An allegedly racist photograph caption in a brochure for the 2007 Cricket World Cup has opened up longstanding racial tensions between Guyana's East Indians and its African-descendant population, an official said on Friday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) brochure captions a photograph of the India-financed Providence stadium being built for coming games, saying that "with Guyana's distinct Indian heritage you are sure to experience the fusion of West Indian and East Indian culture."
Following outcries by the main opposition Peoples National Congress Reform-One Guyana, which is mainly supported by descendants of African slaves, as well as by Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green, the government has written the ICC seeking an explanation.
"The words on the brochure are unfortunate. It was never the intention of the LOC (Local Organising Committee) or anybody in Guyana to have any sort of division," said Sports and Culture Minister Frank Anthony, a member of the mainly East Indian-supported government.
Guyana's political landscape is divided between East Indians -- descendants of migrants from India who make up about 43 per cent of the 7,51,000 citizens. Meanwhile, some 30 per cent are descendants of African slaves.
Anthony said copies of newspaper articles and letters have been dispatched to the Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 chief executive Chris Dehring and Guyanese authorities have asked for an explanation.