The PPP has decided on a military solution to the Linden problem
WPA views the decision by the President and his government to order the use force in Linden a mere three weeks after the police killed three protestors and injured several others, as a highly provocative escalation against the peaceful protesting people of Linden.
This latest action has taken Guyana several steps closer to the brink of a mass political conflict that could have far-reaching consequences, particularly given the rumored, we hope, allegations that the PPP is seeking to insert the “organization and planning” of the peaceful protest on July 18 into the Terms of Reference of the intended Inquiry as a diversion from the murders of that fateful date.
The PPP government and party are once again demonstrating their disdain for the Guyanese people and for the norms of civilized governance.
The President ordered the military into various provocative actions, including vulgar propaganda ones like dropping inflammatory pamphlets from a military helicopter on the people of Linden, despite ongoing talks with the administration of Region 10 and the parliamentary opposition, which have reportedly shown considerable progress. WPA asks: why do they fear a negotiated settlement?
The only answer is that such a settlement would invariably address the core concerns and demands of Linden, which the government is unprepared to yield to. The WPA can only conclude that the PPP has decided on a military solution and has used the talks as political diversion and theatre.
The government’s decision to unilaterally and abruptly cancel the scheduled meeting on Friday in the wake of the Joint Forces’ action is ominous. WPA has reason to believe that agreement on the Terms of Reference for the Commission of Inquiry and the setting up of the Technical Team to take another look at the electricity issue represent the furthest the PPP intends to go.
This is nothing short of political betrayal and should be condemned by all patriots. WPA continues to support open dialogue with the government, but urges the opposition to recognize that it is not negotiating with a sincere partner but with a hostile party intent on undermining any genuine effort at national reconciliation.
The political opposition has understandably been urging vigilance, resoluteness, calm and restraint in Linden. But this recent action by the government whereby the community is being subjected to war propaganda, military occupation and disproportionate force, has severely tested the patience of the people. Any community that has been battered economically and militarily by the state has a right to protest and ultimately to self-defence.
The PPP government has ignored every reasonable attempt by the opposition, in and out of parliament, to forge a cooperative form of governance and have instead opted for confrontation. In the final analysis, a government that continues to use maximum force against its citizens should not be afforded legitimacy.
WPA has noted the role of the Private Sector Commission in encouraging the government to crackdown on Linden.
This is a most negative development. While we respect the right of the Private Sector to protect its interests, WPA will not trade justice for the working people in exchange for the protection and patronage of narrow elite class interests.
It is nauseating to hear both the PSC and the government constantly bemoan the loss of profits while completely ignoring the economic plight of Lindeners and the fact that three lives were lost and several other citizens have been injured. This openly uncaring attitude that puts profit above human life is a frightening development that must be confronted and obliterated.
WPA, therefore, has no hesitation in standing in full solidarity with the people of Linden as they resist this latest assault on their right to peaceful protest in pursuit of their human and civil rights.
We urge them to continue their historic act of defiance and self-emancipation. We, further, call on the rest of Guyana to wake up from its slumber and recognize that the actions against the people of Linden are an attack on our collective right to live as free citizens. WPA has begun to alert its overseas friends and members to the deteriorating situation in Guyana.
We are urging them to in turn alert the international community to the developments here and to join in organizing solidarity actions with the people of Linden.
WPA Executive Member