Opposition Leader, Bahrrat Jagdeo hs come in for criticisms from sections of the Guyanese population including several Amerindian activists for an apparent derogatory word use to describe persons of Amerindian descent in Guyana during his last press conference.
However, the Opposition Leader denies that he actually said the word and that another word was cut short, making it sound like a derogatory word was used.
“It was brought to my attention that the government and its cohorts have been circulating a clip from my last press conference with the claim that I made derogatory remarks about our Amerindian people .
The audio I of two words – everybody ( cut short by me ) and people taken out of context is being used to substantiate this false claim .
The truth is in the context of my criticism of the AFC for its lack of credibility and betrayal of Guyanese and the consequent loss of political support for that party I said “ it is an avalanche , it’s not trickles , it’s a deluge – everybody ( cut short ) , people who believed that they stood for something that was different , have now seen the true nature of the AFC” . The discussion had absolutely nothing to do with Amerindians .
This statement was made at a press conference with the entire media Corp present including all the Newspapers and not a single person there thought I made a derogatory statement . In fact there was an extensive question and answer session and the matter never came up .
I would urge people to look at the entire press conference particularly the beginning where I spoke extensively about the struggles of indigenous peoples .
Only warped minds or desperate politicians ( and there are many around now ) would think that after a lifetime of struggling for greater respect , rights and development for our Amerindian brothers and sister , I would resort to the use of a word that I find personally reprehensible . I will address this issue further at my upcoming press conference,” he said.
Several rights activists are calling for Jagdeo to make an apology. The Opposition Leader said the matter will be dealt with in a subsequent press conference.