In reference to the revocation of the Red House lease, David Hinds (‘If going after political corruption…’ SN, Jan 4) penned “This is purely a matter of recovering misappropriated state assets”. This is a warped, misleading, biased argument that does not hold up to facts. Dr Hinds has not condemned the government’s high-handed action. He only examines what he concludes was the alleged illegality of the lease. And he has not even considered that the court should decide on its legality. He feels it is okay for government to move roughshod over the law.
Did the government not violate the law in moving to execute the revocation and eject the tenants? What about due legal process? Dr Hinds has not condemned the AG for telling the court that the government had possession of the property. Even if the lease to the Jagan Centre was wrongly entered into and even if the court was in agreement with the government, does Dr Hinds, an academic, feel that 48 hours to vacate the premises is reasonable? The Centre is about Jagan, an iconic figure. Does Dr Hinds not feel that Dr Jagan is deserving of free public space for the holding of his papers?
Hinds wrote, “Now, how much more reasonable than that can you ask for…” when the President made “the most reasonable suggestion” that the Red House be used to house the papers of all Guyana’s presidents? How could it be reasonable to equate two (Burnham and Hoyte) election riggers, to true non-ethnic revolutionaries like Dr or Mrs Jagan? Red House is intricately associated with Cheddi and Janet Jagan. And, yes, they were ‘Red’. Cheddi and Janet lived there pre-independence. So the Jagans have symbolic, revolutionary, and historical ties with the building. The other Presidents have no association with the building. It is not unreasonable to ask that only records associated with them be kept there.
He slammed Mr Jagdeo when he penned that the former president is making the Red House story about Jagan the person, “and in the process appealing to the “raw ethnic sensitivities of Indian Guyanese.” He incorrectly drew this illogical conclusion from Jagdeo’s statement that “the coalition regime will pay a heavy price …” The PPP draws its support not only from Indians but more than half the Amerindians and a fair amount of Mixed. So contrary to what Dr Hinds concluded, Jagdeo did not “let the cat out of the bag”. Many Africans and other PNC and AFC supporters are appalled and have disassociated from the government’s action at the Red House.
Dr Hinds claimed that Mr Jagdeo is creating an atmosphere of ethnic tension. Is the coalition not appealing to ethnicity?
So when President Granger revoked the lease was he not creating ethnic tension? When men from the Ministry of the Presidency descended on the Red House and broke down the sign, was that not creating ethnic tension? When the PNC supporters, under the leadership of Minister Volda Lawrence, counter demonstrated at the Red House was that not creating ethnic tension? Ms Lawrence and her supporters were not the aggrieved party. They had no legitimacy to counter protest. The entire response of the government and of Hinds on the matter has exacerbated ethnic tension.
Contrary to what Dr Hinds penned, the Red House issue is one of Hinds, the WPA and PNC disrespecting Jagan – plain and simple. How else one can describe their views, position and actions? They showed no regard for Jagan when he was alive and none after his death as demonstrated by the action at Red House.