Delivering her maiden speech in the House of Representatives on Monday, Ms Walton-Desir said “ over the last few weeks Guyana has been plunged into the depths of ethnic strife, reminiscent of the descent into the dark days of the 1960’s recorded in the annals of our history.”
She placed blame for this current state of national disorder “squarely at the feet of those, who in their thirst for political power, unabashedly fanned the flames of racism and intolerance or who in their silence were complicit.”
“Over the last forty days and forty nights Mr. Speaker, we have seen the constitutional rights of Guyanese trampled upon, we have seen orders of our courts flagrantly violated by the very people who took an oath to protect and serve,” Ms Walton-Desir lamented.
The new member of parliament who was recently fired from her job as counsel for the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority by the PPP administration, warned that “history has shown us time and time again,[that] a country mired in ethnic strife and inequality is never able to realise its potential, and that the only ones who benefit from such a state of affairs are those who in their lust for wealth and power have no reservations rending the very fabric of this nation.”
She registered her disappointment at the “failure of the 2020 Budget to set out a coherent comprehensive vision for Guyana’s foreign policy,” pointing out that “the framing of foreign policy is indispensable for the modern state. This is even more the case for a small developing state such as ours. Guyana’s Foreign policy must perform the delicate balancing of the national interest whilst acknowledging our interdependence in an ever-contracting global village.”
Ms Walton-Desir used the opportunity to call on the government to clarify its position on foreign policy, “If for no other reason Mr. Speaker than the fact that we have witnessed in our very recent past, unprecedented levels of interference by foreign powers in our last national and regional elections.
“The obviously biased and at times downright disrespectful utterances have not gone unnoticed by Guyanese,” noting that “far more disturbing has been the silence of these same foreign powers over the last few tumultuous weeks,” she declared.
Walton-Desir welcomed the new administration’s commitment to protecting Guyana’s sovereignty in relation to the Guyana/ Venezuela border dispute, pointing out that it was the David Granger led administration that has advanced a resolution the farthest it has ever reached on the road to a final settlement at the International Court of Justice.
She however questioned the government’s “departure from time honoured international conventions as evidenced by Guyana’s support of the US candidate for the Presidency of the IDB to the fear of our citizenry that our beloved Guyana is about to be inserted front and centre into US geopolitical engagement.”
“Guyana has gained much by establishing itself as a reliable partner in regional and hemispheric stability, it would be unwise Mr. Speaker for us to depart from this form of diplomacy,” Walton-Desir lamented.
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