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PPP, Afro-Guyanese groups slam each other over “Indian” vs “Afro” GECOM Chairman

Retired Justice James Patterson taking the oath of office before President David Granger as the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.

Several African Guyanese organisations on Friday lashed out at the East Indian-dominated People’s Progressive Party for submitting 18 mostly East Indian nominees for the post of Guyana Elections Commission in a bid to force President David Granger to select one of them.

“The recent Constitutional appointment by His Excellency David Arthur Granger has publicly revealed what Africans in Guyana and the Caribbean all know, Indians do not want to be ruled by an African Leader because they believe they are superior to Africans,” the African Cultural and Development Association, Pan African Group (Guyana) Branch, The All African Guyanese Association and Concerned Citizens in the Diaspora said in a joint statement.

Those Afro-centric organisations endorsed President Granger for courageously responding to Jagdeo’s strategy by following Guyana’s Constitution and exercising his constitutional Presidential prerogative.

He has shown leadership in bringing closure to a PPP designed agenda to frustrate the appointment of a Chairperson for GEOCOM.  He has signaled his intention to get on with the serious business of government.  He has sent a clear message to international observers and investors that Guyana’s development and progress will not be impeded by the racist political and economic agenda of Jagdeo’s disgraceful PPP.

Reacting to the joint statement issued through the African Business Roundtable, the PPP reminded that both Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese have been nominated by the Opposition Leader and leader of the Afro-Guyanese-based People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR). “While, government apologists attempt to make the issue of race, facts are forgotten, including that the Indo-Guyanese appointed as GECOM Chairpersons in the past were persons nominated by then President Desmond Hoyte. Another fact forgotten is that Mr. Rudy Collins, an Afro-Guyanese, who was appointed by Hoyte, was nominated by Dr Cheddi Jagan,” said the PPP which was in power from 1992 to 2015.

In addition to stating that President Granger’s decision to unilaterally appoint Retired Justice James Patterson as GECOM Chairman represents a departure from, not only the Carter formula, but from a process that has been adhered to for 25 years, the PPP said the 18 names had included several fit and proper Afro-Guyanese.

“The fact that there were qualified and competent Afro-Guyanese nominated by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, seems to have also been forgotten. In an effort to divert attention from a breach of the Constitution to a race issue, the government and its apologists have, themselves, exposed their intentions to the Guyanese people – in that, the issue is not about having an Afro-Guyanese being the new GECOM Chairman, but about having a GECOM Chairman that is both Afro-Guyanese and pro-PNC,” the PPP said in its statement.

The PPP has already filed High Court proceedings to quash James’ appointment because he was not picked from among the 18 nominees and that he appears to be closely linked to the PNCR, the largest partner in the governing coalition.

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Headquaters- Freedom House.

For its part, the  the African Cultural and Development Association, Pan African Group (Guyana) Branch, The All African Guyanese Association and Concerned Citizens in the Diaspora lampooned Jagdeo for engaging in an Indian insult of democracy, the spirit of the Constitution, Guyana and the Presidency when he on December 21, 2016, the names o  Rhyaan Shah, Christopher Ram, Ramesh Dookhoo, Major-General (retired) Norman Mc Lean, Lawrence Lachmansingh and Professor Dr. James Rose.

The groupings noted that Retired Major General Norman Mc Lean would be 82 years old next month, Shah is a well-known partisan Indian supremacist “and most of the others had long and deep political”and other relationships with the PPP.”

The PPP, however, condemned what it termed the “scurrilous attacks on the integrity of 18 professionals whose names were submitted as the Opposition Leader’s nominees for the post of GECOM Chairman while pushing a race agenda. “The party also condemns the attempts by government and their apologists to divert attention from the core issue – the unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional appointment of a GECOM Chairman by President David Granger – to discussions on race.”

Politcal Science Professor, David Hinds has said that race and the need to find someone in whom there is political confidence appeared to be major considerations behind Granger’s pick of James.

Those pro-Afro Guyanese organisations  accused the the Private Sector Commission and its highly questionable network of business and civil affiliates of knowing and supporting by their silence the behavior of Bharrat Jagdeo who ruled Guyana unconstitutionally for 12 years. Others similarly criticised are the Guyana Human Rights Association (GRHA)  “which has never championed land rights or equal rights for African Guyanese,” lawyers, accountants and so-called business persons.

The Private Sector Commission (PSC).

“These now “recently converted and born again moral agents” said nothing when Jagdeo conspired with a convicted Indian drug lord Roger Khan to kill over 400 Africans,” the organisations said. “This was not the end of democracy in their eyes. This genocide and extra-constitutional killings were normal in their version of a democracy or ethnic state.”

The PSC, GHRA, lawyers, accountants and businesspersons, the organisations charged, never said anything when Jagdeo allegedly unilaterally transferred hundreds of thousands of hectares of land to Indians in Guyana and from India and gave away lucrative licences, contracts and other state patrimony to Indians.

“They hid their faces and remained silent when the UN investigators in 2009 announced the PPP marginalized Africans in Guyana economically, culturally, politically and socially. Their silence was conspicuously loud when Donald Ramotar prorogued parliament in 2015.  In fact, they continue to be silent in the face of irrefutable and compelling evidence that Jagdeo is “not fit and proper” person to be in Parliament.

The African Cultural and Development Association, Pan African Group (Guyana) Branch, The All African Guyanese Association and Concerned Citizens in the Diaspora labelled as “the second opposition force in Guyana” those groups and persons that are critical of Granger’s appointment of Justice Patterson as GECOM Chairman. However, they said those entities and persons were not calling for an investigation into crimes against humanity  just as the recent call by African organizations when the Working Expert Group on People of African Descent / United Nations Human Rights Committee group recently visited Guyana.

The organisations dismissed fears that future elections would be rigged, saying those were the utterances of  liars, cheats, scamps and racists. ACDA and the other organisations said critics of the Granger-led administration know that GECOM has seven votes with the governing and opposition parties having three each. They reminded that it was then Chief Elections Officer, Gocool Boodoo who had been implicated in the alleged rigging of an election.

Regional security

The Guyanese Afro-based organisations urged Africans, the international community and well-intention Guyanese to support President Granger in lawfully interpreting the constitution, even in the face of certain organisations, Indian supremacists and others “who have illegitimately benefited under the PPP are showing their true colours as they continue to sabotage our “democracy” with the hope of again plundering Guyana with its new found oil wealth.”

Saying that never again would Africans sit idly by and be marginalised see Guyana being run by international drugs and narcotics smugglers, the Afro-Guyanese organisations called on the international community to be vigilant against transnational crimes and racism.  “The international community must never allow itself to be fooled again by the PPP at the expense of a racist and international narco-business agenda targeted against this Government and the long suffering people of Guyana,” they said.

Further, they cautioned about the dangers  another PPP-led administration would pose to Caribbean security. “In this state of heightened global terrorism and far reaching terrorist financial and other networks, the PPP can never be trusted ever again to administer the affairs of Guyana.  That frightening proposition could threaten the peace, stability and security of the entire Caribbean Region,” the African Cultural and Development Association, Pan African Group (Guyana) Branch, The All African Guyanese Association and Concerned Citizens in the Diaspora.

  • Henry Horton

    Both groups represent the pathology of Guyana!

  • Kassem_B

    ‘PPP, Afro-Guyanese groups slam each other over “Indian” vs “Afro” GECOM Chairman’
    It is obvious the way this media is covering this issue, where the issue is heading.
    Partition is clearly on the card now to avoid the worst outcome.

    • rudeo

      We can then sift out the criminals and the victims

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Mr Granger should immediately exhort anyone who wishes him and the coalition well to desist from making inflammatory public statements. Even if what they are saying is true they should hold their peace for the sake of the nation. If they do not comply then he should publicly condemn ALL efforts to spark off a racial cuss down. Jagdeo is what he is. I don’t expect too much from him. I am holding Mr Granger to a higher standard of behaviour.

    • Yannick23

      I agree Lance. Let us as a Nation take the high road we don’t need Racism in our Society. Let us all put that fire out please. I read in the Kaieteur News some time last year what “DECENCY and RESPECT” is all about Sir. Mitchelle Obama said ” when they go LOW we go HIGH. This is the only way to a bright and positive future.

  • rudeo

    Eusi Kwayana proposed that once….before a lot of the young and even matured were born….maybe we would have been able to see the wheat from the chaff….very interesting….any honest person can categorize the population demographics by passing through the villages of Guyana….read Dr Dale Bisnauth’s dissertation on the development of rural Guyana and particularly the rice industry by whom….read of the swamps as in Whim, Mon Repos, Huistdieren, etc. which were given to identured migrants in return for their passages back across the Kala Pani…and their development by whom using spades, shovels, cutlasses and gallons of sweat….maybe partition can solve a lot of discrimination and unbalanced wealth…up for discussion?

  • Gtloyal

    What about if we send those who consider themselves Indians back to India and those who consider themselves Africans, back to Africa, and leave only Guyanese in Guyana?

    • Col123

      Well … I agree with you Gt…we brothas wouldn’t do well in the motherland….I can’t live in any a them townships…. no good life there…too much thieves !

      • Gtloyal

        Then you may want to jump on the other ship and go with the odda brodas.

        • Col123

          You insulting me wid the ship thingy… bad history…actually, them brothas over here can’t stand us former whatever… net access???..later

  • Gtloyal

    The Jagans opted for their successor to be in the closet than in the public arena.

  • Col123

    Boy … you stupidness showing… if you can’t live amongst other humans, you ought to look for a pig pen!….you need to stick with you pandit, preacher or voodoo job… you insulting that off shelf Armani suit!

    • Yannick23

      Col good afternoon Squaddy hoping all is well on your side. Point taken Sir and by the way I think seeing we are at it Naggie should change his name to Ram or Lachman.

      • Col123

        Naggie has a useful purpose in this world… I am quite positive that hard productive working folks will do well…the chap needs to watch his weight though…and get that smirk off his ugly mug!…

  • Gtloyal

    I trust Mr Granger, the President of all Guyanese, of being capable of ignoring all detractors and being able to do what he had to do.

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Where would the demarcation line be located? Who would referee the division and have the final word on where the demarcation line is to be placed? The UN? Caricom? The commonwealth? Influential Guyanese? Would any of these people be willing to take on such a task? How would the mineral wealth be divided? After all most of bit is centered within regions that the Amerindians could logically claim as their own. Should they be bulldozed out of the way? Do you envisage that people who want to remain where they have property and roots could be accommodated outside of the area allocated to their ethnic group? Do you think a referendum on the matter might be a good idea? Do you think your idea would gain traction among the general populace? Would it have found favour with Cheddi Jagan? I’m sorry to disappoint you but i interact with Indians daily and there is not going to be any bloody conflagration in spite of your hopes, aspirations and prayers. We have always had issues and we generally favour our own but we live well together day in day out. We have interracial romances. We work and play together. By the way, do you have a formula for sharing Timehri airport, or will the demarcation line pass through the middle of it? What about the port facilities in Georgetown? Will douglas be put to death?
    People who are given to flights of fancy invariably have great difficulty relocating ideas from the cerebral hemispheres to the real world.

    • Yannick23

      I just think the thought separation is very sad and divisive. I would ask all level headed Guyanese to just review what happened to Puerto Rico when Hurricane Irma swept through that Nation. How sad that was. That was a Natural Disaster so let us not think about a Human self made Disaster. We as a Nation is far too bigger and better than that.I grew up with Indians in front, side and behind of our entire village and many many villages all over in Guyana so the thought of it is saddening.

      • Lancelot Brassington

        it will never happen. Both sides stand to lose. Any prominent politician seeking to come up with a serious proposal for separation will be humiliated by the lack of support. Ravi Dev floated the idea. He was later forced to tone down and adopt a mellower posture. The PPP never bought into his proposal.I wonder what became of him. Eusi Kwayana is said to have made a similar proposal much earlier (ie when I was a little boy). If he did, the Kwayana we have known over the past four decades is a much mellower and more rational person. One we would never associate with such suggestions. We don’t need to lose sleep over the matter. It will never happen. All of us will have to share all that Guyana has to offer. Oil wealth et al.

        • Col123

          I agree… separation is a ridiculous lazy thought… humans are better at mixing with each other… you see it around the world… ., it is meant to be that way…

  • Yannick23

    I voted for this Govt. Please my sisters and brothers of our Dear Land of Guyana I beg God almighty to bless our Nation on a daily basis. The most venomous things that some of us are saying is a total disregard, distrust and disrespect to all of Guyana. We as a Nation should take the time to educate ourselves about our History. We as a Nation are made of of six Races and this is how we express ourselves with Racism. Come on we are a Proud Nation of Six Races and we should be proud of our diversity our talent our mishaps in the past and live as one. At no time there should be anyone express our feelings with Racist comments to offend anyone of our fellow Guyanese. We are a proud people no matter how we live, we should be proud and never be Racist to our fellow brothers and sisters. We will disagree with each other opinions a lot of times, but let us defend and respect all. Lest us never again fall in the trap of Political Anamosity like what happened in Rhodesia, now South Africa, Palestine present day or many other countries like Rawanda and so on. Please we all breathe the same Air we bleed the same Blood and most of all we are currently living in a very precarious times when it comes to Killings, Crimes and various types of Gun and Cutlass violences which tells us Ramjhaat in an Expert at failures and incompetence in this Govt. He should do the honourable thing and resign and let someone who is capable and competent to clean up the Crime situation in our beloved Land of Guyana.

  • Yannick23

    Bro as a Guyanese I have to agree with you in some of the contents of your comment. As an Afro Guyanese I will forever plead to our entire nation to respect each other. We are a Nation of six races and we have to co exist, we have done it all our lives no matter we have our problems, but for the better part of our nation we must in these times accept each others. We are all Guyanese bro.

  • Yannick23

    We can be stronger and better together than division as a Nation. Only if we can uplift and elevate ourselves as a descent and respectable people no matter what ever is our back ground. We breathe and bleed the same Air and Blood respectively, but it has to start with selfless Leaders in Govt.

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Big countries like India and Korea had multiple cities, with multiple docks and airports. When North Korea, South Korea, Bangladesh and Pakistan were born they had their fair share of ports and airports to ensure their survival. Is the situation the same in Guyana? If one side is controlling Timehri Airport and Port Georgetown,that would be a huge problem for the other side. Such facilities take years to set up from conceptualization to finished product. Even if the financial means existed to set up those facilities following partition,there would be several years when somebody would have tremendous scope to squeeze somebody, both financially and logistically.Where there is a will there is a way, but is there the will to create two countries? NOT IN THE HEARTS OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF GUYANESE.

  • Tim Dant

    Note that Demerara waves allowed the racist part of this article to appear at the last. We now see where the allegiance of the editor lies.

  • Yannick23

    Before I read you article to the bottom, I hasten to say I was born between Indians, I am Black, Chinese, Portuguese and all the other Races in our country. Having said this, I think this is not the sixties, seventies or eighties, this is 2017 and it is shameful to Indians is superior to Blacks or Blacks is superior to Indians. We are a proud Nation of diversity and we should strive to better the way we think and how we live because we all do have some prejudice in us of course but we must respect all Races, Colour and Creed irrespect of their Religion what so ever. A the very least we must strive to bond and not to divide as a Nation. At least this is how I go about my life with my families and neighbours and all we come across any where in our Country.

  • Col123

    Hey Lunt….in one swoop brotha…you took down 99% of you fellow Indos!…
    I would be surprised about any of your comment or your thoughts on we black folks!..because we ain’t racist…
    I wouldn’t have been surprised if you had a picture of your junk there next to your handle…that is…if it was of any significance!
    You need to know that Guyanese mostly differ about politics in the country , but are also keen on voting for the development, progress, security etc..of this country.

  • Ashwan Singh

    I believe you are doing a very good job of lying about who you are! It’s so obvious.
    If you are indeed Indo-Guyanese I challenge you to walk the streets of Georgetown after the next general elections if the PPP or any other Indian dominated party wins. Your name calling tells all about how deceptive you are about your identity.
    If you are Indo-Guyanese that is my challenge to you, do that walk when the time comes and see if you are spared the “cut rass” from the Afro-Guyanese PNC thugs!

  • Ashwan Singh

    Selman, I salute your truthfulness and understanding of the situation !

  • Yannick23

    I respect the truth and it is the truth my brother.

  • Yannick23

    John I an sorry. Stand to be corrected Sir. That was an oversight on my part thanks.

  • Col123

    Hey chap… she is not my type…

  • Col123

    Charles.., this entire media report was unnecessary!

  • Col123

    Agree…except for the fact that Guyanese still do identify themselves proudly as such ….it is the politics of ethnic qualitative superiority and separation which are at play…since the sixties…fueled with the propaganda from both ethnic structures…

  • Pepie

    There is no reason or incentive for me to lie about the events of Jan 1998. My fellow country men and women were hurt and they expect me to give a full and accurate account void of any political or racial bias. It is tbe moral and ethical thing to do. Unfortunately, i canmot say the same for your last comment. Its always about political and racial posturing and never the truth. You have just called Afro-Guyanese liars. Well for your sake I hope your side wins.

  • Gtloyal

    Well, it’s just that I prefer us being a poor, honest nation, even if it’s second to Haiti, than a corrupt, drug running one where drug lords are installed as execution chiefs by the bigger lords with orders to overlook four hundred plus extra judicial killings of persons of one particular race; where opposition protestors using bullhorns are permanently silenced; where the people’s money disappear from the treasury as if by magic; where poor young men enter politics and suddenly become the richest men around ….
    I don’t want ever to boast that through my commercial enterprise I am developing my country when I know I am leaving children crying for their parents, or parents crying for their children, all because of the merchandise I choose to trade with. Neither am I willing to beg my way to being wealthy.
    Unlike you, I predict that the Guyanese majority, who today are willingly working hard and honestly to develop their country, will continue to do so along with the government that they will allow to remain in office after 2020. We know, and it’s always showing, that the PPP is never honest and will always be manipulating their followers with lies to try to get back into office.

  • Gtloyal

    As I said in a previous post, you ppp-ites must lie to survive. Where is that CIA report? Give us the link. Likewise, tell us where it says Burnham was the third richest black man. You can’t, because it’s a PPP invention! I challenge you to give us the link.
    Today you see the President defending a “mess”. Well, “mess” was what your President used to throw on newspaper columnists and you used to like him more for it and never considered it a shame then. Aren’t you ashamed today, or as you think about it now?

  • Gtloyal

    Bro, its an inferiority complex on their part. They write and say what you see here daily, to fool themselves into thinking that they are superior, whilst they deny the reality that we are all equal. They need to feel superior, even though they know it is a lie. Reason? Could be the effects of their history … their past, their status at their place of origin.
    Linking “afros to Hati, to Africia” should make “afros” proud. After all, Africa is the cradle of civilization and Haiti is the birthplace of New World freedom. Who else can lay claim to such contributions to humanity? I invite you to read up on the Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Lafayette breeds from Haiti.
    And who could be considered more dunce than a brain that cannot bring itself to accept that no one race is superior to any other.