Newly reconstituted Ethnic Relations Commission sworn in

Eight members of the newly reconstituted Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) were sworn in Tuesday by His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive office.

The members who took the oath of office include Pandit Krishna Deo Sharma, Shaikh Moeenul Hack, Norris Emanuel Witter, Dwayne Adams, Chandrowtie Sarran, Ashton Simon, Deon Dick and Neaz Subhan.

President Ali hands over the certified document to Chandrowtie Sarran, one of the members of the new ERC

Reverend, Rodwell Alphonso Porter and Charles Ogle who are also part of the 10-member commission, were absent from the ceremony and will be sworn in subsequently.

The exercise was executed according to Article 212 A and Article 212 B 1A of the Constitution of Guyana, which clearly states that there shall be an Ethnic Relations Commission, consisting of not less than five nor more than 15 members nominated by entities utilising a mechanism determined by the National Assembly.

President Ali hands over the certified document to Deon Dick, one of the members of the new ERC

In brief remarks, President Ali underscored his government’s commitment to the process of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination.  

“We work daily, long and hard through our one Guyana initiative to promote quality, compassion, opportunities and stability for the advancement of all Guyanese.

“We take seriously any attempts to instigate racial animosity and racial violence within our country. We severely condemn attempts that provoke racial conflict in our society,” the president emphasised.

The head of state stressed that his government will also work to ensure that persons who are found guilty of the social scourge be subject to the sanctions imposed by law.

President Ali hands over the certified document to Pandit Krishna Deo Sharma, one of the members of the new ERC

As Guyana joins the world in observance of International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Dr Ali urged Guyanese to reject all racially laced rhetoric, and not be misled by those who choose to use race or ethnicity to divide the nation.

“My government will continue under the One Guyana agenda to promote harmonious relations within our society, relations that are rooted in respect for human rights, the multicultural character of our society, and the equal dignity of all,” he stated.

President Ali believes that once Guyanese stand strong and refute every tongue that utters threats and instigates hatred, those efforts will hinder any weapon that aims to separate Guyana.

“As we work to excise the cancer of racial discrimination from our society let us join the international community in holding the importance of this day, which reminds us that no matter the colour of one’s skin, we are all part of this common human family, and each of us is equal in dignity and rights,” the head of state noted. 

The ERC is a non-political body established to promote ethnic harmony and security in Guyana.

The newly reconstituted commission comprises representatives from religious bodies, the labour movement, private business sector, youth, women, and cultural/ethnic bodies.