A monument is a permanent and visible reminder of an event

Dear Editor,

I write in response to Dr. Asquith Rose’s letter `PPP propagandists must be exposed for their distortions’ (Kaieteur News, October 30, 2013) and Dr. Tarron Khemraj’s letter `Brigadier Granger has called for a Commission of Inquiry into the East Coast crimes’ (Stabroek News, October 31, 2013).

It is pathetic when men from academia have to descend to name-calling to defend their position in a debate. It points to the hollowness of their argument and the futility of their position.

In my letter regarding Dr. Rose, I questioned his credibility. Because I called for academics to be accountable just like politicians, he considers me “a mouthpiece of the PPP”. Let us look at the facts. Despite what he is now touting, in 2011 he is the one who did not think Mr. Granger’s experience and the PNC’s achievements merited support. So, he was a vociferous supporter of the AFC at that time. Well, it is the same Mr. Granger and the same PNC achievements and he wants voters now to believe that he has seen a different light. I have no problem with him switching sides; that is his right. However, he now has to face the truth. It is either he was wrong when he supported the AFC and Mr. Ramjattan against the PNC/APNU and Mr. Granger in 2011 or he is wrong now. So which is it Dr. Rose?

Now let us look at Dr. Khemraj’s letter. He sees me as a “subliminal” racist and attempts to ridicule me for pointing out the double standard in Mr. Granger’s stand on the Sun Chapman disaster in comparison to the murders in the Indian villages of Annandale, Lusignan, etc. He writes “Yes, Editor, a monument. That is what Mr. Hergash believes those innocent victims deserve… Brigadier Granger has gone further than calling for monument. He is on record calling for a presidential commission of inquiry into the crimes that took place on the East Coast”. If a Presidential inquiry is so important, by Dr. Khemraj’s logic, one has to ask “why didn’t Mr. Granger call for a Presidential inquiry into the Sun Chapman disaster, instead of building a monument?”

Before Dr. Khemraj can count on those swing voters for his new party, he and his party will have to give them equal treatment. Everyone knows full well that a monument is a permanent and visible reminder of an event whereas a Presidential Inquiry is soon forgotten. No amount of sophistry by Dr. Khemraj can hide this double standard.

Regarding our differing views of his comparison of Guyana with   Trinidad and Tobago, that is of no significance. We can agree to disagree. However, the last paragraph of his letter merits a few comments. In the first sentence, he misrepresents what I wrote. I never questioned his ability to help Guyana because he lives in a foreign land; what I questioned is his perception of the Guyanese situation and this is where I believe he is misinformed and misguided. Also, I wonder, what is the significance of his mentioning of his PhD studies and his research? These are all in the area of Economics and Finance and not skills to foster national unity. Is this a placeholder to indicate that APNU’s shadow Finance Minister, Mr. Greenidge, has a potential competitor?

Before Dr. Khemraj attempts to speak on behalf of those potential swing voters in Guyana, I suggest he conducts an independent study to find out what are their priorities and why they have not been inclined to support his new party. His findings may be a revelation.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Hergash