For Guyanese at home and abroad, the trial in New York has raised all kinds of questions that simply cannot or will not disappear because the Government of Guyana angrily says they should.
The media has now reported that the Fedex Operations Manager in New York has testified that his company had shipped a list of items, including laptop computers and recording devices, from Guyana to the NY office of Roger Khan’s lawyer, Robert Simels. Presumably Fedex tracking records have been submitted as evidence to show exactly when the transfers took place.
Police Commissioner Henry Greene has apparently continued to maintain that the force still has the equipment in Guyana, but that they are not yet ready to reveal what they have. What is he waiting for? The sky to fall in? The story to fade from sight and hopefully from memory?
If the Guyana Police Force has the equipment, why not produce it for Guyanese to see? Why not let the U.S. courts see that this equipment is in Guyana and was not sent to Simel’s NY office, and therefore render all this testimony instantly invalid? Why not immediately clear the name of the Guyana Government if all this counter-evidence is so readily available? Or is it the case that there is either no equipment in Guyana (and we are not expected to call the Police Commissioner’s bluff?), or that there might have been more than one batch of surveillance equipment (one in Guyana and one that is now in NY)? We will continue to ask questions as long as those in Guyana who claim that they know do not seem to think that they owe the Guyanese people answers. Is this what democracy amounts to?
Moreover, with Dr. Ramsammy’s name coming up more than once in the trial, it seems to me that we are way past the time to simply be accepting angry denials on his part, or simply accepting President Jagdeo’s assurance that he asked the Minister of Health if he was involved in any way and is satisfied that he was emphatically told no. Does the government really believe that on the basis of this, Guyanese are not supposed to ask any more questions? What about this logic makes any sense? For the record, let me say that this is not about whether Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy performs his job well; clearly from some letters to the press he is seen as an extremely competent minister in the present administration and I am not at all interested in disputing this.
But the principled thing for him to do in the face of all this information swirling around in a U.S. court of law is to step aside (not resign) and request an independent investigation so that he can fully clear his name, prove he was framed etc. This will allow him to return to serve all Guyanese – which he has said he is committed to doing, and I have no reason to disbelieve him – with no clouds hanging over his head. He for one will have the confidence of everyone should he do this; his integrity will not be an issue.
That way Guyanese would see that there are principled individuals who put people first, and who understand what it means to earn the trust of people across the board. This is not something out of the ordinary that is being suggested, but a normal course of action that one would expect in a democratic society.
One would imagine, or hope, that in any democracy, these would be the automatic actions that would be taken. This is not about whether you support the government or not, and the administration needs to come down off its high horse and stop accusing all those who would wish to ask legitimate questions of simply being biased or partisan.
One wonders if its own supporters can raise questions, or are they being intimidated into silence? What has gone wrong in Guyana that such thoroughly unaccountable responses are being presented? Is there absolutely no respect for Guyanese people from those in power who are supposed to answer to the population? For how long will we continue to normalize such an abnormal state of affairs? As Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora, after 45 years we not only deserve more than this, we need to demand accountability.
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