Eyewitness: Partiality…


…on ethnic provocation

This latest ERC – the one that was reformed by the PNC coalition after they’d boycotted its former incarnations for a decade – is a funny organisation. Not “ha-ha” funny, but pathetic funny. After sporadic ethnic tensions and clashes for the last SIXTY YEARS, you’d think they’d plunge right into taking care of the business they’re funded to the tune of $250M annually to take care of: to address the ethnic issues triggering ethnic clashes.

After being trenchantly criticised after the latest ethnic clashes in W Berbice, the organisation filed charges against a few individuals who’d made racist comments over social media. The charges were for “exciting hostility or ill will on the grounds of race under the Racial Hostility Act, and for causing racial or ethnic violence or hatred under the Representation of the People Act.” Now, it’s not as is these grounds for charging transgressors had suddenly appeared from the sky: they’d been instituted coterminous with the formation of the ERC!!

Most recently, the ERC boasted about taking legal action against eight defaulters – three in December, 2020, four in January, and one so far in February, 2021. The ERC announced that five of the accused pleaded guilty at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, and the remaining two are contesting their charges. Now, nothing wrong about taking these actions, since we can’t tell which provocative statement MIGHT spark ethnic hostilities.
BUT WHAT ABOUT STATEMENTS THAT ACTUALLY BROUGHT DOWN ETHNIC VIOLENCE? Don’t the ERC have a responsibility to bring the actual perpetrators of such speeches to justice? Do they only have a prospective responsibility, and not a retrospective one, to apply the law? Your Eyewitness, of course, is referring to the provocative and incendiary statements of that Sanctimonious Gangster Granger and his henchman Harmon in West Berbice last September, which led to the aforementioned ethnic clashes.

After the “protests” broke out following the discovery of the bodies of the murdered Henry cousins, Granger had the cold-bloodedness to declare to the inflamed crowed in front of him that it was the “correct” response, and they should organise for “self defence”. That is, stopping cars driven by, and robbing and beating, Indian-Guyanese along the PUBLIC road was “correct”. And presumably also burning their vehicles and looting their goods!

President Ali explicitly called upon the ERC to “investigate” Granger’s statements and their denouement. That was met with a studied silence! But the ERC did, in fact, chide one of their members for advising the attacked group to defend themselves! If this was an inappropriate statement by their Commissioner, why isn’t it so for Granger and Harmon? Against this background of blatant partiality towards Granger, the ERC should hang their head in shame.
Or, more appropriately, resign en masse!

…on excusing the PNC

For an old fella who claims he didn’t have access to the details to comment on Mingo’s manipulation with that dirty bedsheet, Eusi Kwayana has certainly made himself intimately familiar with local matters after August 2nd. Your Eyewitness wonders whether the crucial variable is that the PPP ousted the PNC that day!? Before then it was “see no evil; hear no evil, and speak no evil”!

Anyhow, Kwayana wants the upcoming Budget Debate to discuss compensation for Rodney’s survivors. He claims former President Ramotar acknowledged this could’ve been done since the COI of 2014. But the question is: Why didn’t Kwayana and the WPA make this a quid pro quo for supporting the PNC coalition? Didn’t they present FIVE Budgets that could’ve discussed compensation for Rodney’s heirs?
He also insisted that Ramotar’s prorogation after the threatened NCM in 2014 was “against the spirit of the constitution”. What about the PNC not resigning after their NCM DEFEAT in 2018?
Kwayana didn’t hear about that also?

…COVID-19 vaccines?

The MoH is in a quandary about using the 3000 COVID-19 vaccines we’ve received. To use it all up, or save half for the second dose that’s needed for effectiveness?
That’s a no-brainer: Why risk losing corn and husk? Save half.