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Posted by: urt8sant39 (IP Logged)
Date: May 29, 2017 03:59AM

By Kiana WilburgEven though President David Granger has constantly appealed for there to be a greater sense ofMinister of Social Cohesion, Amna Allynational unity within the Parliament, there has been no move by his Social Cohesion Ministry to effect any change in this regard.This was confirmed recently by Social Cohesion Minister, Amna Ally.At the most recent post cabinet press briefing, Kaieteur News asked the Minister to say what social cohesive measures she has taken to the level of the Parliament and what were the results of those efforts.To this, Ally responded, ?As you would agree with me, Social Cohesion is a new ministry and it has only come into being from 2015. What we are doing in the ministry now is lot of sensitization in the regions and getting people to have a buy-in on what social cohesion is. We have been doing a lot of consultations to come up with a five-year strategic plan, but in terms of taking those measures to parliament we have not done that yet.?The Social Cohesion Minister said that in the meantime, efforts have been geared towards elucidating to the National Assembly, the programmes and national agenda of the Ministry.?But as time goes by we will see this unfold,? Ally added.Last year, the Head of State had said that he would work along with the Minister of Social Cohesion in bringing unifying mechanisms to the parliamentary level, in an effort to change the acidic nature of Guyana?s politics.While this is yet to be seen, many local critics believe that it is something to be aggressively pursued.Specifically,[url=$%&/]Cheap Jerseys Free[/url], Executive Member of the Working People?s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds maintainsMinister of Social Cohesion, Amna Allythat the Social Cohesion Ministry must aggressively address the ?divide and conquer? culture championed by the People?s Progressive Party (PPP).Dr. Hinds emphasized that the lack of cohesion within ethnic and social groups has to be a focus. And with this in mind, he stressed that ?the fracturing of village cohesion brought about by the culture of divide and conquer by the PPP has to be confronted.?The University professor stated that the glaring divide between men and women in Guyana is systemic and the consequences are far-reaching. On this note, he said that the Ministry is, therefore,[url=$%&/]China Jerseys Online[/url], more than relevant.The University professor also made the point that the Ministry of Social Cohesion is still a relatively new ministry and is still feeling its way in terms of its mandate. Taking this into account, Dr. Hinds said that he would not agree with some sections of society, which have said that the Social Cohesion Ministry has failed or has not done enough to heal the ethnic divide.He insists that it is in charge of a very sensitive area of national life, and as such, has to be very careful. But Dr. Hinds does not believe that the Ministry can bring about ethnic unity. He said that the most it could do is facilitate that unity and improve the conditions for that unity to blossom.?I sense that the Ministry has been engaging the so-called ?stakeholders? in the country. WhileWPA Executive Member, Dr. David Hindsthis is a good first step, it has to move beyond that approach and engage the communities directly.?He continued, ?We have to have a bottom-up approach to social cohesion, a community-oriented approach that engages the communities separately and together. In the final analysis, social cohesion can?t be about stakeholders, it has to be about addressing the barriers to national cohesion.??I would urge a community education approach, using the arts and sports as mediums for promoting social cohesion.?The political activist said that the major justification for the Social Cohesion Ministry is that Guyana has a historical problem of polarization between its major ethnic groups. And inside of those groups, Dr. Hinds said,[url=$%&/]Jerseys From China[/url], that needs to be addressed by all stakeholders, including the government. He said that there is also the issue of class polarization that is often masked by ethnicity.?We have spent a lot of time wishing that our ethnic diversity goes away, and that in the process we become Guyanese bereft of ethnic identities. But the more we wish, the stronger our individual ethnic identities have become.?He continued, ?Obviously there is something fundamental about identity that some of our commentators and politicians do not grasp or care to grasp. Our challenge,[url=$%&/]Cheap Jerseys Authentic[/url], then, should not be the eradication of our ethnic identities.?Rather, it should be about constructing a national ethos that accommodates our diversity. In the end education, both formal and informal, and the enactment of government policies,[url=$%&/]NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap[/url], are the most potent tools.?Dr. Hinds said too, that the biggest barrier to a Guyanese national ethos is the fear by all ethnic groups of domination by the other. He said that often,[url=$%&/]Wholesale China Jerseys[/url], it is the fear of domination that leads to the practice of domination and vice versa.?For me, then, the Ministry of Social Cohesion?s major task should be tackling the problem of ethnic domination. If we are able to contain the instinct and fear of domination, then we would go a long way towards creating more space for a shared ethos.?A lot of that work has to be done through formal and informal education. The Ministry of Social Cohesion (MSC) has to partner with the Ministry of Education to create in our larger curriculum, a Social Cohesion curriculum.?The University professor also stated that there is a need for a Community Social Cohesion Initiative that aims to reduce the tension between ethnic identity and national belonging.In this regard, he opined that it is necessary for the MSC to acknowledge the nation?s diversity and highlight both the intersections of those identities and the uniqueness of the individual ones.?We are very good at pointing to the intersections, but we silence the uniqueness, for fear that it is interpreted as bigotry. In this regard, education and frank discussions about race are inevitable. The dream of a non-ethnic society must not be substituted for an inter-ethnic socio-political, cultural and political space,? the WPA member expressed.Additionally, Dr. Hinds said that the MSC should focus on developing policies aimed at socio-ethnic equality and suggest these to the government. He posits that there can be no social cohesion without social equality. This, he said, has to be a priority for the Ministry.The WPA Executive Member commented, too, that the unevenness that exists between social and ethnic groups is an impediment to a national ethos. Dr. Hinds said that the poor know that they are dominated by the rich and that government policies generally favour the rich.

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