Match should not have been linked to dead cricketer

Stabroek News

October 10, 2003

Related Links: Letters on 'Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana' death
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Dear Editor,

The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) is shocked and astonished at the deliberate and violent distortions penned by Ms Ryhaan Shah in her response to a letter from Parma Saywack (SN, Monday, September 29, 2003). Ms Shah’s statement that the IAC has condemned GIHA as racist for their programmes and events that give pride and dignity to the Indo-Guyanese community is utter nonsense.

Ms Shah’s statement that the IAC led an attack on the GIHA Jahaji match is even more ludicrous. The IAC pointed out, ahead of the match, that while a Jahaji cricket match was accepted between two exclusively Indo-Guyanese teams, it was not proper to link such a match to the memory of the late Baldeo Chaitram, an avid cricketer and ROAR Organising Secretary who was killed in an accident, since Chaitram would not have played against Indo-Guyanese exclusively during his cricketing career. Although forewarned, GIHA refused, unfortunately, to delink the two and thus insulted the memory of Baldeo Chaitram since any match in his memory must be played between teams containing some non Indo-Guyanese players.

Ms Shah’s arrant nonsense continued with the following sentence: “Gibson’s and IAC’s racism are all part of the many-pronged attack on Indians in Guyana and GIHA will continue to challenge these releases.”

The IAC had issued press releases since May 13, 2003 pertaining to the publication “The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana” by Dr Keane Gibson, who holds a doctorate from a British university.

A number of IAC press releases in all of the national newspapers and IAC special programmes aired on several television stations between May and July 2003 sensitized the Guyanese public to the dangerous nature of this publication which has as its central thesis: that Hindus are oppressing Afro-Guyanese/black people in Guyana. The IAC, on September 29, 2003, made a formal complaint about this publication to the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) and has requested that the ERC institute public hearings and summon Dr Gibson to give evidence.

The ERC has replied to the IAC acknowledging receipt of its letter of complaint and has requested that the IAC submit a copy of the publication highlighting the offending pages.

Ms Shah’s statement, therefore, that the IAC fully agrees with Gibson that Indians have no rights and status in Guyana is hogwash of Himalayan proportions.

Yours faithfully,

Evan R. Persaud-Misra

IAC Executive Member