Chair of the Brooklyn-based Guyana Independence Anniversary Celebration Committee (New York), Rickford Burke, has described as “epic” the 2017 Guyana Independence celebrations in the Big Apple.
Burke said that more than 10,000 Guyanese on Sunday turned out to participate in or observe the annual Guyana Independence parade and attend the unity concert in Brooklyn.
“The celebration organized to commemorate Guyana’s 51stAnniversary of Independence was a resounding success,” he said.
Burke, however, claimed that “[unnamed] elements within the [incumbent] PNCR political party and the government of Guyana actively undermined our organization and tried to block the Guyanese people from celebrating yesterday.
“This was a corrupt attempt to boost attendance for a little group of their supporters who deliberately planned a private party for the same day as our celebration,” charged Burke in a statement.
He said, despite invitation to government officials, “their ministers, who were in New York, refused to attend our celebration, out of political allegiance to a failed group.”
Burke charged that “unsavory individuals from the [unidentified] group tore down hundreds of posters and banners erected and posted by our committee to inform Guyanese about its celebration and conducted a social media campaign against the independence celebration.”
“I believe in national unity,” Burke asserted. “My contribution to Guyana and the Diaspora is unassailable.
“Given the current state of affairs, my family and I have decided to withdraw our support of the PNCR and the coalition government of Guyana,” he added.