By Stacy Carmichael-James
The Social Cohesion Ministry is not sitting around and waiting on situations of violence to occur to intervene but remains proactive despite its limitations.
“We know that there are some sensitive areas and we certainly would concentrate on that. Only recently we had a situation in Bartica, for instance, where the little community of Agatash, just on the outskirts had some difficulties, we were there on the spot,” the Minister noted.
Dr. Norton said it is the hope of the Social Cohesion Ministry that in areas where situations of discrimination have occurred, the regional authorities would intervene and do whatever can be done and seek the assistance of the Ministry, which is always willing to provide that support.
Any form of violence whether it be in relation to age, gender or ethnicity, the Ministry condemns.
Weighing in on the recent incident where two males were beaten at Canal No.1. Minister Norton, while noting that he is not privy to the details surrounding the incident, said he sees no harm in officials from his ministry visiting that community, as was the case a few months back when an alleged bandit was bound and beaten in Ruby, East Bank Essequibo.
In this regard, he pointed out that the diversity training being conducted in communities across the ten administrative regions is envisioned to foster tolerance in a plural society.
He expressed hope that all politicians would step up and condemn all acts of violence since “all are involved and all can be consumed.”
Meantime, on Thursday during the Social Cohesion Strategic Plan 2017-2020 Validation Workshop, the Minister called on the Opposition to get involved in the Coalition Government’s efforts of fostering social cohesion, deeming its non-involvement as “unfortunate.”
On Friday in a lengthy press statement the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic made it clear that it will not participate in any forum that is used by the Government, despite foreign support, to give credence to a social cohesion policy and strategy while the nation continues to be ripped apart by the undemocratic APNU+AFC Coalition government.