Saturday, May 3, 2008

False marginalisation claims are inciting anti-Indian violence

False marginalisation claims are inciting anti-Indian violence
Freddie Kissoon is so blinded by his perceived dictatorial practices of the PPP that he cannot see the negative spin offs, and incitement to anti Indian violence, brought about by his lopsided claims. The adage applies -There is none as blind as he who would not see. By claiming that the PPP Regime is worse than the dictatorship of the PNC, Freddie has made some very distasteful incongruous comparisons, which belies his academic pursuits.

I now challenge him to take a short sabbatical from the media battle front, and have a quick look at the ill effects of his tirades on the Government and people at large. Of late, it seems that Freddie has allowed his obsessive disdain for the PPP to cloud his reason and academic approach to analyzing the effects of his attacks in the wider picture. His attacks are void of true introspection, and as he points his index finger at the PPP, three others are pointing back to him. The Ethnic Relations Commission should review his articles in the light of racial and inciting journalism.

In his tirades, Freddie has now openly joined the ranks of David Granger, Hamilton Green, Oliver Hinckson, Tacuma Ogunseye, Elijah Bijay, Debra Backer, C. Ellis, David Hinds, McAllister and others, all of whom directly or indirectly, justify violence as the medium of their desired change. In his blindness, without even realising it, he has also unwittingly aligned himself with Kean Gibson, the very woman he once castigated for her skewed thesis on Indian Caste System. It seems that all of the gunslingers above are ganging up against the democratically elected government.

This is reminiscent of Burnham’s violent moves to oust the PPP in sixties, launching the X13 Plan and later the kick-down-the door banditry. They have degenerated today into daily fuelling the fire of the late Desmond Hoyte’s mantra of making the country ungovernable. They are adding to Slow Fyah and Mo Fyah, letting loose Hoyte’s Dogs or War in justifying wanton murders in the nation. Freddie et al are loading the guns of their Resistance Fighters only to have these disenchanted unemployed criminals pull the triggers.

He seems satisfied and proud to incense the minority African Guyanese to believe the PPP, and by extension Indians in Guyana, are marginalising them. However, a brief review of the various security and service organisations of the PPP Government today would reveal an almost complete African domination, and dispel every claim of African marginalisation in the context of Freddie’s et al claim.

Freddie’s incitements also move the very meager number of African dropouts/underachievers, who feel affected (compared to the majority) to take vengeance, not only on the Government, but also on the ordinary people of Guyana, mainly Indians. Is Freddie Kissoon trying to absolve himself from the fact that he is an Indian columnist by attacking the PPP and Indians, or is he sucking up to the newly formed AFC, pretending he is not race conscious? In seeking to be politically correct, Freddie does not ever seem to want to give the impression that he is of Indian descent. His entire claim to be Guyanese does not remove the fact that in the eyes of the Afro Guyanese and all that he is still Indian.

Obviously, Freddie has forgotten, or because he did not live in Wismar or Mahaicony during the turbulent sixties, when the PNC put together their notorious terrorist X13 Plan in May 1963, headed by Burnham, Green, Reid and Chippy Graham X13. The X13 Plan was unleashed on Indians May 23 to 26 1964 in Wismar. Recently, one writer enquired about the X13 Plan. He should visit Guyana Journal website at

He may not have lost a wife, sister, brother, father, mother or very close relative in the race violence then and now, to understand the plight of the extended families, the neighbours and friends of bereaved Indians throughout our history. Such were/are the spin-offs of anti-Indian violence that Freddie conveniently refuses to grapple with. Nevertheless, Freddie wrote a lot of the Buxton based Resistance Fighters in this decade and their blockade of the East Coast (Enterprise, Annandale , Non Pariel, Lusignan and LBI,) with the wanton massacre of Indians. Now his incitements are unconscionable. The gross ill effects of Freddie’s self-opinionated criticisms of the PPP Government are helping to bolster and justify these minority opponents of the Government in a very violent way.

I must conclude that these negative attacks are stirring up a certain kind of ire in the hearts of the wrong people; unemployed people, very easily co-opted and manipulated by sophisticated political leaders, trained and motivated by certain known ex Army Officers all of whom claimed to be marginalised. Here are men who were fed, housed and clothed at tax payers’ expense throughout their military careers, now claiming marginalisation.

Dr. Prem Misir, Dr Randy Persaud and several columnists have already shot down the unfounded claims of marginalisation of Afro Guyanese as a single ethnic group. The ERC report is out and the picture is not what these shortsighted claimants are painting.

Freddie’s reference to the few Indo-Guyanese who served in the PNC Government, could not gloss over the evils of the marginalisation of thousands of others at large under the PNC dictatorship. The PNC did not recruit many Indians, whom Freddie would have us believe were in the Public Service. Those he glibly mentioned were in many ways indispensable to the function of their offices. Their immediate removal would have meant chaos to their Offices.

The PNC inherited most of these cadres in a well-oiled Public Service, from the British in 1966, with very many efficient Indian Public Servants (not all supporters of the PPP) in key positions. Yet, soon as the PNC was entrenched in office in the seventies, they set about to replace thousands of Indians in the Public and Teaching Services, by terminations, redeployment, transfers into outlying areas, and denied promotion.

The PNC further removed the two tiers (Classified and Unclassified) structure in the Public Service. Immediately there was the freeze on PSC appointments of qualified candidates into positions. Only the unqualified cardholders from Congress Place got jobs. Freddie is mum about these atrocities. The Public Service became so corrupt that almost every operative expected a bribe for the functions carried out. Frauds became an almost daily scourge thereafter.

I was one (of over twelve experienced Indian Supply Management / Stores Accounting personnel) with nine years in International Procurement, whom the PNC regime removed from the Government Central Stores. An inexperienced Afro Guyanese replaced me. This ethnic cleansing orchestrated during one top one executive tenure at Ministry of Works, Hydraulics and Supply is scandalous. In a kind of Operation Clean-sweep, S.E. Troyer replaced Reggie Kishun as Chief Clerk of the Central Stores. Miss Kamala Persaud sent home, replaced by Miss Mc Lean at the Government Central Stationery Store.

G.T. Clarke was appointed Chief Supply Officer, Ian Bruce appointed Senior Supply Officer (Procurement) and Joe Lambert appointed Senior Supply Officer (Administration.) All three of the above superseded an Indo Guyanese (experienced former RAF Supply Officer) Robert Etwaroo, who was Supply Officer at the Government Supply Division for over twenty years. I had to report both Mr. Troyer to Mr. V. E. Kingston for dumping his Chief Clerk’s work, and Mr. Ian Bruce to G.T. Clarke for dumping all his functions (regarding Letters of Credit) onto my desk.

With none of these top appointees experienced enough to train new comers, G.T. Clarke, Chief Supply Officer, delayed my removal from Supply Division for six months. I had to train an Afro Guyanese to take over my functions. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Herein the race card was clearly noticeable and not just the politics. Every time I wrote about the above, somehow my letter never reached the press.

In those days Patrick Yarde was Shop Steward of the PSU, based at Ministry of Works, yet not one single word of protest over the ethnic cleansing that took place hit the Press. However, if this current (PPP) regime attempts to discipline any Public Servant for wrongdoing, the entire Public Service Union comes out in strike action. The Customs Officers fiasco in Main Street is a salient case in point.

Do not forget the widely documented brain drain began in earnest since the sixties. On the foregoing real marginalisation and dictatorial policies, Freddie and his strange bedfellows can find no parallel.
Seopaul Singh
(Twenty-two years in the Guyana Public Service)