Incidents relating to two officers can give rise to perception of uneven treatment

Dear Editor,

The Indian Action Committee (IAC) is very concerned about two publicised high-profile incidents that occurred recently, relating to two persons, one of whom remains in the employ of the government, and the other of whom was dismissed arbitrarily by the Public Service Commission, hours before its term of office expired.

The IAC is referring to the clearance of any wrongdoing by Ms Lloyda Nicholas- Garrett, the President’s Press Officer, by President Granger; and the termination of the services of Ms Prithima Kissoon, Deputy Solicitor General.

The IAC strongly believes, based on what has been published by the media, that the perception of uneven treatment of these two officers, given their distinct ethnic backgrounds, can cause much unease and lack of confidence and faith in the established systems.

The IAC wishes to remind the public that the organization had called on the Ministry of the Presidency to make public its findings into the allegation of racial slurs made by Ms Lloyda Nicholas-Garrett against staff members of Indo-Guyanese origin.

The IAC is now calling upon the government to make public all the relevant facts concerning Ms Prithima Kissoon’s termination of services, so that an independent determination can be made thus enabling a fair examination of all the circumstances in an impartial manner.

The IAC expects due process to be followed in this matter so that the final outcome can be confidently expressed to the satisfaction of the entire nation.

The IAC urges civil society, trade unions, religious bodies, human rights organizations, the diplomatic community, and members of the National Assembly to give serious examination to these two instances in the interest of fairness and the concomitant removal of any suspicions of bias or discrimination.

The IAC urges strongly that these controversial episodes, based on public revelations by the various parties involved, if not dealt with judiciously, can convey a perception of unequal or unfair treatment and, therefore, should be taken very seriously in the interest of social cohesion and national unity.

Yours faithfully,

Saira Alli

Secretary/Coordinator

Indian Action Committee

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