Will racial tribalism forever dominate Guyana? – Freddie Kissoon


September 22, 2013 – Kaieteur News – Columnists: FREDDIE KISSOON

Guyana is enduring a syndrome of violent robberies. It has been going on for years and it touches every part of Guyana and every race. Our Chinese and Brazilian residents have witnessed brutal robberies in which the victims have died. The General-Secretary of the PNC was violently attacked by thieves in his home. I did two columns on the Wild West madness in the mining areas of Guyana where horrible robberies have led to the deaths of many persons, and from my research, none of the victims are East Indians.

Suddenly, the Muslim Youth Organization (MYO), Ravi Dev, and the Attorney-General (AG) discovered a dimension of the syndrome that should arouse curiosity in our academic community and in political parties. Let us quote the MYO; “The recent upsurge in criminality bears a sinister likeness in the modus operandi of the 2002/2003 crime wave, where efforts were made to destabilize our country.” 

Mr. Dev in his column last week wrote that he endorsed the sentiments of the MYO and posits that it brings into focus the need to balance the police force along ethnic lines. The AG implied that politics is at work in the recent attacks on families in the countryside. Now, one will hardly express surprise at Mr. Dev’s expression. He does not hide his political opinions on the race problematic of Guyana.

The AG is pandering to the PPP constituencies. And the MYO is a religious body that should not have gone in that direction. Surely, religious people ought to know better. Subsequent events have showed that what the AG, MYO and Ravi Dev have adumbrated was fictional and that this country is definitely doomed. When sociological crimes are committed and you rush into a village and tell an ethnic community that the robbers are from another race group, then you are instigating the death of your country.

Dev, the AG or the MYO have not pointed fingers at the PPP or East Indians for the bestial home invasion of the PNC’s top man. Dev, the AG or the MYO have not commented on the non-stop crime wave in south Georgetown that inevitably takes the lives of African Guyanese. Dev, the AG or the MYO have not written on the possibility that the constant imprisonment of African youths for possession of tiny amounts of marijuana may be a plot by the PPP to demoralize the African youth.
With attacks in Wakenaam, the West Coast and the Corentyne, the nation is being told by persons from the East Indian community that the infamy has a political motive. This is horrible thinking that will destroy Guyana sooner than later. Subsequent events have proven the MYO, Dev and the AG wrong, but sorry is not a word we are going to hear from these quarters. Let us describe the subsequent events.

Police investigations have led to the discovery of a gang that has been robbing and killing victims. Some of the members have been captured and charged. One was killed and a police bulletin has been issued for another gang leader. The people who did the arrest were the police, which we all know are predominantly African Guyanese. Then soldiers joined the search. The army is predominantly African Guyanese.

Up to the time of writing, none of the gang members have confessed to taking instructions from politicians and activists from any anti-government organization. So where does this leave the race conspiracy theory of the MYO, the AG and Ravi Dev?

But let us go over to New York. For this column, I did some painstaking research. I have found out that over the past ten years, most of the victims of nasty robberies on Guyanese have been Guyanese Indians. Is there a conspiracy by the Americans to target East Indians in New York?

The MYO is a 99.5 percent Indian organization. Mr. Dev is a pro-Indian activist. The AG belongs to a predominantly Indian party, the PPP. They have a God-given right to speak how they feel about the sociology of Guyana, but civilization does not give the right  to any human to shout fire in a crowded cinema. The AFC, ACDA, PNC and other groups have not pointed to any conspiracy from Freedom House when Africans are robbed and killed in Guyana. Indian rights activists must act more responsibly.

More importantly, the society must speak out against what the MYO, Dev and the AG have implied. We are not going to remain a country if we keep fanning the flames of racial and racist tribalism in this country. All the old racial conflicts around the world are dying or have abated, except for the one in Guyana.

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  • Claude Martins  On 09/25/2013 at 11:01 am

    Freddie, Thank you. You always hit the nail plum center on these topics. You are a true Guyanese. With a better future for ALL Guyanese in mind. Please start your own political party with other decent Guyanese like yourself. Then Guyanese will again begin to hope for a better future.

  • needybad4ud - Leonard Dabydeen  On 09/25/2013 at 11:42 am

    This is indeed a carefull and well thought out analysis of the racial cleavage of Guyana that is stymying its unity and progress as a nation. The socio-political constructs are marred by the continuing violence almost along racial lines. Our political history has charted this course. Are we at the stage where the Polynesian people found themselves on Easter Island ?

  • de castro compton  On 09/25/2013 at 5:14 pm

    My two cents….for what it is worth….

    Education education education….equal opportunities in education is the way forward….would love to see a research/finding on what % of the youths of Guyana
    are literate….can read and write….it is not rocket science just honest/fairness in
    education…..politicians of all parties are aware that the more the flock is uneducated the easier it is to rule the sheep…..every effort should be made to educate all the races/classes up to adulthood….even up to first degree ….
    Any politician who focuses on this issue will eventually come to power…
    CASTRO used education in Cuba to remain in power for decades…today some of the best professionals in Cuba prefer teaching the youths than getting rich….
    they are free to leave Cuba if they so desire….a few do !
    The technology is available today …teachers pay should reflect that…
    Good dedicated teachers must be encouraged to remain in the profession
    or they will go elsewhere to practice their profession….the BRAIN DRAIN ….

    In simple terms
    Reading Riting and Ritmatic ..the way forward….the rest will follow….
    It is not rocket science to achieve 100%literacy….the children of Guyana
    deserve no less regardless of their ethnicity/class…..
    Guyana is fortunate to have ENGLISH as their first language….
    USA was also fortunate to have ENGLISH as their first language
    EUROPE may soon have to follow…today more Chinese and Indians
    speak English yet the ENGLISH don’t speak any other language…
    over 15 % of UK are still illiterate….wake up GUYANA and Guyanese !!

    I can preach the gospel but will give others a chance to disagree so that we can all learn more….or remain but sheep to be slaughtered/sacrificed

    In exasperation/anger

  • de castro compton  On 09/25/2013 at 6:02 pm

    Freddie my brother
    Interesting read ….will now read again an comment further…..off my soapbox….

    Racism like classism…(prejudice) have been wit us for centuries ….
    It will not go away or disappear….no one is born “racist” but where we
    grow up does have an influence on how we view racism….
    I was lucky to grow up in a village on ECD and later attend an institution
    to further my education in GT….my classmates in college came from
    every corner of the country and from every ethnicity/background….
    We were inseperable in our classroom and playground…
    We were united as one so much so that our teachers and principal
    lost control of the classroom with their approach to discipline….
    We were the embryo of revolution…thinking….!
    All 28 of us were expelled for wrecking the desks and books
    while in detention after school…the institution failed to recognise
    the signals of rebellion in 28 15yo…

    Today physcology in teaching has evolved with time…..teachers are trained
    to recognise dissent and know how to deal with it….
    No more beating or iltreatment of its children….”abuse” is taboo no longer
    permitted in schools…”TIME OUT” is used in class room …at age 4 or 5….
    Even the classroom arrangement is different….the teachers desk is in the centre of the classroom….she/he is part and parcel of the learning process….
    There are also teachers assistant in attendance….
    Time have changed learning made pleasant….not dictatorial as in our age…
    Of course the methods change with the age of the child.
    In college they become excluded for misbehaviour…asked to leave class room…
    even expelled as a last resort….not Peter pay for Paul as only time….

    Times they are a changing
    Guyana no exception
    Guyana is changing
    Guyana will change
    Guyana must change

    Or die is its ignorance asleep…wake up Guyana and Guyanese
    stop blaming others …

  • de castro compton  On 09/25/2013 at 9:01 pm

    Peter pay for Paul as in our times….


    28 were expelled as initial punishment….later most were reinstated with a scapegoat or two expulsion being upheld….my twin brother singled out as “ring-leader”…..was expelled…..for kicking headmaster who “suggestively” placed his hand on my brothers knee in a one to one interview…
    My dear mother never believed his version of events in headmasters office…
    My brothers name THOMAS disbelieved !…both my mother and brother is
    In the afterlife….if there is one….hopefully in unison.


  • Chandra  On 09/26/2013 at 1:20 am

    Freddy, you are doing exactly what you are accusing the PPP and other Indian organizations and Indian persons of doing. Seems that u have burned ur bridges with Indians and ur seeking so desperately to endear urself to the opposition and blacks in Guyana. I have never heard u speak out against the grave atrocities meted out on Indians. You really nauseate me. And believe me many others. Are u ashamed to be Indian ? Better question yet what race r u?

    • Cromwell  On 09/30/2013 at 6:43 pm

      Chandra Chandra Chandra!! How sad. It seems like you are upset with the messenger. Is your only connection with Mr. Kissoon is his Indian Heritage? What about his willingness to read, research and report his opinion of the facts? Can you connect with that? You are bleating the same notes as the racialized people of Guyana. Time to pull yourself out from under that yoke that has been destroying our society for generations.

      Interesting that you accused Mr. Kissoon of being ashamed of his heritage when you don’t even know what it is. Maybe he is of the Guyanese Race.

  • de castro compton  On 09/26/2013 at 7:09 am

    Wow wow. !
    Please Sandra …we are all brothers and sisters but also individuals
    first and foremost….we are entitled to an opinion even if it differs from
    the majority or minority….Freddy is only giving an opinion ….it is why democracies have the freedom others have given their lives to protect/preserve.
    It is by disagreeing that we can learn more to respect and love each other more.
    No two persons are equal at birth or death…
    We are not all born “equal” ….it is the society that will influence our thinking….
    We are all born with a brain…we use only a fraction in our short stay on our planet…I do not wish to go into theology so will preach no more…

    I respect the opinions of others whether I agree or disagree
    Usually respond mostly when I disagree….in my effort to learn more…

    We never stop learning …read-on and write – on….it is the future.

    Peace band love

  • gigi  On 09/26/2013 at 9:23 pm

    I read this article several times in the past two/three days, pondering on it because I couldn’t quite accept or fully embrace what Mr Kissoon is getting at. Today, I decided to click over to Kaieteur News to check out some of Mr Kissoon’s other writings to make sense of what he is trying to say. I decided to read his article on Norway and came to the realization that Mr Kissoon is quite off mark.

    First he says in the above article “All the old racial conflicts around the world are dying or have abated, except for the one in Guyana.” Well, if you read his Norway article you will find, according to him, that this is not true. And I will personally add from my readings that in America, hate crimes are not abating, they are just under reported in the mainstream media (msm), except for when they serves as an intended distraction. Hate crimes are alive and well in England, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, and the rest of the world, too.

    Indians in Guyana have painfully suffered and were severely discriminated against under the PNC’s long and oppressive dictatorship. Just because the crimes were not reported in the country’s state controlled newspaper did not mean they did not take place. Must Indians now conveniently forget and ignore this just because it’s in the past. George Orwell wrote that ““The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” Blacks in Guyana need to understand what their people and leadership did to Indians so that they can identify with and understand where Indians are coming from. Indians did not enslave Blacks and should not have been made the scapegoat for Black appeasement or suffering.

    Mr Kissoon went on to say in his Norway article that “Remember the Jews and Hitler? It can happen again in this world! Yes it can!” Mr Kissoon, the Jews were not the only ones to suffer under Hitler. Political dissidents, people of different sexual orientation, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Polish people, gypsies, people deemed social misfits, people considered otherwise imperfect – those with mental/physical defects (wear glasses, walked with a limp, mentally retarded,etc), and people like me and you – yes, people who did not possess the Nordic features of the self-identified Aryan race, a race we now know, thanks to DNA and anthropologists, is the rightful race belonging to the people of India. Mr Kissoon, please refrain from propagating the Jewish agenda that the Holocaust was all about the Jews. This is false and wrong and seeks to deny the sufferings of the vast majority of those who also suffered and were not Jews.

    • Thinker  On 10/02/2013 at 2:32 am

      Let us understand a bit more of the sufferings of the Jews in WWII. Even though Gypsies, homosexuals, Blacks too, were sent to the gas chambers (visit the Holocaust Museum), the Jews were the prime target. Their economic dominance, as well as the Aryan Myth, were the determining factors.

      But let the world remember that the Germans had a dry-run with the extermination of the Heroro in what is today called Namibia. King Leopold of the Belgians had about 10 million killed and maimed in the Congo free State. Arabs in the course of 1,400 years caused a lot of Blacks to die (many were made eunuchs, and not onmly by cutting off the testicles). Let the world remember all the Black Holocausts. The Atlantic Slave trade was only the best documented.

  • Thinker  On 09/27/2013 at 2:09 am

    Burnham’s regime was a dictatorial one which held many in subjugation. It could only continue because of the US fear of greater Soviet influence in the Caribbean. Burnham discriminated against ALL who stood in his way and this would have included the vast majority of PPP supporters. But to imagine that rich Indian businessmen in particular did not benefit from Burnham and Hoyte’s rule is distorting history. No painful suffering on their part. Let’s talk specifics.

    There was a lot of crime against Indian businesses in Burnham’s time. Is that the suffering being referred to? To what extent is it different now? Are you saying it was PNC directed? Now too?

    The other point is that the Aryan Invasion/Influx Theory is now rejected by DNA evidence and by the majority of Indian Historians. It is considered a load of nonsense which the Europeans got going initially because it fit into their concept of racial hierarchy. Unfortunately lots of Indians still accept the theory.DNA research does not show evidence of any invasion from the North. “Arya” simply means noble. The issue of colour comes up with the multiple meanings of “varna”. So let’s check out the basic research instead of misleading the public.

  • de castro compton  On 09/27/2013 at 11:47 pm

    Living in UK for most of my life has certainly opened my thinking of the “class”
    structure in British society…..upper class v working class….Tory v labour
    politically speaking…..
    India under British rule certainly was influenced in their “caste” structure
    that is ever present today.
    Today we have upper middle and lower classes in societies…..
    Rich—- neither —-poor

    But with the. “welfare state” so does Europe …..no one is starving…..

    Without that “safety net” am sure we would have had another war….

    Burnham was not unlike Hitler but both were living before their time…

    Hitler exterminated Jews (scapegoated) when all he had to do was tax them….
    Burnham incited violence against the wealthy Indian businessmen….all he had to do was tax them.

    TAX is the most acceptable form of wealth distribution….it is not rocket science….
    What is unfair is when the tax collected is wasted /squandered or deposited in some Swiss bank account….today Burnham children is still trying to reclaim
    these funds …with great difficulty…Swiss banks are not allowed to pay to individuals who live outside Switzerland……
    The confidentiality enjoyed by depositors no longer exist…..disclosure
    must be adhered to…
    Times they are a changing….
    Secrecy in banking a thing of the past….

    Today MI5 CIA KGB et al…all exchange info freely …even civilians are now spied on by the likes of Google et al…….


    • Thinker  On 09/29/2013 at 11:27 am

      It is nonsense to say that burnham incited violence against rich Indian businessmen. You simply don’t know what you are talking about. Give specifics.

    • Thinker  On 09/30/2013 at 10:24 am

      When we see a comment about a similarity between Burnham and Hitler in that both were living before their time, it is really strange that no one comments. how could any knowledgeable person claim that Hitler was living before his time without implying that his actions were justified? Are we a bunch of ignoramuses?
      are we accepting the Aryan Myth in the first place? One expects the young to be ignorant of World History, not so much the old.

      • de castro compton  On 09/30/2013 at 11:07 am

        When Hitler came to power his vision was “nationalistic”
        Germans gave him the power on his call to nationism…putting Germans
        first…most politicians receive their power/mandate to rule by
        the voters “democratically”..
        1914 to 1944 is a very short period ….no one thought that WW2 was
        Imminent….a possibility or probability.
        Burnham came to power “undemocratically” ….

        I will accept that as a discussion for another time….

        Both leaders lived before their time…..both legacy ….the blood and suffering of their sheep/flock…..
        Most Germans are today not unlike Guyanese are “ashamed” of the actions
        of their elected representatives…

        We all have an evil element in our DNA let’s hope the scientists find a formula
        to suppress it.
        UK commissinerr of police is calling for the legalising of hard drugs…
        The battle against gangs of traffickers is being lost….
        He is right “realisticly so” but how the law is started is more a concern…

        Like tobacco and alcohol’ both legalised drugs are heavily taxed into
        reducing their use…so should other soft/hard drugs…

        Hitler had the right idea
        He went about it the wrong way
        Tax his other option….
        Burnham had the right idea
        He also went about it the wrong way
        Tax his other option

        One leader exterminated the other banned.
        Both became national “SECRETS”



  • de castro compton  On 09/28/2013 at 5:08 am


    CHEDDI AND FORBES WERE UNITED (one ideologicly)(even theologicly)

    So was GOD and Satan as per historical teachings…

    SO LET BE……….

    WILLIAM S . rewritten



  • de castro compton  On 09/29/2013 at 2:30 pm

    Burnham may have “colluded” with rich businessmen ….accepting donations
    to fund his political party…even personal donations into his Swiss accounts
    ….the ones that refused/objected/challenged this “bullying” certainly would have
    suffered “lost favour” with the kabaca….kings or Africa/India/Europe all received
    donations/taxes in return for “titles” etc …feudal systems still exist today….
    Forbes Linden Samson Burnham received his formal education in UK not USA
    like Cheddi ! He certainly would have studied British History (empire creation/administering) …he was even priveledged tone made a QC
    (Queens council)….

    A quick refresser of British history….in 55BC ENGLAND WAS INVADED BY
    ROMANS…who built Londinium (London) adopting their pagan gods in order to rule their new conquest…the BRITISH EMPIRE a repeat of history in its creation…
    AMERICAN empire followed….tomorrow Asian empire …….

    Adopt the gods of your conquered and voila ! rule/acceptance follows….
    Old Roman principle “divide” to conquer then “unite” to rule….

    Hope I have not lost the plot in explanation ….

    What the world drastically need today is “land reformation”
    not unlike “religious reformation” but for a different reason….
    HENRY VIII wished to divorce his wife to marry his “concubine”
    but the Roman Church objected ….he created his own Church of England.

    GOG needs to give every citizen land for a home….if they don’t use it they loose it….
    a step in the right direction….whichever party/parties promises this in their
    manifesto will be elected….not to mention free education up to first degree.

    Also “lease” lands to multinational organisations with the same criteria….
    Use it or loose it….the monies received from the leasing can go towards
    the infrastructure necessary for residencia…streets roads water electricity etc…
    It isn’t rocket science…..the devil is in the detail…CORRUPTION !


  • Thinker  On 09/29/2013 at 3:56 pm

    Specific statements must be backed up with examples. The topic was violence against rich IndIans instigated by Burnham.

  • de castro compton  On 09/29/2013 at 4:25 pm

    It did not have to be if you were president my friend….
    You say the right thing to your subordinates and they “get the message”
    That’s how simple fear/intimidation works….

    Try it on your associates/friends if you are their leader….

    Enough said.

    I do not have to go into specifics my friend …let the mind wonder /drift…
    and look at it from another angle..if you are up against it ….stand back
    Deliberate and the solution becomes obvious…knee jerk was how decisions were made in the 60 s 70 ‘ today if time permits we can solve most of the ills/evils
    of our beautiful world and its inhabitants…

  • Thinker  On 10/01/2013 at 12:11 am

    Comparing Burnham and hitler is simplistic to the point of nonsensical. It should also be offensive to all guyanese

  • de castro compton  On 10/01/2013 at 2:26 am

    Sometimes the truth hurts….truth to power…
    If you love me you should not be afraid to find fault with my ideas.
    If you love me you must also be truthful to me by letting me know.
    It is by truth and reconciliation that Guyanese can heal some of the wounds
    /injuries of our past….as per Desmond Tu Tu ….I also admired Forbes Linden Samson Burnham and Hitler for the good they did….and bury the bad and ugly with their bones.
    I forgive both but should never forget
    Only fools do.

    Philosophically yours

    Philosophically yours


    • Thinker  On 10/01/2013 at 6:26 am

      What good did Hitler do? a rather straightforward question. no waffling please.

  • de castro compton  On 10/01/2013 at 2:48 am

    Short story

    My grandmother was a devout catholic and would sit at window in our home in Golden Grove ECD saying her rosary….beads of numbers used in counting
    with a cross…Madonna Wore one.
    As boys will be boys we thought we should play a trick on her.
    We placed a cow horn on a stick and put it in her line of vision.
    When my mother came home we heard her telling her that she
    had seen the “devil” while praying to God.
    As we chuckled my mother called us to question…
    We all had a good laugh at my dear grandmothers expense.

    We were lucky to have our grandmother staying with us.

    Life unfolds

  • de castro compton  On 10/01/2013 at 11:17 am

    He made Germans proud to be Germans ….he motivated their dreams…
    showed that nothing is impossible if you believe….unfortunately he
    disappointed/embarrassed them in defeat …. And committed suicide in failure/shame …not unlike the Japanese whose kamazi actions was doomed to failure..how many citizens of Guyana are prepared to die for their country…
    How many Christians died for their belief..how many Muslims will die for their belief…

    We must put things into perspective….sorry if it reads as “waffle” ….seldom discussions do not contain some”waffle”….I apologise in advance…

    In the same breath “what good did Cheddi or Forbes do. !
    Now take all the positives of their “rule” and you get the picture.
    Leave all the negatives with their bones….

    Promise no more “waffle” on subject….good bad or ugly.!


  • Thinker  On 10/01/2013 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks for your reply but it is impossible to have a serious discussion.

  • Tara  On 10/02/2013 at 3:49 am

    De Castro… your logic is all “POOP”. to compare Burnham to Hitler is to minimize what was done to millions of Christians, Jews, the infirmed, people of color and so-called misfits of society. You are despicable. You may hate Burham and his policies but be respectful with your language. This article is not about Burnham who died almost 30 years ago, it is about crime and corruption in Guyana but is seems that when the topic centers on such, the fingerpointing dates back to 30 years later.

    Mr Kissoon has done his research and as with every good journalist he has maintained an unbias intergrity of his findings. You may not agree with what he has written because you are not a journalist. However, this man is truly a Guyanese, Guyanese and I would like to call him my brother. He has intertwined the cultures of Guyana that has made him truly unique. He writes through the eyes of the poor and suffering and this is what motivates his research and for all you bigots with an imagination of a far off land as your homeland,,
    ………………………….,PLEASE LEAVE ………………………………

    Guyana is for Guyanese and Freddie Kissoon is what is seen in all Guyanese

  • de castro compton  On 10/02/2013 at 9:41 am

    Wow wow insults and nationalistic fervor…
    Which surprisingly I enjoy…

    Because I have an opinion I am”stereotyped” a bigot !

    A certain world leader Gordon Brown used the word to describe one of his
    loyal labour supporters…..he forgot that he had his mike switched on in his limousine as he departed just having met the woman….
    Attacking an individual because he has an opinion that differs from yours
    …and calling them a bigot is sad.

    Cyril started this blog a few years ago so that Guyanese can share opinions
    political/economic/religiously even culturally with fellow Guyanese who live
    all over the planet….which includes Guyana.

    With the greatest respect for comrade Freddie I do enjoy reading his articles…
    If I agree with him I seldom comment …however if I disagree or wish to elaborate
    his opinion I will comment…

    U r out of order requesting my exit as you have no idea on the protocol of
    what freedom of speech/writing is all about.
    I kindly request an apology but if u decide it is not necessary I
    respect your reason/s…

    If Mr Kissoon request my apology I would certainly afford him ..as
    Freddie Kissoon first and journalist/editor/publisher et etc second…
    I respect the man as a person first and whatever else after….
    I do enjoy reading some of his articles.


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