I suspect that citizens of our Guyana need to be reminded of the status of all Presidents they elected since 1980.
You see, dear countryman, article 89 of the Republic’s Constitution asserts in unambiguous language that the country’s President is, at the minimum, three things. He is Head of State. He is the Supreme Executive Authority over and above all other “authorities” except, I suspect the church. Thirdly he is Commander-in-Chief of the country’s “armed forces.” Coincidentally the current His Excellency happens to be a retired military officer. This columnist-citizen holds the view that this President – who also constitutes a critical portion of the Parliament – thrives on his military training which compels him to inquire into various issues. To me both his academic and political acumen are used to decide what inquiries should be established and just how to utilize those inquiries’ recommendations.
So since his May 2015 election this President, using his constitutional “Supreme Executive Authority”, has caused numerous Commissions of Inquiry to be established. The jury must still be out assessing the recent conclusions and remedies suggested. And like Donald Trump our President is bent on keeping certain specific Elections Campaign promises.
With a seeming propensity for naming things he has christened (2002-2008) “The Troubles.” Somewhat strange, definitely quaint that. Now enter the series of inquiries which His Excellency vowed he would have done whilst on his 2014/2015 campaign trail.
What “closure”? What justice? Politics?
Inquiries, inquisitions, inquests by Commissions, coroners, Tribunals are usually meant to find out publicly and expertly, how and why significant offences and tragedies occurred Courtroom-type procedures hope to identify reasons, methods, perpetrators, victims. But what’s this talk of “closure” attributed to the current inquiries and their findings? Closure?
It is my view, Frankly Speaking that real closure and comfort reside in one’s religious faith. Does not your Omnipotent God offer solace, peace, even forgiveness? I suspect that the leading Green House Spokesman who often speaks about these investigations providing “closure” is really offering hope to the dead victims’ relations; some form of final justice.
And again, Justice? What is that too? “Justice” comes from Just. The specific definition for that “just” is “morally or legally right” or “reasonable, deserved or merited.” I submit that justice is not mauby-and-tennis rolls; it doesn’t mean that you get a result that you think is right. Justice has to do with what is fair: (you might not ever be pleased with some finding or verdict). So now you work out just what is “Justice for all.”
In this society wherein the President speaks of “Jagdeo–era killings” and “Troubles” the scent of politics will waft over all of these types of inquiries. Perhaps because of all the expressions of expectations coming from His Excellency himself. Check the following quotes to discern what His Excellency is hoping for.
Term of Reference-and expectations
The numerous 2002-2008 criminal-enterprise inquiries have and will have specific terms of reference hopefully to guide the impartial expert Commissioners to achieve objectives. But His Excellency has been fulsome and articulate in what he expects.
I quoted a letter to this newspaper a few columns ago wherein the writer stated that perception about these inquisitions might just become reality. He also wondered whether the chosen commissioners will seek to satisfy His Excellency. I too wonder …
Listen to His Excellency: “The Troubles occurred during the darkest period in our country’s Post-colonial history… it revealed (???) complicity between security services and drug lords and the infiltration of rogue elements into the police (It rendered the security services vulnerable exposing their deficiencies…”
“The lesson of The Troubles must guide security reforms… the inquiry into the Lindo Creek massacre-and others-are intended to improve the force’s administration and operations. They are not intended to demoralise or destabilise the force”. Presidential intentions and expectations!
Since January 2016, His Excellency had declared that: “The last administration never bothered to account to the nation for the hundreds of lives that were lost through criminal violence… the agony, anger and alienation caused by violence against citizens, especially the innocent and the young still simmer…”
I ask (always)? Who were these hundreds killed? Who kept count? Are the real criminals and bandits included? Does the president’s emotive language accommodate any hint of ethnic motives by the Jagdeo outfit?
You see friends, whilst I understand the need to identify the authors of the period’s mayhem, I see old wounds opening that really will bring no closure. Some folks will experience what we call “satisfaction” – when the findings please or suit them.
The drama has already begun from those called to testify, Stand by for numerous more movie-like drama running the gamut of emotions. Politically Dr Jagdeo, scared or not, could turn the inquiries into strategic witch hunts by this government. The administration could also use its Troubles inquiries to intimidate, even prosecute certain opposition politicians. What will the bulk of our population believe or conclude? Will each inquisition sharpen division? Discuss…
●1) It’s staggering, the likely inquiries to come: Kitty (2002) Lamaha Gardens, (2002) Bourda (2002), Buxton-Friendship (2003), Prashad Nagar (2003), Agricola/Eccles (2006), LBI (2006), Bagotstown-Eccles (2006) Blackbush Polder (2006), Bartica (2008) Lusignan (2008).
His Excellency says that all these killings “require investigation”. Inquiries like peas! So you realise that there could be as many perpetrators as there were victims?
● 1B) How is our total security strategy along the borders coming along? Our Militia Reserve, our Brazilian allies assisting?
● 2) Name 5 companies advertising jobs in the burgeoning oil-and-gas sector.
● 3) Coming next week: Some ladies of Linden.
Til next week!