PPP speakers were indeed heckled at Enterprise

Dear Editor,
There was an attack on my character through a letter from Mr Neil Kumar published prominently in the Sunday Chronicle of October 9, calling me a vicious and mischievous “AFC Liar.”  Knowing that neither the Chronicle, nor the state media as a whole, will allow my response, I am kindly seeking space in your paper.

In my report, read at the AFC press conference of September 28, of the PPP meeting in Enterprise, ECD, held on September 27, where there were only around 40 persons in attendance, including the speakers, the persons who came with them, and the technical people, I referred to the second speaker as “one Seeraj.” This was because I did not recognise that speaker, and I reported the name I thought I heard the Chairman say. Mr Anil Nandlall, who was the keynote speaker there, later informed me that the second speaker was in fact Mr Sheer Ally. The sound system was not very clear and that could have accounted for what I heard.

At no time, in any of my reports, including those I made the very night of the meeting on the GNI blog (http:// guyanafriends.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/860604972/m/93020156051) did I say the second speaker was Mr Dharamkumar Seeraj, someone I happen to know from many years back as Mr Kumar correctly asserts.  This being the only uncertainty in my report, it was what the PPP picked up on in an effort to discredit me and the larger story that they were heckled by a group of sugar-workers, who amounted to more than those who came out to support the PPP meeting.  That this occurred in Enterprise, a PPP heartland where previously opposition meetings were unheard of, much less the PPP being heckled, booed and shouted down there, is what has the PPP so desperate and fearful today.

This desperation and fear were played out also on Romel Rooparine’s TV programme on Channel 65 on October 1 and in a PPP press statement, dated October 6 and published in Kaieteur News October 7, where I was accused of bussing in the hecklers, paying them, plying them with alcohol and inciting them.  All of this, had it occurred, would have been in full view of the PPP supporters (who according to Mr Kumar were delivering thunderous applause), the police and community police who were there.  So how was this possible in a PPP stronghold, and why was I not arrested?

These reactions from the PPP can only be seen from the perspective of desperation and fear that is being caused by the AFC’s gains in areas the PPP once considered as unassailable strongholds.  For example, on September 10, the AFC meeting at the very spot in Enterprise drew a crowd in excess of 250, with no hecklers.  Only last Saturday night, October 8, in Bush Lot, WCB the AFC drew a crowd in excess of 400.  These pictures are on our website, http://www.voteafc.com/, under the tab ‘Alliance On The Move.‘

Of note is the fact that the Chronicle has signed on to the media code of conduct only Saturday last, October 8, and the very next day, published a letter besmirching my name without as much as seeking my comment.  I am among the more easily reachable persons in Guyana, with my email and both phone numbers being public. I also blog on http:// guyanafriends.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/860604972 under my own name. The Chronicle, therefore, had a number of avenues to contact me, including calling the AFC office.  I am sure too, my response which is also being sent to the Chronicle and the Guyana Times, will not see the light of day in either paper; so much for the media code of conduct.

In his letter, Mr Neil Kumar also made a ludicrous assertion as it related to my now dead father, Boyo Ramsaroop.  I quote from the letter: “Boyo Ramsaroop told me personally that ‘the PPP/C Government is the best thing that ever happened to Guyana.‘”  Anyone knowing my dad in his later years, especially after he joined the AFC on his birthday at age 68 in 2006, would know that is pure fiction on the part of Mr Kumar.

In closing, I challenge Mr Anil Nandlall, someone always eager to impress his integrity upon me, to dispute my version of the events, not in terms of the numbers, as I would not want to put him in such an embarrassing position, but as to whether that PPP meeting was heckled in Enterprise or not.  I further challenge the PPP, with the same three speakers as on September 27, to go back in Enterprise under the glare of the media.  Should I hold my breath?

Yours faithfully,
Gerhard Ramsaroop

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