Eyewitness: PNC double standards…


…on ERC Commissioner

Your Eyewitness has been quite bemused – and certainly NOT amused – at the lassitude of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) over the past year, as the nation fissured into warring ethnic factions in the wake of the PNC’s naked grab for power. Here it is, this is the institution that was SPECIFICALLY formed after the PNC’s post-1998 violent ethnic protests – and yet they were heard from more in the breach than anything else.

Now, the ERC gets about $200M – TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS – annually, and Guyanese have to start asking what exactly they are doing with all this money. As a matter of fact, they just got their $200M in the last budget, and are probably spending it as fast as they can doing God knows what!

Well, they’re back in the news for all the wrong reasons. Opposition Leader Harmon has been calling for one of the Commissioners – Roshan Khan, who represents the Muslim Community – to be dismissed for remarks he’s made.

And what are these remarks? Harmon hasn’t spelled out anything specific in the letter he just wrote to the PM, under whose portfolio the ERC falls, but claims that Khan has been making “racist” statements. Back in early September, following the wave of terror that was unleashed by protestors on Indian Guyanese on West Berbice in the wake of the Henry cousins’ macabre murders, Khan had issued this statement on his Facebook page:

“Indians in Berbice need to create their watch and protection groups. Equipped with batons and sticks for self-defence only. Be firm and clever, but never be the aggressor. Protect minorities in your communities”.

Harmon immediately jumped in then and called for Khan’s removal from the ERC BECAUSE HE CLAIMED THE STATEMENT WAS “racist” and “divisive”. At the time, your Eyewitness thought this was very rich, seeing it was Harmon and Granger who’d earlier called upon West Berbicians “to establish some self-defence society to protect our children, protect our women and our young people, because unless we protect ourselves, nobody is going to protect us”.

So, your Eyewitness wondered what exactly was “racist” about Khan’s statement. Was it because he directed his “self-defence” exhortation to Indian Guyanese, who just happened to be the ones who were being selected for the brutalisations by the protestors?  The ERC clearly agreed with Harmon, because they issued this statement:

“The views expressed in the posts are not those expected of an ERC commissioner, and therefore contradict the role and functions of the ERC.”

They’ve now stated that they’re “investigating” Khan’s statements, and will then take action.

Question is: when will they investigate and take action on Granger and Harmon’s statements?

…on Police SoPs

There’s a troubling development on the reporting of Police actions by the PNC and their apologists, following their loss of office when their electoral heist was busted. This goes beyond the nasty comments about the Commissioner, which the Head of the Joint Services had to condemn. What they’re doing is to twist every Police action that involves African Guyanese into a political vendetta.

Take the arrest of Roxanne Myers, after the Police had put out a “wanted” statement on her. There was an immediate hue-and-cry that there was no need for this, since she immediately turned herself in the moment she read the notice in the press. They never mentioned that the Police had been unsuccessfully trying to get in touch with her for the last month.

Then her lawyer issued a statement saying how she was imprisoned for the night just because she exercised her constitutional right to remain silent when questioned. Actually, she was arrested for “conspiracy to defraud”, which is an indictable offence.

The PNC’s just stoking the fire.

…on liberalisation

The PPP liberalised the telecommunications sector – just like that! – after the PNC pussyfooted around the issue for five years.

When it comes to negotiating contracts – from oil to telecoms – you just can’t trust them!