[www.inewsguyana.com] – Executive Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Zulfikar Mustapha has written to the Commissioner of Police, seeking an investigation into alleged racial hostility displayed by Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member Veersammy Ramayya and the Kaieteur News.
Mustapha made reference to the Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01, in which he noted that several publications in the media in recent times constitute a clear violation of the Act.
He pointed to a programme named “Alliance on the Move” which was aired on DTV Channel 8 on February 28 in which Ramayya allegedly labeled the PPP as an ‘Indo-Guyanese party’ and indicated that it was conducting a campaign against Afro-Guyanese.
“He proceeded to make several unfounded statements in that regard while peddling untrue information of a very racist nature,” Mustapha wrote in his letter to the Police Commissioner.
As it relates to the Kaieteur News, he pointed to the front page of the newspaper’s March 10 edition which headlined: “Rohee endorses Jagdeo statement that PPP is a ‘coolie people’ party.
According to Mustapha, there was no corresponding article to that headline.
“On Wednesday 11th of March 2015, Dr Jagdeo complained to Mr Adam Harris, the Editor of Kaieteur News, about the above headline and enquired how why he allowed such a false and racially charged headline to be printed. Mr Adam Harris’ response was that he had a different headline for publication but the owner of the Kaieteur News, Mr Glenn Lall, intervened and personally directed that the headline be changed to the one that was published,” Mustapha’s letter stated.
The Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01states as follows:
2 (1) A person shall be guilty of an offence if he wilfully excites or attempts or excite hostility or ill-will against any section of the public or against any person on the ground of their or his race-
(a) by means of words spoken by him in a public place or spoken by him and transmitted for general reception by wireless telegraphy or telegraph;
(b) by causing words spoken by him or by some other person to be reproduced in a public place from a record;
(c) by means of written (including printed) matter or pictorial matter published by him.
(2) For the purpose of this section, the proprietor, printer, publisher or editor of any newspaper, or the printer of any other printed document, in which any particular matter has been published, shall be presumed himself to have so published that matter unless he proves that such publication was made without his authority, consent or knowledge and did not arise from want of due care on his part.
“In the circumstances, I wish to invite you to carefully investigate the foregoing instances with a view of preventing a further breach of the said legislation. I am ready, willing and able to facilitate statements and other relevant documentation in support thereof, upon your request,” Mustapha said.