ERC botched opportunity to lead by example

Dear Editor,

I refer to `It is the GB&GWU which has stalled progress on its complaint to the ERC’ (SN 15/7/2009). This letter is signed by Yolanda Ward, Head, Public Education and Awareness Unit, Ethnic Relations Commission. I do not know the young lady but I wonder what drove her to such fury to pen such a rancid letter. Reading the letter one could not help but think the ERC is failing the people. This body was established to resolve ethnic conflicts in the society but seems equally capable of thriving on it.  All those name callings and insults were uncalled for. On its visits around the country the ERC would ask people to tone down the rhetoric and name calling as efforts in conflict resolution.

Now here when it has a beautiful opportunity to show that it can lead by example, it instead chose to disappoint. It seems as though the young lady could not miss the opportunity to buse out people for daring to saying anything against the Chair, the Rt. Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill. Has the Bishop forgotten to counsel his staff in the biblical admonishment that “kind words turn away wrath, grievous words stir up anger.” If this lady did not pen those thoughts but her name was used to convey them, in both instances, they are unfortunate.

The truth be told somebody needs to recommend training in conflict resolution for the ERC staff because this performance shows it cannot teach others conflict resolution skills when it cannot control itself if rubbed the wrong way. Under criticism it behaves no different than the man in the street who is provoked.

Stabroek News, I applaud your fairness. If Dr. Roger Luncheon does not publicly reprimand the ERC for its unbecoming strife making behaviour then he has to drop the Office of the President’s malicious case against you. After all you are carrying out your civic duty as a newspaper by reporting the news and thoughts of others, including the ERC.

Yours faithfully,
Martin Roberts

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