As the world observes International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, presented eight new members of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) with their instruments of appointment.

The newly appointed commissioners are Pandit Krishna Sharma; Sheik Moeen Hack, Trade Unionist; Norris Witter, Youth Representative; Dwayne Adams, Representative of Women’s Organizations; Chandrowatie Sarran, Indigenous People’s Representative; Ashton Simon, Representative of Afro-Guyanese groups; Deon Dick and Representative of Indo-Guyanese groups, Neaz Mohamed Subhan.

It was announced that a total of 10 commissioners are to be appointed to the commission, however, only eight were available to be sworn in today, and the remaining two will be sworn in at a later date. The other two members to be sworn in are Charles Ogle and Reverend Rodwell Porter.

Their appointments will be valid for three years, after which they will be subjected to renewal.

The ERC is a non-political constitutional body established under the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Act No.11 of 2000 on March 4, 2022. Its main aim is to promote ethnic harmony and security in Guyana as prescribed by its 24 functions listed in Article 212D of the Constitution.

As he swore in the new commissioners, President Ali charged them to execute their duties with honesty, integrity and a clear conscience, as those qualities will promote greater public confidence in the institution. “The work of the Commission is non-partisan. It must rise above sectarian interest and work for the common good of our society. In doing so, its work will attract greater public confidence,” he noted.

President Ali was also keen to note that his government is committed to eliminating all forms of racial discrimination, adding that “we work daily, long and hard through our One Guyana initiative to promote equality, compassion, opportunities and stability for the advancement of all Guyanese.”

He further stated, “We take seriously, any attempts to instigate racial animosity and racial violence within our country. We severely condemn attempts that provoke racial conflict in our society and will ensure that those guilty are subject to the sanctions imposed by law”.

As Guyana observes International Day for Elimination of racial discrimination, Ali urged citizens to reject racial rhetorics and warned against being misled by elements who use race and ethnicity to provoke divisions and hatred within society.


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