…but PPP’s past discriminations must be forgotten
By Desilon Daniels
Even while pointing out the past and present discrimination displayed by the APNU+AFC Government, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member Roger Luncheon has opined that his party’s past discriminatory acts must be forgotten.
Luncheon made the assertion during a press conference held at the PPP’s headquarters, Freedom House.
According to Luncheon, the Granger-led administration is currently conducting rampant “ethno-political discrimination”.
Furthering the PPP’s allegations, Luncheon spewed once more yesterday that government employees, because of their ethnicity or political affiliation, have been subjected to discriminatory practices. He further said that the attacks have not only continued since the PPP first complained months ago, but has actually worsened.
He went on to say that the discriminatory acts are being carried out under a guise. Noting that a number of persons had been ordered by the new government to use their accumulated leave, Luncheon said that if the coalition’s logic is to be used then at least 20 of its parliamentarians ought to be sent on leave as well.
Luncheon took things a step further by opining that there was particular focus on the Afro-Guyanese supporters of the PPP.
“We’ve made the point that Black members of the PPP party supporters are unusually exposed and treated to the rampant discrimination of this Granger administration,” Luncheon stressed.
Furthermore, discrimination was not only present with the current administration, Luncheon said. Deeming the ethno-political discrimination as “historical”, Luncheon said that it
had been witnessed in the “olden days of the PNC [People’s National Congress]”.
The PNC is the largest party forming the new coalition under APNU.
However, while the PNC’s past mistakes were clearly fair game to speak on, Luncheon did not feel similarly about his own party; when questioned on discriminatory practices employed by the PPP while it was in power, Luncheon stated that these ought to be forgiven and forgotten.
“This opportunity is not being used to revisit the past,” Luncheon said, though only moments before he had revisited the PNC’s past. Bringing his Christian faith into the fray, he continued, “When the Good Lord sent his son here, the essence of the Old Testament – ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ – we disposed of that. Twenty-three years later, if you’re going to insulate our political evolution in what happened 23 years, Heaven help us.”
He said that he was simply making the observation of tolerance in employment. According to him, persons who were working with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) went on to become parliamentarians. He admitted that this had happened on both sides, “whether it was Government or the Opposition”.
“That is why the term tolerance is used but it is morphing now into intolerance,” he added.
He further emphasised that any ethno-political cleansing currently on going must not be condoned or justified because it happened decades ago under the PPP.
Meanwhile, Luncheon said that though the discrimination has been drawn to the attention of the PPP, it seemed to be the only body speaking out against it. In fact, he said, “the silence is deafening”. He added that the silence has extended itself to civil society, which is normally vocal.
“For some strange reason they have lost their way and by the silence they are condoning and even being a part of this travesty visited on Guyanese,” Luncheon said.
Luncheon’s claim of discrimination is nothing new; since the coalition government came into power in May, the PPP has repeatedly accused it of stridently attacking perceived supporters of the party and removing these persons from their jobs.
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