Kissoon details why he called former President ‘ideological racist’

Kissoon details why he called former President ‘ideological racist’

JANUARY 26, 2013 | FILED UNDER NEWS

With the Bharrat Jadgeo libel case making its first call for the year, defendant, and Kaieteur News columnist Frederick Kissoon yesterday (January 25, 2013),  returned to the witness box for the continuation of his evidence-in-chief before presiding Judge Brassington Reynolds at the Supreme Court. Kissoon, and National Media and Publishing Company, publisher of Kaieteur News, and Editor-in-Chief Harris, are being sued for over $10M, by the former head of state who is claiming libel in one of Kissoon’s daily columns published in 2010.

Kissoon

Frederick Kissoon

Under the direction of Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes who is partnered with Attorney Christopher Ram, Kissoon started to explain how he came to term the former President an “ideological racist.”

With investigative research materials which have already been provided to the court, Kissoon said he has based his conclusions on his findings.

The columnist and former University of Guyana lecturer stated that from 1978, when he commenced research on Guyana’s political economy, it was revealed that there were two major ethnic communities, distinct in spheres and existence. He said they were the Afro-Guyanese and the Indo-Guyanese who were manifestly different in culture, religion, politics and economy.


From historical data, Afro-Guyanese, he said, maintained an existence with administration of the state, including state activities, education, the Arts and related activities.

With this, Kissoon said, came derived Afro-Guyanese power, authority and influence, while the more land and property based Indo- Guyanese derived their power from their physical possessions and wealth.

Kissoon said the two ethnicities, by (named) political theorist and sociologist, were described as “the Plural model” which provided social stability since each ethnic community was content with their sphere of influence.  Additionally, Kissoon said that the ethnic communities found protection for their future existence in their own political parties.

But from the period of 1966-1992, Kissoon said the “Plural model” worked. That was until the 1992 General elections and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came into power.

He said prior to that, the ethnic communities saw no perceivable threat to their sphere of existence and thus continued in their varying ways of life.
Subsequent to the 1992 elections to modern day, Kissoon charged that research has shown a “Fundamental shift, pregnant with disastrous possibilities.” It was the attempt by the Administration, Kissoon claimed, to do away with the, “Plural model,” a practice he said, that continued up to the conclusion of his research in June 2010.

During the tenure of the Plaintiff, Kissoon said that it was clear that, “98 percent possession of land, commerce, financial houses, the import and export trade and in general, wealth,” belonged to Indo- Guyanese.  This phenomenon, Kissoon said, occurred with the increased presence of Indo-Guyanese in state sectors and “by decreasing most manifestly the Afro- Guyanese presence in totality in state sectors.”

Kissoon continued that various sectors were included in his research including, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Customs and Excise office, the University of Guyana Council among others.

In looking at GuySuCo, Kissoon said that research showed, statistically, that under Jagdeo’s watch, Indo- Guyanese predominance was facilitated into the upper echelons.
Sixteen Afro-Guyanese administrators all being replaced by Indo-Guyanese.  At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kissoon said his research showed that 15 Afro-Guyanese administrators were removed and replaced with Indo-Guyanese workers.

At the Customs and Excise office, Kissoon again, with the use of research material, said that at about 42 Afro-Guyanese holding pivotal departmental positions were replaced by Indo-Guyanese.

Kissoon went on to say that the University of Guyana Council is encompassed by four non-state appointments and those chosen by the Government. Apart from those not chosen by the Government, Kissoon said all state-appointed members are Indo-Guyanese.

For these examples, the defendant provided the court with names and designations of those who were terminated and those who were implemented.
Prior to Kissoon’s pronouncements, the former UG lecturer provided research on a specific programme that service the totality of state sectors in Guyana which is the Diploma and Degree in Public Management, branching from the Faculty  of Social Sciences.

From 2000-2009, Kissoon said that research showed that less than 10 percent of East Indians graduated in that field yet the vast majority of persons sitting in the upper echelons of total state systems are by Indo-Guyanese.

This, he said, showed a “graphic and preponderant imbalance in ethnic representation,” which led to the conclusion that Indo –Guyanese were being favoured to operate in the upper echelons of state sectors.

The hearing will continue next Monday when Kissoon is scheduled to take the witness box again.

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Comments

  • wycs  On 01/28/2013 at 9:57 pm

    These three people Kissoon’s, Lall’s and Ram’s brains have not yet matured. They all need transplanted brains. I hope the President is awarded the $10M.

  • Errol Harry  On 01/29/2013 at 1:09 am

    From: Errol Harry -london uk

    Freddie Kissoon is just saying what is obvious to Guyanese living in Guyana.
    Here are some of the facts as outlined by Rickford Burke in an article some two years ago:

    Subject: GUYANA’S PPP AN ‘ETHNOCRACY’ ENTRENCHED
    Empirical Evidence Establish That The PPP Government Of Guyana Is An Entrenched Ethnocracy

    Posted on April 20, 2010 published in Barbados Underground
    Submitted by Rickford Burke, President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy(CGID)

    Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo has been complaining to the world over that I am falsely accusing his government of being an “ethnocracy.” He regurgitated this complaint when he met with me the Caricom Heads of Government conference in New York.
    His hallow protestations have emboldened one of his appeasers. It has provided a rationale for the prejudicial Stabroek Newspapers in Guyana to muster the effrontery to challenge persons who have justly characterized the PPP government as an ethnocracy in letters or articles published in that newspaper. Consequently, Stabroek has been censoring the use of the term “ethnocracy,” as if to condition the minds of Guyanese, in order to assuage PPP racism and dissuade exposure of ethnic triumphalism and supremacy. This must not be allowed to contend.
    So as to demonstrate Stabroek’s Anti-African bias; its appeasement of racists as well as efforts to expurgate criticism of PPP racism, I wish to examine the definition of “ethnocracy” and provide evidence of PPP rabid racism.

    What is an Ethnocracy?
    (i) According to Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, an “Ethnocracy is a form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others.”

    (ii) Dr. Oren Yiftachel, internationally renowned Professor of urban planning, geography, political science and Middle Eastern Studies, in his publication “Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine” wrote that ethnocracy is “a political regime that facilitates expansion and control by a dominant ethnicity in contested lands. It is neither democratic nor authoritarian, with rights and capabilities depending primarily on ethnic origin and geographic location.”

    (iii) According to the University of Oslo, an “ethnocracy is a political regime which, in contrast to democracy, is instituted on the basis of qualified rights to citizenship, and with ethnic affiliation (defined in terms of race, descent, religion, or language) as the distinguishing principle. The raison d’être of the ethnocracy is to ensure that the most important instruments of state power are controlled by a specific ethnic collectivity. All other considerations concerning the distribution of power are ultimately subordinated to this basic intention.”
    Demographics of Guyana;
    Ethnic groups: East Indian 43.5%, Black/African 33.2%, mixed race 16.7%, Amerindian 9.2%, other 0.46%. Religions: Christian 50%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 8%.
    Realities of the Government of Guyana:

    1. President Bharrat Jagdeo’s government has twenty-two Cabinet ministers; four of whom are black, and two are Amerindian.
    2. 90% of the ruling PPP’s Members of Parliament are of Indian extraction.
    3. 90% of the members of government commissions, boards of directors as well as government members on boards of private and semi-private entities are of Indian extraction.
    4. The PPP regime has used the resources of the state to develop non-black villages, may be justifiably so, but have simultaneously conducted a campaign to destroy, subjugate, stagnate, strangle and impoverish African villages and Towns, such as Buxton, Golden Grove, Victoria, Linden, etc.
    5. The PPP government has progressively raised wages for sugar workers a predominantly Indian demographic and its main political constituency, but has resisted increasing public service wages at very instant. 80% of public servants in Guyana are Afro-Guyanese.
    6. The PPP government has consistently engaged in union busting in an attempt to destroy Afro-Guyanese unions. It arbitrarily suspended union dues for the public service union, and has refused to turnover such dues to the union although the Supreme Court has ordered it to do so. It has also suspended the government subvention to Critclow Labor College which conducted a number of pre-university courses for Afro-Guyanese and others, and has been attempting to destroy the Guyana Bauxite & General Workers Union (GB&GWU).
    7. The PPP government has engaged in the systematic torture of Afro-Guyanese citizens and has been directly involved in state sponsored extrajudicial killings of over 400 young Afro-Guyanese men.
    8. They have purged the leadership of the public service to reflect their ethnic majority.
    9. 90% of Guyana’s Ambassadorial representation is of Indian extraction.
    10. Over 90% of government contracts are awarded to Indian contractors.
    11. 90% of judicial appointments are ethnic driven.
    12. The government has been directly discriminating against Guyanese African bauxite workers. This has recently been condemned by regional and international labor fraternity, including the AFL-CIO and met with intransigence from the Labor Minister.
    In support of my aforementioned contentions, I wish to cite the findings of the United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Ms. Gay McDougall (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/49bfa6ec2.pdf), in her report dated February 23, 2009, which was presented to the United Nations General Assembly.
    (a) Section 34-35 of the report states that: “The independent expert encountered claims of widespread and institutionalized discrimination against members of the Afro-Guyanese community and indigenous peoples. Some described the “victimization” of poor Afro-Guyanese and an informal system of rights and privileges in society to which they lack access.”
    (b) Section 36 States; “Many consider that economic policies have been formulated to benefit the Indian population at the expense of Afro-Guyanese jobs and income. Union representatives noted a trend of State support for Indian-dominated industries such as the sugar industry, while allowing the predominantly Afro-Guyanese bauxite mining industry to decline and be privatized resulting in the loss of thousands of Afro-Guyanese jobs. One union representative described a “policy to economically destroy the African people”.
    (c) Section 39 states that “Serious allegations were raised of discrimination and corruption in government procurement of goods, services and public works contracts. There is a widely held belief that government contracts are systematically awarded to companies supporting the Government, Indo-Guyanese companies, and those in which government officials have personal interests.
    (d) Section 43 states that “Afro-Guyanese trade union sources consider that the Government has been actively pursuing a discriminatory policy and programmes against Afro-Guyanese. They claim that the Government is working to undermine and divide the union movement, with the aim of weakening the primarily African Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC). They suggest that the Government orchestrated a split in the union movement by initiating and supporting a parallel union body, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG). Union representatives believe that government actions are discriminatory, politically and racially motivated and an attempt to curtail the legitimate powers of the unions that have previously led to strike action over labor rights and government activities.
    (e) Section 65 states “Concerns were expressed by Afro-Guyanese and others regarding numerous killings of young Afro-Guyanese men from 2002 to the present day, and the existence of what has been described as a “phantom death squad”. A wide array of people within the community put the number of deaths at between 200 and 400. The reports note execution style killings, disappearances and failure to adequately record or investigate the murders. The perception is of a collusion of Government and law enforcement with known criminals to facilitate the targeting and killing of young African males.”
    (f) 70 states that, “NGOs and community members raised concerns regarding serious rights violations against Afro-Guyanese including arbitrary detention without trial, torture, deaths and mistreatment in custody, and killings of innocent civilians during operations by the joint services… It is claimed that, taken as a whole, these evidence a wider pattern and practice of gross rights violations against Afro-Guyanese and a failure of due process.”
    These are the facts and empirical evidence. I challenge President Jagdeo and Stabroek News to disprove this evidence which clearly establish an entrenched PPP ethnocracy in Guyana, and let the people judge.

  • compton de castro  On 01/29/2013 at 4:08 am

    very interesting and well researched…
    maybe this is the “legacy” of FORBES LINDEN SAMSON BURNHAM…
    REVENGE…is sweet my grandmother used to say….
    REVENGE …is evil in todays language/world.
    Vindictively so !!

    However if we are to move forward we must forgive our “masters” but only “fools” forget…guyanese are no fools….!foolishly funny and warm people !

    in innocence there is beauty !

    etc etc etc

    please please GUYANA and GUYANESE WHEREVER YOU ARE let bygones be bygones and lets move onward/forward.

    kamptan

  • guyaneseonline  On 02/01/2013 at 10:17 am

    Kissoon is highlighting the fact of racism
    FEBRUARY 1, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS

    Dear Editor,
    I refer to the story in the Stabroek News “Kissoon Cites Stats to Support Position on Jagdeo Presidency” (SN 29 1 13), and would appreciate the opportunity to comment.
    Guyana appears now to be awakening to a reality of stupendous proportions. This is good for the national conscience, and we used the words of Professor Davies on page 1 of the online article “Greed, Genocide … and now ‘Green’: Corruption and Underdevelopment in Guyana” (http://www.scribd.com/doc/17958657/ Greed-Genocide-and-now-Green-Corruption-and-Underdevelopment-in-Guyana ) to illustrate that these issues must be confronted, not hidden or avoided.
    Racism in every form must be condemned … or else we are all living a lie! We are all safe in a social-policy space delineated by a respect for fact, truth, detail and evidence!
    It is in anticipation of the slew of hate-mail against Kissoon that will now appear in the local press that this comment is offered.
    It is also paradoxical, and a testimony to this stupor-like “awakening”, that the words and work of Frederick Kissoon … and not, say, Lincoln Lewis’ graphic outline of “economic genocide”, or Ronald Austin’s tragic essay on the killing of young Blacks in “Genocide”, or Dr. Kean Gibson’s “Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana” … that has now captured the public eye while the issue of “ideological racism” is contemplated.
    Even more paradoxical is the fact that it is now happening in court!
    We remember, too, the many attestations of the then GPSU that what Frederick Kissoon is now detailing was indeed happening in post-1992 Guyana … and the studied and callous silence that accompanied national and regional observers.
    Nowhere was this silence and callousness more obvious than in the hallways and dungeons of the Guyana’s own Ethnic Relations Commission which somehow over time managed to produce many “studies” saying that all was well even in issues like scholarship allocation.
    As the national conscience kicks in, the authors of those “studies” may yet be less “cooperative” than the prosecution expects, and illustrate just how the “results” were determined within the walls of the ERC.
    In that not-too-distant and cataclysmic event-paradox, Bharrat Jagdeo’s efforts to ruin Frederick Kissoon become the instrument of his own exposure!
    Former President Bharrat Jagdeo may well rue the day that he forgot that Satya Meva Jayate (“Truth Alone Triumphs”) and that even the most hardcore of the “jati” in Guyana would one day come to the inescapable position that the level of overt and covert racism heaped upon Afro-Guyanese post 1992 was unsustainable and wrong!
    Kean Gibson started an honest debate on this issue in “The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana” and Frederick Kissoon has obviously (and to his credit) been “transformed” since.
    While he is delicately trying to side-step the core sociological/cultural premises of the racism Gibson outlines by characterizing the (same) racism as “ideological”, one senses that there is no significant distance between their analyses and conclusions.
    What he mentions in this short Stabroek News story and in the similar story in the Kaieteur News (http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2013/01/29/kissoon-continues-to-detail-reasons-for-calling-jagdeo-ideological-racist/ ) is already summarized in brutal frankness in Dr. Gibson’s small book and its sequel “Sacred Duty:”
    The article in David Granger’s Guyana Review of July 1999 “30,012 Gun Licences” illustrates that the rot preceded Jagdeo.
    What is mysteriously absent from Kissoon’s presentation thus far is the reality of the unprecedented killings of hundreds of Black youths in post-1992 Guyana, a tragedy that informs the eloquent and painful essay “Genocide” by former Guyana Ambassador Ronald Austin.
    Kissoon’s detractors will be hard-pressed to find another instance in Guyana’s history when killings on this scale occurred or deny that such killings speak to the “ideological racism” that Kissoon is articulating.
    It is an equally compelling tragedy that this article by Austin is being systematically removed by persons unknown from every online berth, and Mr. Austin should publish it again.
    Kissoon’s unanswerable expose’, like the events outlined in part in the online article “Greed, Genocide … and now “Green”: Corruption and Underdevelopment in Guyana” (http://www.scribd.com/doc/17958657/Greed-Genocide-and-now-Green-Corruption-and-Underdevelopment-in-Guyana ) illustrate that this terrible convergence of overt and covert social-policy degeneracy is unprecedented in Guyana’s history, and a slap in the face of all those who cherish the words and intent of the National Motto: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny”.
    There is still time for us to forgive each other, and live out the true meaning of that creed!
    As Professor Ali Mazrui once said, it is fortunate indeed that for a sizeable portion of Guyana’s population, their memory of hate is not great!
    Roger Williams

  • Kaieteur News Report  On 02/05/2013 at 8:31 pm

    Arguments brew as source documents presented in Kissoon libel case
    FEBRUARY 5, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS

    Kaieteur News columnist Fredrick Kissoon

    Plaintiff: Bharrat Jagdeo
    As source documents reportedly used in Kaieteur News columnist and former University of Guyana lecturer Fredrick Kissoon’s research were presented to the court yesterday, sparks flew when the defence and lawyer for the plaintiff went head to head over the relevance and authenticity of the information, and whether the information should be accepted into evidence.
    Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, representing former President Bharrat Jagdeo, made numerous objections about the contents of the documents and their truthfulness. The reports were presented before Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Supreme Court, where Kissoon is currently being led in evidence-in-chief by Attorney at law Nigel Hughes.
    Kissoon along with National Media and Publishing Company, Publisher of Kaieteur News, and Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris, is being sued for over $10M.
    Jagdeo in 2010, claimed libel, when he charged that in one of Kissoon’s daily columns, the writer called him an “ideological racist”.
    At a previous session, Kissoon had said that he noticed a trend that Indo-Guyanese holding top end positions were not being prosecuted by the state when found with job related discrepancies. He had made specific reference to Nirmal Rekha, Secretary to the Treasury, who he said was investigated by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on fraud allegations, but was never charged.
    De Santos had argued that Kissoon had no evidence to make such a statement. Well since Kissoon had stated that he acquired the GRA report on Rekha, he presented it yesterday. It was entitled, “Report into irregularities committed by Nirmal Rekha”, addressed to the Commissioner General of the GRA from the Internal Audit department of that same entity. De Santos, before the document was tendered objected to its contents. He said that the document never found Rekha guilty of any offence.
    To the first objection Hughes answered by reading pages 20-21 of the report which found that Rekha and others were involved in fraud pertaining to duty free concessions for re-migrants. The document said, “It is a clear cut case of collusion between officers of the Ministry of Finance (which named Rekha and others) and Ms. Dundas, re-migrant officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs.”
    It continued, “Rekha will have to explain the discrepancies to the Commissioner of Police who should be called in to investigate the matter.”
    Hughes answered that De Santos’s second objection was a matter for cross examination. He charged that the court would make the final decision on the relevance of the content of the report after the document is admitted into evidence.
    Hughes clarified that the report is merely being tendered as a source document since the defendant said that he conducted his research based on its contents.
    De Santos however argued that the information brought out did not correspond with Kissoon’s original claim that Rehka had been found guilty of discrepancies. He also questioned the authenticity, certification and accuracy.
    The court however intervened and reminded that the original statement by Kissoon was that Indo-Guyanese in managerial positions were not being investigated by the police for work-related irregularities. He said the document is not at the stage where its relevance and accuracy as such are under examination. Justice Brassington thus overruled De Santos and admitted the GRA report.
    Another document, “the Mc Dougall report” which was tendered for identification earlier in the case was also presented. The document is a United Nations-sponsored study on racial discrimination and practices in Guyana.
    Kissoon said that the document was published and handed over to the government while the plaintiff was still President.
    De Santos after reading the report objected and said that the title had nothing to do with racial discrimination and practices as Kissoon said.
    Again augments arose with Hughes submitting that the report is only a source document. Relevance to content he urged, is for cross examination and the scrutiny of the court.
    Certain parts of the report were also read out in court to show that the report, in fact, related to racial woes reportedly existing in Guyana. The study was done from July 28 to August 1 of 2008 and it highlighted how Afro-Guyanese felt in regards to equal rights and opportunities.
    So far Kissoon has presented to the court documentation based on research done on the former President. From his findings, he is at the point of identifying sources and reference documents to support his conclusions.
    The matter will be called again on March 4. Kissoon will continue to explain why he called Jagdeo an “Ideological racist.”

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