Roger Khan-era killings have to be addressed via the courts, not reconciliation commission

Dear Editor,

I have read the letter by Robin Singh in Stabroek News, 8th December, 2018 `Truth and Reconciliation Commission needed to get to bottom of claim about 400 men killed’.

I cannot from where I stand and from what I have experienced support any suggestion of a reconciliation commission, when Robin Singh’s letter in its posture exhibits the very presumptuous dishonesty on matters that are still alive in the dreams of many of us today. One must first embrace an era in totality regardless of how uncomfortable that process is, and not in selective self-serving extracts. Atonement and reconciliation is a process in reference to populations and not to the sinister architects who perpetrated with cold calculative intentions, facilitating murders and marginalisation along racial lines.

The emergence of the ‘Fine Man gang’ is late in the events that envelop what has to be taken into full analysis in the context of our recent history of the Roger Khan-Jagdeo tragedy. Fine Man and his gang are a consequence not the genesis. 

Atonement is the ancient prototype of the truth and reconciliation idea. It constitutes the ritual sacrifice of animals over a period. Yes, it revolves around a blood sacrifice, perceived by the ancients as a cleansing rite. The 20th century translation of Atonement evolved with the trials at Nuremberg post 1945 and is today further modified at The Hague International Criminal Court. Reconciliation exists between populations, in our situation the constituencies of the major political parties. But reconciliation is not extended to the political architects who conspired to murder, marginalise, cultivate hatreds, and as correctly defined by Freddie Kissoon, to practice ideological racism and damage the values of a nation, traumatising a perceived opposition constituency for their own political existence. The first victim of this practice was a coconut seller on Mandela Avenue who was randomly shot in 1993.

By 1996 we were protesting by the multitude over the murder of Jermaine Wilkinson, during that period I visited the office of Desmond Hoyte and insisted that he come to Albouystown. The era of extra-judicial killings and the criminalisation of the GPF had commenced.

How does anyone tell the relatives of the Lindo Creek massacre to forgive on some superficial pretext?  Which would constitute a denial of justice, how do you tell the mothers of sons never allowed to bury their children to forgive the high official who George ‘Bumbalay’ Bacchus said on 28 TV had instructed them, meaning he, the informant, and his death squad colleagues, not to throw the ‘bodies they murdered all over the place’. 

I can understand knowing all this, why Minister Volda Lawrence lost it and said what she should have done rather than said. As a citizen I hold the APNU+AFC accountable especially when I hear the Leader of the PPP and Leslie Ramsammy, and those people who have damaged this country masquerading a facade of normalcy.

Yes, this nation needs to be cleansed but not through a Reconciliation Commission but through our courts.

Yours faithfully,

Barrington Braithwaite

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