— President Ali calls out Opposition for NYC protest
PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, said he was disappointed by the number of lies that were peddled at Sunday’s Opposition-led protest in New York, United States of America (USA). The protest, staged by members and supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), accused the government of executing programmes that mainly responded to the needs of Indo-Guyanese. President Ali has joined Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips to reject and condemn the statements made at the event. “It was just an event filled with lies, hate and race-baiting,” President Ali said as he responded to reporters on the sidelines of an event held on Monday morning at Cove and John, East Coast Demerara. He added: “I think that it is very deceitful, dishonourable and obstructionist that people would go to the extent that they went in telling lies.”
The Head of State rubbished all claims that the government’s education and COVID-19 grants were directed to specific villages. It should be noted that both sets of cash grants were being rolled out simultaneously in all parts of the country. Dr. Ali said that he was particularly disappointed by the fact that the protest attracted the participation of persons who “should have known better” and “should have [had] some amount of credibility”. “It is very concerning that you would have persons who profess to have credibility enveloped in that kind of behaviour,” the President added. He also pointed to the absurdity of the protestors calling for it to be “time’s up” on the tenure of the government and that of the US Ambassador to Guyana. President Ali reasoned that based on the call, the protestors seem to also be calling for “time’s up for CARICOM [Caribbean Community]; time’s up for the OAS [Organisation of American States]; time’s up for EU [European Union]; time’s up for all the countries and international bodies – the Carter Centre; that supported the efforts to have a democratic environment here in Guyana”.
UNDEMOCRATIC ELEMENTS DEFEATED
Dr. Ali pointed to the fact that owing to the input of the international community, Guyana was able to “defeat the efforts of those who tried to rig the elections and install themselves undemocratically in the country”. Notwithstanding the criticisms and misinformation, Dr. Ali said that he will continue to execute his functions as a President for all the people of Guyana. “My focus is on the people of this country, all the people, and nothing that they do or nothing that they plan will ever wean my energy or distract me from that focus of working hard every day for all the people of our country,” President Ali asserted.
It was only on Sunday evening that Prime Minister Phillips issued a similar statement, pointing to the numerous malicious and false claims made by several Members of Parliament, regional representatives and other persons associated with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) political party.”
The forum was also attended by Mayor of Georgetown, Pandit Ubraj Narine, and US Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. The Prime Minister’s statement also made specific reference to the “appalling” remarks made by Jeffries. “We are disappointed that the Congressman has allowed himself to be negatively influenced by individuals who are adamant in destroying our beautiful country by instigating violence and division amongst our people,” the statement said.
When asked whether he would be open to engagements or discussions with Congressman Jeffries, President Ali responded in the positive. He noted, however that “when someone who professes to be credible in the face of what the OAS would say, in the face of what the EU would say, Canada, the US, the Carter Center, and still envelopes himself in the lies and the deception and the hate that went on there [at the protest], then I think that a serious examination or re-examination is needed as to what the motive was,” Dr. Ali concluded.