entered the United States unlawfully in 2011 and was taken into immigration custody in Texas. On Oct. 13, 2011, the Chaudharis arranged for an intermediary to pay his bond and he was released from custody, says the indictment. The duo then arranged for him to travel from Texas to Kimball, a city about 20 miles east of the Wyoming border, Omaha World-Herald reported.“Human trafficking is the modern world’s version of enslaving another person for profit. That is what these individuals have done to this victim,” Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of HSI St. Paul said, the statement added.The Chaudharis were alleged to have made the victim work long hours, seven days a week at the motel. He was asked to perform manual labor, including cleaning rooms, shoveling snow, and doing laundry. Despite promising to pay the victim, they never ended up paying him and claimed to apply that amount to a debt the victim owed.The duo also restricted the movement of the victim, isolated him, and verbally abused him, according to the statement from the Justice Department. Vishnubhai threatened him that he will find the victim if he ever left the motel, while Leelabahen assaulted the victim regularly. On one occasion, she slapped his face several times because he had failed to clean a bathtub to her standards.The victim eventually managed to escape with the help of a motel guest and local law enforcement.“Motivated by their greed, the defendants violated the immigration laws and exploited a vulnerable individual who lacked immigration status,” Acting Assisting Attorney General John M. Gore of the Civil Rights Division said in the statement.Acting U.S. Attorney Robert C. Stuart of the District of Nebraska said that the case was a gruesome reminder of the fact that forced labor does occur in the United States. “This case is a reminder that forced labor occurs in the United States, not just overseas, and federal law targets those who profit from human trafficking and related crimes,” he said. Related ItemsEmploymentTraffickingUnited Stateslast_img read more