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PPP discriminated against Afro-Guyanese in bestowing National Awards- Greenidge

Foreign Affairs Minister, Vice President Carl Greenidge addressing the African Guyanese Awards Ceremony held on Monday, May 22, 2016 at the Pegasus Hotel.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Vice President Carl Greenidge addressing the African Guyanese Awards Ceremony held on Monday, May 22, 2016 at the Pegasus Hotel.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Vice President Carl Greenidge Monday night had some very harsh words for the now main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), accusing that party of avoiding the bestowing of National Awards to mainly Afro-Guyanese.

He recalled that the PPP had in the past criticized People’s National Congress (PNC)-led governments of engaging in racism on the basis that recipients were mainly one section of the Guyanese population.  Describing such a posture as an “absurdity,” he reasoned that because the bulk of Guyana’s public service and the Guyana Defence Force are from one group it is expected that the awardees would reflect the make-up of those institutions.  “The problem lies in not giving national awards to those who have contributed but in having some of our political and communal bodies disparage and misrepresent important pillars of our society; that’s where the problem lies,” Greenidge told an African Guyanese Awards Ceremony to mark the United Nations-designated Decade for People of African Descent.

The Foreign Minister believed that the PPP-led administration, while in office from 1992 to 2015, avoided the granting of National Awards because of racial considerations. “We, as Africans, that have contributed to the building of this country, that have been the backbone of public service or civil service, public policy making, have to understand  that that is an effort to denigrate, disparage and undervalue or devalue the contributions that we have made to this country,” he said.

He cautioned that such devaluation could redefine how current and future generations of African Guyanese perceive themselves.  Afro-Guyanese were credited by Greenidge in delivering quality education, policy making, science and technology and the bauxite, sugar and rice industries.

Former President, Donald Ramotar is on record as having expressed concern about whether several of the 52 Guyanese who received National Awards last year `were entitled because many of them are “loyalists” to the PNC.

They included PNC General Secretary, Oscar Clarke; former Minister of Information in the PNC administration, Yvonne Harewood-Benn; former Prime Minister and City Mayor, Hamilton Green; former PNC Executive Member, Supriya Singh-Bodden, and former Local Government Minister, Llewelyn John.

  • I hope the president does not miss the opportunity to have a review of all those people who were terminated for political reasons, if they are black and they support the PPP/C or because of their race. He should have a review of this to say ‘I am going to correct this because I want my word to match the practice in my government’,” he expressed.

    Among those who have been fired or forced to resign since the coalition’s assumption to office are the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Permanent Secretary Nigel Dharamlall; the former Head of the National Toshaos Council, Yvonne Pearson; former Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Ministry Collin Croal; Guyana Water Incorporation Chief Executive Shaik Baksh; CEO of the Guyana Sugar Corporation Dr Raj Singh and other members on the board of directors, Geta Singh-Knight, Shaik Baksh, Badrie Persaud, Keith Burrowes and Dindyal Permaul; Go-Invest CEO Keith Burrowes; several Regional execuive officers including Nigel Fisher – Region One, Ashford Ambedkar – Region Five, Paul Ramrattan – Region Six, and Yolanda Hiliman – Region 10, Region Nine’s (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) REO Claire Singh; political advisor and former Local Government Minister Clinton Collymore; acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba; Guyana’s Ambassador to Mexico Bayney Karran and Guyana’s Ambassador to Brazil Merlin Udho were recalled from their posts; national director of the Community Development Council (CDC) Philomena Sahoye-Shury; CEO of Guyana Power and Light Bharrat Dindiyal; Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Rickford Vieira; Commissioner General of Guyana Revenue Authority Khurshid Sattaur, among many others CARL U FULL OF IT.

    • Col123

      Hope was coined for the hopeless…we are in another dimension …

  • cuffy

    This is the PNC machine working, a racial divide,that is their philosophy,surprising speech from a diplomat,This is where Guyana needs new leadership,not stalwarts of The PNC/PPP,these old hardliners must go,he is just stirring the pot of ethnic divisions,is he contradicting Granger who says “national unity is hampering Govt” lowdown and shameful.

    • eddie

      this is where leaders are born if this president want to be recon with he need to fire this guy pronto because he and a couple of others that the president is aware of will bring his downfall if he allow them to fester !!!!!!!!! just figure this coming from our head diplomat

    • Col123

      The chap is speaking like the racists he is…call it like it is!..On his hands, there are blood stains of the same group of folks he is disparaging ..

  • Col123

    The finest hour of display in kith and kin /apan jhaatee toxins…delivered by a PNC stalwart…unity govt will be addressed in the next hour…Gaad help us !

    • Reality 2015

      That word is Indian in origin which means only one thing. A particular cross section of our population was getting it across to their people.

      • Col123

        R: try spinning the recent LGE results in GT/Bartica and else where as not apan jhaat voting! are not suggesting that Afro Guyanese do not vote apan jhaat !..are you?

  • KassemB

    ‘PPP discriminated against Afro-Guyanese in bestowing National Awards- Greenidge’
    1.So what in reality you and your Party have done not to repeat the same?
    2.From you and your Party action so far, what you expect when there is change in Government?

  • Surujpaul Rampersaud

    Mr Greenidge, are you giving us a preview of the kind of people who will be the recipient of national awards. I hope your name is not on on that list. I still remember you speech in parliament when you said that the Guyana dollar was being aligned to a basket of currencies. This was nothing more than devaluation that made money that I had saved under the Deferred Income Scheme practically worthless.
    I just hope that the names of politicians do not make this list. This list should be only made up of business entrepreneurs, honest and hard working public servants, people who improved their life despite the odds and sports people but no politicians.

    • Col123

      SR…invest in a breathing mask for hard times…don’ t hold your breath!

  • Col123

    Hey investor…you are kidding…are you?..we have an Indian Prime minister in charge of everything in a PNC led govt…hold on..I need to finish this beer to continue …

  • george wiltshire

    They took too long o

  • Reality 2015

    Keith where is the Olympic size swimming pool? Which ethnic group makes up the Guyana Olympic team? In which so called afro Guyanese village/area did the PPP/C administration placed a sports facility during their reign? Mr.Greenidge is correct. The truth hurts always.

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Take it easy Greenidge. Take it easy budday. You are coming on a bit too strong. The coalition is in a position to give awards to whomsoever should have received but did not. The PPP are history for at least the next four years. This apparent venom is not necessary. The way things are said could cause tension and unease even if your statements have substance. We don’t want the coalition to unravel. We don’t want to give Jagdeo and company ammunition.They would take great pleasure in howling ‘We told you so’. Take it easy budday!

  • Gtloyal

    Is it possible to speak of our recent history without mentioning race? Avoiding race would not change what has happened. If Mr Greenidge does not say it as he saw it he would be being dishonest.

  • eddie

    I don’t know why they give award out in this country,,, let look back at our achievement,,,,, what we give out award to people that divide this country