Kindly consider my letter for publication in your newspaper!
First I must congratulate President Irfaan Ali for initiating the Order of Democracy (OD) for Guyana. The debate on the subject is now going on in the press about who should be recipients. No criteria have been mentioned. What needs to be clarified is whether this award is higher than the current Order of Excellence (OE) or is it above the second award the Order of Roraima (OR) or above the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH) which is the third-highest award in Guyana. the Order of democracy is long overdue.
A few years ago the PPP/C minted a special posthumous award for Dr. Cheddi Jagan. Wasn’t that higher than the OE?.
There has been a suggestion to award Freddie Kissoon the award of Democracy. Why? Kissoon has no consistency in his writing for whom or what he supports; all he does is criticize. For the 23 years the PPP/C was in government he was a bitter critic, paving the way for the APNU- AFC coalition to come to power. Then when the government changed and he began to criticise the APNU-AFC non-stop. The APNU-AFC deserves to be criticized for betraying the people.
Giving Kissoon the award would be like giving Sir Shridath Ramphal who has the OE and a knighthood from the Queen. Ramphal made sure he placed his name on the last list of honorees for the Queen’s award — knighted as Sir — self-serving. Rewarding Ramphal for all the wrong things he did including the support of election rigging under the PNC and writing the laws which Bunrham enforced was most untenable.
My nomination for a national award, not necessarily the Order of Democracy, is Dr. Vishnu Bisram. Bisram has consistently fought against the 28 years of the PNC dictatorship and has done so since his student days at the university level. He valiantly fought for free and fair elections in 2020, publicly and quietly behind the scenes engaging diplomats in the Caribbean, Washington, India, Guyana, London, New Zealand, and elsewhere pleading for pressure against the coalition to accept the outcome of the elections. Dr. Bisram has been a voluntary writer in the Press since the 1970s keeping us informed of what goes on wherever Guyanese lives. I don’t think anyone has written more than him on Guyanese in the diaspora or on national issues. For these reasons, and more, he would be a fitting recipient for the OD and other honors.