PM slams opposition for attempts to trivialise slavery

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, has called on members of the public to vehemently condemn the callous attempts by Opposition Member of Parliament Roysdale Forde to trivialise the magnitude of slavery.

In a letter released to the various newspaper entities, PM Phillips called out the opposition for yet another blatant representation of racism, while referencing Forde’s comments on the apology offered by the former British Prime Minister William Gladstone.

Recently, Forde contested that “sadly in the 21st century independent Guyana, the Ali government, in many ways, is not different from the colonial masters and enslavers.”

Identifying these comments as completely devoid of historical awareness, sensitivity, and understanding of the impact of slavery on societies and individuals, PM Phillips said comparing the freedoms that were fought for and are enjoyed today should never be equated to the regime of slavery that existed hundreds of years ago.

These comments only displayed a vile attempt to trivialise the impact of slavery, while discrediting the atrocities suffered by countless individuals.

“Slavery is undeniably one of the darkest chapters in human history, marked by immense suffering, dehumanisation, and the systematic violation of basic human rights. It is disheartening to witness the extent to which Forde has journeyed to deceive the public in furtherance of his own political agenda, particularly given his own involvement in the orchestrated coup against the leadership of the PNC,” the PM relayed.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips

These comments form part of the opposition’s campaign to perpetuate falsehoods and mislead Guyanese, as they seek to undermine the government’s policy of promoting inclusivity and unity.

Additionally, the PM pointed out that His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali remains a passionate advocate for the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) reparations initiative, and this illustrates a commitment to addressing past wrongs and working towards mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, the government’s plans and policies demonstrate an understanding of the importance of crafting a diverse, multicultural, and brighter future, while building on the experiences learned from the past.

This, he said, is the approach that should be taken by leaders of a country, as opposed to seeking to cause strife and upset.

“We will not stand idly by while the opposition tarnishes the reputation of our dedicated president and undermines the trust that our citizens have placed in our government. Their persistent propagation of baseless accusations only serves to erode the foundations of our democracy and sow seeds of doubt among our citizens,” he said. He reassured that the PPP/C Government remains committed to fostering inclusivity and equity while forging a path to upliftment through meaningful collaboration.

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