GEORGETOWN – The government is disappointed with, and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the irresponsible, hateful race baiting and malicious fabrications and falsehoods uttered by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, at an event in New York recently.
In a recording that has been circulated widely on social media, Jagdeo told an attentive gathering that currently in Guyana, “there’s an assault on our democracy, there’s an assault on people of Indian origin, there’s an assault on supporters of the PPP (People’s Progressive Party).
What we thought would never return to Guyana, in just one short year has returned with full force, and even worse in some regards than the Burnham era.”
He spoke of a state of affairs where people’s transported lands are being “snatched” and “140 new taxes were increased”. This development, he disclosed, has been targeting the rural poor, who are mainly the supporters of the PPP.
“Our country has taken a turn for the worse. It’s something that we have to live with, but I want to say to you we’re going to work hard, and whenever the elections come again, we’re going to take back Guyana . . . we’re going to take it back from these people,” Jagdeo said.
But according to a statement issued by Government, the claim that there is an “assault on people of Indian origin” is despicable, without any basis and a complete figment of Jagdeo’s imagination.
On the contrary, the policies of the Coalition Government are designed to achieve the good life for all Guyanese, not a handpicked few as was the case under the PPP regime which was rejected by the Guyanese electorate on May 11, 2015 in free and fair elections.”
The statement amplified that “speaking to a predominantly Indo-Guyanese, audience Mr. Jagdeo attempted to inject among them a feeling that they are victims.”
But the recent census, the statement added, has shown that the exodus of Indo-Guyanese was not abated during Mr. Jagdeo’s 12-year tenure as President. Instructively, the single largest exodus went to the United States of America where they live and work under the presidency of an African American.
“Also under Mr. Jagdeo’s presidency Guyana witnessed the incestuous relationship with drug lords that spawned the death of hundreds of young people and several episodes of massacres and assassinations including that of a sitting government Minister,” added the statement.
“Mr. Jagdeo is in fact insulting the intelligence of Indo-Guyanese and all Guyanese who have repudiated him for the pervasive corruption under his regime.
The statement emphasized that the Coalition Government remains committed to stabilizing the Guyanese economy after years of lawlessness, nepotism, corruption, cronyism, mismanagement, misrule and the flagrant misuse of resources.
It was therefore noted that the disclosures of the former President comes at a time when efforts are being made to foster closer relations and achieve a greater level of social cohesion. Moreover, the Coalition Government said that it considers it reprehensible that the Opposition Leader, Mr. Jagdeo chose to sow seeds of division, discord and race hate.
“Though alarming, these hateful divisive utterances are not surprising, as they represent what appears to be a well orchestrated plan of propaganda which has been spewed locally but which is now being taken internationally by the opposition PPP,” the Government statement added.
It was noted too that “All Jaganites will hang their heads in shame that Mr. Jagdeo has descended into the racist cesspit while pulling with him, the PPP that had once boasted of a credible record as a multi-racial party.”
It was highlighted in the statement that Guyana, under the rainbow Coalition of the APNU+AFC has a genuinely multiracial government made up of six political parties and all ethnicities. Guyana has a functioning parliamentary democracy, an independent judiciary and a free press.
“There are no political prisoners in Guyana and unlike under the regime of Mr. Jagdeo no one has been charged with treason. There have been no political killings as happened when the peaceful protestors of Linden were gunned down in 2012,” the statement stressed too.
As such a call was made for the former President “to swallow his spurious racist claims over the fact that under the PPP administration Indo-Guyanese rice farmers were tear-gassed and assaulted and mainly Indo-Guyanese sugar workers were brought to their knees as the Jagdeo-led administration dragged the sugar industry into bankruptcy and indebtedness of over $100 billion.”
According to the statement, “racism is the well known last refuge of the politically desperate, and the Coalition Government calls on all right-thinking and patriotic Guyanese to reject Mr. Jagdeo’s continued attempts at sowing racial divisions in our society.”