The Linden deaths: Is there a State conspiracy?
At the candlelight vigil outside of Parliament for the Linden martyrs on Sunday evening, Denis Chabrol of Demerara Waves put his recorder into my face and pointedly asked a question. He said; “Mr Kissoon, do you think that the shooting of the protestors is part of a conspiracy by the ruling party to engender a race conflagration?” My answer was that there is a growing belief among political observers that there may be a conspiracy indeed.
Obviously, the journalist didn’t dream this up. Chabrol put to me a question that arose out of what he may have pieced together from his inquiries. Let us look at some recent antecedents. And they all point to the invocation of the ethnic monster.
The PPP has won five consecutive elections (including the plurality of votes in 2011 though not a national majority by itself) and in every one, the statistics are frightening – their votes came almost exclusively from the Indian race group. Even in Amerindian villages, the AFC dented them, but the Indian vote gave the PPP the presidency in 2011.
However, there is a small dot among the statistics that may be responsible for the conspiracy theory that surrounds the Linden shootings. Only 53 percent of Region Six voted and Moses Nagamootoo humiliated the PPP with his AFC platform. Since that election result, an attitude has emerged in the PPP leadership that borders on barefaced race-baiting.
It started with the asininity of asserting that APNU rigged the election because PPP supporters were prevented by APNU crowds from voting. Read that to mean, Indians were bullied by Africans in Georgetown.
Apart from the imbecility of the presentation (because why would APNU rig yet lose) there is no grain of truth in this description painted by Donald Ramotar himself. This columnist worked the Georgetown circuit from daybreak to dusk on Election Day. I concentrated my activities where I was born and where I grew up and where APNU has its strength - the entirety of South Georgetown.
By midday, voting was over in that part of Guyana. APNU supporters came out in the darkness of the morning before the sun broke and voted. When I visited Lodge with Dr. Asquith Rose of the AFC, the polling stations were deserted.
This was the first attempt to scare Indians. Then came one of the most sickening advocacies of incitement to race hate in the history of this country. Nothing like this even existed at the thinnest levels in the sixties. It came from within the bowels of the PPP.
I refer to what is now known as the infamous Chronicle editorial. To date, there is no denunciation by any leader of the PPP of that editorial. But if one had any doubts about the PPP’s involvement in the composition, they were dispelled when the Chronicle published a letter under a fictitious name that endorsed the editorial.
The writer Skeet had the identical style to a certain PPP leader.
Now we have the gunning down of peaceful protestors and the serious wounding of over two dozen in Linden. All are African Guyanese. Among the opposition, in certain journalistic circles and in Linden itself, the analysis is growing that the deaths were part of a conspiracy to cause ethnic violence. I was told that the stratagem was for enraged African constituencies to rampage in Linden, Region Four and Georgetown targeting Indian people and Indian businesses.
If that was the plan, it has not worked. And maybe it will not work, because it is known, and therefore the trap will be avoided. I was in Linden last Saturday and the call among every speaker, particularly Aubrey Norton and Dr. David Hinds, is to avoid the race bait. Norton appealed to Lindeners to reject the PPP’s plans to paint them as anti-Indians.
I was on the platform of the Youth Coalition for Transformation last Friday, and speaker after speaker warned Guyanese that the Linden killings is a race trap set by the PPP that the PPP needs to survive.
Of course the obvious is yet to happen, and one wonders why it has not as yet. Indians like myself have to spend countless hours urging Indians in Guyana to support the just cause of the Lindeners. Indians in Guyana must remember that bauxite workers marched into the sugar belts to support striking cane cutters in the seventies.
I appeal to my fellow Indians, please show love, respect and solidarity to the suffering people of Linden. They need your camaraderie in this their moment of need.