Jul 27, 2016 News
The Former President and current Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has defended the damning statements he made in New York recently, saying that his comments were no different from those he makes in Guyana.
Jagdeo has found himself in hot water after a video of him claiming that there is an assault on people of Indian origin had gone viral on social media. He was at the time speaking to a gathering during the ‘Albion Reunion’ in New York.
The former President had made claims that “There’s an assault on people of Indian origin; there’s an assault on supporters of the PPP (People’s Progressive Party). What we thought would never return to Guyana, in just one short year has returned with full force, and even worse in some regards than the Burnham era.”
He went on to say that transported lands are being “snatched” and “140 new taxes were increased”. This development, he said, has been targeting the rural poor, who are mainly the supporters of the PPP. He had stated that the country had taken “a turn for the worse” and “whenever the elections come again, we’re going to take back Guyana…we’re going to take it back from these people.”
The Government subsequently issued a statement saying that it is condemning, “in the strongest possible terms, the irresponsible, hateful race baiting and malicious fabrications and falsehoods uttered” by the former president.
The Administration regarded the claim that there is an “assault on people of Indian origin” as a “despicable” and a figment of Jagdeo’s imagination.
The statement amplified that “speaking to a predominantly Indo-Guyanese audience, Mr. Jagdeo attempted to inject among them a feeling that they are victims.”
The statement emphasized that the Coalition Government remains committed to stabilizing the Guyanese economy after years of lawlessness, nepotism, corruption, cronyism, mismanagement, misrule and the flagrant misuse of resources.
It was therefore noted that the disclosures of the former President come at a time when efforts are being made to foster closer relations and achieve a greater level of social cohesion. Moreover, the government said that it considers it reprehensible that Jagdeo chose to sow seeds of division, discord and race hate.
Jagdeo issued a response saying that the statement which was “tainted by traces of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, sought to condemn his international exposure of actions advanced by the APNU+AFC actions which he said, affect all “our people.”
Jagdeo said that he finds it strange that the Government would release a “lengthy” statement based on a short clip of a section of the comments he made.
“Despite the charges made, my record on bolstering racial harmony and advancing equal development across the country, regardless of race, speaks for itself. That is not a position I need to defend. However, I have spoken out and will continue to speak out about the injustices against our people,” he stated.
“I am inclined to believe that the Nagamootoo-styled statement has more to do with the reception given by thousands of people to me, representing the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) – in contrast to the small crowd and protest actions that greeted him.”
He added that while the Prime Minister claims that the Coalition’s policies are geared to deliver the “good life” to all Guyanese and touts social cohesion, he ignores the reality of many Guyanese people – the thousands of young Amerindians who were fired, the many Indo-Guyanese removed from their jobs, the assault on the sugar industry and the non-support of the rice and mining sectors.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Clement Rohee, has defended the recent utterances made by Jagdeo saying that the remarks made were all factual.
Rohee was asked how “decent “ it was for the Leader of the Opposition and a Former President, to make such pronouncements to an overseas audience to which he replied, “Mr. Jagdeo is not an indecent man so if he’s not an indecent person, obviously (his) statement has to have a high degree of decency,”
“All that he has said is factual; every single example that he gave.” Rohee asserted.
The General Secretary went on to say that Jagdeo did not say anything that that is not a reality in Guyana, which was something that the PPP/C has been addressing.
“All that Mr. Jagdeo has done is to externalise what is happening at the local level.”
Asked if there was any evidence to support these claims, Rohee responded by disclosing that they are now in the process of documenting cases where “witch-hunting was the rule of the day and those most likely will go to the International Human Rights Organisation.”
However, Rohee had been saying this for months. The list that he is compiling is a list of all the pubic officials whom he claimed, were dismissed for “political” reasons – public servants being dismissed for their alleged or perceived political appointment or political association.
Despite being asked by media operatives to provide at least one name, Rohee did not. He said that the list will be released at the appropriate time and that the media – who have the resources – should also do their own investigations and compile their list.
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