By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Junior Finance Minister under the People’s Progressive Party, Juan Edghill has criticized “some sections” of the media and civil society organisations for not speaking out against what he says is the “political and ethnic cleansing” in the new APNU+AFC government.
Edghill, at a PPP press conference at Freedom House, cited four cases of what he claims are “wrongful termination” of employment by the new administration, including that of former Press and Liaison Officer of the Office of the President, Kwame McCoy and Town Clerk (ag), Carol Sooba.
According to Edghill, people’s rights are being violated but the media and some organisations have ceased reporting on the issues.
“I am hard-pressed to see that the robustness that exited in the media fraternity and among the social and political activists has now been converted into actual inertia since May 11. Political and ethnic cleansing is happening in Guyana and it is being condoned by the quiet acceptance of people who should be speaking against it and this must stop,” Edghill told the news conference on Thursday, June 18.
He maintained that Guyana’s constitution guarantees that a person cannot be terminated or fired because of their political opinion.
“I think of the case of acting Town Clerk, Carol Sooba, who in an undignified, well orchestrated politically sanctioned manner was publicly humiliated and disgraced at a statutory meeting of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council and we didn’t hear from the Red Thread and the Women’s activists. Is this the way we’re going to treat a woman? Even if you don’t want Carol Sooba to continue being Town Clerk under your new regime, there is what is called due process,” an upset Edghill explained.
He described the situation as a “conspiracy of silence.”
“It would clearly appear that we’ve either lost our voices or we are in league or we are on vacation and I speak here about the conspiracy of silence that is coming both from the media and the civil society groups.”
The APNU+AFC government has since maintained that it is not on a “witch hunt” following allegations by the PPP that it is doing so.
iNews had reported that Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Communities (formerly Ministry of Local Government), Collin Croal along with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Indigenous People Affairs (formerly Ministry of Amerindian Affairs), Nigel Dharamlall have been sent home until further notice.
President David Granger had recently stated that he accepted the resignation of those PS who resigned to join the elections campaign of the PPP/C.
Both Croal and Dharamlall were present during the PPP’s campaign and had resigned but withdrew their resignations shortly before the APNU+AFC was announced the winner. Other Permanent Secretaries and public servants were also dismissed by the new government.