Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Individuals and organisations dispatched a letter last Friday to regional and international government, political organisations and others addressing Guyana’s volatile political environment.
Signatories said their missive serves not only to highlight problems in Guyana but also to seek urgent intervention, to facilitate amicable resolution to the untenable crisis in Guyana and corrupt politicians that nod affirmatively to the PPP government racism, discrimination, and corruption in Guyana.
The 11-page letter seen by Village Voice, titled, ‘Organisations representing African Guyanese and others condemn the government’s persistent acts of racial discrimination and victimisation,’ addressed “the escalating social, racial, economic, and political injustices levelled at African Guyanese and other persons deemed unsupportive of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP).”
According to the more than 100 signatories, “these injustices have moved beyond geographical borders to Guyanese living in the diaspora, particularly those who vociferously denounce these atrocities.”
Attention was drawn to treatment meted out to Mr. Rickford Burke, President of the U.S-based Caribbean Guyanese Institute for Democracy (CGID) whom the Guyana Police Force has issued two wanted bulletins for within a year. According to the signatories, the bulletins are “devoid of lawful justification.”
Rights and the rule of law are under “siege” in Guyana, said the signatories. Speaking out against the government, it was made known, is becoming increasingly dangerous due to the government’s unorthodox coercive tactics and ruthless approaches to silent and punish dissent.
“Undoubtedly, the rights of citizens and the rule of law are under siege in Guyana and it must be noted that these threats are vile in nature and pose a danger, not only to Mr. Burke, but to humanity everywhere.
“Happily, Guyana’s oil and gas wealth has placed the country among the world’s fastest-growing economies which have attracted multinationals and transnational corporations the likes of Exxon Mobil and Hess, among others. Sadly, the vile acts of discrimination adopted by the government have shut out a large portion of the citizens from enjoying the benefits of the nation’s oil wealth and national patrimony.”
Given the dire situation in Guyana the groups said the diaspora has emerged as a voice against racism and corruption, and resolute advocates against police abuse.
Making known the grim experiences some Guyanese live through; recipients of the letter were exposed to 35 pointers as proof that whilst government denies the presence of racial and political discrimination there are sufficient evidence providing to the contrary.
Some of the issues raised were government’s violation of collective bargaining in trade unions where African workers dominate; political witch hunting by the government; use of the police and judiciary as enforcers of the government; denial of state contract to members of the African community; unjustified terminations of African and perceived supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) when the PPP returned to government in August 2020; discrimination in budgetary allocation to areas not controlled by the government; orchestrated government programme to deny African from state land and where possible seeking to remove them from ancestral lands.
According to the signatories their correspondence is meant to agitate for requisite changes in policies and to secure an equitable distribution of the nation’s patrimony.
The letter was signed by trade unionist Lincoln Lewis, Leslie Gonsalves; politicians Jaipaul Sharma, Mayor Ubraj Narine, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Tacuma Ogunseye; leaders of African organisations Tom Dalgetty; individuals like Nigel Hinds, among others.
The targeted recipients are: – CARICOM Heads, ABCE countries, United Nations, Commonwealth, Organisation of American States, the African Union, African Governments, and the political opposition as well as other international agencies, particularly the United States government.