Keynote Address at GOPIO’s Annual Dinner in New York on 4/28/17 by Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.

GOPIO (NY) SPEECH - 2017

After 179 years in Guyana and after 100 years since the abolition of indentured labor, people of Indian origin still struggle for acceptance. Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders. Just as our indentured forebears had to struggle, sacrifice, resist to survive, their descendants today have to struggle, resist and be resilient to overcome. As we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of indentured labor, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Indo-Guyanese, in spite of massive adversities.

I stand here today, unapologetically, a proud Indo-Guyanese. Disavowing my ethnicity as a pre-requisite for being Guyanese is a false premise. I insist on my right not to choose between being an Indo-Guyanese or just a Guyanese. I will not succumb to pressures to rank which I am first, Guyanese or Indo-Guyanese. I see these labels as an inseparable part of me. Its asking me to chose between my right eye and my left eye. Its idiotic. I am less with one or the other. I value my compatriots. Our diversity is an asset, enriches our country.

I am a Madrasi Indo-Guyanese. Being a Madrasi Indo-Guyanese does not make me less a Guyanese. The Madrasi culture is a rich part, an enhancing fabric of the tapestry that we all celebrate as Guyanese. I will always reject any notion which suggests that embracing my Madrasi Indo-origins with fervor and passion somehow makes me less a Guyanese. Any demand that I relinquish my origins in order to stamp my legitimacy as a Guyanese is antiquated, confounded nonsense.

We have different heritages and racial make-ups, but we are part of a rich tapestry that has become the Guyanese people. The true Guyanese spirit demands that we acknowledge and celebrate the rich diversity of our individual heritages. I can be proud of Cheddi Jagan and Walter Rodney, genuine Guyanese heroes, and the fact that Cheddi was an Indo-Guyanese does not make him more or less a Guyanese than Walter who is an Afro-Guyanese. Forbes Burnham is a hero to many Guyanese and him being an Afro-Guyanese does not make him more a Guyanese than Cheddi Jagan. Rohan Kanhai must not have to disavow his Indian origin to be a Guyanese hero, just as Clive Lloyd did not have to diminish his African origin in order to be celebrated as a Guyanese hero.

Sisters and brothers, ladies and gentlemen, it is a distinct honor to be your keynote speaker on the 100th anniversary of the ending of Indian indentured labor. The indentured laborers (Gitmitiyas) might have been unfortunate soujorners, but they and their descendants endured hardships and overwhelming challenges to nurture and promote a positive impact on their indentured destinations and other places they continue to sojourn to since the end of indentureship. The descendants of indentured laborers have become assets to their communities, whether those communities are in Guyana or in some other countries they have sojourned to.      

The first indentured immigrant ship, the SS Whitby landed at Highbury, Berbice on May 5, 1838. They were the first Indian indentured immigrants in the Western Hemisphere. On May 5 this year, a week from now, we will be celebrating the 179th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Guyana and in the Western Hemisphere. Guyana and the Western Hemisphere were enriched by the arrival of Indian indentured laborers. The last indentured immigrant ship, the SS Ganges, landed in Guyana on April 18, 1917, exactly 100 years and 11 days ago. The agreement (Girmit) to end indentured labor was signed on March 12, 1917 when Governor General Hardinge declared the end of all recruitment for Indian Indentured immigration, but the SS Ganges had already left Calcutta a couple of weeks before that. The last Indentured labor contracts lapsed on January 1, 1920 when the British Parliament declared that all existing indentured contracts should come to an end. The Sojourners who landed in Guyana as indentured laborers became free men and women and children after that. But freedom did not bring acceptance or ended their sojourn.

There can be no doubt that indentured labor was a brutal experience of unmitigated hardships and abject penury. After all, indentured labor was merely a redesigned, re-engineered model of slavery, a system of waged-slavery.

Governor Light in 1840 captured the essence of the new system: it was a concoction to continue slavery. In February 1840, he stated: "I confess I should be unwilling to adopt any measure to favor the transfer of laborers from British India to British Guiana, after the failure of the former experiment. Admitting that the mortality of the Hill coolies first sent may have been accidental, I am not prepared to encounter the responsibility of a measure which may lead to a dead loss of life on the one hand, or, on the other hand, to a new system of slavery. Corporal punishment is not unknown to those poor people, and I have heard no argument used in favor of enabling the crowded population of India to take advantage of the high wage of Guiana, which remove the danger I apprehend." Chief Justice Charles Beaumont, in the second half of the 19th Century, aptly described it as “a rotten, monstrous system rooted in slavery.”

Contrary to popular myth, the brutality experienced by our ancestors did not find a docile reception. We today can stand as a proud people because of a legacy of resistance to injustice during and after indentureship. During indentureship, there were more than 100 riots, uprisings and disturbances, as Indentured laborers mounted persistent resistance against starvation wages, sub-human, appalling living conditions and abuse of their women. The indentured laborers paid with their blood - for example, five were killed at Devonshire Castle (September 1872), six killed at Non Pariel (1896), five killed at Friends (1903), one killed at Lusignan (1912), 15 killed at Rose Hall (1913). After indentureship, the resistance persisted. For example, 13 killed at Ruimveldt (1924), 4 killed at Leonora (1939) and 5 killed at Enmore (1948). It is important to note that women played a significant part in these struggles, both during indentureship and after. Women stood with the men in the over 100 revolts, strikes and disturbances on the plantations during indentureship and after. Three of them – Gobindei, Sumintra, and Kowsilla – lost their lives in those resistance events. GAWU and the PPP have had annual pilgrimages to Kowsilla, honoring her sacrifice and her courage as a National Heroine.

Since the interests of sugar and the Guyanese State were coterminus during this time frame, the struggle against the exploitation against sugar was a struggle against the State. It is not coincidental that it was the State's police that shot and killed the striking workers, as opposed to drivers inflicting punishment during slavery.

The struggle led directly to the independence for Guyana. In 1938, protests on West Indian sugar plantations caused the British Government to send a Royal Commission (Moyne) to investigate. They were in Guyana in February 1939 when the workers were shot and killed. The Moyne Commission recommended an increase in the franchise and amelioration in living conditions.

After the 1948 shootings at Enmore, Cheddi Jagan vowed to bring justice to Guyana and launched the PPP in 1950. Universal franchise came in 1953 and the rest, as they say, is history. Sugar workers, descendants of indentured laborers, catalyzed our path to independence.

Resentment, despise, non-acceptance have been a part of our history from the beginning. Indian indentured laborers arrived in Guyana and immediately confronted resentment and despise. The freed slaves resented the new arrivals because they saw the Indian indentured laborers as "taking bread from them and lowering wages". The indentured Indians were also despised because they brought a culture alien to Western culture. The derisive term "coolie" captures the despise.  

Those original resentment persist today. But the descendants of indentured laborers still harbor their vision and ambition, their faith and values of hard work, dignity and crafting a more prosperous future for the generations to come. We can truly claim today that each generation since our indentured forebears have lived lives more prosperous than the preceding ones.

The indentured laborers toiled under harsh and unforgiving conditions to secure the survival of the sugar industry and to develop the rice industry in Guyana. Guyana's first export of rice was in 1903. Indian indentured laborers played pivotal roles in the development of village commerce, cash crop cultivation, cattle-rearing, a dairy industry, fishing and other economic activities during the period of indentureship. In spite of massive constraints, Indian indentured laborers became immersed in several off-plantation economic activities including bankers, tailors, carpenters, boat-builders, charcoal makers, goldsmiths, porters, small scale manufacturers and fishermen.

After indentureship, the former indentured laborers and their descendants continue to make tremendous strides in the social, economic cultural, education, political and trade union fields. From their humble beginning, the descendants of indentured laborers have emerged in the professions to become teachers, headmasters, doctors, lawyers, accountants and civil servants. Many of them are today leading politicians, entrepreneurs, bankers, educationists, writers, sports personalities, and trade unionists. Three descendants of indentured laborers have been Presidents of Guyana. Descendants of the original Indian immigrants are actively engaged in every facet of life in Guyanese society today.

Our story as Indian Sojourners represent the story of Garv Aur Izzat - Pride and Dignity.

But, in spite of our impressive achievements as Guyanese, we sadly still struggle today for acceptance. The centennial celebration of the abolition of indentured labor arrives at a time when Indo-Guyanese feel discriminated and under political assault as the foreshadow of dictatorship looms once again, just like we felt during the first three decades after independence The civil service is closed to them and sugar, rice and business where people of Indian origin have excelled face uncertain future in the hands of a government determined to restrict their growth.

The closure of sugar estates and the possible closure of the sugar industry is calamitous for Guyana and all ethnic groups will be negatively impacted. But it has particularly serious implications for the sugar belt where Indo-Guyanese mostly live. What is emerging in the sugar industry today has a close parallel to what happened during indentureship. Just like the indentured laborers were often promised much and then robbed of their wages and punished by trumped-up charges when they complained, so today sugar workers are punished. Only four times in our post-indentured history have sugar workers not received an annual wage increase - twice in the 1980s under Burnham and now in both 2015 and 2016 and most likely there will be a fifth time in 2017. Three successive years of no wage increase, after some of these workers voted for APNU+AFC which promised a 20% increase. In 1946 sugar workers negotiated annual production incentives with Bookers. This continued unbroken to 2015 when the government reduced the API to its lowest rate ever and denied any API in 2016 and there is no chance of any in 2017.

Now three sugar estates are being closed and a fourth is supposedly being privatized. A fifth is under threat for closure if workers from Wales refuse to take up jobs at Uitvlugt. The ethanol plant at Albion is closed and the packaging plant at Enmore is closed too.

Clearly, a new struggle against injustice in the sugar industry has emerged. Just like the struggle of indentured laborers against the State played out in sugar, our resistance against the State must now begin with sugar workers. Today I ask that we affirm our support for sugar workers in Guyana and stand in solidarity with them.

Rice is also under assault. After reaching 250,000 tons with 200,000 tons export in 1964, rice collapsed to under 90,000 tons by 1990. It recovered in the 1990s and surpassed 600,000 tons with a target for 700,000 tons in 2015. We failed to reach the 700,000 tons and then fell below 600,000 tons in 2016. But rice farmers are now losing their subsidies and after promising rice farmers $9000 per bag of paddy, rice farmers today face prices as low as $1500 per bag.

Businesses where many Indio-Guyanese are engaged are reeling. Crime that appears to be directed against Indo-Guyanese is spiraling.

Many Indo-Guyanese in the civil service have lost their jobs, are being harassed to leave and are targeted with trumped-up charges. Politicians in the PPP, mostly Indo-Guyanese are being hounded with spurious allegations and charges as a police state is being reinforced. The recent targeting of Bharat Jagdeo and other leaders of the PPP is the kind of recrimination Indo-Guyanese have had to endure since indentureship.

I draw your attention to the recent establishment of a Land Commission. There is sinister motives afoot. It is set to elevate the ancestral land claims being pushed by organizations such as ACDA. It is similar to the post-independence Coop Scandal where coops, mostly made up of and controlled by Afro-Guyanese were assigned huge amount of land which they then rented to Indo-Guyanese. There has been no mention of the land that indentured laborers were supposed to receive as payment for not returning to India.

Indo-Guyanese contractors and suppliers are today marginalized and only those who are co-opted and collaborate and "pay to play" are allowed to be part of the procurement system. Thus, we see massive corrupt deals. Qualified Indo-Guyanese contractors in Region 6 were abandoned for a contractor from Linden to build the monument at Palmyra to mark the Arrivals of Indians in Guyana. It was intended that it would be commissioned on May 5 to mark the 179th arrival of the Indians in Guyana. The structure collapsed this week, even before the construction is completed.

Incidentally, money owed to indentured laborers were used by the Indian government to construct what was supposed to be the Indian Cultural Center. It is today Guyana's Cultural Center, a gift to Guyana and to ALL Guyanese, from the Indian indentured laborers. The main street leading to the Guyana Cultural Center was named after the great Nelson Mandela. That junction represents the indomitable fighting spirit and pride of two of our Guyanese ancestry - African slaves and Indian Indentured laborers.    

In the face of discrimination and abuse of our rights, there is an expectation of silence and acquiescence. Any resistance to attacks and assault on the welfare of Indo-Guyanese is seen as being recalcitrant and disloyal to our Guyanese citizenship. But I defiantly posit that silence and acquiescence is a disavowal of our ethnicity and culture and a repudiation of the legacy of resistance by our indentured ancestors. Our ancestors from India came as indentured laborers, sojourners who stayed and became citizens. Their children were born in these countries and for generations now have contributed to the economic, social and cultural development of their countries. While full citizens by birth in these countries, the legitimacy of Indo-Guyanese citizenship is still questioned; largely we are regarded as imposters and interlopers. At best we are still sojourners. It is a narrative we must change once and for all.

Ryhaan Shaw puts it nicely: "We came as sojourners huddled and brutalized in ships and we reluctantly continue our sojourn leaving in jet planes."

I resent the fact that 179 years later and 100 years after the ending of indentured labor we remain still sojourners. This is in spite of the fact that only one-third of indentured laborers returned home and the vast majority stayed to be part of the Guyana story. It is in spite of the fact that 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of descendants from indentured laborers now work and live in Guyana as lawyers, doctors, engineers, big farmers, businessmen, bankers, contractors, etc., the largest producers of food in the Caribbean, over 90% of families owning their own homes, more than 50% owning their own vehicles.

The legacy of our unending sojourns in seen in Guyana's population. By 1917, the country’s population had comprised 42% Indians. That percentage rose to as high as 51% before undergoing a steady decline over the past 50 years to drop to the 1917 census figure again.

Our sojourn continues. We face massive adversities still, different from those faced by the original Indian sojourners, the indentured laborers, but still sinister and repugnant. Yet like the indentured laborers, their descendants continue to build on their values and continue to accumulate successes. We can be disappointed that our place as legitimate Guyanese citizens is still questioned, but we can hold our heads high because we have succeeded beyond what the pioneering Indian sojourners could have imagined. More gratifying is that we have defied the expectations of our colonial masters, equaling them in every sphere of human activity.

Garv aur Izzat.

Dr. Leslie Ramsammy

Speech at the GOPIO Conference to mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of indentureship

Original Post

For GTAngler.

Georgetown, GINA, August 20, 2013

"Guyana’s first ever bioethanol demonstration plant was commissioned today at what was regarded the start of an agro fuel revolution in a country that is leaning aggressively towards a renewable energy pathway.

The plant located at the Albion Estate on the Corentyne Coast in Region Six, will produce ethanol to a quantity of 1000 litres per day from “blackstrap” molasses, the final output from the sugar production process."

 

Update in Ramsammy's Speech.

"Now three sugar estates are being closed and a fourth is supposedly being privatized. A fifth is under threat for closure if workers from Wales refuse to take up jobs at Uitvlugt. The ethanol plant at Albion is closed and the packaging plant at Enmore is closed too."

Bibi Haniffa posted:

For GTAngler.

Georgetown, GINA, August 20, 2013

"Guyana’s first ever bioethanol demonstration plant was commissioned today at what was regarded the start of an agro fuel revolution in a country that is leaning aggressively towards a renewable energy pathway.

The plant located at the Albion Estate on the Corentyne Coast in Region Six, will produce ethanol to a quantity of 1000 litres per day from “blackstrap” molasses, the final output from the sugar production process."

 

When and why was this plant closed?

It was closed recently.  I don't know why.  Here is a pic of it in 2013.

"A subsequent signing of a Technical Cooperation “Expanding Bioenergy Opportunities in Guyana” between the Guyana Government and the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) paved the way for the development of the small scale Bioenergy Demonstration Project.

During that period, the world was grappling with inflating oil prices and simultaneously, the European Union’s decision to slash its preferential price for sugar to the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) by 36 percent; a decision which impacted negatively on Guyana’s sugar industry and long-term economic growth."

 

Excellent article by Dr Ramsammy.

People like d2, cain, caribj and the turncoats regard Indos as evil and interlopers.

Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders.

Bibi Haniffa posted:

It was closed recently.  I don't know why.  Here is a pic of it in 2013.

"A subsequent signing of a Technical Cooperation “Expanding Bioenergy Opportunities in Guyana” between the Guyana Government and the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) paved the way for the development of the small scale Bioenergy Demonstration Project.

During that period, the world was grappling with inflating oil prices and simultaneously, the European Union’s decision to slash its preferential price for sugar to the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) by 36 percent; a decision which impacted negatively on Guyana’s sugar industry and long-term economic growth."

 

While this is/was a demonstration plant, closing it was a boneheaded decision. Would be very interesting to find out why it was closed.

Albion Sugar Estate produces ethanol in $100M project.

May 03, 2014

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....nol-in-100m-project/

…Agri Ministry’s vehicles among first fleet to fuel up      

History was made yesterday in Guyana as the first fleet of vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture was fueled up by bio-friendly ethanol, at the launch of the Bio- Ethanol E-10 Fuel brand.
The ceremony was held on the lawns of the Albion Estate on the Corentyne.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, fueled up his vehicle at the end of the proceedings, attended by George Jervis, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; Dwarka Sharma of Albion Estate; Albion Estate Manager, Mr. Dev Kumar, and other senior Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) staffers.

The Bio- Ethanol E-10 plant at Albion Estate

The Bio- Ethanol E-10 plant at Albion Estate

Bio-ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to create a blended fuel, offering the chance to significantly reduce Guyana’s reliance on imported fossil fuel.
With sugarcane, one of Guyana’s main commodities responsible for approximately 20 per cent of the annual revenue and 40 per cent of all agricultural production, Whitefox Technologies said that the move will be seen as a positive move to use this resource and the local agricultural expertise in growing sugar cane, to produce liquid fuel (in the form of bioethanol) and bioelectricity (through using the waste bagasse from the cane).
Whitefox Technologies, together with its partner, Green, secured a bio-ethanol contract with the Guyana Government a few years ago. The US$500,000 facility was commissioned last August by President Donald Ramotar, through technical cooperation between the Government of Guyana and through funding from the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB).
Subsequent to the commissioning last August, a fuel- blending and dispensing unit was installed to facilitate the mixing of gasoline with ethanol.
According to Mr. Sharma, who presented an overview of the project, installation was completed last February. It should be noted that the entire plant was fitted and installed by workers at Albion factory and all materials sourced in-house.
“Given the scale of the project, the blending unit was designated to operate on a batch basis to facilitate addition of a known volume of ethanol to a known volume of gas,” he added.
The present arrangement, he said, is capable of facilitating fuel blends with 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% ethanol. Although the capability exists for the plant to produce various blends, “the plant is focused on mixing gasoline with ethanol at 10% to produce E-10 blend, compatible with vehicles in Guyana.”
Trials of blending commenced in April and the first batch of E-10 was tested on a Toyota Corolla car from GuySuCo on April 8, 2014. No modification was done to this vehicle, Sharma said. “The fuel tank was emptied of the regular gasoline and refilled with E-10.” Since then, that same vehicle has been using E-10.
Minister Ramsammy stated that studies will be done to determine costs and efficiency. “That’s why they are starting out with a demonstration.”
Ramsammy stated, too, that there are other substances, such as cassava, that can be used in place of the sugarcane, “so when sugar is not in use or in season, we could continue to produce bio- fuel.”
The people of Albion, Berbice and Guyana, he said, “can look forward—when the first commercial bio- ethanol plant is in place in Guyana, a good candidate will be Albion…that means GuySuCo will have to work hard.”
He noted yesterday that it is the first time in Guyana that an initiative would go from demonstration to commercial. The Minister praised the company as being Guyana’s largest manufacturer and “single largest supporter of sports and recreation” in the country.
GuySuCo, he added, has no intention of giving up sugar and sugarcane. “These will remain a pillar on which GuySuCo, as a corporation, not only sustain its reputation, but continue to build on that reputation. We will continue to add products along the way and we will continue to change the way we do business.”
He said the corporation’s entire future will continue to produce sugar and add new products, e.g. bio- fuel. “There will come a time when we will support other industries…the aquaculture industry and therefore, thinking about tilapia, is not foreign to GuySuCo…but our sugarcane fields will not be converted into tilapia farms—Guyana has enough land to develop aquaculture.”
Guyana’s fuel import bill, he said, is an average of US$600M of fuel into Guyana, 38 per cent of which is used in the transport industry. “We import approximately 13,000 barrels of fuel daily into Guyana…we are starting with just about 20-25 vehicles by the end of this year, but I am setting a target for GuySuCo, and we hope that by 2020, the agriculture sector can support at least 100 vehicles in its use of an E-10 fuel blend in Guyana—it’s not overly ambitious
“If we could achieve that very modest target, it would have set the sector on the road, leading Guyana towards 100 per cent blended use in the transport industry.”
The country, he said, would have proven to itself that we could reduce and then eliminate the dependency on fossil fuels.

Django posted:

Albion Sugar Estate produces ethanol in $100M project.

May 03, 2014

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....nol-in-100m-project/

…Agri Ministry’s vehicles among first fleet to fuel up      

History was made yesterday in Guyana as the first fleet of vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture was fueled up by bio-friendly ethanol, at the launch of the Bio- Ethanol E-10 Fuel brand.
The ceremony was held on the lawns of the Albion Estate on the Corentyne.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, fueled up his vehicle at the end of the proceedings, attended by George Jervis, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; Dwarka Sharma of Albion Estate; Albion Estate Manager, Mr. Dev Kumar, and other senior Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) staffers.

The Bio- Ethanol E-10 plant at Albion Estate

The Bio- Ethanol E-10 plant at Albion Estate

Bio-ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to create a blended fuel, offering the chance to significantly reduce Guyana’s reliance on imported fossil fuel.
With sugarcane, one of Guyana’s main commodities responsible for approximately 20 per cent of the annual revenue and 40 per cent of all agricultural production, Whitefox Technologies said that the move will be seen as a positive move to use this resource and the local agricultural expertise in growing sugar cane, to produce liquid fuel (in the form of bioethanol) and bioelectricity (through using the waste bagasse from the cane).
Whitefox Technologies, together with its partner, Green, secured a bio-ethanol contract with the Guyana Government a few years ago. The US$500,000 facility was commissioned last August by President Donald Ramotar, through technical cooperation between the Government of Guyana and through funding from the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB).
Subsequent to the commissioning last August, a fuel- blending and dispensing unit was installed to facilitate the mixing of gasoline with ethanol.
According to Mr. Sharma, who presented an overview of the project, installation was completed last February. It should be noted that the entire plant was fitted and installed by workers at Albion factory and all materials sourced in-house.
“Given the scale of the project, the blending unit was designated to operate on a batch basis to facilitate addition of a known volume of ethanol to a known volume of gas,” he added.
The present arrangement, he said, is capable of facilitating fuel blends with 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% ethanol. Although the capability exists for the plant to produce various blends, “the plant is focused on mixing gasoline with ethanol at 10% to produce E-10 blend, compatible with vehicles in Guyana.”
Trials of blending commenced in April and the first batch of E-10 was tested on a Toyota Corolla car from GuySuCo on April 8, 2014. No modification was done to this vehicle, Sharma said. “The fuel tank was emptied of the regular gasoline and refilled with E-10.” Since then, that same vehicle has been using E-10.
Minister Ramsammy stated that studies will be done to determine costs and efficiency. “That’s why they are starting out with a demonstration.”
Ramsammy stated, too, that there are other substances, such as cassava, that can be used in place of the sugarcane, “so when sugar is not in use or in season, we could continue to produce bio- fuel.”
The people of Albion, Berbice and Guyana, he said, “can look forward—when the first commercial bio- ethanol plant is in place in Guyana, a good candidate will be Albion…that means GuySuCo will have to work hard.”
He noted yesterday that it is the first time in Guyana that an initiative would go from demonstration to commercial. The Minister praised the company as being Guyana’s largest manufacturer and “single largest supporter of sports and recreation” in the country.
GuySuCo, he added, has no intention of giving up sugar and sugarcane. “These will remain a pillar on which GuySuCo, as a corporation, not only sustain its reputation, but continue to build on that reputation. We will continue to add products along the way and we will continue to change the way we do business.”
He said the corporation’s entire future will continue to produce sugar and add new products, e.g. bio- fuel. “There will come a time when we will support other industries…the aquaculture industry and therefore, thinking about tilapia, is not foreign to GuySuCo…but our sugarcane fields will not be converted into tilapia farms—Guyana has enough land to develop aquaculture.”
Guyana’s fuel import bill, he said, is an average of US$600M of fuel into Guyana, 38 per cent of which is used in the transport industry. “We import approximately 13,000 barrels of fuel daily into Guyana…we are starting with just about 20-25 vehicles by the end of this year, but I am setting a target for GuySuCo, and we hope that by 2020, the agriculture sector can support at least 100 vehicles in its use of an E-10 fuel blend in Guyana—it’s not overly ambitious
“If we could achieve that very modest target, it would have set the sector on the road, leading Guyana towards 100 per cent blended use in the transport industry.”
The country, he said, would have proven to itself that we could reduce and then eliminate the dependency on fossil fuels.

Question remains, who closed it when, and why?

Bibi Haniffa posted:

Update in Ramsammy's Speech.

"Now three sugar estates are being closed and a fourth is supposedly being privatized. A fifth is under threat for closure if workers from Wales refuse to take up jobs at Uitvlugt. The ethanol plant at Albion is closed and the packaging plant at Enmore is closed too."

now that you have all these info what you intend to do with it

Drugb posted:

Excellent article by Dr Ramsammy.

People like d2, cain, caribj and the turncoats regard Indos as evil and interlopers.

Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders.

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

warrior posted:

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

It is not about words but rather actions. The Indo Guyanese continue to be treated as second class citizens by the Granger administration. As demonstrated by the firings from civil service jobs and other racist actions against them.

Bibi Haniffa posted:

GOPIO (NY) SPEECH - 2017

After 179 years in Guyana and after 100 years since the abolition of indentured labor, people of Indian origin still struggle for acceptance. Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana,

Garv aur Izzat.

Dr. Leslie Ramsammy

Speech at the GOPIO Conference to mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of indentureship

What is interesting is when David Hinds and Eric Phillips advocate on African issues they are called racist and yet none of you would make the same accusation of this man.

In addition the notion that Indians aren't accepted is a joke.  Accepted by who? Africans or Amerindians?   A small cadre of the Indian population pretty much run Guyana and buy out whoever is governing to suit their own goals.  Look at BK.  Did well under Jagdeo. Still running the show under Harmon.

Guyana seems to be a nation populated by people who claim that no one accepts them.

Prashad posted:

"We came as sojourners huddled and brutalized in ships and we reluctantly continue our sojourn leaving in jet planes."

 

 

Good speech.

Be glad that you didn't come as "farm animals" bereft of even deserving treatment as humans.

What ever narrative Indians can develop to paint themselves as victims Africans can go further.  The humiliation of the Transatlantic slave trade and its aftermath has no parallel in the Americas.

Drugb posted:
warrior posted:

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

It is not about words but rather actions. The Indo Guyanese continue to be treated as second class citizens by the Granger administration. As demonstrated by the firings from civil service jobs and other racist actions against them.

You keep calling out this nonsense when those dismissed were corrupt and incompetent but you are silent on the marginalization of blacks under the PPP. This is myth in your eyes. What a hypocrite!!!

Drugb posted:

Excellent article by Dr Ramsammy.

People like d2, cain, caribj and the turncoats regard Indos as evil and interlopers.

Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders.

In what way?   Daily you portray your racism against blacks, screaming that we are losers and having mental meltdowns when the success of black individuals is highlighted.  Even ranting that blacks are capable of nothing unless Indians help them.

Now compare the treatment of slaves and of indentures.  The indentures were permitted to form stable family units and to retain control over their kids.  Slaves were chattel as were horses and didn't even have the right to raise their kids and their "marriages" could be ended as soon as a planter decided to sell one of the spouses.

In fact it just goes to show the basic racism that many Indians manifest when they cannot even recognize this fact. Indians today are drinking the same medicine as did blacks under Jagdeo/Ramotar.  Jagdeo was as callous towards bauxite workers as Granger is to the sugar workers.  And in fact Bookers left Guysuco in a fairly healthy state and Jagdeo DESTROYED IT.

So why the screams that some don't think that taxpayer funds should be used to support an industry with no future? After all isn't this what we were told about bauxite?  So those who think that sugar has a future ought to buy it.  Or just let it go the way of the sugar industry in Trinidad and St Kitts.  If the sugar workers in those islands managed then so can Guyanese.

FC posted:
Drugb posted:
warrior posted:

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

It is not about words but rather actions. The Indo Guyanese continue to be treated as second class citizens by the Granger administration. As demonstrated by the firings from civil service jobs and other racist actions against them.

You keep calling out this nonsense when those dismissed were corrupt and incompetent but you are silent on the marginalization of blacks under the PPP. This is myth in your eyes. What a hypocrite!!!

Banana, this shyte gon continue for decades, much of our lifetime, until all sides come together and agree on a formula for addressing the race problem. The PPP did not do it when in gov't and neither is the current gov't doing it... we need new blood and brains in this country... 

FC posted:
Drugb posted:
warrior posted:

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

It is not about words but rather actions. The Indo Guyanese continue to be treated as second class citizens by the Granger administration. As demonstrated by the firings from civil service jobs and other racist actions against them.

You keep calling out this nonsense when those dismissed were corrupt and incompetent but you are silent on the marginalization of blacks under the PPP. This is myth in your eyes. What a hypocrite!!!

Druggie screams that blacks loved the PPP because they got "milk in their tea".  This shows that he is a racist nut who considers blacks criminals, because it was a Hammie Greene thug who became a phantom who made that comment.

Aside from that he can furnish no proof that blacks under Jagdeo weren't excluded in favor of Indians.

caribny posted:
Drugb posted:

Excellent article by Dr Ramsammy.

People like d2, cain, caribj and the turncoats regard Indos as evil and interlopers.

Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders.

In what way?   Daily you portray your racism against blacks, screaming that we are losers and having mental meltdowns when the success of black individuals is highlighted.  Even ranting that blacks are capable of nothing unless Indians help them.

Now compare the treatment of slaves and of indentures.  The indentures were permitted to form stable family units and to retain control over their kids.  Slaves were chattel as were horses and didn't even have the right to raise their kids and their "marriages" could be ended as soon as a planter decided to sell one of the spouses.

In fact it just goes to show the basic racism that many Indians manifest when they cannot even recognize this fact. Indians today are drinking the same medicine as did blacks under Jagdeo/Ramotar.  Jagdeo was as callous towards bauxite workers as Granger is to the sugar workers.  And in fact Bookers left Guysuco in a fairly healthy state and Jagdeo DESTROYED IT.

So why the screams that some don't think that taxpayer funds should be used to support an industry with no future? After all isn't this what we were told about bauxite?  So those who think that sugar has a future ought to buy it.  Or just let it go the way of the sugar industry in Trinidad and St Kitts.  If the sugar workers in those islands managed then so can Guyanese.

Yo banana, both slavery and indenture were evil systems of abuse of humans and exploitation.... and of course slavery was worse... but who is keeping score...? we all suffered in Guyana.

FC posted:
warrior posted:
Nehru posted:

What a Great Article/speech by the renown Health Minister,  THE HONORABLE  DR LESLIE RAMSAMMY.

this ass still walking free

Exactly!!!!

He he... by the way wasn't this banana supposed to be in jail... with some spy equipment he bought from Florida?

VishMahabir posted:
FC posted:
Drugb posted:
warrior posted:

the only reason you is not a first class citizen is because you is stupid and ugly i am a indian and no one can tell me i am not a guyanese 

It is not about words but rather actions. The Indo Guyanese continue to be treated as second class citizens by the Granger administration. As demonstrated by the firings from civil service jobs and other racist actions against them.

You keep calling out this nonsense when those dismissed were corrupt and incompetent but you are silent on the marginalization of blacks under the PPP. This is myth in your eyes. What a hypocrite!!!

Banana, this shyte gon continue for decades, much of our lifetime, until all sides come together and agree on a formula for addressing the race problem. The PPP did not do it when in gov't and neither is the current gov't doing it... we need new blood and brains in this country... 

that what the AFC was suppose to do but them gone dumb 

VishMahabir posted:
 

Banana, this shyte gon continue for decades, much of our lifetime, until all sides come together and agree on a formula for addressing the race problem. The PPP did not do it when in gov't and neither is the current gov't doing it... we need new blood and brains in this country... 

A % of the African intellectual class admitted that there was rampant racism under Burnham directed towards Indians. Rodney, David Hinds and others attempted to build cross ethnic ties and in fact the WPA went out of their way work together with segments of the Indian population.  Eusi, Andaiye and others added their voices when anti Indian violence occurred in the late 90s and in 2005.

Move forward to the Jagdeo era when blacks faced rampant discrimination under the PPP. Aside from a few voices like Freddie K and Chris Ram, where were the Indian voices protesting against this. SILENCE and in fact not only did many Indians deny that blacks had a right to protest against discrimination, but they even wailed that such comments were anti Indian and racist.

I suggest that when Indians begin a discussion as to their role in fostering our ethnic morass there might be progress. Segments of the African population have already done so.

VishMahabir posted:
 

Yo banana, both slavery and indenture were evil systems of abuse of humans and exploitation.... and of course slavery was worse... but who is keeping score...? we all suffered in Guyana.

Ramsammy is clearly keeping score and you are blatantly dishonest if you don't see this.  Blaming some group currently in Guyana for the fact that he alleges that some one is preventing Indians from feeling "Guyanese".

So why is Ramsammy screaming as if indenture was worse? Are the British or their descendants left in Guyana? NO. Even their mulatto offspring have mainly left, so his wails are clearly an implication and an indictment of blacks.

So who are the people who prevent Indians from feeling included? Which ethnic group has this massive power to accomplish this feat?

He could have stated that most Guyanese have a history of oppression in the colonial era and even after and could have used this as a bridge building exercise.

No. Better to scream as if he is still on the docks in Madras.  Does he even know that the contemporary name of that city is Chennai, which is the capital of Tamil Nadu?

These are people who wish to poke blacks in the eye and then wail when they get hit back.

caribny posted:
VishMahabir posted:
 

Yo banana, both slavery and indenture were evil systems of abuse of humans and exploitation.... and of course slavery was worse... but who is keeping score...? we all suffered in Guyana.

Ramsammy is clearly keeping score and you are blatantly dishonest if you don't see this.  Blaming some group currently in Guyana for the fact that he alleges that some one is preventing Indians from feeling "Guyanese".

So why is Ramsammy screaming as if indenture was worse? Are the British or their descendants left in Guyana? NO. Even their mulatto offspring have mainly left, so his wails are clearly an implication and an indictment of blacks.

So who are the people who prevent Indians from feeling included? Which ethnic group has this massive power to accomplish this feat?

He could have stated that most Guyanese have a history of oppression in the colonial era and even after and could have used this as a bridge building exercise.

No. Better to scream as if he is still on the docks in Madras.  Does he even know that the contemporary name of that city is Chennai, which is the capital of Tamil Nadu?

These are people who wish to poke blacks in the eye and then wail when they get hit back.

you worry about them guys in the white sheets 

FC posted:

You keep calling out this nonsense when those dismissed were corrupt and incompetent but you are silent on the marginalization of blacks under the PPP. This is myth in your eyes. What a hypocrite!!!

So we have been told by this fascist government, only Indians are corrupt in the civil service. Nary a black fired, just the Indians as they are sojourners and not really Guyanese. 

caribny posted:

Druggie screams that blacks loved the PPP because they got "milk in their tea".  This shows that he is a racist nut who considers blacks criminals, because it was a Hammie Greene thug who became a phantom who made that comment.

Aside from that he can furnish no proof that blacks under Jagdeo weren't excluded in favor of Indians.

You keep parroting the same crap all the time. During Jagdeo time Blacks made up 99% of the civil service.  When Granger came to office, the 1% Indian were reduced to .005%.

. Nary a black fired,

What a liar. In fact blacks were fired and the only PPP minister who faced jail was one of the two Jennifers.

Roger Luncheon in fact wailed that the black PPPites were being victimized by the APNU and the PPP was doing NOTHING to protect them.

The notion that the Indo KKK would protect simple blacks who thought that they were anything other than PPP tokens is baffling.

Drugb posted:
 

You keep parroting the same crap all the time. During Jagdeo time Blacks made up 99% of the civil service.  When Granger came to office, the 1% Indian were reduced to .005%.

When your ancestors tumbled off that rat infested vessel from India 90% of the civil servants were also black. Yes clerks and other low level administrators.

Your point? Because evidently the PPP didn't think anymore of blacks than did the old white colonialists. Blacks good only to follow orders.

Even Luncheon couldn't explain why almost all of the heads of state corporations and committees were Indians, and why none of the overseas heads of mission who were appointed were black.  They kept the UN ambassador (black) in an acting capacity until Nigel Hughes embarrassed them.

In fact druggie you were the one ranting some time ago that civil servant and police jobs were for lazy black people as the pay is low.  So what are your current screams about. Indians do NOT want those jobs, which is why blacks kept them.

The jobs with the power and pay went to Indians and blacks were squeezed out.

VishMahabir posted:
caribny posted:
Drugb posted:

Excellent article by Dr Ramsammy.

People like d2, cain, caribj and the turncoats regard Indos as evil and interlopers.

Just as the first indentured laborers were treated as imposters and interlopers, their descendents today still struggle for equal citizenship in Guyana, still resist second-class treatment, still regarded as outsiders.

In what way?   Daily you portray your racism against blacks, screaming that we are losers and having mental meltdowns when the success of black individuals is highlighted.  Even ranting that blacks are capable of nothing unless Indians help them.

Now compare the treatment of slaves and of indentures.  The indentures were permitted to form stable family units and to retain control over their kids.  Slaves were chattel as were horses and didn't even have the right to raise their kids and their "marriages" could be ended as soon as a planter decided to sell one of the spouses.

In fact it just goes to show the basic racism that many Indians manifest when they cannot even recognize this fact. Indians today are drinking the same medicine as did blacks under Jagdeo/Ramotar.  Jagdeo was as callous towards bauxite workers as Granger is to the sugar workers.  And in fact Bookers left Guysuco in a fairly healthy state and Jagdeo DESTROYED IT.

So why the screams that some don't think that taxpayer funds should be used to support an industry with no future? After all isn't this what we were told about bauxite?  So those who think that sugar has a future ought to buy it.  Or just let it go the way of the sugar industry in Trinidad and St Kitts.  If the sugar workers in those islands managed then so can Guyanese.

Yo banana, both slavery and indenture were evil systems of abuse of humans and exploitation.... and of course slavery was worse... but who is keeping score...? we all suffered in Guyana.

I guess the suffering united us as a family of Guyanese. We are all related to the soil that fed us and streams that quenched the thirst of our forefathers decades of old. We are a united family of the native ppl, putagees, chinese and dem mixed up folks.

Caribj is the Black sheep in the family.

 

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