My sympathy goes out to Mrs. Maria van Beek, her family and immediate relatives. I know what it is like to face death after being attacked for non-robbery reasons.
In 2004, at 5.30 A.M. gunmen invaded my garage as I was about to drive out. I fled from their pointed guns. My car was found by my nephew neatly parked in Charlestown one block, yes one block from Kaieteur News. It was clear the nearness to the paper I write for was to send a message.
Nothing was taken from the car even though I had insurance payment money and electricity bill money in an envelope. I had the latest MP3 player that Glenn Lall brought back for me. My car stereo was state-of-the-art. Nothing was tampered with.
Shortly after, my house was shot up and a bullet missed my wife’s head by less than two inches. I showed Glenn Lall the exact spot the bullet was lodged in my bedroom.Yet cowards who have power in this country can call me a fool and other derogations. I ignore them and I continue to try to educate Guyanese on the nature of elected dictatorship.
Who tried to kill Mrs. van Beek? In any country on the globe, people would pick up their newspapers or tune into their TV sets to hear what speculations the commentators and analysts offer. Speculations in these circumstances have to be tempered, moderate and blended with enlightened perspectives.One of the reasons why I was a huge critic of the talk show hosts between 2001 and 2005 was because their speculations were propagandistic, designed to incite and wholly devoid of intellectual contents.
At this stage it is too early to speculate. At the time of writing, the police have no leads. But robbery is not the motive given the modus operandi of the gunmen. Van Beek’s sister told the media robbery was not the reason for the attack. Let us avoid speculation and try logical deduction. We can go back in time in contemporary Guyanese history. When I was a little boy, I heard stories about three incidents about the violent conflicts in the sixties that I accepted then quickly rejected as I became an older teenager.
I was told that the Sun Chapman which was going to Wismar and was bombed killing 38 African Guyanese was the work of PNC agents that planted dynamite to take to the mining town to kill PPP supporters. This was subsequent to the massacre of East Indians. Logic, common sense and reason could not lead you to accept that explanation. Surely, the PNC people had access to dynamite in Linden, so why take them up.
Secondly, the home of Arthur Abraham was burnt down by arsonists killing him and seven of his children. The story sold to me was that the United Force supporters were making bombs in the home and they exploded. Mr. Abraham was Premier Jagan’s Permanent Secretary who was demoted just before the fire and his daughter, an opposition youth leader, was charged with sedition after she reported that as an employee of Barclay’s Bank she saw cheques sent by the USSR via London for the PPP. Surely, the Abrahams were targeted.
Thirdly, Peter Taylor, a zealously anti-PPP editor of the Argosy was gunned down but survived. Why would the opposition try to kill a newspaper editor that helped their cause? I know who shot Peter Taylor and I can name them because the attacker and the person who planned it have died recently. I will do so shortly.
What has this long digression got to do with the attempted assassination of van Beek? Her sister said it was stupid if someone who lost money in CLICO (Guyana) did it. Logic and common sense would rule that out. Every single person who lost money in CLICO would know, and I repeat, would know that Mrs. van Beek has absolutely nothing to do with the collapse of CLICO. Such an explanation should be ruled out. It is nonsensical and absurd.
So where does logical deduction lead us? It is logical, definitely logical, to assume that the shooting may be linked to her control of CLICO where she may be in possession of information. I will stop there because I am getting into the realm of speculation and I don’t want to go there as yet. One hopes Mrs. van Beek is not deterred and she continues to investigate the CLICO fiasco. As for us, media operatives, we have to start digging. I know who is one of the persons that benefitted from the New Building Society’s purchase of CLICO bonds in the Berbice Bridge.
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