Sunday, August 12, 2012

WICB official inciting Linden violence

WICB Corporate Communications Officer Imran Khan

The People’s Progressive Party is concerned at the increasing resort by a few supporters and even officials linked to both the AFC and APNU of using the Linden situation to spread race hate messages and calls for violence against particular groups in Guyana.

The vicious racist rhetoric and open racist attacks against persons perceived to not be in support of the ongoing violenc

e and destruction in the mining community of Linden is most shocking. These views are especially being promulgated on social networking sites such as Face book and Twitter and social media sites.

This racist campaign which has now been brought to a head with person’s openly advocating violence against a particular ethnic group has also been aided and prodded along by the racially insensitive comments and apparent advocacy by some senior members in the private media.

No more so was this more evident than on the Demerara Waves Media Site operated by former President of the Guyana Press Association Denis Chabrol, where someone in the comments section of a story was allowed to make a post calling for attacks against a particular ethnic group in Guyana. The racially divisive Face book posts of current President of the Guyana Press Association Gordon Moseley regarding the Linden situation is also most revealing.

The party has observed that the grounds for the current racist offensive was being laid in the weeks leading up to the start of the Linden protests, when AFC supporter and Corporate Communications Officer Imran Khan of the WICB used a most derogatory and racist term to describe the ethnicity of a Minister of Government on Face book.

Even before that, Executive Member of the AFC Dr. Tarron Khemraj publicly on Face book used the same derogatory term in lashing out at the ethnicity of persons who attended an overseas engagement which involved members of the PPP/C Government.
The Guyanese public will also not forget the numerous racially charged statements made by both officials/agents of the AFC and APNU in their efforts to agitate Lindeners to react in the way which has unfolded over the past few weeks.

It is also interesting to note the publicly stated objection of the AFC to one single clause in the TOR’s for a Commission of Inquiry into the Linden situation and that is the clause which focuses on establishing what exactly transpired in the lead up and during the unfolding events in the mining community.

Guyanese deserve to know the facts of what really transpired in Linden and it is time that the people of our nation know exactly who the agents of division in our society are.

The campaign of dividing our people along ethnic lines is nothing new in Guyana and even today the scars of past events still haunt all our people but Guyana has made significant strides since then and despite the efforts of a group of extremists who appear to be hell bent on always coming up with a racial dimension to each and every single aspect of decisions undertaken by the PPP/C Government, the party remains confident and proud of its record and the role it has played in that whereas despite numerous and constantly evolving challenges, it has been successful in working to create that environment which facilitates the improvement in the standard of living of citizens all across our nation.

It is against this backdrop that the PPP calls on all Guyanese to condemn the actions of these individuals who are seeking to destroy all our hard work as a people, all our achievements to bridge what has served to divide us in the past, every single perception which we have worked to dispel and all the gains we have made in racial harmony is now at stake because of the misguided and reckless actions of a few.

The party wishes to state that much has been made by these elements, especially racial connotations about the fact that senior officials of the PPP/C Government has not visited the scene of the protests.

The public however needs to be reminded that not one of these individuals condemned their colleagues in the AFC and APNU for encouraging the protestors in the early stages of threatening to kill the Prime Minister of Guyana, Hon. Samuel Hinds as was clearly spelt out on one of their placards during a demonstration.

Despite this fact, Prime Minister Hinds who is responsible for the electricity sector journeyed to Linden where his visit was rebuffed at the instigation of the opposition through the protestors.

It is most surprising that even the opposition has now turned around and is questioning Government for not visiting the scene of the protests and at the same time they are supporting the continuation of the actions of the extremists fringe who are blocking the various access roads to Linden and also vital roadways inside the community itself, the digging up of roads and placing of logs across roads to halt any traffic, the attacks and robbery of persons attempting to navigate their way either to the Capital city or back to the hinterland or the extortion of some for safe passage through the township.

The PPP has however noted that the large majority of Lindeners do not support the actions of the protestors led by the APNU Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon and against this backdrop fully supports the growing calls, the latest being from the Private Sector Commission for the Joint Services to clear all obstacles hindering the smooth and safe passage of persons and vehicles inside the community as the current situation is not in keeping with a ‘peaceful demonstration.’ The party also supports the decision of President Donald Ramotar to visit and engage with Lindeners when these blockades would have been removed.

This is not the first occasion Lindeners have voiced concerns over various issues and Guyanese would recall in the past, that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government has been more than willing to interact and work along meaningfully with the mining town to address their concerns.

The party reaffirms its commitment to the people of Linden through its policies and programmes at the level of Central Government as with every other community in Guyana to constantly and consistently work to improve the standard of living of all our people.

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