GIHA just looking for attention
-says Ramotar Stabroek News
October 3, 2003
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PPP/C General Secretary, Donald Ramotar says the party had made efforts to correct the ethnic imbalance in the security forces and said that the Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) should refrain from spewing invectives solely for the sake of attention.
While the formation of cultural organisations which advocate for the interests of the major ethnic groups is encouraged, he says the party will not surrender to the naked demands to promote hatred and spread division in the country.
At a press briefing held yesterday at Freedom House, Ramotar said GIHA recently accused the PPP/C of historically failing to address the ethnic imbalance in the Disciplined Forces.
Ramotar said that GIHA’s assessment was misguided, adding that it was not the PPP/C which was responsible for this imbalance: “In our submission to the Disciplined Forces Commission, we noted the imbalance in our security forces reflected the designs of the colonial masters.”
The party refuted the GIHA contention that the PPP/C has not done anything to correct the ethnic imbalance of the Police. “As our submissions to the DFC would record, during the PPP-led limited and internal self-government administration in 1957-1964, the PPP made attempts to correct the imbalance in the Police Force. One example is that of the Special Services Unit (SSU).”
Contacted yesterday, GIHA President Ryhaan Shah said that the government had said that Indians did not want to join the force and she questioned why it was, that after 11 years of the PPP/C in power, the forces were still ethnically unbalanced.
In its submission to the DFC, GIHA recommended conscription of Indians and affirmative action to balance the armed forces so that they reflected the ethnic composition of the country.
Ramotar said that he did not believe that Guyana was more racially polarised than ever before, but said one of his party’s aims was to try to improve relations with all people.
Ramotar said that the party was not satisfied with the economy’s rate of growth and was making efforts to foster the atmosphere to encourage foreign and local investment.
At its last meeting, the PPP Central Committee reviewed local and international developments and remained convinced of the correctness of its political line which was aimed at putting people at the centre of the development process, Ramotar said.