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There is a doctored message from the Facebook account of Guyanese American Mr. Rickford Burke, President of the United States-based Caribbean Guyana Institute of Democracy (CGID), doing the rounds on social media. That doctored message, seen below and dated January 7, has called on persons to “set Georgetown on fire.” Burke has denounced the forgery and distanced himself from the message.
However, that has not stopped its propagation and the accusation against him.
According to Burke, in a January 14 release: “It has come to [his] attention that at 8:07 P.M last night, January 12, 2023, Johnathan Yearwood committed libel against me.”
Burke has accused Yearwood of using the false and fraudulent post, which he said was fabricated by operatives of the governing party in his name, to slander him on social media.
Yearwood, in his post (seen below), said Burke should be held responsible for the Christ Church Secondary School fires, and called for the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FB1) to arrest him, and for him to be extradited to Guyana. The school, which was located at Middle and Camp Streets, was razed last Thursday and a week prior there was a fire at the laboratory which was extinguished.
However, Burke stated the accusation was made “although I issued two statements advising the public that the post is fake. He had specific knowledge that the post is a fabrication by PPP operatives to create mischief but disregarded this knowledge because his clear intent was to commit slander and defamation. Which leader in their right mind would make such a comment? It is obvious that Johnathan Yearwood is reckless and foolhardy.”
Yearwood was a former Executive Member of the A New and United Guyana (ANUG).
“This person” according to Burke, “is part of a group of people who are contemptuous of African Guyanese, and are on a crusade to portray African Guyanese and African Guyanese leaders, who advocate for the rights of the Black population in Guyana, as criminals.”
Stating he strongly condemned the reckless attempt at slander, he called “on all Guyanese to condemn Yearwood’s vicious criminal conduct,” whilst making known there is “no place in a civilized society for this level of evil, vile bigotry.”
Burke advised he has since directed his attorney, Mr. Nigel Hughes, to file a defamation lawsuit against Yearwood. According to him, he and his attorneys are “also waiting to see if the Guyana Police Force will enforce Guyana’s Cybercrime laws against Jonathan Yearwood!”