September 12 ,2020
The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has distanced itself from a statement made by one of its commissioners, Roshan Khan via social media.
In a Facebook post, the commissioner said, “Indians in Berbice need to create their watch and protection groups. Equipped with batons and sticks for self-defense only. Be firm and clever but never be the aggressor. Protect minorities in your communities.”
Khan’s address was made following a mass protest in Region Five where persons were demanding justice for two teen cousins, Joel and Isaiah Henry, who were brutally murdered.
In a press release on their Facebook page, the entity said, “The Ethnic Relations Commission wishes to disassociate itself from social media posts made by ERC Commissioner Hajji Dr. Roshan Khan Sr.” They further added the views of Khan does not coincide with the ERC’s mandate to promote “harmony and good relations”.
Kaieteur News understands that this is not the first time the Commission would have distanced itself from statements made by the Commissioner.
The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) in June had sent out a statement following statements Khan made at a press conference held on Monday, June 8th, at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, where he addressed matters about the recount of ballots and final tabulation of the votes following the March 2 elections.
The ERC had said, “The Commission would like to categorically state, that the views expressed by Commissioner Khan at that forum, were solely his, and not that of the ERC. Even as the Commission awaits the official declaration of the results by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) – citizens are urged to exude patience, calm, and respect for each other.”
The ERC would have been granted observer statuses for several of its commissioners, Khan included. They have since maintained that the views expressed in Khan’s posts are not expected of an ERC commissioner and they contradict the roles and functions of the Commission.
Citizens have since been calling for his removal from the Commission and their wishes were accompanied by opposition leader Joseph Harmon who referred to Khan’s statement as divisive and racial.