Singh is dismissive towards citizens who have a right to speak the truth in Guyana

Dear Editor,

In the Stabroek News of December 17 a letter was published captioned, ‘Contrary to the Stabroek News story there was no slapping incident in Aishalton involving a Presidential Guard.’ It was written by Rohan Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police and Head, Presidential Guard Service. Mr Rohan Singh is trying to cover up for the presidential guard who slapped me in the face at a public political meeting here in Aishalton which occurred on December 3.

It is true I got slapped in my face by a presidential guard on duty, as a consequence of which I suffered a burst lip. I subsequently got a medical certificate in relation to this that was handed to the police in Aishalton. The slapping incident occurred after I had been heckling during the President’s campaign speech, because I couldn’t tolerate the lambasting which the President was giving to the opposition and the news media that are critical of his administration. Reading the news I am disappointed in the manner in which Mr Singh is looking into the matter. His arrogance reflects a ‘don’t care’ and dismissive attitude towards the citizens who have a right to speak the truth in a democratic country like Guyana.

As a humble and curious villager I went to attend the President’s meeting at Aishalton village office compound. I felt very sorry for the senior citizens and the students from the Aishalton dormitory who were listening to President’s speech, where he was criticizing the opposition political parties, as well as Kaieteur News and Stabroek News saying that they wanted political power. He cried out for my people to give his party the one seat in parliament which the opposition has at present. I felt for them. I felt the President’s biased criticism very disturbing, in the same way as when someone is denouncing or ridiculing a family member of mine in public.

I am known to be a vocal person at village meetings giving ideas and questioning things which I think don’t seem right. Having such a personality and sober head, many things were running through my head during the President’s speech in regard to his false testimony about the anti-money laundering act, the Marriott hotel, the Amaila Falls project and the Amerindian Development Fund, which the President claimed the opposition were not supporting, and when he even called the opposition ‘terrorists themselves.’ Hearing such nonsense made me uncomfortable, thus, I prompted some rumblings in the form of questions to those who were around me, which resulted in laughter. I also asked what happened to Anil Nandlall? And why you prorogue parliament?

Now is my heckling an illegal act during a political campaign? Well, I don’t think so, because not everyone will go with the flow of being submissive, and listening to political bios and superficial propaganda from the PPP. Furthermore, not because we Amerindians live in the interior, people should believe that we don’t know what is going on with the government and their political gimmicks in the country. After all, not every Amerindian will be docile and naïve these days towards leaders who glorify themselves and give us hand-outs and brainwash us for our votes.

And at the time for questions from the audience to the President, I made use of the opportunity to ask a few questions such as, “Why is the antenna of the Learning Channel not serving its purpose to the residents of Aishalton and its environs? And why since the last campaign and election in 2011, has the village generator not [been] functioning?” I also told the persons at the head table that some villagers paid some money to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) workers when they were installing the generator to supply them with electricity, and they are not receiving any up to present time.

After I had finished speaking and was making my way through the crowd, I felt a hand collar me from behind and when I turned around, I saw that it was one of the President’s guard. This was a result of being pointed out by a local PPP representative in the community. The man asked me ‘Where de other two that went with you’ and I told him I did not know what he was talking about; it was just me. The guard also asked me, “So is you been talking up?” Then I asked them “Wha wrong I do you?” After this they told me that I should be quiet and listen to what the President had to say. The man said I was lying and as I continued to explain to him that it was just me speaking my mind he handed me one slap to the left side of my jaw. Then the taller guard told me you better go or else we gonna drop you to the ground. Now since Mr Rohan Singh mentioned the protocol of the President’s security guards, doesn’t this behaviour breach their standard operational procedures?

Now in response to Mr Rohan Singh’s denial that I was slapped, why would I fabricate such a story about the guards coming and assaulting an Amerindian citizen when I speak the truth in democratic Guyana? As the saying goes, the truth hurts! Now I leave the public to judge what kind of government we have.

Yours faithfully,

John Adams


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