Letter: Amanza Walton-Desir’s statement is regrettable

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Dear Editor,

One’s own thoughts are one’s world. What a person thinks are what he becomes — Maitri Upanishads (1500 BC).

It seems there is no end in sight over the controversy created by Ms Amanza Walton-Desir, a leading APNU+AFC Member of Parliament. Her caustic remarks that PPP supporters, who are mainly Indo-Guyanese, are mentally lazy and are not capable of thinking for themselves have opened deep wounds within the Indian community throughout Guyana.

A lawyer by profession and a loyal supporter of the APNU+AFC, Miss Desir should have been more sensitive to the divisive wounds on race. For her to make such statement is not only inflammatory, but such incendiary narrative has created turmoil between her proponents and her opponents in Guyana, which remain a racially divided country, especially during elections.

Instead of apologising for her comments, Ms Desir has brazenly and shamelessly accused those who criticised her of being acolytes of the PPP. Clearly, her statement is misguided and highly irrational.

My hope is that she would express her profound remorse to those whom she has offended, and would refrain from making such statements in future.

Ms Desir’s statement could alienate Indo-Guyanese support from APNU+AFC and jeopardise her rise as a young political star in the coalition. Most Guyanese are forgiving, so if she decides to apologise, I am almost certain that it would bring an end to the issue, and keep her in good standing, not only among Indo-Guyanese, but among the entire populace.

It is wise for her to do so.

No credible and decent person would support Ms Desir’s injudicious and intemperate assertions. To do so would simply cast them in the same mould as race-baiters. Their support for her would only serve to worsen race relations in the country, and precipitate more racial division between the two main races.

That said, I would like to see the leaders of both parties put an end to this regrettable narrative. For more than 60 years, race-baiting politics have divided the nation, and I am hoping that it would come to an end sooner, rather than later. It has stymied the country’s development and dampened the spirits of our youths, who are 65 percent of the country’s population. We are in the 21st century, and I must say that it pains my heart to see our political leaders continue to saddle our youths with this type of ethnic division as a political scheme to gain power.

Sincerely,
Leyland Chitlall
Roopnaraine