I support President, Government’s decision not to meet with motley crew who said they are in Guyana for “fact finding” on discrimination.
The PPP Government’s decision not to meet with that motley crew from the USA here for what they called “fact finding” on discrimination is a good call. I noticed that the all-Black group consists of individual legislators from Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and my state of North Carolina. They seem associated with the “Black Caucus” causes in their states. These are state level legislators, not federal, national level US administrators. Usually, Governments do not deal with state level folks. There are diplomatic structures and channels at the federal level established to deal with any concerns a country may have. The US Government has an Embassy here. So, this group of legislators cannot be here in any official capacity. I hope they are not charging this excursion to official business. They are accountable to their own small county constituencies they represent in their own states in the USA. Therefore, to have the audacity to say they are here for “fact finding” on Guyanese issues, seems so inappropriate and arrogant. This group has no standing to be entertained by our sovereign Government. We will be polite, but this group cannot have the gall to assume powers they do not have to summon our leaders to give explanations. This group is out of order. This group is simply a “meddling” group, sticking their nose in the internal affairs of our nation. Who would be next to come ask us questions? – local state county commissioners and town council members? Can a group of Indo-Guyanese go to these legislators’ states to investigate bad treatment of minorities? The Government is right to draw the line. These people eye pass our country! Every Tom, Dick and Harry cannot come here and act as if they have power over our national affairs.
The group leader is one Dee Dawkins-Haigler, a former Georgia legislator, who is apparently a friend of the PNC’s Mr. Ford. One article states, “The Honorable Roysdale A. Ford, Member of Parliament in Guyana and one of her nominators for the Peace Prize, states ‘Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler has been instrumental in the fight for Afro Guyanese gaining full access to government and global resources. She has been an ally in trying to ensure that equitable sustainable economic development is achieved for all Guyanese, which would level the playing field and get many Afro Guyanese people back to work and out of poverty.’ (See “Honorable Dee Dawkins-Haigler Receives Nobel Peace Prize Nomination For Her Global Leadership, Savannah Tribune, May 18, 2022; https://www.ocgnews.com/georgia-leader-dee-dawkins-haigler-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize). When did Ms. Dee “fight for Afro Guyanese gaining full access to government and global resources?” Can they explain what they mean by this? Afros control the government ministries, and rural folks especially Indians are at their mercy when doing business! An article also states, “In addition to the above work, Dee is the Organizer of the Minority Cannabis Coalition (MCC), an organization dedicated to promoting equity and access in the cannabis industry.” Is this what Afro-Guyanese need to make progress in their lives?
In an interview with a treason accused pardoned by the Guyana Government, Ms. Dee spent much time saying she never met Mr. Burke, does not know the PNC’s Mr. Burke, and that her motley group is independent, and not here at Mr. Burke’s urging. She never said she was connected to the PNC’s Mr. Ford and nominated by Mr. Ford for a prize, as reported in the US news media. So, it would be nice if in the interest of full disclosure, Ms. Dee can clear the air whether she is doing this activity out of loyalty to her friend Mr. Ford.Maybe Mr. Ford can comment whether those articles were true. Therefore, there is a question mark whether this group can be an honest broker, or whether they are driven by partisan causes based on race. This group of legislators should know the PNC whose bidding they seem to be doing does not have clean hands. That party has rigged elections in their long reign from 1964-1992, and they attempted to steal the 2020 election in full view of international observers and the whole watching world. If this group had done its homework, they would have been smarter than to associate with people whose only mission is to invoke racism. The PNC’s reign from 1964-1992 was the closest we came to apartheid in Guyana during their “paramountcy of the party.” As they are here, this motley crew should go to the Mon Repos Market and talk to the vendors about marauding bands of Afros that terrorized Indianvendors last year. We are still waiting for this Government to try those court cases of the few that were charged. Why were more terrorists not charged, although there is ample video footage to identify the terrorists? They may also want to ask the Police about how Indians were pulled out of vehicles and beaten and the Police failed to charge those perpetrators who were Afros, during the West Coast Berbice “Henry Boys” riots in 2020.
This group may also want to ask the PNC why they signed a bad contract that gave away our oil and gas resources to Exxon whom President Biden described as “making more money than God.” While they are at it, the group may want to find out why the Public Service and state agencies such as the Ethnic Relations Commission are majority Afros, and the Government has done nothing to create balance. Ask why the NIS denies benefits, disproportionately affecting Indos. Also, ask why the Guyana Government gives millions annually to Afro cultural groups but not to Indo cultural groups. To my own legislator from North Carolina (NC), it would be nice if you can sponsor a bill to bring about collective bargaining for all state workers, as this is currently prohibited by state laws. In NC, public service workers and teachers are not allowed to have unions, so there is no collective bargaining for them. Rep. Baker, please focus on all the inequities and low pay raises in North Carolina. That’s what the people of Forsyth County elected you to do! Thanks to our Government for standing up to this motley crew of masqueraders!
Dr. Jerry Jailall