Writ issued in Guyana over ‘racist remarks’ by former President Jagdeo

Writ issued in Guyana over ‘racist remarks’ by former President Jagdeo
Published on April 10, 2015 – By Caribbean News Now Contributor
Former President Bharat Jagdeo

Bharat Jagdeo

WHIM, Guyana — On Thursday, a summons was issued in Whim, Guyana, by magistrate Charlyn Artiga to be served to former president Bharrat Jagdeo to appear personally in court and plead to a criminal charge of “racially divisive remarks” he made on Sunday, March 8, at a public meeting, “which can result in racial or ethnic violence or hatred among the people” as set out in Section 139 D of the Representation of the People Act.

In his court filing, attorney at law, Chis Ram stated that Jagdeo said:” The opposition consistently shout about the racism of the PPP but they practice racism. The opposition beat drums at six in the morning and say let us throw out those coolie (Indian) people.”

 

Jagdeo has been summoned to appear in the Whim Magistrate’s Court on April 20 to answer to these charges. Jagdeo has been at the forefront heading the ruling Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) re-election campaign, which the opposition has accused of using race as a strategy to garner votes from its East Indian based supporters.

Traditionally, the PPP is an East Indian party but in the last election many Indian supporters crossed over to the newly formed Alliance for Change (AFC). The AFC has now joined a coalition with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), a predominantly Afro-Guyanese party. APNU has accused the PPP of demonizing their party to evoke fear in the minds of Indo-Guyanese not to vote for the APNU/AFC coalition.

Under the Act, if found guilty, Jagdeo faces a fine of $100,000 together with imprisonment for two years. The director of public prosecutions does have the power to withdraw the charge and, from the looking at the past action of the DPP, which is under the control of the ruling PPP, the charges could be dropped.

On Wednesday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM’s) Media Monitoring Unit scolded Jagdeo for the remarks. GECOM said it “verily concluded that the remarks made by Dr Jagdeo were racially divisive.”

At that same public gathering in a predominately Indo-Guyanese community, Jagdeo, in commenting about opposition parties that through an attempted vote of confidence cut time in office of the current Donald Ramotar administration, said, “The past three years must have been a nightmare to Ramotar… Sometimes we need to administer something else, some kicks up the asses.”

And in a related development, Rima Rohee-Paul, daughter of Guyana’s minister of home affairs Clement Rohee, and who is also on the PPP list of candidates for the upcoming May 11 election, was scolded on Facebook for her anti-black racist remarks.

Rohee-Paul said on Facebook, “Live with it! Yea. Typical black woman! All black people are the same U twist it and turn it they are all the samedutty mentality! That’s why they always be the same in life!”

When she was reprimanded for her racist remark, she responded, “Whoever don’t like me and say that I’m racist go F yourself.”

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Comments

  • Winston Yaw  On 04/10/2015 at 10:50 am

    This needs to happen much more often, fostering racism in Guyana should be condemned as soon as it happens, and it should be applied to anyone/everyone who use racially divisive language. Healthy competition is good, but it should not be ethnically inspired. Mr J. always felt and acted as though he was above the law. Guyana is too small to have its people fighting each other instead of working together to make life better for everyone. Criminal behaviour should be prosecuted without fear or favour

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