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Guyana President alarmed over efforts to sow discord …says ‘inflammatory tirades’ foment distrust & disorder

By Gary Eleazar

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and President David Granger at the opening of the UNDP-Guyana government Social Cohesion Validation Workshop.

Inflammatory tirades in the public domain, run the risk of degenerating the social stability of the populace leading to civil violence, a situation compounded by existing ethnic polarization—an unfortunate colonial legacy that pervades the political climate.

This was the dire warning by Head of State, President David Granger, who Thursday met with stakeholders gathered to validate a national social cohesion plan, at the Georgetown Marriott Hotel—a confab organized by the Ministry of Social Cohesion and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Delivering the keynote address ahead of the workshop’s working session, President Granger used the occasion to caution perpetrators and Guyanese generally, to desisting from contributing to the social erosion that has generated violence in the past.

Acknowledging post independence efforts at mending tattered race relations borne out of Guyana’s colonial history, President Granger told a packed to capacity conference room, ethnic polarization, remains an unfortunate legacy in the local political sphere—a situation that has in turn spawned social marginalization.
The President was adamant, “Guyana today still needs to staunch the social erosion that degenerated into civil violence—as recently as the troubles.”

A section of the attendees at the opening of the UNDP- Guyana government Social Cohesion Validation Workshop. Front row includes First Lady Sandra Granger, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally.

He spoke to the ease with which the ranting “of a few rancorous persons” can lead to racial animosity, calling it a “retrograde step, it has no place in modern society.”

Granger in his address to the gathering inclusive of Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan and members of the diplomatic corps, expressed alarm at what he called, “vocal efforts by those persons who promote social division.”

According to the President, “we warn that such inflammatory tirades run the risk of generating social instability, of fostering distrust and fomenting disorder.”

Steering clear of the alleged ‘race hate’ attacks over the Phagwah weekend at Canal #1 West Bank Demerara, President Granger instead used his address to appeal to religious, ethnic, political and other social diversities permeating Guyana to be seen as an asset and not a liability.

Granger said the nation has already been scarred by the violence of the 1960s and more recently in 2002.
Calling for greater relations at all levels of society, including on the political front the President reminded that discord stemming from religious, ethnic, political and other differences, as has already been experienced in Guyana, “has the potential to spawn hatred and death…our nation has been scarred by violence which left a lingering level of distrust and the threat of disorder.”

The President in calling diversity an asset versus a liability, pointed to the co-existence of religious worship houses (Mosque, Temple, Churches) in a single community without the taint of religious violence or racial riots.
He said social cohesion is also viewed in a Guyana context as an indispensable element to public security hence the work on the part of the Ministry in leading the formulation of the Draft Strategic Plan for Promoting and Enhancing Social Cohesion in Guyana (2017-2021).

Pointing to some of the measures undertaken on the part of the administration since coming to office two years ago President Granger again defended the establishment of the Ministry of Social Cohesion. “The Ministry is not ornamental, it has an onerous obligation to continue in building a nation in which diversities are embraced, conflicts resolved, networks and collaborations with stakeholders strengthen, an decision making process result in equal opportunities for all.”

He urged those gathered that the Ministry’s mandate not be measured by the size of its budget but “by its accomplishments in harmonizing social relations.”

The One Day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Social Cohesion bringing together stakeholders from across the spectrum to ‘validate for implementation’ the SPPESCG (2017-2021) and was held under the the,“…building a unified Guyana.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Oliver Hinckson showed up at a public meeting held by then Mayor Green and asked for a few minutes to speak to the audience gathered and the wider audience, which included the PPP government.

    A few days after he spoke, offering to negotiate a cease fire between armed elements in Buxton and the criminally corrupt Jagdeo regime, then private attorney, Nandlall, met with Hinckson for a discussion on his proposal. Within days of that discussion, Hinckson was arrested on sedition charges.

    He was locked up for months without trial, only to be subsequently freed. But it underscored that a President who ran a criminally corrupt government felt it was within his power to take away another man’s freedom on trumped up sedition charge. Yet when the same Nandlall urged a KN reporter to leave his job because people may go and shoot up Kaieteur News office and cause people to die, Nandlall remained free and in his job as Attorney-General.

    At Babu Jaan, in the run up to the 2015 elections, Jagdeo used racially inflammatory language, for which he was arrested. He literally placed the lives of soldiers at risk when he told Indians that if the Coalition won, the army will go kicking down Indians’ doors. Almost two years later, it never happened.

    Jagdeo is a blatant racist who deserves to get what he deserves. The PPP either pushes this guy out or this guy will push the PPP deeper in the ground.

    • rs dasai

      Good post. Now turn around.

    • eddie

      and everything you outline here and fail to mention the then opposition with there 400 freedom fighter let be believe there were saints ,,,,, SOME BRASS YOU WALKING AROUND WITH

      • Emile_Mervin

        Never said the 400 were saints, so you can can haul your brass outta here. Jagdeo treated these deaths, many as a result of extra-judicial killings, as gun fights between and among gangs. He never once ordered any probe because, as it finally turned out, Roger Khan was killing Guyanese to save the PPP from losing power. He was actually consolidating his drug base and, had the US not snatched him, Jagdeo would have been Roger’s servant.

        You people really think it was a PPP versus PNC thing, but this was an implosion in the making, and since there is no statute of limitations on murder, there must be a COI into the 2002-2006 crime spree era.

        • Col123

          EM:…” CRIME SPREE era”??????..and your usual appeal to authority are the media and courts????… jeeze!… wow?… there should be a COI for the lives lost… despite that some of the planners were wiped out… some are still living looking for Amerindian lands…Who would be bold enough to have a COI?…

          • Emile_Mervin

            Yes, there was a crime spree, which many believe started with the Mash Day 2002 jail break and lasted until Khan’s capture by the US in 2006. After Khan’s capture, the spree pretty much wound down. You can that to the bank, pal, because US and local police/army intelligence got wind of his plot to set off a series of attacks using paid gangs to create social chaos. Then Khan would have stepped in and stopped the chaos, thereby portraying himself as a ‘savior’.

            You used to contend that, based on the information I blogged, I was getting inside scoops from the Coalition, but everything I blogged was and is in the news. You need to read and remember if you want to engage in this type of exchange.

          • Col123

            That “crime spree” was more like a BLOODY MURDER spree where innocent folks and those 400+ lost their lives….there isn’t anything that can change that…I have seen those gory scenes of battle type wounds, in those killed.
            EM , you can write well…and can impress a lot of bloggers with your writing skills and “analysis”..I give you that. You were quite boastful about using media and court reports as reference…and therein lies our difference .. I was taught in academia not to rely and use media, and courts as authoritative sources on any reports….thus my reliance and dependence on pure science, as an appeal to authority….your arguments are fallacious at best..given your sources!
            Back to the issue…Where in this world would you ever find over four hundred civilians killed…for whatever the reasons…and the past or present govt remain unconcerned…RK was just a piece of it.The strategy and execution of this bloody murder spree requires trained authors and planners….I have several related questions about this era…but it will remain unanswered….

          • Emile_Mervin

            1. If my arguments, citing news accounts and court rulings as bases, are fallacious, then what are your sources to counter my arguments? Where are your scientific sources for in the political issues we debate or discuss in these blogs? I read most of your blogs and you cite no source for anything you have posted, yet you simply resort to attacking the other person for using references, which are acceptable in any research analysis.

            2. You compliment me for my writing skills but disagree with me for using court rulings or media reports as points of reference on issues I blog on here and at Stanton News?

            Fine. But how the hell can you compare being taught in academia not to rely on courts and media for scientific testing when we are talking politics, where referenced information can be sourced to media and courts? This is a discussion forum on social and political issues and it is acceptable to cite media and courts as sources on politicians and their words or actions. Check the mainstream for tons of such references.

            3. You even talk about how myself and others pivot, whatever the hell that means, but you offer absolutely nothing that can edify readers. Look to see how many people follow-up on your posts to get an idea if your scientific formula for discussion helps further your point.

            You are wasting my time focusing on personality-based rants. Enough said.

          • Col123

            So you may be unaware, or vaguely recognized the verbal con artistry that you utilize, to argue fallaciously. The fact is that most of the persuasion you use in political arguments, and in media reports is a strange, complex mixture of cogent and fallacious argument.

          • Emile_Mervin

            This response by you confirms my contention that you are trying to engage in a personality attack. It won’the work because many better than you tried for years and I am still here. As bloggers here and elsewhere, we are dealing with news stories in the media, so it is acceptable for bloggers to cite past news stories as points of reference for current stories.

            When you originally engaged me as a blogger, you claimed I was getting information from inside the Coalition, because I was making points that would require substantiation. Remember that? I simply clarified that, as a Guyanese living in America, my points were/are based on news articles covered via Internet media outlets in Guyana (as is the case everywhere else). You countered that you base your points or arguments on scientific evidence, because that’s what you were taught. I had no problem with your position.

            During the ensuing period of news cycles on the issues, I continued to rely on media reports for ongoing blog discussions, and not once have I read where you cited any scientific evidence for anything you have posted. Your posts don’t even tititilate or stimulate the brain, but settle for one liners that often times land in the sea of ignorance or desert of futility. I don’t even respond or attack you for such blandnes, because you, me or any other blogger is not the issue.

            Therefore, I don’t know how you can make the stupendous quantum leap that I make fallacious arguments, even though the arguments I make are based on news stories, which I cite. I will stick to my media, court and legislative branches of government as sources for my discussions while you can stick to your claim to scientific evidence and attacking my fallacious arguments without any categorical rebuttals.

            This ends my exchange with you until you provide categorical rebuttals to any point I make.

          • Col123

            No negative thought on my part towards you EM..not my style..we can have a beer anytime..on me….still unclear why my remarks would be taken as personal attack since it is more academic in origin…contemporary rhetoric and logic do provide amusement to most with an acute sense of humor….I don’t recall who said it but “it ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble,but it is the things we know ain’t so!… I will certainly continue to enjoy your comments as much as those from Feddie….at my leisure…

        • eddie

          HAHAHA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! did you see how you contradict yourself, roger khan was behind these killing to save the PPP to stay in power from whom!!!!!!!!! are you saying these criminal was trying to unseat that government ” who was the author and if not what was there objective to govern a criminal enterprise” and since when that action is covered under your immunity clause ,,,, but it’s ok to jail roger and leave you to mourn your freedom fighter loss,,, and you are correct murders don’t have statute of limitation so let do the COI and push it back pre 1992 for those innocent human being that was raped, rob and murder in there home or there lives don’t matter ,,, for me you know where you can put those brass because they will find a accommodating place

          • Emile_Mervin


            After Roger was renditioned from Trinidad to New York and court testimony there revealed Khan’s role in multiple murders via the Phantom Squad, Jagdeo told the media that when the trial was over, he would have the COP Henry Green launch a criminal probe of Khan using the NY court testimony as a starting point. That probe could have led to all the criminal gangs and all political links. Jagdeo broke his promise, so here we are 8 years after Khan was sentenced to 15 years and there is still no closure for scores of families.

            BTW, Khan and the Phantom Squad did not kill all 400+, but this is why there should have been at least an inquiry into the spree that started in earnest with the Mash Day 2000 jailbreak.

          • eddie

            you did not address this question so I will post it back to you because I know the second time is a charm !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! are you saying these criminal that was trying to unseat that government ” who was the author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it sure was not roger but your guys have a free pass ,,,,, the massacre in greater Annandale and Bartica ,, is my folly those were sheep that was slaughter how dare me do you think a COI will address this and do you think the other side is innocence of this awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww the sheep against the freedom fighters ,,,,,, as for roger I shed no tears for slime like that who peddle poison he got what he deserve and should be more

            BTW, Khan and the Phantom Squad did not kill all 400+, but this is why the NY Court testimony should have been at least triggered an inquiry into the spree that started in earnest with the Mash Day 2000 jailbreak.
            awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww you have a lot to learn because I see you on A daily basis protesting against this same country,,,,, one of your word I will use RENDITION you have no comprehension what it is but spew it but will protest against it in your next breath and then lead your march ,,, you is such a faux that will entice me to throw real blood at you thinking it real
            PS I am sorry my narrative look like your are my pen pal LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  • Big Mouth

    The president forgot to mention the “slow fiah and moh fiah” and the burning down of Regent Street in 1997, instigated and executed by his “freedom fighters” at the behest of the his party. I am afraid these words uttered by the president herein may come back to haunt him.

    • Col123

      Hey… just my curiosity…how do you know that it was at “the behest of his party “?..

  • Col123

    “inflammatory tirades in the public domain”, “efforts to sow discord”…rightly put by the President as a colonial legacy …but exacerbated over the past fifty years, by all politicians, their cohorts,if you allow me…their consorts, commentators and bloggers, in their usual rant for ethnic qualitative superiority. This is the normal MO encouraged by those in Guyanese leadership… including those seeking reparations and others looking for revenge, given their new found power!…. and the loud daily chants of lock him up, give him belly wuk.. and the daily pickings of scabs of all the past and recent life sores, to the amusement and entertainment of an economically depressed populace…this is where the foundation of cohesion rests.
    Yes, there are many reported unresolved issues, some in the distant past, some recent and others not getting the attention it should..some are fires which exist as opportunities to throw a pint of gasoline daily, despite the cost…others such as the unresolved murders of innocent citizens and the the deaths of over 400 plus Afro Guyanese…well, one was found drowned in a canal whilst still clutching at his AK 47. We need justice for these men…we need to know whether they were just collateral loss to the planners and leaders who lead them to their demise…We need to start somewhere with the reason for the death of SGT Pylde…When can we start?

    • rudeo

      that’s opening a can of worms

      • Col123

        As slippery as it is, it should not be canned. The use of courts and news media as an appeal to authority, in pointing fingers to the demise of 400+ , must be addressed. We need to know who planned, trained, financed and plotted to send these men to wreak the havoc that they did. Were they used as pawns in a bigger scheme… We have a right to know!

        • rs dasai

          And when we are surprised by such knowledge, it may frighten us to know who and whom are the ‘culprits’.

          • Col123

            Hey… Jhaatie gun haul their azz to jail … that will sober him up…

          • rs dasai

            The Hon Min of security would need a bigger van than ‘Black Maria’

  • eddie

    THIS PRESIDENT need to stop operate like Van Ripley so when he awake from his beautiful sleep his dreams of how his minion are sowing peace and tranquility only to be rip apart by the others and then come pointing finger,,, what happen to all the accusation of the thieving by the previous administration to come up with this flimsy charges of house lots, what is more vindictive, given the prices of the land was grossly underprice there were the administration of the day and they were allow to set the price which was morally wrong but you move on and don’t be petty like them because your government action is what is creating the division… you would have look presidential in pivoting and administrate to mend the division with better action and kept this land issue for when you guys have your big dance “election time” that would have been you back pocket ace but everyone of you is trying very hard to do only one thing “consolidation of power” with total disregard for the welfare of the Guyanese people,,,, you don’t believe me your PM lambasted the Presidential pension as a Cadillac life style in a donkey cart economy only for you all to turn around and give him a Land Rover lifestyle in Fowlshit economy ” let us be powerful and our job as citizen is to be obedient BRAVOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO