Latest update May 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 22, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Eight members of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) were on Tuesday sworn in by President Irfaan Ali.
The members who took the oath of office and received their instruments of appointment are: Pandit Krishna Deo Sharma, Sheik Moeen Ul Hack, Norris Emanuel Witter, Dwayne Adams, Chandrowtie Sarran, Ashton Simon, Deon Dick and Neaz Mohamed Subhan.
Two other nominated members, Reverend Rodwell Porter and Charles Ogle were not present at the appointment ceremony. They are to be sworn in at a later date.
The Commission is chaired by Sheik Moeen Ul Hack.
All appointments will be valid for three years.
President Ali in his address which coincided with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination urged Guyanese “to reject racially-laced rhetoric or to be misled by those who wish to use race and ethnicity to stoke divisions and hatred in our society.”
He assured that his government will continue to promote “harmonious relations within our society, relations that are rooted in respect for human rights, the multicultural character of our society and the equal dignity of all.”
President Ali said: “I continue to urge all Guyanese to refute every tongue that utters threats and instigates hatred. In so doing, we will ensure that no weapon aimed at dividing our people and pitting any segment against another shall prosper.
As we work to excise the cancer of racial discrimination from our societies, let us join the international community in heralding the importance of this day which reminds us that no matter the colour of one’s skin, we are all part of this common human family and each of us is equal in dignity and rights.”
The Head of State congratulated the members of the ERC while reminding that the Commission is a creature of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. He said the Commission’s composition is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
He iterated that the ERC’s functions include promoting harmony, and good relations between persons of different ethnic groups, discouraging and prohibiting persons, institutions, political parties and associations from indulging in, advocating or promoting discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, investigating any issues affecting ethnic relations, promoting the elimination of all forms of ethnic discrimination.
“It is fitting that today’s reconstituting of the Ethnic Relations Commission is taking place on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Commission can play a pivotal role in identifying and addressing ethnic discrimination, and in making recommendations for eliminating racial discord in our society,” President Ali said noting that the roots of ethnic prejudice and division are not unique to Guyana alone.
“Racial, religious and cultural divisions, if allowed to become malignant, will eat away the very fabric of our society, disrupting human and social relations, retarding national development, and corroding national values,” the President said noting that diversity is an asset that must be valued and cherished.
President Ali made it clear that his Government is committed to the process of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination. He said, “We take seriously any attempts to instigate racial animosity and racial violence within our country. We severely condemn attempts that provoke racial conflict in our society and will ensure that those guilty are subject to the sanctions imposed by law.”
The President continued: “Greater inclusion and equality are goals to which we must continuously aspire. The Commission’s challenge will be to insulate itself from the divisions which it seeks to overcome in society. The work of the Commission is non-partisan. It must rise above sectarian interests and work for the common good of our society. In doing so, its work with attract greater public confidence,” President Ali said.
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