GUYANA UNDER SIEGE
THE DANCE OF MACABRE
|by Rakesh Rampertab||
This is not an appeal for racial pity or intellectual sympathy. We do not aim to offend anyone in particular, but hope to illustrate how precarious the existence of Indians is in Guyana today. We hope to demonstrate herein how Indians are the victims of racial crimes. What you read here is happening folks, these are not fake statements to impress you. This is the condition of the Indian in Guyana. It is what it is.
We know that many people, Indians included (especially PPP folks), continue to resist this reality. We know that Blacks and Indians live closely. We also know that politics is race-based and that one ne ethnic group is always being victimed. You know who this is, don't you?Do you think we are joking? We are not.
It is amazing how many of us don't know what is truly going on. Some of us think that because we may reside overseas, we are freed of our past. Maybe we are, but time will tell. Time will tell how many rapes and murders and horror stories we are willing to hear from our own backyard. I know many of us have heard stories of ethnic crimes from other places in the world, e.g., Bosnia...well, don't think Guyana is that beautiful, that it cannot and is not happening...
What you read below is only the tip of the iceberg. We hope you would take these matters up seriously, be more aware of the truth, speak out against them and hopefully, help prevent them from reoccurring....
See below .
An Armed Struggle
There is ample evidence now that there is in existence a group of African Guyanese militants who are conducting an armed struggle. This group is not led or controlled by the People's National Congress (Messrs McAllister and Lowe had previously made this quite clear) but what Mr Eusi Kwayana describes as the masterminds have some political connections. The group has reportedly lost faith in electoral democracy and feels oppressed by what they perceive to be economic victimisation and also by extra-judicial killings by a section of the police force. Taking arms against the state amounts of course to the crime of treason and would in many countries be met by a full military response. But putting that aside for the moment, many questions remain unanswered. How is this movement related to the widespread criminal activities? What are its aims? If it aims to overthrow the government what would it do about the PNC if it succeeds as Mr Hoyte would surely not be willing to take power at the point of a gun? No Caribbean or hemispheric government would recognise a government that had overthrown a duly elected government. So how would it survive? Would it abolish elections? How would it relate to the Indian population, given the fact it is rebelling against a government largely supported by that population? We believe this struggle puts our already fragile society under unbearable pressure. There is certainly not a degree of repression in the society that could justify an uprising of any kind. In fact by most standards this government has a good record on human rights and there is every opportunity for legitimate opposition. If there is discontent with the system of governance one should work by lawful means to change it. Discontented elements have no right to take the law into their own hands. That way lies anarchy and disaster. Moreover, the violence will severely harm the economy as at times like this people concentrate on survival, not on investing or planning for the future.It is a development which has thoroughly alarmed all who still believe in democracy, an open society and the rule of law and can only do the most serious damage to ethnic relations, involving as it does repeated attacks on and murders of Indians, most recently involving teenagers who said they were paid for the job.
(See Editorial from Stabroek News, 11/05/2002)
PNC V-CHAIRMAN JUSTIFIES VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIANS
"You must also bear in mind that you might go to the doctor and you might not want to take an injection because it is painful. Certainly when it is taken there is that moment of pain but then there is that period of happiness thereafter. What I find is that even though these instances may be painful and costly, the accumulation of all these interactions and conflicts may result in a state of affairs, which is far better than that which existed before."
Alexander, PNC Vice Chairman, justifying violence against Indians on July
" I am therefore at wits end to understand why a senior ranking person would rationalize, when asked about crime that appears to be directed at persons of East Indian descent, that such conduct is 'interactions' that even though 'painful' could lead to some positive outcomes. No amount of intellectualising or academic gymnastics can mask the fact that such statements have served to raise questions amongst persons associated with the PNC on whether a justification is being made for the vicious and violent attacks on East Indians in the current spate of criminal activity. That is how the ordinary Joe, Abdul or Jailall Public would have read it, would have interpreted it and internalized it. So have I. If those statements have affected me, as they did my family and my colleagues and people who support the PNC/R, then I can expect that it has affected hundreds of thousands of Guyanese of all ancestry."
Khan, PNC/R MP, reacting to his PNC colleague's statement (above), in
letter to press dated
Sept 6, 2002.
Pillai, a documentary filmmaker and writer from New Delhi who is in the
Caribbean, on July 12.
"There can hardly be any question as to the fragility of the PNC at this moment. The sadistic impulses that find an outlet in village confrontations with the state, the ubiquity of anti-police attacks, the unstoppable criminal savagery with an anti-Indian prejudice are not manifestations of PNC's dynamism which makes it an indispensable factor in the political equation. On the contrary. However unpalatable it must be for PNC cadres, its supporters, and its voters to accept it, the PNC has found in these perversities, a hand of survival. This explains the descent into the politics of the unimaginable by some leaders of the PNC whose texture was a refined one before the question of viability presented itself. Perhaps the most poignant example of this is Deryck Bernard. Prior to the breakdown of the dialogue, Mr. Bernard would have easily found a high place on anyone's list of PNC moderates. Mr. Bernard now appears as some who can be given the same classification as the conspiratorial talk-show hosts and the likes of Waddell and Benschop. Many PNC leaders see in the tempest of anti-Indian, anti-police and criminal violence, a methodology of survival at a time when the foundations of the PNC is shaking."
-Dr. Frederick Kisssoon, professor of political scince at UG, writing in August, 2002
"In the past, each of us has made statements condemning African Guyanese atrocities against Indian Guyanese, and we condemn them even more strongly now, as the violence becomes more brutal."
-Eusi Kwayana, David Hinds, and Andaiye in a letter to Stabroek News, September 1, 2002
"But is this the time to have such a debate, when relations between the ethnic groups are particularly strained due to the unsettled political situation and the vicious crime, some of which has an ethnic tinge?"
-Stabroek News editorial, "Ethnic Debate," dated October 19, 2002.
Why are Indians being Kidnapped and Why So Often?
One of the theories is that wealthy Indian businessmen are being targeted by a selected group of criminals in order to raise easy money through ransoms. Ray Seebarran, an auto sales dealer, is kidnapped and released the day after. A large ransom was paid. Then there is the famous case of Bramanand Nandalall, owner of Keishar store on regent Street, kidnapped by gunmen that included now dead "escapees," Dale Moore and Mark Fraser. He escaped and his captors all died. A jewelery dealer of Cove and John, Kumar Rampersaud and his daughter, Madonna Rampersuad (16), are also kidnapped but released hours later, after a ransom is paid.
these wealthy Indians, the abduction and fatal ending of Ganesh and Motilall
point to regular, poor Indians who could not raise the required cash either
in time or on their own. Further, the Motilall kidnapping appears to be
a retaliatory act after 6 Black gunmen were found dead the Monday before
the Wednesday abduction of the Indian farmer. If it is true that these
men were paid to kill Motilall (as they said), then the racial motive
is clearly evident. One thing is certain: these
victims are all Indians. The fact that two dead bodies are found
in Buxton, one can logically assume the captors are Black. In Motilall's
case, this is true because the abduction was done in the presence of other
people. This is how disrespectful and racist this particular case is.
Motilall (aka Uncle Jinga) (65), of Annandale, is kidnapped by 5 Black teenagers from Buxton with guns as other cane cutters watched helplessly on October 30. A ransom of $20M is called for. The body of the farmer is eventually found on Thursday, 10/31, one day after the abduction, in the Annandale/Buxton trench. He was shot in jaw and left ear. During the agonizing wait, the kidnappers called the family numerous times taunting and teasing them, including having them turn up at a payoff spot, but never showing up. Eventually, the family was instructed that there was no need for any ransom, because they, the criminals, had been paid to kill the farmer. This is the second kidnapping and execution in one week. Both involved Indian men and bodies being recovered in Buxton. (See photo below, left)
Ganesh (27), of Bladen Hall, is kidnapped on October 23 in the vicinity
of Buxton, shortly after he left his home for his usual ride out on his
black Night Hawk motorcycle. A ransom call is maid to his family but the
family could not raise the money in time. The wife
was given 15 minutes. He was made to talk on the phone; he
wept as he told his wife that his captors were going to kill him, that
he was "half dead" already. He was executed, a bullet to his
head and his body dumped in Buxton.
PNC Executive MP, wrote a letter in the press claiming that the July 3rd
protestors were right and that Guyana will NOT
improve unless their needs are met. Below are some reactions:
"Mr. Bernard descends to the level of the terrorist who holds a
gun to your head and says "hand over or else". In Guyana, the
Indian community knows full well what the "or else" means. The
statement not only exposes the PNC/R's complicity in the ethnic violence
but serves as a warning from the horse's mouth that there is more of the
same to come."
"On that account I plead guilty without
excuse, apology or extenuating circumstances." "I have no sympathy
whatsoever to offer."
Indian Girl Was Forced To Perform Oral Sex Publicity In The Streets of Georgetown
On July 3rd
Indians in Guyana were targeted once again for mindless violence by African
mobs emanating from the PNC protest march, which culminated in the storming
of the Presidential Compound. Hundreds of Indians were mercilessly beaten
up, sexually molested, abused, robbed and several businesses torched.
This latest pogrom against Indians has provoked even conservative elements in the Guyanese society to speak out. Several who have so far refrained from saying that it was Indians who were targeted for the mindless racial violence in Guyana are now coming out openly and admitting the truth.
In one of the most gruesome cases reported on CHANNEL 6 (CNS 6) Television channel, M.F.KHAN, city businessman and host of the program BIG QUESTION IS WHY, on Thursday 11th July at 9.30 pm, made a dramatic announcement of an incident where an Indian girl was forced to perform oral sex to a group of African men. He claimed that an army officer in plain clothes had to save this unfortunate soul. The incident took place in broad daylight in one of the busiest streets of Georgetown - Regent Street in front of the famous photo studio ACME. There are reports of several cases of molestation of Indians girls, which ROAR is trying to verify. Check out our web site http://www.indoguyanese.netfirms.com/ for updates on the latest pogrom.
[Editor's Note: Press release issued by ROAR, July 12th, 2002.]
On August 4, 2001, three armed bandits suspected to be residents of Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara, terrorised and robbed a family (Ms. Anita Singh, her mother, Ms. Savitri Sukhdeo (57), her 12-year-old son Ryan, her 11-year-old daughter, Oma, and 2 other children). The bandits not only terrorized them, including Oma for whom the experiece, according to her mother, was very traumatic, (the bandits asked her to disclose where they had their money, otherwise he was going to make sure she did not go back to school), but one of them proceeded to commit what is undoubtedly a very racial act-he proceeded to cut off her long hair using his "Rambo" knife. While cutting her hair, he said he did not like 'they kind ah people," (meaning Indians).
According to Ms. Singh, the bandit wanted to remove all of her hair, but was discouraged by his other colleagues. This act clearly dramatizes, without doubt, that RACE is a serious factor involved in crimes committed by Blacks against Indians, even when money is often a primary factor. Obviously, the bandit did not need to cut off Ms. Singh's hair, because he had his loot already, so why cut it off if not to humiliate her and Indians? The aforementioned Police press release also stated a similar point; that a number of Indians were gunned down after they were completely overpowered and robbed, and posed no threat to the criminals.
[Editor's Note: See Stabroek News, August 6, 2002 for a complete report.]
"What are we going to do? They come and tek all that they want, then burn the factory. Nothing left now. They might come next and attack us. But today for me tomorrow for who?"-Indra Pirmal
[Editor's Note: There are numerous "mystery" fires that have occurred ever since the 2001 elections-most of which never result in any arrest or conviction. As Ms. Pirmal's questions dramatize, she is targeted because she owns a business. The problem with this is that Black businesses so not have these tragedy stories to tell, because theirs are often left alone. Again, racism is involved-how it not be? First, it used to be that when there is an anti-government demonstration, Indian businesses would be attacked but this case, like others, shows another dimension to the anti-Indian arsonists at work. See Stabroek News, July 24, 2002, for a complete report on the Pirmal case or write to us for a copy.]
Fight Between Indians and Blacks Barely Avoided
Are "Selected Targets"-Police
Government Unwilling to Confront the Ethnic Problem
By Rajendra Singh
I am not in the mood either to be "politically correct" or to become nauseous about the issue of race and politics, I am almost sure that my letter would be too "offensive to some" but Indians like me have nothing to lose now as our country of birth has failed them.
Terror stalks the land as the stark reality of what appears to be carefully planned and brutally executed crimes against primarily Indo-Guyanese citizens continued unabated with the most recent execution of the young business couple in their Annandale home.
There is no doubt that these crimes are encouraged by the political uneasiness created by the intractability of the political parties and the hate mongering supporters of the opposition on Channel Nine.
Reason has flown the coop as increasing numbers of "anti-government" predominantly black Guyanese are lending support to the Criminals or "African freedom fighters" who are systematically executing Indians in Guyana.
The ease with which these criminals stalk the land indicates the true roots of hate which prevail in this fractured society. The support and cover given in the Buxton community, the moles they have in the police intelligence unit, the support they receive from media and politicians and the daftness of a politically bankrupt administration are conspiring to demoralize and drive out the Indian community.
The administration and the "middle of the road" people (especially large merchants who "milk the system" and feel insulated in their percieved ivory towers) who desperately cling to their status quo by burying their heads in the sand with lame comments like "crime is all over the world" or "statistically Guyana is safe' are ignoring two important facts, one is that the crimes target predominantly the Indian Community therefore the per capita crime rate is monstrous as only half of the population is considered. The second reason is those who try to de-emphasize the ethnic selectivity of crime victims somehow sit on the other side of the ethnic fence from those "poor coolies" who are being gunned down.
Among these apologists is the PPP executive headed by the "ethnically neutral" gang of eight who are engaged in a dance of death, who fail to see the need to confront the ethnic problem frontally while their (deceived) supporters are picked off one by one.
The poor President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces is obviously out of ideas as his response to the situation was to fly to Spain to "tell the international community" about the crime problems.
Why wasn't the neighboring villages of Buxton being protected by troops, why did a few residents from those villages have to go on their knees to beg for protection from Minister Gajraj? Is it because the PPP does not want to offend the sensitivities of Buxtonians?
But do we expect anything better from a government whose shining moment is a few more votes from the black community?
in this letter inserted byGUS)
|May 25, 2002||
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