Racists have no place in civilized society
Guyana Chronicle
March 8, 2004

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THIS letter responds to one by Dr. Tara Singh of the Indo-Caribbean Council, which was published in the Guyana Chronicle on, January 26, 2004.

Dear Dr. Tara Singh:

1. I will be very frank.

2. Your presumption that GID has no basis for the positions or contentions set forth in my letter to Prime Minister P.J Patterson is a VERY tenuous assumption.

3. My letter was not an invitation for a "Prime Minister" of another country to intervene in Guyana's internal affairs. It was a petition to the Chairman of CARICOM. I deduce from your comments that you are unaware of what CARICOM really is and what is its significance in the institutionalization of good governance and democratic principles in the region.

4. How justified were previous requests for CARICOM, international organizations, Jimmy Carter and other governments to intervene in "Guyana's internal affairs" during the Hoyte Administration? I can understand why you never opposed such requests - the names and thinking of the members of the PPP are not incongruous with the names and thinking of the members of your "Indo-Caribbean Council."

5. You intimate that because Jamaica has a supposedly high crime rate, Prime Minister Patterson is incapable of fulfilling his role as Chairman of CARICOM and that he cannot advise his colleague Heads of Government about the need for an independent investigation into what appears to be government sponsored murder in Guyana.

6. Your contention that Prime Minister Patrick Manning's election to office has created ethnic insecurity in Trinidad and Tobago is hogwash. It is clear that you believe that any government of Guyana or Trinidad that is not "Indian" oriented, consequentially engenders racial insecurities. Such a conclusion is a product of "plantation" thinking. Ethnic insecurities in Guyana and Trinidad are created by extremists who have perennially used race and racial fears to galvanize political support and undermine mainstream society. I am stunned that the Guyana Chronicle has wittingly published your racist, scathing attacks on Prime Minister Manning, when the Guyana Chronicle comes under the ministerial portfolio of the President of Guyana. It therefore begs the question: Who is really attacking Prime Minister Manning?

7. Your comments about Prime Minister Manning betray a truly divisive philosophy as it relates to ethnicity in the context of the government of the two primary multi-racial nations of the Caribbean.

8. I nor GID make apologies for exposing the conduct of a regime whose objective is believed to be suppressing its opponents so as to promote ethnic governance.

9. GID has never called for a denial of due process for Gajraj. If anyone in Guyana espoused the position of the gang and its presumed director, then a perpetrator would be non-existent, and your advocacy would be in vain.

10. It is hypocritical of you to argue for due process for Gajraj on the one hand and on the other claim that solely due to his so-called "good moral character" he is more believable than his accusers, and therefore there should be no investigation.

11. Since you seem obligated to promote and defend the "interest" of the government and Minister Gajraj and to ask for due process under law, I would ask that you apply the same standard to the victims of the death squads - hundreds of African young men who were brutally murdered, summarily executed and killed extra-judicially. Have the killers of these African men faced justice? What about "due process" for the victims' families? Or is it that you are only advocating due process for a particular race?

12. While I appreciate your lectures on due process, I am fully versed in the subject. I uphold due process under law as a matter of course. Thus, I shudder in the knowledge that Africans in Guyana yearn for this inalienable RIGHT.

13. GID has on more that one occasion condemned the killing of Indian businessmen and will continue to be a proponent for human rights for all. Unlike the Government in the case of the murder of Africans, GID has not dismissed the killings of Indian businesspersons as "random acts of DRUGS or gang related violence."

14. You seem to infer that the execution of Indian businesspersons was motivated by race. Maybe you are unaware that "Inspector Gadget," a notorious killer that the Police implicated in the murder of many businesspeople, was non-black.

15. The people are in no mood for reconciliation. Indeed there can be no reconciliation without justice. Too many people have been killed with impunity. Instead of calling for reconciliation you must call for justice. When justice is evenly and fairly administered then will the healing process begin.

16. Finally, let me address your ethnic diatribe by quoting from my response to a racist group in Trinidad and Tobago:

"Closet racists who practice tribal politics and promote an axis of ethnocratic governance must have no place in a civilized society. Individuals and organizations that espouse plantation chauvinism must be harshly condemned and exposed. Their attempt to export their bigotry is consistent with the philosophy of apartheid. We must never allow them to poison our region with their segregationist belief. "
Rickford Burke
Guyana Institute for Democracy