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I read with deep concern the voluminous letter written by my friend Haji Dr. Roshan Khan making a number of charges against the Chairman of the ERC, Rev. John Smith, Joseph Harmon and former President David A. Granger.
I have no desire to enter a defense on behalf of the above-named persons assailed by my friend Roshan Khan.
The letter has come as a complete surprise from one who is an Ambassador for Peace.
His racist appeal to Indians to arm themselves makes him ineligible to serve as a member on the Ethnic Relations Commission or indeed of any Board, Body or Organisation that is interested in harmony and justice in our country.
Mr. Khan’s prejudice puts him squarely among those whose mantra it is to do all things to denigrate and disrespect ethnic and racial groups other than their own.
In this regard, it is the highest form of hypocrisy that in his letter, he should quote from the Holy Quran of religion that respects and caters for all races as equals, all of God’s children irrespective of race, colour or country of origin.
The need to know all of our history is necessary if we are to make the very essence of an Ethnic Relations Commission meaningful.
We have seen elsewhere in recent history, that when descendants of brutalized and dehumanized slaves seek justice their protestations are deemed illegal and improper. When the Africans in Southern Africa stood up for justice and to be treated as the other people they were deemed Terrorists.
A call to arm the ‘other’ people was resonated, similar to the call by Haji Dr. Mr. Roshan Khan. This bias and concern for a single ethnic racial group has been like a curse for many generations. Certainly, inconsistent with the declared purpose of an Ethnic Relations Commission, of which Mr. Khan is a member, he should be debarred from membership of the ERC.
Mr. Khan’s remarks came after the mostly Afro-Guyanese community expressing a concern for the barbaric torture and murder of two of the young men at Cotton Tree Village. Similar protests revolving around the murder of Haresh Singh did not evoke a response from Mr. Khan.
Throughout our history, Indo-Guyanese have properly protested against unfair treatment by those who administer the government. We remember the Enmore Martyrs, where five Indo-Guyanese sugar workers were shot and killed by colonial police.
Mr. Khan must know that it was a President of African descent who caused the Enmore Monument to be built to honour the slain sugar workers.
Instead of sharing the pain of the relatives of the Henry’s cousins and Haresh Singh who was killed days after them, Mr. Khan concern is to arm Indians.
Mr. Khan must repent if he desires to be my friend and continue to be an Ambassador for Peace.