PPP Slams Government for Raising ‘Altered National Flag’

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The Guyana national flag with a border added to it.

Flag Apparently Altered to Include ‘Suspicious PNC-green’ Border: The Opposition Party Says

GUYANA – The People’s Progressive Party, in a statement, has criticised the APNU/AFC Government on their silence, in the face of public outcry, on the despicable and unconstitutional alteration of Guyana’s national flag, which was hoisted to mark the nation’s 52nd Independence anniversary.

The Party noted that “The PNC-led Coalition Government seems intent on trampling on Guyana’s national symbols. Guyanese have witnessed the practice of national symbols being treated as the property of this Administration – the last such act evidenced in the seizure of the national flag from the Corriverton Town Council on the anniversary of our Republic.”

Following is the full statement from the PPP:

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) notes the silence from the APNU+AFC Coalition Government, in the face of public outcry, on the despicable and unconstitutional alteration of Guyana’s national flag, which was hoisted to mark the nation’s 52nd Independence anniversary.

The PNC-led Coalition Government seems intent on trampling on Guyana’s national symbols. Guyanese have witnessed the practice of national symbols being treated as the property of this Administration – the last such act evidenced in the seizure of the national flag from the Corriverton Town Council on the anniversary of our Republic.

The Party wishes to make it clear that with regard to alteration of the national flag, the Second Schedule included in Guyana’s Constitution devotes two pages (pages 260 and 261) to the heraldic description of Guyana’s national flag. The description makes it clear that there are five distinct colours – not six – and defines their proportions.

The fact that the unauthorized alteration of the national flag connects one of Guyana’s most significant national symbols to the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), via the inclusion of the PNCR’s party colour along the end of the Golden Arrowhead, is reminiscent of the repressive regime of the PNC pre-1992. The practice of the PNCR flag being flown above Guyana’s courts has not been forgotten by the Guyanese people.

Guyanese have not forgotten Granger’s utterances in 2016 at the PNCR’s 19th Biennial Delegates Congress, where he hailed his Party’s Constitution as “supreme law”. Guyanese have also not forgotten that it was at a similar meeting held by the PNC in 1974, where Burnham promoted the principles of party paramountcy, when he said: “It was decided that the Party should assume unapologetically its paramountcy over the Government, which is merely one of its executive arms.”

All Guyanese must reject this act. This act is the latest of an increasingly authoritarian administration and adds to the numerous constitutional violations committed since May 2015. END OF STATEMENT.

PARTY PARAMOUNTCY

People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarian, Adrian Anamayah, when asked to comment on the Constitutional violation stated that this is that latest evidence of the return of party paramountcy, seen during the 28 years that the PNC held office though rigged elections.

“If you needed more evidence of party paramountcy, this is it. It is also in keeping with the trend of saying one thing and doing another. This government says that it respects the Constitution and it consistently takes action in violation of the Constitution. They have no regard for the laws of Guyana or our national symbols,” he said.

Also speaking on the issue was former Attorney General, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, who noted that such actions must be rejected.

He said, “The unauthorized alteration of the flag by appending to it a different shade of green, presumably to connect a national symbol to the PNC is a grave desecration of our national symbol, which was approved by all the people of this country and made part of our Constitution 52 years ago. This is also an attack on our sovereignty as a nation. It is an attack on the statehood on Guyana.

“It is unfortunate that it is occurring at this point in time, when our territorial sovereignty is under siege from Venezuela. In these circumstances, one would expect that a responsible government would make it a priority to consolidate our country around national symbols and to engage in activities that would promote patriotism. Shockingly, this government, by assaulting our national flag, and by allotting different flags for different regions, is undermining the very concepts they should be conserving and promoting at this point in time.

“What is even worse is the contamination of our national symbols with sentiments of party politics. This should be rejected in a democracy. It is a stark reminder that we are descending on the path, once again, to party paramountcy where party policies are being catapulted over and above symbols of nationhood and the State itself. These are all simple illustrations of authoritarianism at work.”

(Courtesy: Citizens Report)

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