Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It is never ‘okay’ for governments to act illegally

It is never ‘okay’ for governments to act illegally

Posted By Stabroek staff On August 4, 2009 @ 5:08 am In Letters | 9 Comments

Dear Editor,
The Minister of Health has accused certain sections of the media of sensationalizing the revelations made by Selwyn Vaughn during his recent testimony in a New York court. He is obviously incapable of recognizing a sensational story when he sees one. This is not something that the media made up. This is a case where a witness in a court of law is describing, under oath, details of actual murders committed in our country allegedly ordered by a local drug lord.

The Minister shows his contempt for the Guyanese people by suggesting to local journalists that this is not a story they should be pursuing. What he really means is that the Guyanese public should be denied the details of Vaughn’s testimony and the local media should not attempt to determine its accuracy. He would do well in North Korea.

The President has also been speaking his mind, claiming not to lose any sleep when rival criminal gangs execute each other’s members with no innocent loss of life. Neither do I. However, I do lose sleep when the authorities just sit back and allow this to take place. I lose even more sleep when I realize that this might be their master-plan.

There are increasing indications that certain senior Government officials went a step further and collaborated with criminal gangs. For those who feel this was okay I wish to draw a comparison with those who, by an equally convoluted logic, felt it was okay for the government to rig elections back in the seventies. It is never ‘okay’ for governments to act illegally.

A government that does so forfeits the moral authority necessary to maintain law and order, resulting in lawlessness at all levels within the society and its national institutions. This is already clear to see in Guyana.

Finally, in response to the testimony emerging from the Simels trial, the AFC decided it would not attend parliament last Thursday. Former minister Ms Gail Texeira during a lop-sided panel discussion aired on NCN TV over the weekend remarked that the AFC is an outgrowth of the PNC. This was immediately followed by an accusation from Dr Roger Luncheon that the AFC is attempting to provoke violent demonstrations by engaging in “extra-parliamentary” activities.

This was a desperate attempt to discredit the AFC by using the threat of violence and linking it to that violence. The fact is that the AFC has succeeded in drawing moderate supporters from both the PNC and PPP.

The bulk of AFC membership and support, however, come from Guyanese not affiliated with either of these two parties but sufficiently disgusted with the way in which they have allowed their political rivalry to take precedence over national development.

Both the PPP and the PNC have engaged in and been associated with acts of violence in the past. The AFC has not.

Yours faithfully,
Dominic Gaskin
9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "It is never ‘okay’ for governments to act illegally"

#1 Comment By gap1 On August 4, 2009 @ 7:12 am

AFC attracts bright, independent-minded Guyanese who have the ability to use their own minds and draw their own conclusions, who are guided by qa sense of fairness and justice and who love their country, enough to even be critical of the AFC as indeed they have been when criticism was merited.

PPP and PNC gets the party hacks who it seems forever, would have to keep defending their party’s wrong-doings which has been getting more and more difficult to do while maintaining any semblance of decency and credibility.

Good luck for Guyana, more and more Guyanese are getting tired of the same of old party-line. The future of Guyana lies with the AFC.

#2 Comment By bull$%^& detector On August 4, 2009 @ 7:50 am

It was a civil war …the police and army could not be trusted. A legitimately elected government was under siege by a politically backed force of criminals calling themselves freedom fighters. They had no other choice. Maybe some innocent people died on both sides but that is what happens in wars. Maybe the wrong kinds of people were hired to do the killings on both sides. There are no innocent parties here.
Now everyone get over it. This is not a part of Guyana’s history anyone can be proud of but I don’t feel putting this government on trial for this is helpful.

#3 Comment By Reddy in Barabdos On August 4, 2009 @ 8:53 am

Let’s get real here. The AFC didn’t garner votes from the PNC in last election ? Who are we trying to fool here, Mr. Gaskin ?
The “Witness” in the so called revelations ? Wasn’t he chaged with fraud in Guyana and will now live his days happilly ever at the expense of the US taxpayers for turncoat “singing” at the hearing ?

#4 Comment By coolieman On August 4, 2009 @ 10:22 am

The AFC Trotman was with the PNC during the crime wave and there were allegations that the PNC were supporting the FREE-DUMB fighters, being that Trotman is the leader of the AFC it is not fair to disassociate the AFC from acts of violence.

#5 Comment By amen-ra [jackass seh de world na level] On August 4, 2009 @ 10:51 am

what civil war you talking about, it was the criminal fighting for their drug turf, and the govt got in and helped the criminals by giving them free range to do whatever they wanted to do.

#6 Comment By gap1 On August 4, 2009 @ 11:42 am

You left out Ramjattan from the PPP and Holder from the WPA. Seems like the rest of us, just plain ol’ fed up with racial politics…

#7 Comment By bull$%^& detector On August 4, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

19 policemen shot dead…in hit jobs…an attempt to assassinate the cabinet after the PPP meeting in Berbice. The video of the Freedom Fighter addressing the nation like Osama bin Laden…the attacks on neighboring villages to Buxton killing people randomly only because they were Indian. Need i go on? This was a civil war and the government engaged a drug dealer to fight for them because they could not trust the police and army. Was it right? War ain’t pretty. And i think we just need to leave it alone. Lets go after the government for other things -corruption, incompetence etc – but not
for this.

#8 Comment By Gerhard On August 4, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

Labelling by association – how puerile. Trotman while in the PNC called for the PNC to apologise for the past in an effort toward healing and reconciliation. How conveniently you forget this coolieman.

While I was still active in the PPP Raph never ‘passed me straight’, nor did he ever have an unkind word to say. For us, younger politicians, we have time on our side to prove that we have remained true to our principles regardless of where we came from.

The AFC has unequivocally condemned ALL the killings in Guyana. Here is how we would have done things differently: [1]

For those of us with short memories, Ramjattan while in the PPP, called for deep and urgent reform of the disciplined forces and for this (which he had put in writing) he was censured by Freedom House in 1993. His prophetic words fell on deaf ears.

The AFC is keenly aware of the security issues in Guyana and is the only party with a plan.

Who, coolieman, was the party in power for 17 years that has done little to ameliorate the security situation in Guyana? You mean the PNC is still to blame for this? Isn’t it a convenient truth to those in power that when there is violence inflicted on their supporters that they emotionally come running to the Cup? Who continues to exploit this?!

#9 Comment By pepie On August 4, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

Coolieman why know mention of where Ramjattan was during the the crime period before the AFC was formed. Moderate do you see the coded post. This is what has Guyana in this position. So much can be say about the top three position in the AFC but coolieman choose only to attacked Raphael. This is the same reason why Roger took advantage of our divided society.

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