GID Lies to US Officials, Distorts Our History
by Rakesh Rampertab

I refer to a letter by Mr. Sherif Henry (Stabroek News, 3/25/2004), a member of the Guyana Institute for Democracy (GID), based in Brooklyn, New York. In his letter Mr. Henry claimed that GID “is an independent and broad based organization that promotes democracy in Guyana and the Caribbean Region…In essence, GID is a foreign and domestic policy as well as a human rights and freedoms think-tank.”

It is not exactly my concern what is their business, whether it is a front organ for the PNC etc. Nor that its president, Mr. Rickford Burke, wrote a letter to the US President regarding the Benschop case, claiming amongst other things, that the PPP has “a history of imprisoning, killing and maiming political opponents.” That after the 1957 elections, the PPP won and “then launched a vicious campaign of recrimination and ethnic triumphalism, which led to civil war. PPP government supporters slaughtered thousands of Africans, who also retaliated.” It is not my concern that GID is using its connection to acquire the aid of essentially Black New York City politicians to hear its views. Et cetera.

But this is my concern. I saw E-mail in which Mr. Henry wrongfully accused my web site of being “racist,” designated to the “exterminating of Africans in Guyana.” Apparently, someone by the name of Pooran Anandjit wrote a letter criticizing GID, posting it on various E-groups. For reasons known only to himself and GID, Mr. Henry claimed this Anandjit to be associated with my web site. I know of no such person.

Perhaps if Mr. Henry had carefully, he would have found that my writings and web site have been cited by the Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada; that it is linked to numerous Caribbean/Guyanese web sites including owned by well-known sports journalist, Mr. Imran Khan, and that of Dr. David Hinds, As a “think-tank,” had GID done some thinking, it would have observed articles on African subject matters like African religions, and writings by (or about) a list of people of African descent, including CLR James, Dr. Rodney, Mr. Eusi Kwayana, Ms. Melissa Ifill, Dr. Kenneth King, Kwame, Nkrumah, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morisson, Derek Walcott, etc. It would have noticed that I have links to our main political parties including the PNC.

According to Mr. Henry, “GID makes no apologies for its efficient execution of its agenda.” Well, unless GID can be efficient enough and prove to me the connection between my site, or myself and this Anandjit figure, I expect a retraction in one form or another from GID. Ordinarily, I would not care a bit but my web site, like GID’s, is a legal, registered electronic property protected under certain national and international laws, none of which allow for anything “racist” in nature. And, given the extensive connection that GID has with Black politicians in the New York area, I doubt that GID can afford trivial embarrassment. Therefore, to avoid the trouble of having to do a write-up to relevant legal and consumer affairs authorities, I expect GID to come clean with me and pull the letter from their web site.

I hope GID takes this issue seriously.

[Editor's Note: This was originally published in the Chronicle and Stabroek News in April, 2004. GID responded with more defamation and without providing any evidence to support it claims. See other letter; "GID is Dishonest and Irresponsible."]


May 2nd, 2004
© 2001