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Letter: Our issue is the consul general's mendacious, divisive letter
Published on May 15, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The Guyana Independence Anniversary Celebration Committee (New York) wishes to respond to an article titled “Diaspora groups fight over NY independence celebrations” that was published in the Guyana Chronicle on May 9, 2017.

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1. Our Committee is a legitimate not for profit organization pursuant to US law. Our bone fides are incontestable. We have over 170 members, from 25 organizations in 9 States. We successfully organized the historic New York jubilee celebrations, which President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and 6 government ministers attended. Combined, over 25,000 patrons attended our events. Last year our website received over 3.5 million visits. Immediately after jubilee celebrations, we began planning the 2017 independence celebration, to be held from May 26 – June 11, 2017.

2. Our Committee has not been fighting with any person or group; we’re too busy planning our celebration. The enthusiasm and rebirth of national pride which our committee aroused in the diaspora last year still persists. Hence many persons feel motivated to plan different events, and we welcome them. Guyana belongs to all of us. Therefore every Guyanese has a right to organize an event. Only our committee has an independence celebration planned.

3. A newly formed private group of a few persons deliberately planned three parties and dances on the same dates as our celebration. They attempted to use their presumed political connections to government officials to shut down our celebrations, so that more people can attend their paid parties. Guyanese must unite and reject such voracity.

4. I have no affiliation to the Diaspora Times and have no clue who publishes it.

5. In the article, Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice President Carl Greenidge said the government’s problem is that all of the groups were claiming to be the “The real McCoy”; the real representative of the Guyanese diaspora.” The Minister’s comments are completely erroneous. This is not an issue. Although our committee is the largest, most diverse Guyanese organization in the diaspora, we made no such claim nor attempted a monopoly.

6. The Minister knows the contention is that, in an effort to help her friends in that private group make money, Guyana’s Consul General in New York clandestinely wrote a mendacious letter, addressed to the “Guyana Unity Movement,” which falsely claimed that our committee was dissolved in 2016 and that the government’s position is that our committee is not legitimate. She also endorsed that group in her letter.

7. The Consul General’s mendacious letter was sent to our sponsors, event venues and to the Police, in an attempt to block the Guyana Independence parade. This is disgraceful. As a public servant, the Consul General has an obligation to be neutral and apolitical, and to foster unity, not set groups against each other and divide the diaspora. The Minister can solve this issue very quickly be directing the Consul General to withdraw her deceitful, divisive letter.

8. Our Committee urges all Guyanese to come together and celebrate our independence, regardless of who they support. For information about our celebration visit: www.celebrateguyanainnyc.com.

Rickford Burke
Chairman
 
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