Home Letters Atrocities at Ethnic Relations Commission (Pt 2)
I would also like to state that some of us, the rational Commissioners, had moved a motion to take a stand on the recount and that we respect and recognised the presence and pronouncement of Caricom. However, our motion was dismissed. In my view, the Chairman did not deal professionally with the motion. In another case, the Legal Officer had informed that the former President, Mr Granger, and Mr Harmon be summoned by the Commission to denounce their statements, but once again, the Chairman and his group within the ERC refused. Another area of concern is that recently, we discovered that an operative in the investigation department was meddling with the minutes and found lying, rude and disrespectful to certain Commissioners, all because they did not vote for him to become Chief.
We also have one Commissioner who behaves like a saint, pulling wool over people’s eyes so that he/she can be re-appointed as a Commissioner. At the same time undermining others to achieve their sinister motives. Despite these few negativistic Commissioners who are known to be anti-Government, I would like to recognise that we have a few good, professional, and righteous Commissioners who are bereft of bias, and who have the heart and compunction to stand for what is just and right for Guyana and the Guyanese people. However, it was quite painful to note that by “hiding” while the former Government was openly doing wrong and unpleasantly and unapologetically bringing Guyana to international embarrassment and humiliation as they tried to fraudulently steal the election, the ERC Chairman and his group within the ERC would cause themselves to become toothless poodles of the former Government (APNU/AFC). With the Chairman at the helm, the ERC became mum, knowing full well that the elections were lost to the then Opposition (PPP/C) at that time.
Having been the only one inside the ERC to openly stand up to these wrongdoings and injustices, I was targeted by the fact that through the instruction of the political powerhouses mentioned above, press releases were published against me to embarrass and break me. However, as the All-Powerful Creator would have it, it only strengthened and motivated me and instead exposed them. The entire ERC, under the helm of the Chairman, boycotted the recount, and while my brave colleague and a true patriot of this country, Commissioner Neaz Subhan was hospitalised by COVID-19, I was the ERC’s sole rep (one other Commissioner attended a few of the original countings). At the end of the recount, I used the opportunity to laud the ERC which at that time seemed nonexistent. After being urged by all other observer groups, including Caricom, to say something on behalf of the ERC, the Chairman saw it fit to publicly humiliate me. He did this after taking orders to disagree with me and to do so by issuing instructions that a release be issued to the effect that I, Commissioner Hajji Roshan Khan cannot speak for the Commission. Strange enough, as soon as I finished making the statement which was broadcasted live, one known clandestine operative and current anti-GOVERNMENT personality immediately sent a WhatsApp message to tell me that it appears I have become the Chairman. This individual makes it appear that Commissioners do not have a right to speak or comment on an issue of national importance. I did not compromise the ERC, I basically tried to extol the ERC which as I said above was behaving as if it was a toothless poodle, and as the President rightfully said, went into “hiding.” One particular reporter asked me if the ERC agrees with the recount figure. And, I answered that this is not a thing that I could pronounce on, they could make contact with the Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission. Amazingly, before the press release condemning me, the Chairman never spoke to me about the words I used. Incidentally, I must state that I know for a fact the ERC lost much credibility for that release issued against me.
With the many ERC failures, I believe that the Creator, Lord God of the worlds, had a clear reason why at this period in Guyanese history, a man like me had to be in the ERC. I say this because it is known that many Muslims and leaders in general, often like to take the diplomatic stance and are known to often remain silent and take whatever is thrown at them. In this light, I believe that the ERC needed an Islamic personality of my calibre: one who is fearless, tough, but compassionate, and who looks out for humanity. In the religion of Islam, we are told: “O believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or close relatives. Be they rich or poor, Allah is best to ensure their interests. So do not let your desires cause you to deviate ?from justice?. If you distort the testimony or refuse to give it, then ?know that? Allah is certainly All-Aware of what you do.” (Quran 4:135)
What many people tend to forget, also, is that I wear a lot of hats, one of which is a Security Consultant and Operative cap. As my contact number is open to all people, I received dozens and dozens of calls every day on the mayhem and slaughter of a particular people in the West Coast Berbice and East Coast corridor. As a security operative, many were reaching out to me and seeking my help on whether to bring out bush guns and whip out cutlasses after the aftermath of the brutal killings of Isaiah Henry, Joel Henry, and Haresh Singh. However, my advice to them was to “not be aggressors…protect your minorities…”
I respectfully asked the ERC to compare my words in which I advised the people who were being beaten, mauled and killed in a particular community “to form protection groups, equipped with batons and sticks for self-defence only. Be firm and clever but never be the aggressors, and to protect the minorities in your communities” with the words of Mr Harmon’s and that of Mr Granger’s who said: “this response is a correct response, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” and “We have to establish some self-defence in our society to protect our children, protect our women, our young people. Unless we protect ourselves, nobody is going to protect us” respectively.
When Mr Harmon was trying to denigrate and destroy me in the media and out of the media using his satellites and acolytes in Guyana and around the world, I challenged him at my expense to a public debate on his and Mr Granger’s words vs mine. I suggested a political conversation on Critic or any other media attached to it, but he never replied. To this day, in a public debate at my expense, I still challenge him to face me off.
Further, I even asked the Chairman of the ERC, those who supported him, and even those who sent a press release, where was my bias when I called for the protection of the minorities of citizens who were being battered, raped, hammered and robbed? I would also like to know why the ERC did not issue a press release and even conducted inquiries into personalities who were instigating, albeit smartly, such as Christopher Jones and Sherrod Duncan? I would also like to ask Mr Harmon who went to produce a press release to save his own skin for the unpleasant words he used to support the slaughtering of some Indo Guyanese which has disaffected their families and produced a lifetime of pain. I asked him to decipher his words vs mine. Incidentally, the Chairman’s press release came just a few minutes after Mr Hermon criticised me and attempted to take the emphasis off his back. These actions made it seem that the Chairman of the ERC is a puppet of the Opposition party. To many, I used terms that were more compassionate and caring for the people who were being targeted. I also asked this of the Chairman of the ERC, who as it is alleged on political instruction, published the release without even a discussion with me. This showed a total lack of disregard for me. As a General Bishop and Chairman of the ERC, he was most unprofessional, to my opinion. As such, I ask him to refute my words here today in which I state: he failed as the Chairman of the ERC and failed this nation by allowing it to become a marionette of hateful political master minders. I also ask this of the small group within the ERC that shares the same dangerous ulterior sentiments.
At this juncture, I must say that I am always proud of my fellow Guyanese. I always have faith in my people because I know that for hundreds of years, to create this great country; we lived, worked, and even revolted together for freedom. My advice to my fellow brothers and sisters in Guyana is this: continue to live in utter goodwill, love, and seek to rise above those political master minders with evil compunctions in their hearts. Let us all strive to live as one human family under God and as One People, One Nation, with One Destiny.
Commissioner Roshan Khan Snr