Min. Hughes warns against racial intolerance

─ “It will only lead to destruction”

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 7, 2019

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes is urging Guyanese to rid themselves of the “racial intolerance” and “undertones” that have erupted primarily on social media since the December 21, 2018 vote in the National Assembly.

Minister Hughes, during an appearance on the National Communications Network’s (NCN) radio programme – ‘Let’s Gaff’, shared her take on this “period of uncertainty” which was precipitated by the December 21, 2018 vote in the National Assembly.

“One of the things I would urge Guyanese [to do] is to be patient. I am most distressed at the racial undertones that we are seeing especially on Facebook, on social media, where we are attacking people, personal attacks, and that, I find, is totally unacceptable… The racial slurs, the agenda that says ‘black people can’t run a government and they got to get out’; the similarly negative terms ‘coolie people behaving like that’, that’s not what we are as a people. I feel very strongly about that,” Minister Hughes stressed.

She added that the roots of her family, being one that is grounded in every race in Guyana, further compels her to speak up against such acts of “racial intolerance” which will forever be unbeneficial for the country. She is pleading with Guyanese to not let any political organisation lead them to ‘racial intolerance’ because “It will only lead to destruction.”

“As individual Guyanese, we have to stand tall and say ‘we must not, we will not go down that road. We have too much to offer this world and to offer ourselves’.”

Speaking on the government’s position moving forward, Minister Hughes said that she believes that Guyana needs to have a “legal position” regarding the December 21 vote since it is presently open to more than one interpretation.

She stated that any Guyanese has the right to go to the courts for an interpretation on the motion and although some are referring to this option as “undemocratic”, the court, nonetheless, remains the highest decision-making body.

“The opposition has made full use of the courts in the past to contest certain aspects of the constitution such as the third term matter which is why the coalition’s efforts now should not stupefy the opposition,” Minister Hughes stated.

The minister added that “the government should have the right to take it to the courts; the local courts and then to any other courts including the Caribbean Court of Justice if they want to do that. That actually is the fundamental of democracy.”

On Friday last, a court action challenging the legality of the December 21, vote was filed by Compton Herbert Reid, through Attorney-at-Law and Senior Counsel, Rex Mc Kay’s Chambers. The respondents in the case are Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC., Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and now-expelled Member of Parliament (MP), Charrandass Persaud.

Story and Image: Department of Public Information.


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