If the PNC is demonised its own history is responsible

Dear Editor,

Mrs Janet Jagan was an active politician in Guyana from 1946 onwards. In 1953 a grievous wrong was done to Guyana when our constitution was suspended. Many suffered, were restricted and imprisoned, including Mrs Jagan. In the 1960s horrific violence was unleashed by the PNC and the UF with the aim of preventing the then British Guiana from attaining Independence. This created ethnic and political violence in which many Guyanese from all ethnic groups suffered grievously.

The Abraham family suffered more than most, if not more than everyone else. In the 1970s and 1980s the PPP had to fight against rigged elections, authoritarian rule, the impoverishment of Guyana and violence on its supporters.

Mrs Jagan has lived long enough to recognize the need for healing in Guyana so that we can leave the past behind and move on with the task of building our country inspired by the memory of those who suffered and gave so much. Already another generation has taken over the reins of leadership. In her small way she tried to reach out to the public and to a family which paid the ultimate price for the war unleashed on Guyana by PNC/UF. But the Stabroek News would have none of it. It used the occasion of a genuine effort by Mrs Jagan to hurl accusations, imputations and innuendoes against the PPP and Mrs Jagan and ignores the role of the PNC, UF and their then foreign cohorts. That was why I was forced to set the record straight. I did not willingly choose this path.

Recall also this was the period of the cold war when reason went through the window. The US and British intelligence arms helped to finance the violence of the PNC and the UF.

Now Mr Hamilton Green joins the Stabroek News in an unholy alliance to flail uselessly at the PPP. Mr Green claims to be a victim of the period. Well, so are the hundreds who lost their lives and the thousands whose homes were destroyed or who were driven out of communities where they had lived for generations. It was not the end of the GAWU strike that terminated the bombings in Georgetown. Mr Green would remember that it was the arrest of Emmanuel Fairbairn with guns, bombs and bomb making material which brought to an end the reign of bombing terror in the city. All I can say to Mr Hamilton Green is that if the PNC is demonized, its own history does so. And Mr Green has an intimate knowledge of that history. Mr. Green is the one who seeks to lay blame. Mrs Jagan did not.

Mr Green demands an explanation from me as to why the late Mr Abraham was transferred from permanent secretary to the Premier to permanent secretary of the largest ministry with the largest budget allocation, the ministry of Works and Hydraulics. Was there some magic in working with the Premier? Is there no consideration given to the importance of the ministry to which Mr Abraham was transferred?

Despite these and other important questions which ought to be considered in relation to Mr. Abrahams’s transfer, I reject the vulgar call for an explanation and the attempt of both the Stabroek News and Mr Green to question the sincerity of Mrs Jagan’s statement because of the transfer, a fact which she may not even recall at this time.

A Truth Commission was instituted in South Africa in specific conditions where a vast number of provable crimes existed against the agents of the racist regime. This would have meant years of prosecution and ethnic trauma.

Those who were oppressed in South Africa decided that they wanted to forgive and to heal.

They decided to give those who could have been proven guilty the opportunity to own up and be forgiven or be prosecuted.

They same conditions do not exist in Guyana. But Mr Green does not need a Truth Commission. Guyanese would welcome the truth.

Yours faithfully,

Donald Ramotar

General Secretary

People’s Progressive Party

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