Private Sector bodies condemn “reckless, fossilised” WPA attempts to advocate racial confrontation

– say advocacy for violence, insurrection has no place in modern society

A number of private sector bodies have joined in condemning what they have called the “reckless and irresponsible” attempts by the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) to advocate racial confrontation in “ugly and undisguised” attempts to promote insurrection.

PSC Chairman Paul Cheong

In a statement, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) condemned in the strongest possible terms, the utterances made by the WPA on March 9, particularly the utterances of long-time WPA member Tacuma Ogunseye.
It was not lost on PSC that Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton himself participated in the WPA meetings. According to PSC, it was nothing more than “an undisguised, deliberate, and ugly attempt to promote insurrection against the elected Government of the day.”
“The WPA statement is yet another attempt to pursue and advocate racial confrontation and conflict, an abject and wholly unacceptable pursuit of political racism intending to divide the people of our country.”
According to the commission, WPA’s statement is “utterly irresponsible” and must be rejected by every citizen. They also threw their support behind President Dr Irfaan Ali and Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who have both condemned “this attempt to create political mayhem and economic instability in our country.”
“The PSC calls upon the leadership of every political party in our country to condemn and reject this kind of political behaviour aimed at threatening the peace and security of our nation and to speak out with one voice against it,” the PSC also said.

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) meanwhile also expressed zero tolerance for WPA’s utterances, noting that it will stand against any agent or agency that perpetuates racial agendas.
“The Chamber wishes to state that it has absolutely no tolerance for any agent or agency desirous of inciting racial tensions, hostility or ill-will against any person of a specific gender, class or race. The Chamber would also like to emphatically state that violence, and the urging of violence has no place in a modern and democratic society.”

GCCI President Timothy Tucker

“It is disheartening and appalling to see a fossilised way of thinking being resurrected and urgings in the direction of sowing havoc, disharmony and the destabilisation of our democracy. There is no place for this type of behaviour in the landscape of Guyana. The rule of law should be respected and obeyed by all citizens,” GCCI further said.
It was pointed out by the chamber that with Guyana’s racial diversity, it is important to remember the need to respect each other and to refrain from uttering reckless statements that are “void of promoting unity in diversity.”

Reg 3 Chamber of Commerce
The Region Three Private Sector Incorporated (R3PSInc) also weighed in on the controversy, noting that the consequences of the WPA’s decision to use “hate, terrorism and racism” to incite their supporters, is a dire one for society as a whole and for what the party’s founder, Walter Rodney, stood for.
“Political activist and academic Walter Anthony Rodney must be turning in his grave to see the levels the party he founded has gone to. The WPA’s origins had their foundation in fighting autocracy, promoting democracy, and erasing ethnic divisions, and now, according to Ogunseye, the party supports proposing to install dictatorship by force and start what is impliedly a race war.”
“The use of hate, terrorism, and racism by politicians has several consequences for the political process. First, it undermines the legitimacy of the democratic process. When politicians use these tactics, they advocate for undemocratic means to achieve their goals,” the Region Three body said.
According to them, this creates a climate of fear and intimidation that makes it difficult for individuals to express their opinions and participate in the political process. It was noted that this will only further polarise society. It is a tactic, according to the Region Three body, that is usually the recourse of despot politicians.
“It is clear that President Irfaan Ali’s “One Guyana” vision is affecting certain sections of a society striving for political power, and it is therefore important for politicians to refrain from using these tactics and instead focus on promoting democratic values and building a more inclusive and tolerant society since many of the persons propagating such a despotic narrative will not be around to see the consequences of their senility.” (G3)