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Former Guyanese President, Bharrat Jagdeo stands by his statement on Government discrimination against Indo-Guyanese

Former Guyanese President, Jagdeo's comments in New York about racism against Indo-Guyanese have garnered political attention but he chooses to stick by them

  • The present government of Guyanese contains majority of African origin officials with very few Indians
  • The former Guyanese President, Mr Jagdeo comments in New York garnered political attention as he spoke about racism again Indo-Guyanese people
  • Jagdeo stands by his statement on Government discrimination even after outrage by the government under Moses Nagamootoo and on social media

AUGUST 12, 2016

Overview:

Guyana is made up of five ethnic groups- East Indians, Africans, Amerindians, Chinese and Portuguese. Though 50 percent of the population is of East Indian descent, the present government of Guyanese contains the majority of African origin officials with very few Indians. The constitution provides a person with his freedom of religion and his right to celebrate Hindu, Muslim, Christian or any religious holidays pertaining to his caste.

About Bharrat Jagdeo:

Mr. Jagdeo. Wikimedia Commons.
Mr Jagdeo. Image source:Wikimedia Commons.

Bharrat Jagdeo is a Guyanese politician who was the President of Guyana from 11th August 1999 to 3rd December 2011. He’s had his own set of ups and downs from being conferred with honorary titles such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India to being called a racist on social media platforms. He’s currently the Opposition Leader.

Current Situation:

The former President, Mr Jagdeo recently spoke at a gathering in New York at the ‘Albion Reunion’, his speech now trending all over the Internet has landed him in hot water. The previous chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the current Opposition Leader made comments such as “There’s an assault on people of Indian origin; there’s an assault on supporters of the PPP (People’s Progressive Party). What we thought would never return to Guyana, in just one short year has returned with full force, and even worse in some regards than the Burnham era,” mentioned Prime News Guyana report.

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Reaction of the government under Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo:

According to the Prime News Guyana video published on August 11, the claims of racism practised against Indo-Guyanese people by the government fueled rage and resulted in the government issuing a statement condemning his actions. The administration concluded that the former Presidents statements on assault of Indian origin people were not only despicable but were also maliciously fabricated. His statements not only garnered the above reaction but also resulted in a slew of criticism on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter by the citizens of Guyana.

Jagdeo stands by his statement on Government discrimination:

Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo. Image source: www.kaieteurnewsonline.com
Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo. Image source: www.kaieteurnewsonline.com

Though his statements set off a firestorm, Mr Jagdeo claims the reaction was very strange as his comments were ‘very mild’ compared to what he has previously said when he assumed office. The Opposition Leader exclaimed, “The first thing I said is that this government discriminates against indo-Guyanese. Its, true and I repeat it today again. It discriminates against indo-Guyanese. Secondly, I said they discriminate against supporters of the PPP. I’ve said that before. I’ve spoken about if you’re Black and you’re PPP then you face the brunt of the assault of the Government.”

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In the same video by Prime News, he has also tried to justify his comments against the coalition government discrimination made in New York by reasoning that in the New York office 5 of the Indo-Guyanese were removed. He also said that if an Indo- Guyanese speaks about discrimination against his race, he’s racist and if the same is done by an Afro-Guyanese who defends Africans, he’s a freedom fighter.

– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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