Does the PPP really want the police force reformed?
Mr. Patrick Mentore’s letter, “Don’t hammer the police without offering useful suggestions,” (KN, October 12), was long on rhetoric but short on reality.
The rhetoric about offering suggestions for making the force better is no different from the rhetoric from those who challenge critics of the regime to come up with ideas instead of merely criticizing.
There is no Guyanese, at home or abroad, who can show evidence of any meaningful or substantive suggestion that was offered to the PPP regime by a non-PPPite over the last two decades that was adopted or incorporated into government’s agenda.
If there is one thing I have learned about the PPP in the last two decade, it is this: it does not care for the opinions of anyone other than the PPP. It is either the PPP’s way or no way.
While many of us had an open mind to Cheddi Jagan and the PPP back in 1992, we were shocked to discover that the PPP never had an open mind to us.
And even when it pretended to be amenable to a suggestion from outside Freedom House, it would twist and turn the suggestion to fit into one of its already established agenda items, making the suggestion a PPP brand.
When Dr. Yesu Persaud suggested to Dr. Jagan in 1990 that Mr. Sam Hinds of the GUARD movement be Jagan’s prime ministerial candidate, we all held out hope for an open and people-friendly PPP after being told for two decades prior of the horrible stuff a communist PPP regime would do to Guyana. After Jagan and the PPP won, we kept looking futilely for the PPP to incorporate ideas from the people, but then Jagan died unexpectedly in 1997, and the baton was passed to Janet Jagan and then Bharrat Jagdeo.
With the ascension of Jagdeo, the PPP morphed from a party of the Guyana-version of hope and change into hype and corruption. The Civic arm was crippled. Mr. Hinds went from being a bridge for Blacks to a door mat for the PPP.
With all the Blacks being shot and killed by the police, Mr. Hinds remains conspicuously absent from the platform as a voice or ‘bridge’ for Blacks.
Even when the crime spree was on during 2002-2004, with Blacks as both criminals and suspects and also victims, Mr. Hinds was visibly absent. Where was his voice or ideas or suggestions? Again, it was either the PPP’s way or no way.
And when President Jagdeo wrote the British asking for help in reforming the police force to deal with the armed criminal gangs, the British responded by offering to finance a GY$160M security sector reform plan, only to be shot down by the Jagdeo regime because the regime did not want to have British police stationed among Guyanese police as part of the security sector reform.
What bigger and better suggestion than this can anyone offer for the police, Mr. Mentore?
It is not for the want of suggestions that the PPP regime is still corrupt, lawless, vindictive, authoritarian, and discriminatory, or that the police force remains compromised to the point it is now in a state of crisis, much like the system of governance in Guyana.
The PPP does not listen to anybody and tries to give the impression it is tough, but relents under tremendous pressure, which means that the only suggestion the PPP needs is pressure – lots and lots of pressure. It should change the name of its headquarters from Freedom House to House of Pressure.
And believe me, Mr. Editor and Mr. Mentore, if Guyanese don’t not put pressure on the PPP, the PPP will steamroll them on its way to a real dictatorship. It needs a corrupt or compromised police force to achieve this, though.
It does not care who jumps on its bandwagon for personal or political reasons, but everyone is expendable in the interest of the PPP’s goals. Look at Merrs. Ramjattan, Nagamootoo and Ramkarran.
Meanwhile, the opposition is calling for the removal of Mr. Clement Rohee as Home Affairs Minister in the face of a series of major blunders by the police, and I quite support the call. However, the regime is saying ‘it will not be moved’. My question is: Even if the regime removes Rohee, won’t the regime go for another Rohee-type replacement, given that President Ramotar already declared his cabinet will be all-PPP? Rohee must go, but the police force must be reformed. Does the PPP really want the police force reformed?
The intransigent stance by the PPP on Rohee, police reform and other issues, therefore, is troubling for several reasons, but none more so than it does not care about the opinions of others.
And here is a useful secret: it is only a handful of people in the PPP leadership behind the PPP’s agenda being manifested in such a massive and dominant way in the government’s belligerent behavior.
The sooner Guyanese wake up and realize this ‘handful’ concept, the sooner the nation could be on its way to having the type of government and type of police force that conform to the will of the majority.
Governments serve the people, which make the people the actual rulers!