Eric Phillips did not engage with the whole ACDA Steering committee on the subject of reparations

Dear Editor,

I have read the joint statement on reparations in Stabroek News, October 12 by Duane Edwards, Melissa Ifill, Charlene Wilkinson and Tacuma Ogunseye, and I share the approach for wider participation and dissemination of information on this subject, so that trusted individuals can be involved in this process, which is an ancestral responsibility and not to be taken for granted.  I have also read Eric Phillips’ response to their letter in Stabroek News, October 15 and I would like to make a clarification on what he did not say, which requires me to outline how ACDA, the organization that Eric interacts with, is constructed.

ACDA’s affairs, public and internal are overseen by committees who are subject to ‘The’ Steering committee. Eric never in the context of reparations before the recent Caribbean meeting, participated with the whole ACDA Steering committee on this subject, there’s Deja vu with his current letter, and one written by Eric on line, in defence of Minister Frank Anthony in the high handed way that, the Minister handled the 1823 Monument placement. President Ramotar is holding the top political public servant position but he should not have mandatorily presumed that he needed not to consult the interest group organizations to appoint a representative/s on their behalf. This is outside of his political jurisdiction to preside on.

Reparations transcend the State of Guyana,  it encompasses references beyond the political existence of the current Guyana. The representative on the committee to represent more than half of this population that lie within the realm of the ancestral responsibility due to the descendants entitled for reparations, must rest within their trust and not that of a ‘familiar’ of the State’s liking.

ACDA in the knowledge that we alone cannot speak for all entitled to embrace reparations, participated in a gathering with representatives of several groups concerning the item of reparations, and certain initiatives were agreed upon. Eric again was absent from that meeting, resolved in what appears to be his singular quest. In his letter to the above mentioned brothers and sisters, (who were not at that meeting) Eric recited an ironic statement “Envy is never a good negotiating posture and discontent because of self interest is a poor way to live. And it is not the African way.” I should add another African statement that defines an entire and greater philosophy… “That one does not eat his own flesh”. This covers incestuous behaviour both physically and metaphysically, and applies to those who pretend to conduct business on behalf of the tribe outside of their knowledge, thus the paradox and superficiality of Eric’s recitation, an illusive construct of words, that requires an apology.

This PPP Government due to its overwhelming insincerity to national development, its pathological nature of dishonesty, separates Guyana from the rest of the Caribbean in the context of reparation representation.

Let me present a nightmarish metaphor, suppose reparations towards Guyanese receives $100 Euros, immediately that would be placed in NICIL and with Winston Brassington presiding over every Pence, in whose interest? Next, we will be told that reparations; an ancestral responsibility has been converted towards national debt write offs.

It was agreed tentatively that the State is allowed a representative, a protocol presence, but the chaperone duties must remain with the confidant/e of the groups mentioned. All Guyana listens to Parliament, and do not miss Bro’s Ram and Gaskin, I have a fair idea about the transparency of public funds accountability under this administration.

Thus, the question of reparations which has been an issue for decades after colonisation, which during the not so Cold War shrank into the background, now, at the disposal of this administration is a terrifying concept.

Today, it does not matter which of the former Plantation Nations has catapulted reparations back on the rhythm of the drums, its calling is to all, and its responsibility commands the councils to steer the course. I will close with the Biblical resolution [Genesis 15,15.] on our conduct towards our secular duties to our young and unborn, that we fulfil our political, historical and cultural obligations, “And thou shall go to thy fathers in peace”.


Yours faithfully,
Barrington Braithwaite


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