Stabroek News:- General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee says that the statement that Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo made recently in New York about people of Indian ancestry being discriminated against is factual.
At the PPP press conference on Monday, Rohee said that Jagdeo who was at the time speaking at a function in New York had “not said anything that is not factual or reality in this country.”
He said that PPP Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall “has written extensively about these matters in the media…All that Mr. Jagdeo has done was to externalize what was done at the local level.”
Asked whether his party has documented cases of people being discriminated against and if he has the evidence to support those claims, Rohee responded in the affirmative.
He said that his party has “documented the case of the Amerindian young people whose services as CSOs [Community Service Officers] have been terminated and we are now in the course of documenting instances where witch-hunting is the role of the day and that they would most likely go to the international human rights organization.”
In addition, he said “public servants were being dismissed by virtue of their alleged or perceived political association. Now there is a new dimension, the racial dimension.”
Asked by a reporter to release a list of names of the public servants who faced discrimination, Rohee said he would do so at the appropriate time.
Pressed further, he said “some of the newspapers have the resources to compile their own list but they are not going to do that because it is going to embarrass the present government.”
He told the media too that they should do investigative journalism.
The Government of Guyana had condemned Jagdeo for “race baiting,” over his speech.
“Racism is the well-known last refuge of the politically desperate and the coalition government calls on all right-thinking and patriotic Guyanese to reject Mr Jagdeo’s continued attempts at sowing racial divisions in our society,” the government said in a statement.
During his speech, which was being circulated on Monday on social media, Jagdeo contended that there is “an assault” on democracy in Guyana.
“There is an assault on people of Indian origin. There is an assault on supporters of the PPP. What we thought would never return to Guyana, in just one short year, has returned in full force and even worse in some regards than the [Forbes] Burnham era,” he said, while accusing the government of usurping transported lands and implementing new taxes that mainly target the rural poor.
“…And you know who live in the rural areas? It’s mainly our supporters. And so our country has taken a turn for the worse. It’s something we have to live with but I want to say to you, we are going to work hard and whenever the elections come again, we are going to take back Guyana, we are going to take it back from these people,” he added.
Following the statement by the government, Jagdeo subsequently issued another one, saying that he stood by the remarks he made in New York.