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Bitter row erupts over Jagdeo’s comments “on assault on people of Indian origin”

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo’s accusation that the welfare of Indo-Guyanese is coming under attack since the APNU+AFC coalition took office one year ago has drawn a stinging criticism from the Guyana government.

Speaking recently at a social event in Queens, New York, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) executive member said Guyana’s political, economic and social conditions were worse than in the 1970s and 1980s under the then People’s National Congress (PNC) government of then President Forbes Burnham.

“There is an assault on our democracy. 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 with full force and even worse in some regards than the Burnham era,” he told the predominantly East Indian gathering.

Jagdeo is already on record as saying in March, 2016 that “There is no hidden agenda here. Everyone knows where the bulk of the support of the two parties come from – APNU and PPP. A significant amount of our support comes from rural folks and Indo-Guyanese,” when he was asked whether the PPP has become an ethnic party.

The Burnham era had been characterized by severe food shortages, rigged elections, human rights abuses and claims of racial discrimination.

Jagdeo urged the attendees to cultivate a badly needed community spirit to ensure that “we defend our people through these dark times.” He said since the President David Granger-led administration has since coming to office seized land from title holders and increased about 140 taxes. “…largely targeting poor people but mainly rural poor and if you know who live in the rural areas- it’s mainly our supporters.”

Saying that Guyana has taken a turn for the worse, Jagdeo vowed that whenever elections are called “we gonna take back Guyana.”

The Opposition Leader’s comments in New York drew a strong condemnation from the Guyana government and labeled them “race-baiting, malicious fabrications and falsehoods.”

“At a time when our people are focused on the efforts to foster closer relations and achieve a greater level of social cohesion, the Coalition Government considers it reprehensible that the Opposition Leader, Mr. Jagdeo chooses to sow seeds of division, discord and race hate.

The claim that there is an “assault on people of Indian origin” is despicable, without any basis and a complete figment of Mr. Jagdeo’s imagination. On the contrary, the policies of the Coalition Government are designed to achieve the good life for all Guyanese, not a handpicked few as was the case under the PPP regime which was rejected by the Guyanese electorate on May 11, 2015 in free and fair elections,” the Guyana government said.

The Opposition Leader later responded to what he termed a Prime Minister Moses Nagamoootoo-tainted and said he ignores the reality of many of our Guyanese people – the thousands of young Amerindians who were fired, the many Indo-Guyanese removed from their jobs, the assault on the sugar industry and the non-support of the rice and mining sectors. “Despite the charges made, my record on bolstering racial harmony and advancing equal development across the country, regardless of race, speaks for itself. That is not a position I need to defend. However, I have spoken out and will continue to speak out about the injustices against our people,” he said.

In the statement issued late Monday night, Jagdeo said his position stated in New York that East Indians’ welfare is being attacked by the coalition-led administration is similar to his claims made back home in Guyana that mostly East Indians and Black PPP supporters are being dismissed from government jobs. “What is stranger is that the comments I made in New York were no different to the ones I have made in Guyana – at press conferences and on the campaign trail in the lead up to the March 2016 Local Government elections.  I spoke to the issues of racial and political discrimination, the lack of an economic plan, the taxation policies, as well as the repressive laws that have been advanced and the threats to local democracy under the APNU+AFC Coalition,” he said.

While several persons have been fired from, for example, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), government has also appointed East Indian, Hema Khan as the new Deputy Commissioner General. Similarly, across at the Guyana Chronicle, Michael Gordon was removed from the post of General Manager and replaced by Moshamie Ramotar.

In a libel case Jagdeo vs Freddie Kissoon, then Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon had said that there had been no Afro Guyanese qualified to become ambassadors. Under the current Afro-Guyanese dominated administration, East Indians- Halim Majeed, Shamir Ally and Deep Ford have been appointed top foreign envoys.

  • Lancelot Brassington

    The anti-corruption thrust seems to be taking shape at long last. Clive Thomas recently announced that efforts are already underway to have evaluations done for lands at Pradoville 2. A prominent International outfit has also signaled its willingness to help with tracing assets and transactions. The PPP are in panic mode and Jagdeo and entourage will do anything to rally support. Note the recent picketing in relation to the supposedly rigged general election.

  • george wiltshire

    Well here we are with jagdeo making all kinds of claims. What are his views about the nice young permanent secretary that had ten billion dollars in his account. What about the guy from GPL who paid himself. What about the GRA guy who went ahead and paid himself back pay he said that he was entitled to. What about radio stations that he gave out to his friends and family. What about the guy they entertained that was caught soliciting a young boy into a homosexual relationship. What about the secretary that committed suicide? What about the men who threw mess on the journalist. I wonder about the people who would sit and listen to jagdeo spout such nonsense? Guess they are all alike.

    • Col123

      Jaggie is ranting about another issue having to do with his views about ethnic Indos in Guyana… more or less. You went off on another tirade mixing your punches to the dude….Is that a Queens College approach ? was just as hateful with your pivot… BUT… it should help your blood pressure. Malignant hypertension is common among us bro… take some deep breath.. give us some biblical verses you normally do !

    • eddie

      guess you that read it is just alike,,, MORAN!!!!!! it ok when you whistle it but it’s divisive when someone else does it even if it facts ,,,,,,,,for the guy with the billion his time is on the clock and will be dealt with one question what happen to the 5M US that Lil Joe went to china or your memory is selective

      • george wiltshire

        We are still pursuing that and we should share any information that we have so that we could mount a protest. We do not need any more stealing in this sad poor country.

        • eddie

          is it a silent protest

  • Col123

    The period of 1992-2015 was the gyam fyah period. …Jaggie was starting up his university then…them bandits now reaking havoc learned from Jaggie ..the better question would be…From where did those freedom fighters of 1992-2015 graduate. They were good at gyam fyah against jaggie during that period!

  • Col123

    “Queens where all the indo Guyanese bandits live”…you moving into the gutter with Jaggie?.. Do some soul searching bro… you must enjoy shoveling that stuff like he does!

  • SYL

    The noose is tightening and its time to react in any manner possible. Ask the DEA. Calling the race card is just normal for the Guyanese scenario. Where I live the Guyanese of all races abide in harmony. Most of my business associates as the former president says are Indians, and we are having a great time. I left the bull shit of racism behind in GT,and don’t want to hear it. Its when your mind is polluted , and you’ve lost the decency to respect all people of any color or creed , then you indulge in such disgusting behavior, When we die , I wonder if there is a different place for different races. How dumb can one be to keep talking about this bull shit, when life is so short and many have complexities and complication. I don’t care about color, what is important is reaching out and helping a human being on this short life’s journey. So former president and current one and administration, please STOP THE BULL SHIT and help the poor and needy Guyanese.

    • eddie


  • SYL

    Read my comments, Its reality , but it BULL SHIT FOR A SHORT LIFE.

  • eddie

    your head was up your ass from 92-2015 hence your poor vision too much toxin

  • Col123

    The notion that those Indos in Guyana are blind and ignorant of their plight in terms of employment and opportunities in Guyana is preposterous . They do not need Jaggie to tell them. We Afro Guyanese were able to discern our own plight with “marginalization ,discrimination ..etc..we had no one to remind us about the lack of opportunities … we saw who were getting richer.. we were so deprived because of the PPP , that we had our platoons and squads of freedom fighters all over the place, reminding the PPP that we exist…

  • Col123

    Jaggie learned a lot from Major Granger… that US embassy cable which exposed Maj Granger as a real friendly racist was a defining moment for Jaggie … monkey see , monkey do..