By Gerald V. Paul
Before Sir (Comrade?) ‘Sunny’ Shridath Ramphal came to the Raddison Hotel last Friday to launch his book Glimpses of a Global Life, this writer was admonished in a harsh tone of a voice: “Media, get to the back!”
Lord, have mercy, for a moment, Eyesers, I thought this person emerged from under a rock from the 28 years of rigged elections in Guyana: A subject missing in action in Ramphal’s book.
You know, he did not see, he did not speak and he did not hear.
And that spoke volumes about his volume. He was off to South Africa preaching freedom, democracy and fair and free elections – go figure.
Sad thing is, Ramphal, a three-term secretary general of the Commonwealth, had played a significant enabling role during South Africa’s struggle to end apartheid.
Small wonder he spent quite some time singing the praises of Nelson Mandela – indirectly looking good – but the Cuffy Dollar question is: What was responsible for Ramphal’s absence at Mandela’s memorial service: was it just a case of ‘oversight’?
South Africa’s Tambo recipient – his boss Burnham – although recommended for one may not get it due to Dr. Walter Rodney’s assassination under his watch.
As for the Jim Jones incident in Guyana, he pleaded innocent. He was out of the country at the time. Had no clue. That’s understandable, even Guyanese in Guyana were unaware of the tragedy.
To The Camera’s Editorial Page Editor Michael Lashley’s question, ‘What was your relationship with former president Cheddi Jagan?” he replied: “I was out of the country working in the Caribbean.”
Ramphal shared his life from India to Guyana to Britain as a feel-good story fit for the fairytales.
Glimpses (through a glass, darkly?) of a global life in the crowd and the money behind it – and it’s an analysis of major problems and challenges that dominated the 20th century.
At the end of the day, the question is Sir (Comrade?) where were you during your dear land of Guyana’s 28 years of dictatorship and rigged elections?
Yes, Eyesers, his answer is the same as to The Camera’s Lashley: “I was out of the country.”
So he did not catch a … Glimpse.
Ah, more like out to lunch!