GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – A 13-member delegation from the United States of America recently arrived in Guyana for a ‘fact-finding mission’, seeking to investigate claims of discrimination. President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali reiterated the government’s position that this delegation has been influenced by the baseless narratives being peddled by the opposition.
President Ali said the Chairman of the delegation, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, had reached out to him regarding this engagement.
“I proceeded to send to her every single report; the Commission of Inquiry into the elections, the EU report, the CARICOM report, the OAS report, and the communication went blank. I then invited her to examine our three branches of government, to examine our house lot allocation programme, and she then told me that this seems to be like the problem they face in the United States, of propaganda and mistrust, but she never corrected that press statement, which I found to be very dishonourable,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Saturday.
According to president Ali, the US mission failed to conduct a rounded investigation, instead opting to engage with a few selected persons.
“Why didn’t they go and speak to the Ethic Relations Commission to see if any of those persons ever reported anything?” president Ali questioned.
The ERC is a constitutional body established to promote ethnic harmony and security in Guyana. It comprises representatives from religious bodies, the labour movement, private business sector, youth, women, and cultural/ethnic bodies.
President Ali posited that the delegation should focus their attention on the multiple discrepancies that occurred under the tenure of the APNU+AFC government.
“I wonder if this group would examine the thousands of sugar workers who were sent home. I wonder if they will examine the attempt to rig the elections. Are they examining the more than 200 taxes that were imposed on Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese and Amerindians by the last government, that we removed? Why don’t they examine how many house lots were given to different categories of people in the five years and what was given under us? This nonsense has to come to an end, where every Tom, Dick and Harry feels they can come and evaluate us. We have to put a stop to it. I am putting a stop to it with real work, on the ground, bringing the people of this country together. We are working for results. I will not rest until this country is united,” the head of state asserted.
He reaffirmed that the government is focused on maintaining its track record of building out a framework that promotes unity and ethnic diversity.
In a recent press release, the government said the delegation and its visit appear to have resulted from a conference organised by Rickford Burke, a Guyanese residing in Brooklyn, New York.
According to the release, this ‘so-called’ “Conference on Guyana” provided a platform for the opposition politicians to spew its rhetoric of discrimination, without affording the government the facility of a response.