Saturday, April 26, 2008

Guyana is a safe haven for drug lords and money launderers

Guyana is a safe haven for drug lords and money launderers
Stabroek News, April 26, 2008

Dear Editor,
A Mr Anand Persaud wrote a letter entitled “The whole of E.C.D. is traumatised, not only Buxton” (KN 08.04.23) in which he asked 16 questions and used my name 16 times in a fashion normally associated with a judge asking questions or someone smirkingly shouting “I got you”.
Is Anand Persaud genuine in his search for truth or someone who may be practicing “identity theft”, or someone who is taking ghost writing to another level of mischief and propaganda. I settled for ghost writing because this writer uses a well worn approach of “soft-hard love” to project a kinder, gentler approach while hiding his cynical contempt of his “got ya now”. Thus he started his letter with “He (Mr Phillips) should be commended for providing support for his Afro-Guyanese brothers. Please permit me to ask Mr Phillips some questions, if I may:”
To accommodate this peculiar approach, I will use his own format to answer him.
1. Didn’t the Guyana government provide financial reimbursement to the Buxton farmers for the hardship that they and their children endured as a result of the operation of the Joint Services?
No. This hardship started in 2002. In the most recent escalation, very little has been paid to the farmers, less than 25% of that promised and an insignificant amount compared to the damage done to their crops. There also has been nothing paid for the hardships their children have been enduring since 2002. Now, their livelihoods have been totally destroyed, a prelude to forced poverty for fruits (mangoes etc ) and vegetables don’t produce the day after you plant them.
2. Were the operations of the Joint Services in Buxton necessary and long overdue? All law-abiding Guyanese will think so.
The Joint Services have been in Buxton since 2002. Many African Guyanese are dead because of this. What action are you talking about? If you wanted to clear farms, it is the human thing to discuss it with farmers.
The joint forces had a camp for months in Buxton. Why didn’t they clear the bush since then and with respect for other people and their livelihoods?
3. There are lots of wealthy and successful Afro-Guyanese. Was financial and food assistance requested from them, in addition to soliciting assistance from the various embassies?
Where are these lots of wealthy Afro-Guyanese?
4. Does Mr Phillips agree that Buxton is a haven for notorious criminals?
Does Mr Persaud agree that Guyana is a safe haven for notorious drug lords, money launderers, extra-judicial killers, corrupt government officials and bandits of all shapes and sizes? Check all branches of government and do your own assessment. Did you read what Dr Clive Thomas has written so extensively about without any rebuttal from Prem Misir. Dr Clive Thomas states there exists a deep link between this government and criminals. He calls Guyana a “criminal state”. Do you know the American government indicated it was monitoring 28 businesses? Do Africans own these?
5. Did ACDA ask the Guyana government for food assistance?
Carifesta was launched on Wednesday this week. The government did not invite ACDA. Should ACDA call and ask for an invitation even though it is Guyana’s largest cultural organisation and attracts approximately 40,000 people of all races every year on Emancipation Day?
6. Is Mr Phillips aware that Indians were also brutally and mercilessly gunned down in Bartica, and a fund is yet to be set up?
Were only Indians gunned down in Bartica? Are you certain Indians weren’t part of the gang as they were in the Rose Hall Bank robbery? Why didn’t a newspaper set up a fund for Bartica as was done for Lusignan?
This seems to be the general process. ACDA just held a Memorial Concert in Dartmouth for Ivor Williams, the soldier who died in Buxton. It was completely packed on April 19.
7. Our country has been under siege for several years by merciless murderers. Does Mr Phillips agree that most of the criminal elements responsible for the crime surge are from Buxton (and Agricola)?
The biggest and most merciless killers are those involved in drug smuggling. Mr Persaud, do you know how many lives are destroyed and how many people are killed because of drugs? Corruption and white-collar crime are just as violent and merciless as physical crime and much more destructive in the long run. Do you know 30% of Guyana’s budget is projected to be lost from corruption? These criminals live outside Buxton and Agricola. They have nice homes and their children and families live off blood money.
8. Does Mr Phillips recognise the psychological impact on the families whose loved ones were senselessly and brutally gunned down by the criminal elements in Buxton? In most cases, sole breadwinners were massacred. Life for the surviving spouses and children will never be the same.
Ask your bosses about the psychological siege on Buxton and about extra-judicial killings, kidnappings, torture and the illegal occupation of Buxton.
Ask normal people how they would feel if they lived in Buxton. Buxton has been crying for years because of injustices and there was indifference.
9. Is Mr Phillips suggesting that only the people in Buxton have feelings and undergo trauma?
You are being purposefully idiotic and cynical in this question, Mr Persaud.
10. Mr Phillips indicated that “Buxton is a severely traumatised community”. What about the entire East Coast Demerara? Many of my relatives who reside on the East Coast Demerara cannot sleep at nights, have nightmares, suffer from anxiety, depression, hypertension, etc.
Aren’t they innocently traumatized?
Guyana is traumatised because of autocratic rule, state sponsored extra-judicial killing that Roger Khan said he participated in, the lack of economic vision, insatiable corruption, racism and victimisation, marginalisation and poor leadership. Don’t you agree?
11. Mr Phillips stated that Minister Rodrigues “is representing a very unjust regime and the world knows this”. This is an irresponsible and dangerous statement to be made by someone who is representing the Afro-Guyanese community.
It is not only erroneous, but is also a blatant lie. The entire global community (government and financial) has praised Guyana for its thrust towards democracy, and unanimously agreed that Guyana is on a progressive track. Why the inaccuracy, Mr Phillips?
I guess this blatant lie will result in me being charged with treason, Mr Persaud. Inclusiveness has a new reality namely drug lords, extra-judicial killers, torturers, murderers of Guyanese dreams and hopes.
12. No one in Guyana is envious if any village receives money. What makes Mr Phillips think so, since we are all struggling to make ends meet and to face the global rise in food prices?
Why would a government complain about a gift of US$500 in food or less than US$7.50 per farmer?
The majority of Guyanese are struggling to make ends meet. This just government that is praised by the entire global community (government and financial) runs a country that is rich in resources but that is dirt poor. Its economic vision is poverty relief yet VAT has made people poorer.
It has taken plentifulness and drugged-economied it into nothingness.
Quite a remarkable feat by any standard. Take away remittances (43% of GDP), take away drug smuggling and the underground economy (up to 60% of the economy), take away donor funds and we are one of the worst run countries, worst run economies in the entire world.
13. Indian communities do not receive the “most money per capita”, as he suggested. Where are the numbers, Mr Phillips?
Mr Persaud, go read your budget. Go visit African villages and then visit Indian villages. Go look at the GMMP programme. Go look at the strategies to implement the Agricultural Diversification Programme. Go ask your ministers.
14. Why doesn’t Mr. Phillips use his influence in USA and Africa to solicit additional assistance? The government is limited financially.
Guyana , if properly run should sustain all of us “with plenty left over”. We have political and economic dunces running us into mendicancy.
15. Everyone knows that the majority of Buxtonians are decent human beings. When will Mr Phillips provide help to the authorities to seek out the very small percentage of criminals who are giving Buxton a bad name? Remember the saying, “One bad apple spoils the whole barrel”.
How am I going to provide this help, Mr Persaud? I welcome your suggestions on this matter.
16. Mr Phillips’s recent write-up on marginalisation lacks substance. When will Mr Phillips provide credible back-up data?
I have written a personal response on marginalisation to the editors of the two major newspapers.
Mr Persaud, court is over. Perhaps you can tell me how to contact the “bad apples in Buxton”. Then again, you may be charged with terrorism and treason as was Oliver Hinckson.
Finally, like you Mr Persaud, I also am a law-abiding Guyanese who wants a progressive Guyana . This will only happen when all criminals, white collar and blue collar, whether in government or not, are locked up and when we have shared governance.
Yours faithfully,
Eric Phillips

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