I have been
approached to put my commentaries on a web site, not only for the Guyanese
living here, who would like to have the information contained in the
commentaries in a more permanent form, but for those that live in the US and
other countries who are not in a position to hear them on this newscast.
I decided to
explore this possibility, mainly because it is becoming difficult to email my
commentaries to an ever-expanding group of interested persons.
I feel very
strongly about the things that I have been saying in my commentaries and there
is no hidden agenda contained in any of them.
businesses and indeed for our lives to flourish, there must be peace in the
land, and for that to happen there can be no Indians or Africans living in this
country, only Guyanese.
The website is
now up and I have called it tonyvguy.com, short for Tony Vieira Guyanese.com, I
have decided not to rewrite any of them and to leave them as I first wrote them
for a verbal delivery and not a written delivery to the public. The
commentaries are researched and written by me here at Versailles then they are
faxed to the Quamina street Studio, at the studio they are typed into the
prompter and I read them as a rehearsal, at that time further modifications are
made, some sentences just do not come out right when I read them, so I sit at
the computer here at this studio and change it. This means that the
commentaries as placed on the website may not reflect exactly what the public heard
when I read them.
To change them
would be a monumental exercise and inevitably there are some flaws, which in
time will be corrected but there are around 60 commentaries, so reconciling
them with the Evening News computer which is the FINAL draft will take some
time, so be tolerant. Read them for the information and philosophy they contain
and not as poetic literature.
fundamental differences between the two methods of delivery ladies and
gentlemen, one is more intimate, more conversational and the other is more
formal, the verbal one has of necessity to be a little repetitive since in a
written editorial you can refer back to any area that remains obscure when you
first read it, but in a verbal, live commentary that cannot happen, so repetition
for effect is necessary. I also assume that anyone listening to a commentary
does not know anything about the matter I am commenting on, and so I start from
the beginning of the matter and bring it up to date in that context.
The one thing
that disturbs me is that these commentaries are perceived as having a political
agenda, in this country that means a racial agenda, yes I have been castigating
the PPP for their poor performance, incompetence and corruption and they
deserve it, but being a member of neither of the two major race groups in this
country, there is nothing racial about the commentaries.
I happen to
believe that the Afro Guyanese are being given a raw deal and no one can
convince me otherwise. I also happen to believe that most of the Indo Guyanese
people in this country are wonderful people.
I will give you
an example, two months ago I decided to launch my boat in the Essequibo River
and drive it north into the Atlantic and then East into the Demerara River, I
was warned by my friends that it was a dangerous thing to do, since there are
sand banks, jetties etc. which can damage the boat. I nevertheless decided to
do it. My Arabic blood again.
We started out
well enough my son Anthony and I, and we drove all the way to Zeeluct but then we
hit something very hard which we could not see and it damaged the foot and the propeller.
We were about
1000 ft away from the shore and we were stuck in the Atlantic with heavens knows what problem. We were discussing who will go in
first Anthony or I to swim and pull the boat to shore when we saw a small
fishing boat coming toward us from the ocean, in it were two Indo Guyanese men,
they came alongside and told us that they knew that we were too close to the
shore and that we would hit that old structure, many, many boats do apparently run
aground on this old jetty every year, begging the question of why it is not
identified with some sort of marker, they towed us to shore, tied our boat
where they tied theirs, then they invited us to their home and they offered us
food and refreshment, they even told us not to be afraid that the people of
Zeeluct were friendly and peaceful people, they told us that they have to sell
their catch but as soon as they were finished they would help us with our problem.
Whilst we were
waiting Anthony and I fixed a small solar panel they were using to charge a
battery for lights at night, since there was no electricity that far into the
village, almost up to the seawall.
This is 2002
ladies and gentlemen but believe it or not the fishermen come in, they blow
their shell horn and the villagers come out to buy the fish they have caught. And
I watched them carefully, it was a social event, the women coming out to buy
this fish and to chat for awhile, I was so touched by these simple, friendly
and hospitable people of Zeeluct, that when I overheard the fisherman reporting
to his wife that the amount he had gotten for his catch could hardly pay for
the fuel, I decided to give them a very high raise to follow us back to Roden Rust
and if anything went wrong, they would tow us the rest of the way. So I drove
very slowly and they followed us, two in the boat with me and two following in
their boat, it took us over three hours to do it but we made it thanks to these
No ladies and
gentlemen I have no animosity against my Indo Guyanese brothers.
My problem is
with the USSR trained PPP who are proving to be every bit as dictatorial as
Forbes Burnham but far more corrupt and incompetent and have inculcated in
their supporters this hatred for their Afro Guyanese brothers for the sole
purpose of getting their vote.
John Da Silva
wrote a few lines in the newspaper of 15th December captioned "Leave
Tony Alone" and asked why I did not speak out about Burnham. When Mr. Burnham
died I was the manager of a sugar estate and held no significant position in
the media, the Evening News started in September 1992. In this same letter to
the Chronicle John tells us that he was going to his favourite rum shop, when
he was given a lift by this person who told him to leave me alone, do you visit
the rum shop frequently John? Is that where you read the GP&L deal and told
us what a wonderful deal it was, maybe those imbibitions are the reason why you
cannot see past the tip of your nose, I must suggest that you register with the
air traffic control at Timehri if you soar so high, but watch out for Mt.
Talking about Mt. Roraima, the people at Universal Airlines decided
to do a wonderful PR exercise i.e. to fill their aircraft with over 300 school
children and fly them over Guyana at 8000 ft to show them their country. AFTER
all of the children were aboard with great expectations, some of them travelling
for days from as far as the Rupanuni, the Civil Aviation Department woke up
from their coma ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT and refused to allow them to do it,
telling them about the 9000 ft. high Mt Roraima and offered no compromise
whatsoever, I could be wrong but when they brought the body of Cheddie Jagan
back to Guyana they flew over Georgetown and Berbice several times at less than
3000 ft. in the GAC jet.
The CAD took this
magnanimous gesture by Universal Airlines and turned it into a PR disaster for
that company. These people have North American and BWIA pulling their hair out
trying to compete with them, so they are not inexperienced as is claimed by
certain sections of the media, in fact I am informed that Captain Jerry Goveia
made the arrangements for this flight on behalf of Universal, whatever else
Jerry is, he is not inexperienced, he probably knows more about aviation within
this country than the CAD, the flight plan should have been modified right
there at Timehri by the CAD and not aborted completely, it was an incredibly
insensitive and dictatorial thing to do. And it damaged this company's
reputation for no reason at all.
gentlemen if the PNC were in power in this country today and I perceive that
they are doing their Indo Guyanese brothers an injustice I will speak out as
fearlessly as I am doing now, I would not be able to live with my conscience if
I did not. Only then will my detractors have the right to say that Vieira is a
ludicrous to wish you a happy and prosperous new year when we are this close to
anarchy, but I will do it anyway, because if we did not get up everyday and tell
ourselves that this is the day when things will change and drag ourselves out
of our beds to see if it IS, we would not get up at all.
Happy New Year
to you and yours.