Guyana PM Honored in NY while anti-Gov’t Critic is Rebuked in Brooklyn by his Pastor
The Prime Minister of Guyana the Rt Hon Ret’d Brigadier Mark Phillips was today honored by Guyanese American State Senator Roxanne Persaud who represents a district in Brooklyn where thousands of Afro Guyanese reside. The Senator also honored Ministers Gail Texeira and Collin Croal as well as Joe Yussuf of the Guyana Consulate in New York. This honor came on top of similar honors by Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar of Queens; Jenifer’s district comprises of thousands of Indo Guyanese.
The PM and his entourage have been in New York since Saturday to promote investment in the homeland as well as to give an update on Guyana. The entourage has met with different groups of Guyanese in several parts of New York and New Jersey. A reception by the diaspora was also held in their honor on Long Island on Saturday evening.
While the entourage was honored for their work to promote Guyanese abroad, one Rickford Burke was rebuked for planning a boycott campaign and protest at a Christian church service and business forum for the entourage in Brooklyn. Burke is known as a perennial critic of the government. He has used nasty words to describe the PM. The Guyanese nation and the diaspora have largely ignored Burke who has been known to crave attention.
Pastor of Grace Christian Church, Dr. Reynold Howell, a Guyanese, chastised Burke. The Pastor issued a release saying his church is in the business of meeting people’s needs and pointedly declared that the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce doing business with Guyana Forum is on today.
Burke runs a primarily one man organization called GCID.
The pastor said when Burke wanted to use the church facilities for visits of the PM under the coalition government, he agreed. He said it would be discriminatory for him to deny permission for an event for the PM of the present Guyana administration.
“I accommodated he and his group multiple times. Now, in similar fashion, the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce approached us with their need for meeting space and our catering services, to host the current PM, the honourable Mark Phillips, other government dignitaries and about 60 people from the diaspora, and we consented to do so, in the tradition of hosting two previous PMs”
Pastor Howell said that as a non-profit religious organisation, Grace Christian does not discriminate, and is now cast in a position to promote dialogue and healing in Guyana. Discrimination is against the law in the US. Organizations can lose their non profit status if they discriminate.
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