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– country plunged into ethnic strife, says MP Walton-Desir
Less than two months under the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, racial tension, in Guyana, has spiraled out of control, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir said as Budget Debates opened in the National Assembly earlier today.
In delivering her maiden speech on Monday Walton-Desir – an Attorney-at-Law – said the situation is further compounded by a rapid deterioration of law and order in the country. “Mr Speaker I wish to record my alarm and my great concern at the rapid deterioration of law and order that we have seen. We have been plunged, Mr Speaker, over the last few weeks into the depths of ethnic strife, reminiscent of the descent into those dark days of the 1960’s recorded in the annals of our history,” Walton-Desir said.
The discovery of the mutilated bodies of two cousins – Joel Henry and Isaiah Henry – aback the Cotton Tree Village on the West Coast of Berbice on Sunday, September 14, 2020 sparked a series of fiery protests along the West Coast of Berbice and East Coast of Berbice corridors with citizens, the majority of them Afro-Guyanese, demanding justice. Two days into the protest, it took a violent turn – a number of persons were reportedly beaten, and their properties including cars, buses and trucks set ablaze. By day three, the body of another teenager – Haresh Singh – was discovered with marks of violence while older man was killed after opening fire on protestors.
“As a Guyanese Mr. Speaker, it is my view that the blame for this current state of affairs must be placed squarely at the feet of those, who in their thirst for political power, unabashedly fanned the flames of racism and intolerance or who in their silence were complicit,” the APNU+AFC Parliament said.
In addition to the murders, Walton-Desir told the House that the constitutional rights of Guyanese have been trampled upon since the PPP/C Administration took office on August 2, 2020. At the time, the Member of Parliament was referring to the cases involving former Director of Sports, Christopher Jones and Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
Last month, the Guyana Police Force, notwithstanding a High Court injunction, invaded Jones’ home and removed a number of barbering chairs and other equipment on the basis that he had “stolen” them. Jones was also taken into custody, despite the Court blocking any such action, and notwithstanding the fact, that the items seized, were purchased for him. The Force’s action was described by many as a clear disregard for the Court and rights of citizens.
Walton-Desir warned that the day of reckoning will soon come. “…As history has shown us time and time again, a country mired in ethnic strife and inequality is never able to realise its potential, and that the only ones who benefit from such a state of affairs are those who in their lust for wealth and power have no reservations rending the very fabric of this nation.”