Promoting race hatred will not help anyone’s cause

Dear Editor,
A PNCR-aligned political activist in New York has threatened the Indo-Guyanese community in New York with his incendiary rhetoric that was spewed out on a Sherod Duncan video show. The person has arranged a protest over the weekend to target, disrupt, and close Indo-Guyanese businesses.
Community leaders, including the International Center for Democracy (ICD), have reacted swiftly to the caustic remarks: “the Indian and Black communities enjoy a respectful relationship…and we cannot allow this poison into our communities.”
ICD has also called upon the authorities to investigate this person for inciting race hatred against Indo-Guyanese, and to protect Indo-Guyanese businesses and families.
The protest is linked to the man’s claim that the PNCR coalition was cheated out of power in the 2020 national and regional elections. He had recently targeted an Indo-Guyanese business in Queens when a gala event was held recently in honour of Guyana’s Attorney General Anil Nandlall.
The regular protests by PNCR operatives have been rejected by the Guyanese people, and also have no traction with the diplomatic missions and foreign governments. To get attention to their (PNCR) cause, they have decided to weaponise race and utilise it as a major political tool to explain electoral and governance issues.
Guyanese know that the 2020 general and regional election results were certified by a CARICOM high level team, which was invited by the PNCR coalition to oversee the election recount, and in the presence of neutral and accredited election observation teams, which filed separate reports on the free and fair conduct of the 2020 elections. Based on those reports and firsthand information, foreign diplomatic missions (US, Canada, European Union, OAS, UK, and Commonwealth) as well as 100 governments and all local political parties (except the PNCR coalition), immediately recognised that the PPPC had won the 2020 elections convincingly.
Guyanese and diplomatic missions are also aware of the attempts by top GECOM executives, in collaboration with PNCR+AFC elements, to perpetrate an electoral coup d’ etat in the plain view of the world. The head of the OAS team stated, “It was the most transparent attempt to steal an election.”
The PNCR coalition operatives have been continually feeding their supporters with lies that they had won the elections. They (PNCR coalition) took their election cases to Guyana’s Apex court, Caribbean Court of Justice, and lost all of them, yet they have refused to accept the legitimacy of the PPPC Government, and often refer to it as an “installed regime.” What is also astonishing is that despite their incredulous claim of being cheated out of office, they have refused to make their SoPs (Statement of Poll) public. Had they done that, the truth would have burst forth before their supporters. And the truth is, they (PNCR coalition) lost the elections.
The PNCR’s rationale for utilising race as a political tool is also based on their claim that the PPPC Government fired 2,000 of their supporters upon taking office. Every new Government tends to fire political and contracted employees. This is normal practice in any democracy. The PNCR have failed to tell their supporters that when they took power in 2015, they fired over 7,000 sugar workers (over 6,000 of them were Indians) and left them to languish on the breadline. Likewise, they fired 1,972 Amerindian CSO workers, who served in the most impoverished hinterland regions of the country.
APNU/AFC have lost power due to their own blunders. Had they not closed the 4 sugar estates, for example, they would have had a good chance of winning the 2020 elections. It seems that they are blaming others for their political miscalculations.
They desperately want to hold on to power, to govern over an emerging oil economy. It is not that they (PNCR party and supporters) do not have political power. They have power at all layers of Government except at the ministerial level. Their supporters dominate the public service (70%), the army (90%), the Police (80%), nursing (75%), teaching (60%), and the top echelons (Permanent Secretary) of the public service (50%), although their group constitutes only 29% of the population. They also control 4 administrative regions.
What is the driving force behind the man’s race-based protest? Is the purpose to blackmail the PPPC into sharing ministerial portfolio with the PNCR? Or is the purpose to make the country ungovernable? Or to topple the legally elected Government?
While peaceful protest is a fundamental right, no reasonable person or group should support a planned effort to create race hatred and conflict that would drive a wedge between Indo- and Afro-Guyanese. Why does this man want to target Indian businesses and families both here in New York and in Guyana? Does he want to crush the base of the PPPC support as his PNCR Government attempted in the sugar industry? This man’s party has another 4 years to prepare itself for general and regional elections. Here is where their focus should be. Stirring race hatred would further weaken the party. Race hatred must be rejected by all peace loving and decent people.

Dr Tara Singh