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first_imgThe hard-fought rights and empowerment of the Amerindian people seem to be rapidly reversing, according to former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall.A scene from the Amerindian Heritage celebrations in Kuru KururuHe made these comments during the Amerindian Heritage Day celebration in Kuru Kururu over the weekend.Speaking on behalf of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, the parliamentarian noted that Amerindian Heritage Month is the ideal time to celebrate the history, culture, struggles and accomplishments of Amerindians since they settled on this land.“Indeed, there is much to celebrate. Today, Amerindians have access to nursery, primary and secondary education in their communities. They have access to primary healthcare in their communities; some communities even have access to computers. Today, Amerindians are doctors, lawyers and are in other professional pursuits,” Nandlall told a sizeable crowd.He pointed out that in addition to celebrating, it was also a time to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices which were made to make these achievements possible.“Some of the same problems which our fore-parents struggled against are still affecting our progress,” he stated.Nandlall posited that discrimination, particularly against Amerindians, was becoming rampant again.“Two thousand Amerindians were dismissed within the first month of this Government taking office. There is an attempt by some to rewrite history in order to dislodge Amerindians as the first people who came to this land; computers and solar panels which were purchased for Amerindian communities by our Government were diverted away from the Amerindians by this Government,” he outlined.He noted too that they faced obstacles in hosting the heritage celebrations.“In relation to this event, you are aware of the battle you have had in relation to the venue for this event. Non-Amerindians have hijacked from you the ground which you have used to develop over the last 15 years to host this event. They have even attempted to hijack this event from you. But you stood firm and resisted them. They are attempting, also to steal from you, your Community Development Council (CDC),” he stated.Concerns were raised that Government was attempting to hijack the National Toshaos Council (NTC) last year.Former Indigenous Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai had complained of the failure of the Government to inform NTC members (who are Toshaos) within the stipulated timeframe and hijacked the planning of the conference, which was the responsibility of the Council.Nandlall, however, pledged that the PPP/C would continue to speak out against such injustices and work towards ensuring the eradication of discrimination against the Amerindian population.“I want to assure you that the People’s Progressive Party shall stand with you and will fight to ensure that these facilities are not taken away from you. Therefore, as we celebrate, we must be conscious of what is taking place around us and be vigilant to protect our gains,” he emphasised.last_img read more