DeSilva: ‘I’m working to eradicate old ideologies’

  • <B>Health Minister</B> Zane DeSilva<B></B>

    Health Minister Zane DeSilva

Health Minister Zane DeSilva has applauded Derrick Burgess for his comments that the white community ostracises their own for joining the Progressive Labour Party.

He agreed with Mr Burgess’ assertion on Wednesday night that his business suffered because of his political choice [see separate story].

But Mr DeSilva called for the country to end racial divisions and come together, saying Bermuda’s future depended on “everyone pulling in the same direction to achieve common social and economic goals”.

Mr DeSilva said in an e-mailed response yesterday that only a minority of whites had accepted his decision to join the PLP. The impact on his business came as soon as his 2007 general election candidacy was announced.

“As soon as I announced that I was running for the PLP in the 2007 election my business lost a large percentage of long-term customers. This was extremely disappointing but at the same time illustrated the ‘great divide’ and misplaced preconceptions that exist in our community,” Mr DeSilva said.

“Rather than feeling a sense of anger and frustration at these events I have taken the opposite approach and it has given me the impetus to commit myself to work as hard as I can to eradicate these old ideologies and to try to make Bermuda a more unified and cohesive society.”

He added: “I should also point out that not all my customers ‘took to the hills’ and it has been heartening that some also stood by me. I would have to say that these are folks with a broader and more flexible mindset who understand why I entered politics and that my goals are for the betterment of the country and its people.”

The Minister wrote: “Yes I do get disappointed by these old ideologies that still permeate our community but let’s not keep looking back, we must look forward.

“If I suffer personal insults and my company suffers financial impact because of these ideologies so be it. If I can make a difference and if our community can draw closer together to unify, these are sacrifices I am prepared to make.

“If people like me don’t make them who will? This is not the time to sit down; this is the time to stand up and be counted and I will not back down and my commitment will not waiver.

“I am in this for the long haul and I intend to see this through.”

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Published Oct 20, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm)

DeSilva: ‘I’m working to eradicate old ideologies’

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