Given our history I am absolutely convinced if an African leader assumes the presidency tomorrow and his/her government commits any of the transgression being committed by the PPP, people will not sit silently and accept it.
This would be the right thing to do. But now there are transgressions under this present leadership in plain view of all and the responses so far are general silence and support. One ponders this garrison behaviour. Is there a moral compass; or it only guides for another and not for self?
Ravi Dev questions my response to his comments about me (Kaieteur News 27/12/2009). This is the very Dev who prior to 1992 projected himself as an advocate for equal rights, the rule of law and confronting the “ethnic security dilemma.” It was only a matter of time for him to be exposed as a purveyor of Indian dominance to the point where he advances transgressing the rights of others to achieve his aim.
Every group and citizen must have their rights respected by any and every government. With the rights of Africans consistently under attack by this government I cannot be quiet about it or use language prescribed by the oppressor to describe the oppression. I was not
silent or sat it out when Indians under the Burnham and Hoyte governments claimed – perceived or real – that their rights were being transgressed, so today I shall not be silent and sit it out when there is a preponderance of evidence that African’s rights are transgressed by this government.
The demands on the PNC government to have citizens’ rights respected were the correct thing to do. And if it was right then it cannot be wrong now. Among those crusading leaders were scores of Indians but this government’s record is worse than the PNC and as one looks around, with the exception of Freddie Kissoon, Rupert Roopnarine, Christopher Ram, Khemraj Ramjattan and a few others, the rest are silent and on many occasions supportive of the wrong-doings! Some are even using their position of influence within CARICOM to voice criticism of regional governments even as they remain silent or lack the gumption to criticise Jagdeo for his discriminatory policies and rapacious governance in as much as there’s evidence by reputable and independent sources. How do you justify or explain this mind set?
Dev does not deny my evidence of the government’s programme of economic genocide on the African community and its violence against the society as a whole yet at same time he expects me not to be strident against its wrong-doings even as he fails to tell the government its attacks on the citizens must stop and rights must be respected. These rights are enshrined in the Constitution and every president, minister and parliamentarian took an oath to uphold them. Dev is no stranger to this oath and the responsibility that comes with it. Rights and the rule of law are the foundation of every modern society. They are non-negotiable and must be honoured! Why, out of racial loyalty and/or fear must this society be made dysfunctional?
Our recent history has shown conflicts around race manifesting in two forms – 1) to advance the representation and defence of a group for its just share in society and 2) as a wedge to perpetuate dominance/intolerance of one group over/to other(s).
Dev thinks his deployment of the latter – racism – can find escape in his binary demonization of “us” vs. “them” by painting himself and cohorts as victims when in fact these are the villains of society. I recognise his refusal to address his statement that if Indians did not come to Guyana the country would have reverted to mangrove. Wicked statement like this to promote and justify racial dominance must stop.
The rights of Africans must be respected in this country. Africans are here to stay. They are not going anywhere. Neither will they live on their knees or accept oppression.
They are an intimate part of this society and have played a meaningful role and want to continue but are confronted by a government who denies them respect, including the right to dissent, live and work.
Guyana’s development is hindered by the policies and attitudes of leaders like Dev, et al. I am sure Dev will agree that the treatment to an ailment has to be based on the gravity of the illness. I am not interested in removing government, that’s a job for the politicians. I have an abiding interest in ensuring every government upholds the rights of citizens and the Jagdeo government will not escape it.
To take the position that persons must understand the cause of the government/Roger Khan criminal enterprise, and if possible empathize, yet at the same time attacking rights advocates for holding this government accountable for its behaviour confirms Dev’s focus is racial dominance, not equal rights in society.
Violations in collaboration with or by the state must not be condoned. The government is funded by the people and has a greater responsibility to protect the rights of all the people who repay the debts, finance the projects and provide their remuneration. Further, the Guyana Constitution at Article 13 outlines the political objective of this society and speaks to inclusive governance where all are involved in national decision-making. This is not happening!
Let me advise Dev that he has thrown the first salvo and it was on his terms. It shall end on our terms when he tells this government and the community he purportedly speaks on behalf that every group must be treated equally, that each group has equal rights under the Constitution and the laws of this country, and no group has the liberty under the laws to antagonize and deny any group their rights.
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