Trinidad & Tobago Express
Aug 2 2009

'Ethnic cleansing' used out of context

Rohandra John [email protected]
Sunday, August 2nd 2009


President of the National Association for the Empowerment of African
People (NAEAP) Prof Selwyn Cudjoe has chastised UNC Opposition MP Dr
Tim Gopeesingh over his claims of "ethnic cleansing" at the Port of
Spain General Hospital charging that he, Gopeesingh, used the term out
of context.

Cudjoe, in anaddress at NAEAP's ninth annual Emancipation Dinner and
Awards Ceremony held at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya on Friday
evening, suggested that he does not clearly understand the meaning of
the term otherwise he would not have misused it .

"Ethnic cleansing is a war crime," Cudjoe said, noting the ethnic
crimes that have taken place over the past in countries such as
Turkey, Cambodia and Rwanda which have resulted in the mass killing of
one group of people.

"If Dr Gopeesingh does not know what the term ethnic cleansing means
after 1.5 million Armenians were killed in Turkey between 1915 and
1918 -where close to one million Cambodians were killed in Cambodia
between 1975 and 1979-where almost one million Tutsis were killed in
Rwanda in 1994-(then) I am more sorry for this country than I am for
Dr Gopeesingh," Cudjoe said.

He also expressed disappointment that the claim was coming from a
member of the Opposition party "who have put forward themselves as
leaders of an alternate government".

Cudjoe said that Gopeesingh's claims that Indians were being forced
out of the public health sector could not be substantiated given that
the statistics "confirm that 80 per cent of the country's doctors are
East Indians, 74 per cent of the radiographers are in fact East
Indians while 45 per cent are medical technologists".

Cudjoe also took aim at the media, condemning it for producing what he
said were only negative images of the black community while ignoring
the positive aspects.

"If you read the newspapers on a daily basis you would think that the
only thing that black people do was to kill one another and to kill
others," he said.

He called on the media to pay more attention to the positive
contribution and achievements of the black community. Cudjoe also
called on the Government to give more support to black organisations
which aim to empower African people in this country.

The audience gathered at NAEAP's Dinner was also addressed by Prime
Minister Patrick Manning and Prof Patrick Manning, a Professor of
World History with special interest in the lives of persons in the
African Diaspora, who was invited to participate in this year's
emancipation celebrations by the Prime Minister.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl /article_news?id=161512071

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress