Saturday, May 23, 2009

When our government has failed us it is time for the people to ask what part we played in the failure of the government

By Emelda Morgan

When our government has failed us it is time for the people to ask what part we played in the failure of the government. And how should we hold our government accountable?

The prime duties of government are, first, to protect the national territory; secondly, to preserve peace within its boundaries; and thirdly to ensure that every family unit of the nation has space in the nation's territory for a home and a means of livelihood, but there are also secondary ones, and others that would depend on the personal ethics of individuals.

There is a lot of debate going on in our country about our present government having failed us, and the reason for this debate is multiple. The allegations of corruption are rampant, the fear that Chinese will not very long from now be the majority population on our small island, the unproductive dependency culture that is now being perpetuated among our people, the lack of real sustainable development, problems with crime and rule of law, the unemployment statistics, the division among our people, just to name a few of the burning issues.

I want to make this fundamentally clear; our government isn’t causing our country to fail. That’s an illusion. It’s the people. We are the reason Dominica is falling. We can’t have a quality democracy if we fail to participate FULLY in it. Not only is it our right, but it is our sacred duty. Mahatma Gandhi said it so eloquently “The true source of right is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. If leaving duties unperformed we run after rights, they will escape us like will-o-the-wist, the more we pursue them, the farther they will fly.”

The civic and personal duties of Dominicans should transcend the physical boundaries of Dominica our beloved homeland. Nationhood my people is what it’s citizens are. What are we? What have we done as part owners of our government to ensure that it is accountable to us, and do our wishes? How do we see ourselves? How do we see our nation? Our beloved Dominica!

My Dominican people, for those of us who call ourselves Dominican patriots, I have this to say to you; a true patriot will defend his country and the honor of his people against any government at any time.

A true patriot takes his duties as a citizen seriously; for those of us who are not too sure about what those duties are, please permit me to give you an idea of what I think the fundamental duties are:

“It shall be the duty of every citizen of Dominica“
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of Dominica;

(d) to defend the country against all forces and influences and render national service when called upon to do so;

(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of Dominica transcending religious, regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of every man, woman and child;

(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.”

(k)To embrace and safeguard our sovereignty and independence;

(l)to ensure that our natural resources remain in the hands of our natural citizens; and

(m) To pas on to our children the importance of the dignity of work and self sufficiency.

Our nation is now at a time and place were we all Dominicans at home and abroad should take those duties very seriously. And to ensure that those in Government take theirs seriously also, and if they don’t, it is our duty to hold them accountable.

There are some among us who claim have all the answers for every one of us; they question our patriotism, and try to disparage every one of us who seek to perform our duty as true Dominican citizens who are genuinely concerned about our nation.

No place too low for them to go in their attempt to do so; be so warned that we have to be aware of the so called intellectuals who as Mark Lilla described them in The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics “they consider themselves to be independent minds, when the truth is that they are a herd driven by their inner demons and thirsty for the approval of a fickle public.”

They incite passion rather than thought; they divide in order to rule. It’s not education that they give, it is not philosophy; it is hubris. Be aware my Dominican people, be aware. And perform your duties as citizens of our beloved Dominica.

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A very well written article Emelda Morgan....we commend you.

When there are clear signs that a government is failing, it is the responsibility of each and every citizen to step up and vigorously search for alternative ways which can reverse the failure. It is the moral obligation of every Dominican to learn about the issues affecting us and the future of our Beloved Dominica; in addition it is the moral obligation to act on the basis of what we have learned. We as Dominicans can no longer afford to leave our fate, the fate of our children and the future of our country in the hands of our present government.

Dominicans must take back the reigns of power; take back our rivers, take back our water rights, take back our geothermal contracts, take back our birthright; our children need it, our grand children demand it, our forefathers gave their sweat and blood for it and OUR MOTHERS are weeping over it. Stop the fleecing of my people!!!!

We all must unite and come together as a movement of overwhelming force if we are to preserve the land that our forefathers gave their sweat and blood for, the land that our mothers cradled close to their breast as they nurtured love for God and country in us children. This is the only way to preserve our culture, our sovereignty and our way of life.

Dominicans are being raped by this very government who we elected and this must stop! If this fleecing of our Beloved Dominica and her people continue it will be largely because we Dominicans sat idly by and allowed this present government permission to continue in their corrupt ways and sell our birthrights to foreigners.

The path ahead for our Dominica has many challenges. In order for us to know what need to be done to set this nation on the right path for the future; we all must see that the country is headed in the wrong direction for far too long. It is time that we as a people realize that the best way that we can ensure that our values, our culture, our natural resources, our birthrights are not handed over to foreigners; we need to adopt measures that promote truth and transparency in government. We need to rise up, with one voice bring back and promote the importance and dignity of hard work and self sufficiency.

My fellow Dominicans we have a choice to make, we can sit idly by and watch as our water rights are being sold, our passports are being sold to the highest bidders, our land is being sold right up from under us, our natural resources are given away, foreigners of ill repute represent our country and our birthrights are handed over without a thought to our rights as Dominicans. Or we can come together in unity, with one voice and demand the stop of the sale of our resources, put an end to the prostitution of our birthrights and the sacrilegious pillaging of our parents and fore parents’ memories.

In making a choice to put a stop to the failed policies of this government we would invite your moral obligation to build our Beloved Dominica. In making that choice we will stand ready and heed the words of our national anthem

Come ye forward, sons and daughters
Of this gem beyond compare.
Strive for honour, sons and daughters,
Do the right, be firm, be fair.
Toil with hearts and hands and voices.
We must prosper! Sound the call,
In which ev'ryone rejoices,
"All for Each and Each for All."

We cannot prosper from handouts my people, we cannot toil with hearts, hand and voices when dignity in hard work and self sufficiency is a thing of the past, there is no honour when our birthright is being sold to the highest bidder, we cannot rejoice when our people have no direction and are being led like sheep to the slaughter.

It is high time my fellow Dominican that we answer to the call of duty as Son and Daughters of this Gem beyond compare; it is high time that we show our national loyalty and join hearts, hands and voices and sing in the words of our national anthem " one for each and each for all"
Come on Dominicans, ope your minds, your ears, your eyes. Listen, see, think!!!! Don't by the neglect of your sacred duties allow Dominica to turn to little Nigera! It is well on its way! Corruption galore! STOP it NOW!!!
Time Magazine of May 25 has an interesting article about the increasing number of applicants to business schools, the concern about the future of the profession, and "a broader rethinking of the balance between doing well and doing good that could reshape the economy and the workplace in coming years". A new Oath of Honor was instituted by the Thunderbird Business School, which says:

"As a Thunderbird and a global citizen, I promise I will strive to act with honesty and integrity. I will respect the rights and dignity of all people. I will strive to create sustainable prosperity worldwide. I will oppose all forms of corruption and exploitation. And I will take responsibility for my actions. As I hold true to these principles, it is my hope that I may enjoy an honorable reputation and peace of conscience."

On the same token, does any member of our current and/or future leaders know about the review of thier professional oath?

These stories coming from Roseau are very disturbing and unsettling. I suppose we will have to wait to see all the evidence before a final judgement is made. But where there is smoke there is fire. I hope this is not the tip of the ice berg. As you know 9/10s of an iceberg is below water.

If these allegations prove to be true then Mr.Skerrit has no where to go but to resign beacausE he cannot govern effectivley and further plunch the country into a tail spin.

I think we may be in big trouble in Dominica. Mr. PM you should know that if there is unrest in the streets of Roseau you will be held responsible.
I do not live in your country, but I do observe a few things and basically from here in the U.K. your country does seem to lack leadership. It seems the Skerrit character has no foresight whatsoever in terms of infrastructure and living for the future.
It is also a fact that many of your current leaders have been giving you all 5 pounds when the world functions on 12, they then increases it to 9 and the average Dominican is over whelmed and grateful for his 9, not realizing he is still 3 less for the future.
Dominica is a place I have visited and loved ever since, but I can never move to a country that begs for roads and then makes me walk to save the asphalt from wearing away simply because they lack a supporting government for its people.And I say walk simply on the basis of the ridiculous import duties that seem to take from its people, everything, sometimes even their soul.......
Any prime minister that accepts a Mercedes while his people lack roads has a questionable moral standing. Am guessing he grew up as an average man of the soil, so maybe a Mercedes is something he disparately needs to get around the huge overwhelming roads and traffic jams you all may have.
I came to the island about 7 years back to do business and I was almost conned by a one Parry Bellot who I read above one writer describes as intelligent..hmmmmmmm well may be clever but certainly not honest. So if these are the people that the people of Dominica consider better than Skerrit am afraid it really might be too late if one can resort to Parry Bellot, a man who lives off his wife and flashes around the island with companies that seem to make and break like noodles.....his owned father had to sell the Food company because he was embezzling hence the sale of the company rather than pass it to him.... something to think about.....
All am saying is Dominicans, no matter what party politically ask questions, it is your right to get straight answers, after all isn't the government there to serve its people?

Shelley Shilling-ford U.K.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : October 25, 2009 2:55 AM

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