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GOPIO Asks Government of India to Take Pro-Active Stand on Human Rights of PIOs Human Rights Experiences: People of Indian Origin in the Caribbean, Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe was the theme of an all-day conference held at St John’s University, in Queens, New York on Saturday, March 20, 2004

  GOPIO.   GOPIO HR    disgraced Prime Ministers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guyana Gay Man President, Bharat Jadgeo. Many are calling for the DUNCE to leave office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge, jury and executioner?
Robert Persaud
THE principles of the rule of law and due process seemed not to have had an impact on Mr. Robert Corbin and the People’s National Congress. Under the PNC regime, of which Mr. Corbin was a key player you are condemned and sentenced as charged by that Party.

The PNC dictatorship was the most oppressive in our region. Their violation of human rights is unparalleled in the English-speaking Caribbean. Walter Rodney, Fr. Bernard Darke, Jagan Ramessar, Bholanauth Parmanand and Ohene Khame in the struggle for democracy were all found guilty and sentenced to their death by that same PNC regime. There was no due process. No right to be heard. The only crime these men committed was to oppose the PNC dictatorship. Their sentences were handed out by the PNC armed agents with either a bullet or a knife. Those were the tragic days of our sordid past.

Today, there is no longer persecution and punishment because of one’s political belief. All the Human Rights Conventions and Protocols have been adhered to. Since 1992, consecutive United States of America State Department Human Rights Reports have hailed the end of political persecutions and killings that characterised the erstwhile PNC regime. The people of Guyana at three consecutive elections – 1992, 1997 and 2001 - have told the PNCR that its ideology of fear and violence are not relevant. This ideology, premised on destruction and hate, has no place in our multi-ethnic society.

The forward movement of democracy on the basis of the rule of law and respect for each other’s rights is irreversible. But for the PNCR this is either a difficult lesson to learn or a hard reality to accept. There is an old saying: ‘As a dog returns to his vomit so does a man return to his bad habit.’ This is what the PNCR seems to be suffering from. As an opposition party since 1992, the PNCR is finding it hard to desist from the role as a “judge, jury and executioner” when it comes to the Government and its officials. It is this same mentality of the PNCR leadership that has led some of its misguided supporters, on many occasions, in street protests to beat and rob ordinary Guyanese on suspicion of their political affiliation. Ordinary folks were convicted, tried and sentenced in the streets during PNCR post-election marches of 1992, 1998, 2001, and during the 2002/3 crime spree.

I do not only blame those misled protesters for their crimes when they behaved like judge, jury and executioners during street marches. I hold their irresponsible leaders fully responsible for those criminal actions.

Let’s look at a current situation of Mr. Corbin and the PNCR taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner. Allegations and accusations have been made by a so-called informant against the Minister of Home Affairs. Before the alleged informant completed his statement to the media and others, the PNCR Leader found the Minister guilty of the accusations and has condemned him by calling for his resignation. Mr. Corbin unwittingly returns to his old habit when as part of the PNC regime there was no respect for due process. But it is unexpected that Mr. Corbin would act so hastily and politically immature to assume the positions of “judge, jury and executioner” on the current matter.

Mr. Corbin would do well to recall when, as a Government Minister, a much more serious charge was brought against him in relation to an alleged incident on September 27, 1986 in his Office. Then in 1989, another devastating charge was made against the PNCR Leader again when he was a Deputy Prime Minister in the PNC regime which led to the infamous Report of the Commission of Inquiry in the acquisition, purchase and performance of the power barge. These references are not intended to attack the PNCR Leader’s controversial past. They are merely reminders of the importance of due process when allegations are made against anyone including public officials.

The PNCR and certain opposition news outfits have ignored the fact that the Police are conducting a vigorous investigation into the allegations. A number of persons have been detained and questioned. The US Embassy in Georgetown is indirectly involved in the matter as the alleged informant has had interactions with certain Embassy staffers. Further, the Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon has not ruled out the possibility of another Inquiry.

The Minister of Home Affairs has told the media he expects “the police to conduct investigations based on what reports they have…(the alleged informant) claims of making me an offer to establish a killing squad is a mere allegation…there is suspicion and on the basis of suspicion there is speculation.”

Mr. Corbin, instead of walking out of ceremonies and meetings, picketing and other public relations gimmicks, would do well to act mature and support a full investigation into the matter. But I doubt that it is the PNCR’s intention to have any complete investigations into the allegations. Political mileage, scare mongering and undermining the credibility of the law enforcement agencies seem to be the underlying objectives of their current antics which are supported by other elements, including ROAR and CN Sharma parties. Having been unable to attract more than a couple of dozen protesters outside of the Ministry of Home Affairs over the past days, certain PNCR leaders are now threatening communal violence.

The PNCR has a tough time subscribing to responsible and non-confrontational politics. When will the PNCR and its sidekicks learn to behave in a democratic and enlightened political environment, an important feature of which is the rule of law and due process?
Robert Persaud is Information Liaison to the President.

 

Will the PNC ask for an inquiry into the brutality and killings in 2002-03?
Mr. Robert Corbin has spoken about allegations made against himself, Mr. Stanley Moore and Mr. Rashleigh Jackson when they were all members of the Burnham Cabinet, and that they resigned when allegations were made against them.

The matters having been brought to the public arena by Mr. Corbin in his quest to get the removal of Ronald Gajraj from office, it is only fair that the public be made aware of what Mr. Corbin had alluded to.

The allegation was made against Robert Corbin that he raped a young woman in his office one Saturday afternoon. Can Mr. Corbin confirm or deny that the medical evidence showed that the girl was bruised, scratched and suffered other injuries consistent with an attack as if by an animal?

Mr. Stanley Moore was Minister of Home Affairs and he ordered the release of hardcore criminals from the Georgetown Prison. Mr. Skip Roberts, the Crime Chief, protested to Mr. Burnham. Mr. Burnham suggested to Roberts that he tender his resignation. (This was part of Burnham's strategy). Mr. Burnham called in Stanley Moore and showed him Skip Robert's letter of resignation. He asked Moore to find a Crime Chief as competent as Roberts. Stanley Moore resigned and Skip Robert's letter of resignation was destroyed.

Rashleigh Jackson's son was allegedly found in possession of unlawful objects in the U.S.A, and a letter was issued claiming that the son was in the diplomatic service, which was not true. As a result of the letter, the son was not charged. Mr. Jackson resigned.

Is there any similarity to the matter now engaging in public attention at the request of Mr. Corbin?

But dealing with the call for the resignation of Mr. Gajraj, we have seen two statements issued by bedfellows of the PNC. The Guyana Bar Association noted that it was a serious breach of the law to condemn a high government official without verification and scrutiny of the allegations made against him; and the Guyana Human Rights Association in a lukewarm statement said it was unfortunate that the PNC/R chose to focus predominantly on the Minister rather than mobilizing around the issue.

Bearing in mind that Bacchus has refused to attend an identification parade or give a statement in writing to the Guyana authorities, will the PNC/R show its maturity and lend support for a proper enquiry, including all the killings and brutality experienced in Guyana in 2002-2003 for which no one has been arrested?

AHMAD ALLI

THANKS TO THE PHANTOM FORCE
The law abiding citizens who wish to live in peace in Guyana wish to express their thanks to the phantom and all those responsible for its formation. Thanks to them for the crime free holidays and safe passage through Buxton and Agricola that have resulted from the intervention of the phantom force or phantom squad.

We extend our deepest sympathy to the main opposition party, among others, for being unable to create an unstable environment and instill fear among the citizens. This has resulted in more investment and other positives.

It is a good time to remind the Guyanese public and the opposition that Mr. George Bacchus was convicted for murder. An investigation should be launched regarding his acquittal, which, incidentally, was not a judge or jury decision. In the interim I suggest that Mr. George Bacchus remain in police custody until the investigation is completed. This may be the safest place for him at this time - in addition to a happy reunion with old friends.
Thankful Sophia Resident

The call for Mr. Gajraj's resignation is puerile and vindictive
May I add my two bits worth to the current discussion about the alleged statements made by Mr. George Bacchus and the calls for Mr. Ronald Gajraj to resign his position as Minister of Home Affairs?

There appears to have been no official or formal report made to the police, the competent authority, by Bacchus. All we are hearing are second-hand reports. I do not think that in such a case the police can properly act where they don't have a report in writing from someone.

The call for Mr. Gajraj's resignation is puerile and vindictive. The PNC has reported it will not participate in any official forum at which Gajraj is present. The puerility and meanness of the PNC manifest themselves when it is demanding that Gajraj should not be allowed to leave the jurisdiction of Guyana. It suggests, therefore, that should Gajraj resign and circumstances such as ill health or other personal matters impel him to leave the jurisdiction, the PNC will take to the streets. The consequences of the PNC taking to the streets need not be spelt out.

But let us look at some other aspects, two of which cause me grave concern. First, Bacchus's allegations: He went all around making serious allegations but has not made written statements to the police, and has refused to attend an identification parade or confrontation to point out the persons against whom he has made serious allegations.

At first his excuse was his lawyer was out of the country and later on he exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, I know the people for over twenty years!" Yet, no confrontation!

In his statements he boasted how he spent his own funds to find out about the criminals' whereabouts, that a submachine gun was used to shoot the men through the window of the vehicles in which they were traveling, and then later he said he had no details of the actual killings of the squad. Having done all he did, speaking with the PNC, Channel 9 and the U.S. Embassy, he is now upset at the furor raised by political parties and other groups over his disclosures, and he believes they are only using his statements for political mileage and he wants them to stop.

Has he now realized he was set up by political and other groups?

The PNC is calling for an inquiry concerning the phantom group. But no call was made for an inquiry into the Buxton phantom group - the criminal bunch that robbed, vandalized and murdered Indians in Buxton, where the army was stationed and no one saw who committed these offences. Was there not a phantom group?

What agenda do the press and the television stations have when they claim that a polygraph test was done, which in fact is now shown to be false? Channel 6 news broadcast it and Stabroek News made it front page headline news. Channel 6 has not retracted the statements. We don't know what Stabroek News will do. Stabroek News also highlighted that Bacchus had confrontations with the alleged killers, but Bacchus himself denied that he attended any confrontation!

Is it a case where Bacchus was set up and when his story was appearing to be suspect the press then resorted to sensationalism and began to publish false stories?

Can the Guyana Press Association come forward and set matters right doing what they have to do, or are the officials sympathetic to these sensational stories when the words of a self-confessed criminal are held as gospel?

The press gave full-page response to Freedie Kissoon's commentary of the happenings at UG. I hope these two or three columns will see the light of day.
ALMIN BAKSH

 

JANUARY 21, 2004