The Road to Ruination: APNU+AFC Racial and Political Discrimination
is a multi-racial/ multi-ethnic country. For it to progress and reach its full potential, it has to be managed in the interests of all its people. To do otherwise is surely a clear-cut path on the road to ruination.
We don’t have to look far for examples of this. Our own experiences under the PNC regime are enough to tell us that following that course is a recipe for destruction.
It should be recalled that when the PNC took power in 1964, Guyana (then British Guiana), was one of the most developed colonies in the Caribbean, English speaking and others.
By 1992, when the PNC was removed from power, we were the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. This was the conclusion drawn by t he McIntyre Commission.
The reason for that were the unprincipled policies of the then undemocratic government (rigged elections, etc) and massive racial and political discrimination.
Even though this is our sordid history, t he APNU+AFC regime has chosen to go down that path again.
Sometime in mid- December 2016, the media reported that was regime was planning to expend US$12.4M to upgrade ‘neglected villages.’ The funds would be coming from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The villages identified for this project are overwhelmingly Afro-Guyanese populated communities – Mocha Arcadia, Beterverwagting/Triumph, Buxton and Ithaca.
This is clearly another naked act of racism being practiced by this regime. It is a continuation of what is clearly a conscious, deliber- ate policy of discrimination against Indo-Guyanese.
During the period of the PPP/ C in office, the then government spent a lot of money on improving the life of all communities/villages, regardless of ethnic makeup. It had set up a joint committee with the PNC to ensure that no discrimination would be practiced in the allocation of resources.
Despite all the charges made against the PPP/ C administration, no evidence has to date been produced of a policy of racial discrimination against villages.
As part of t he Agriculture Support Services Project, the following areas benefitted from full drainage and rehabilitation programmes, but were not mentioned by the APNU/AFC Government.
This is why under an earlier PPP government ( 1957- 1964), our country made huge leaps forward. With the PPP/ C in office from 1992-2015, our country moved from being described as a ‘basket case’ to being viewed as the fastest growing economy in the region. We moved from being a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to a Middle Income developing Country (MIDC).
Both the PPP government of 1957-1964 and the PPP/C government of 19922015, managed to make these achievements under very difficult conditions and an active policy of sabotage by the PNC and PNC-led APNU+AFC.
The reason the PPP was able to accomplish those feats was because we refused to be diverted from the democratic path and never practiced racial nor political policies. The PPP and the PPP/C never had any such policies.
The same cannot be said about the PNC-led APNU+AFC.
From the moment they took power, less than two years ago t hey began a purge of Indo- Guyanese from the public service. This is still ongoing and Indo-Guyanese’s presence in the public service is at one of the lowest levels ever, and continues to decline.
Indo-Guyanese are hardly being employed too. Less than 5% of the persons being hired as contract workers or in the traditional public service are Indo-Guyanese.
Also, judging from the photograph published in the newspapers of the first batch of trainees admitted for the public service training centre, approximately 2% are Indo-Guyanese. This means that if this regime stays in office by 2020, Indo-Guyanese presence in the public service will be non-existent.
This racist policy is also seen in the regime’s attitude to the sugar and rice industries. These sectors are perceived to be dominated by mainly Indo-Guyanese and the regime’s seems determined to destroy these people’s livelihood.
They have shut down Wales Estate and they have not denied that Rose Hall Estate is their next target.
Recall, too, that they have not lifted a finger to assist the rice industry. In fact, instead of helping, they took away the duty-free and VAT-free concessions that the PPP/C had granted to farmers and millers purchasing equipment.
Under the PPP/C, government scholarships were fairly and evenly distributed and public meetings were held with students going abroad to study. Even the blind could have seen the fairness in the granting of scholarships.
This regime has never published a list of those persons granted government scholarships. Why?
The only reason is that it is skewed against Indo-Guyanese. now the regime is moving t o discriminate against villages where Indo-Guyanese live.
All the villages on Guyana’s coastland are approximately at the same level of development. The Ministry of Local Government has all the information the National Drainage & Irrigation Authority (NDIA) can also substantiate this.
Therefore, the attempt by the regime to describe Mocha, Beterverwagting/ Triumph, Buxton and Ithaca as ‘neglected communities’ is dishonest and aims to perpetuate racial discrimination.
President Granger, is a historian by training, but he seems not have learnt the lesson of the PNC government from 1964-1992, i.e., in a multi racial/multi-cultural society such as ours, it is impossible to discriminate against one section of society in order to promote another section. This will eventually harm all sections of our society.
This is a disastrous path to follow,
The regime has done very little to halt the policy of racial and political discrimination. It still has a little time to change.
Failing to change its racial line will lead to the ruination of this land.