Sad deprecation of a nation and its people
I have been observing in Guyana the unfolding of melancholic political events, despicable reference to past sadistic and horrible violent events, no doubt inspired by misguided, warped and injured minds, for political turf and racial motives.
I make reference to the so-called “Linden Crisis” and the article written by the Honourable Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall under the rubric “The National Assembly”: An Unruly Horse (part IV)” and three (3) letters to the editor, of a newspaper under the respective headlines, “Ralph Seeram should ask whether it is the PPP that want to take Guyana back to the sixties”, “We must dismantle the racist victim themes now used for sinister political agendas” and “Mr. Seeram: What if three cane-cutters were killed by the police in a similar scenario”.
The contents of these three articles in different ways and, with the greatest deference to the writers, reflect a sad, unfortunate and appalling national psychic of self-condemnation to eternal damnation. A manifestation of a national psyche of inability, lack of will and the fortitude to extricate themselves from past dastardly and horrible events to liberation, civilization, education and a new dispensation in accordance with good governance, equality, fairness, respect for human dignity, and principles of fundamental justice.
For example, Mr. Mike Persaud has already determined that it was the police that killed the protestors in Linden recently, notwithstanding the pathologist findings and initial report. There is therefore no need for any further investigations, inquiry or trial. The responsibility for this tragedy is that of the Honourable Mr. Clement Rohee, despite the Honourable AG’s reference to section 7 of the Police Act and the declaration of the Disciplined Forces Commission.
Most appalling is Mr. Mike Persaud’s judgment that the Honourable Mr. Rohee “lacks the education and training to understand it”.
What education and training may I ask? In Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Mr. John Sandy was removed as the Minister of National Security despite being a Brigadier of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment. If I am not mistaken, I think Minister Rohee is one of the longest serving members of Parliament in the Caribbean.
The point I am making is that it is reprehensible and indeed uncivilized and uncouth to refer to a Minister of Government in such a disparaging manner. Similarly the aforesaid three (3) letters to the editor reflect a social, moral and ethical decline of the values and rectitude of some people in Guyana.
Reference to the past racial conflict, violence and horrendous events of the 1960s, the Lusiginan massacre, communism and pitting this against the present Linden Crisis and the constituents of the Government of the times supplanted by disingenuous, tangential, unenlightened and misconceived arguments only serve to unwittingly fool and deceive the writers, the illiterate, less educated and unfortunate people.
However the consequences and effects on the illiterate, less educated and unfortunate ones only promote hatred, racism, anger, suspicion and distrust among the people of Guyana resulting sometimes in death, bodily harm and injuries to people. The result is as presently obtains in Guyana – protests, threats of violence, social and moral decay and national morass.
Let us return to the Honorable AG’s article. In law we often refer to the principles of natural justice, the “audi alterem partem” rule and the principles of fundamental justice. In short it is what is fair and reasonable. In Trinidad and Tobago recently, the opposition tabled in Parliament a motion of no confidence in the Honourable Prime Minister Ms. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The requisite period of the notice was given to all the members of both houses of Parliament. Both the Government and the opposition parties would therefore have had adequate time to consult with their constituents and supporters, get their views, do the necessary research and properly prepare for an informative national debate in the highest forum of the land so that a reasoned and judicious decision is made in the highest court of the land in pronouncing judgment on the motion of no confidence in the Honorable Prime Minister.
This is natural Justice. It is Justice being dispensed in accordance with certain rules of fairness developed for several centuries relating to the welfare and dignity of human beings. Let us not forget that if the motion of no confidence against Minister Rohee is successful, he loses his job, he is fired or dismissed from his employment. Simply put, he will no longer be a minister and loses his salary and all benefits associated therewith.
It’s Parliamentary Practice – Westminster or otherwise – in all civilized countries. A person’s salary and benefits are his property. There is a universal human rights provision in constitutions of all countries of the civilized world, that is, a person cannot be deprived of his/her property except by due process of law.
In Trinidad and Tobago, industrial relations practices are governed by the Industrial Relations Act. Before taking any steps to dismiss an employee or worker he/she must be given reasonable notice, he/she must be given a warning with full particulars of the reason(s) for his/her intended dismissal and a reasonable opportunity for him/her to show why he/she should not be dismissed. If there is non-compliance with these requirements any dismissal from employment would be deemed to be harsh, oppressive and contrary to good industrial relations practice.
Apply this position in law to the Speaker’s decision, according to the Honourable AG’s article, to Minister Rohee’s position. It is simply untenable, injudicious, irrational, unreasonable, harsh, oppressive and contrary to the principles of fundamental justice and good parliamentary practice. You see the point is that we must stop highlighting unfortunate events of the past, as in the aforesaid three (3) articles, to suit egoistic, misconceived and, sometimes, unreasonable and irrational, pronouncements and expatiation to promote public, racial and political scandal, odium, hatred, anger, hostility, violence, protests, disturbances and breach of the peace because of narrow, prejudicial and misinformed political and other views. This impedes and or reverses national progress, social, educational and political transformation and national growth and development of the state of Guyana and its people. What a sad depreciation.
Odai N. S. Ramischand