Letter: The Opposition’s new low

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton

Dear Editor,

The Opposition has reached a new low with its accusations of apartheid. After failing to rig and steal the last elections, which resulted in sanctions and their losing of international support, they are now resorting to false claims of discrimination to try to gain pity from the international community. If the truth is to be told, Guyana is a place where the opposite is true. Discrimination by African Guyanese Opposition supporters against other races is so prevalent that many find injustice in parts of society such as the courts, schools and Police stations, where they are prevalent and have lots of influence.

Every time we have general elections there is a lash out by African Guyanese Opposition supporters against Indian communities. They loot our businesses and assault our women.

Now they have the audacity to claim to be victims of the racism that they have been perpetuating for over a half-century. The current Government may choose to close its eyes to the reality of what is taking place and has taken place in Guyana, but everyone is aware of how easily the country erupts when injustice occurs across racial lines. The PNC leadership was documented in the news as encouraging conflict when there was a Police case in the African Guyanese community. This led to the closure of roads and riots in the streets. Many innocent Indian Guyanese were assaulted.

Increased participation by other races in predominantly African Guyanese civil sectors of society may help reduce the disparity and injustices that have plagued our country since independence, but the reality is that sincere relations between the races is becoming more difficult as the wealth of the country increases. There is more resentment and more controversy.

People play nice when receiving help, but shortly afterward can be heard speaking badly of those whom they receive the help. The push for recognition of racial injustice at the international level by African Guyanese who support the Opposition clearly shows that there is no goodwill to be had from the Opposition, whose only desire is to regain power at any cost, even if it means tearing the country apart. This was their strategy when the PNC was created and it remains their strategy today. Independent of the animosity of PNC supporters towards PPP supporters, the current Administration continues to develop all of Guyana.

If the shoe shifts to the Opposition, we all know not to expect any reciprocity of multi-ethnic development. Discrimination against Indian Guyanese PPP supporters was so prevalent during the Burnham years that many Indian Guyanese families left the country. One only has to go to Richmond Hill in Queens to see where many have settled. The new Little Guyana.

Apartheid, they say, is the new winning strategy of the Opposition. You may fool someone who doesn’t know the true Guyanese experience, but you will never fool a Guyanese in Guyana. If you have no value to add to the lives of all Guyanese then you have no place at the table to govern our country. It is time for another political presence that can transcend racial conflict and provide solutions to the country’s problems with transparency, a high level of integrity, and financial prudence and can do so effectively and expeditiously.

Race-baiting is not a solution for the country, it is an old problem-creating tool that has no place in the country’s future development. When the voting habits of the nation transcend race, then and only then will Guyana experience true transformation.

A transformation that goes beyond wealth, a transformation that is rooted in a peaceful society where crime, especially those that are racially motivated are negligible and the safety of our citizens is never at risk. A transformation where all communities matter and the relationships amongst Guyanese across racial lines are genuine, and the patriotic spirit amongst our people brings to life the motto of our country. We will then truly live as One People in One Nation with One Destiny.

Jamil Changlee