We are in serious trouble

Dear Editor,

There have been expressions of concern over the apparent freedom of Mr Gates, witness in the Walter Rodney COI, while a resident of the penal system. Of course, there was the usual readymade artifice and manoeuvre in hand about apparent non-existing chaperones and avoidance of embarrassment and similar such vapidity. Not unexpected, though most unpersuasive. Now I must say to the Guyanese public that this high profile ‘freedom’ situation involving Mr Gates should not be believed to be an isolated situation, but emphasizes the realities of our entire system of law, order, and justice. Perhaps, lawlessness, disorder, and injustice are more indicative of what prevails. Take the examples that follow.

Nobody in any official position of responsibility (minister, police management) can say with clarity and conviction whether a certain bodyguard is the holder of a firearm licence. Yet there appears to be an absence of any alacrity in discovering if such authorization was, indeed, granted; and if it was not, then take the appropriate remedial steps. The conclusion that comes to mind is that if there is no such record, then the state’s interest in the matter can be declared closed and over. What is really happening here?

Additionally, if regular citizens were to go on official business in that same compound and they were dressed in an unacceptable manner (tank top, midriff, short pants or whatever; not dressed to kill), those citizens would have a problem proceeding, as they would be asked to leave. So why is the Chief Constable in his established jurisdiction not acting more robustly? We wait for more in this comic book serial…

I ask that the police killing of Ronson Gray (or Yohance Douglas) be recalled. It should be remembered that one of the accused cops was located on the public streets while he was a guest of the state. Now from where and whom did he obtain his get-out-of-jail card? More importantly, this did occur and, given the reports, are there more such beneficiaries.

Accordingly, some questions must be asked: Is the aforementioned all there is of an existing iceberg? Or is it the tip only? Are these isolated aberrations that should comfort us by their scarcity? Or are there many other unknowns that remain unknown in what is now the national secret society that Guyana has become?

It is my belief and also my knowledge, others have added their own, that the easy money, plentiful money, dirty money, and blood money can and has facilitated arrangements, actions, silence, and condoning on the part of officials and politicians. I believe (and have said so in different writings) that the truth is that law-abiding Guyanese would be disturbed, if not terrified, at the numbers who saunter through the revolving door of the justice system. Some do so publicly, others quietly and privately.

I say it is part of the continuing criminalization of politics, society, and the state. I say that we are in real serious trouble.


Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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