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Guyanese Unionist Threatened

posted 15 Jan 2010, 05:52 by Gerry Kangalee
Hon. Minister Mr. Clement Rohee
Minister of Home Affairs
Brickdam
Georgetown
GUYANA.
 
January 11, 2010
 
Minister,
 
Re: Threat made to Leslie Gonsalves by Krishen Singh, Geologist employed at BCGI
 
This serves to bring to your attention for immediate action a public threat made to me reference the employment status of my wife Ertha Gonsalves who is a teacher employed at Aroaima Nursery School, Berbice River. This threat was made on 30 December 2009, around 5.30 pm by Krishen Singh, Geologist working at the Bauxite Company Guyana Inc. (BCGI) in the presence of Charles Sampson, General President, Guyana Bauxite &General Workers Union, on Republic Avenue, Mc Kenzie, Linden.
 
I was told in a rather intimidating manner that I was a troublemaker bent on making trouble for the BCGI. and the Government and he has political influence and if I don’t stop he will cause my wife to feel the pressure. I was told that if I did not want my wife to be transferred far away or dismissed that I was to stop making trouble. I was also told to discontinue visiting Aroaima or he will cause systems to be put in place to have me stopped from entering Maple Town or evicted. I was told that if I knew what was good for me that I would “back off.” 
 
I have no reason to believe that these threats were not intended or that they were said as a joke as I share no such relationship with Krishen Singh which could have given rise to such threats being made against my wife’s economic well being and that of my family.
 
My immediate concern for the safety of my wife and family kept me silent on the matter. However I am forced to recognize that such silence would only empower Krishen Singh and others like him to further their grip on me and all who are threatened in one form or another, but are fearful to speak out least they are physically, emotionally or economically attacked. After careful consideration my family has decided that we will not allow the fear of political bullies and terrorists to freeze us into inaction for had others not given their lives and freedoms at different points in the history of our nation’s struggle we would not be able to have even the little that we enjoy today.
 
We anticipate your urgent review of the behaviour of this official  which is in contravention of the basic expectations of his office and speaks to his suitability for where impartiality is important and victimization based on trade union affiliation, race and ethnicity or political persuasion have no place.
 
My family is cognizant that some may be forced to do the biddings of an uncaring master. Hence even as we engage the attention of your office, we seek the transparency of our case in the public domain for our safety and that of my colleagues who stand just as vulnerable as me.
 
 
Leslie Gonsalves 
General Secretary (ag),
Guyana Bauxite & General Workers Union.
 
CC Hon. Mr. Samuel Hinds, Prime Minister
Hon. Mr. Manzoor Nadir, Minister of Labour
Hon. Mr. Shaik Baksh, Minister of Education
Hon. Mr. Mortimer Mingo, Regional Chairman, Region # 10.
Mr. Sergey Kostyuk, General Manager, BCGI
Ms. Yvonne Langivine, CEO, Ethnic Relations Commission
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