When the tens of thousands of PPP supporters assemble at Good Hope for their party’s pre-election rally in 2011, when they begin to wave their party flags in the air and cheer as the big belly man struts his stuff on stage, I want all of them to remember how Doodnauth Singh, has been treated by the PPP government.
There is a matter before the Courts now concerning the payment of gratuity and pension to the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
This column is not about that case. This column simply asks why did the matter have to reach the stage whereby someone of the stature and respect of Doodnauth Singh has to go to the Courts to receive what is due to him.
What sort of government would do this to its former Attorney General? What sort of persons are we dealing with in this administration that would suffer such an outstanding Guyanese to have to apply to the Courts to receive his lawful benefits?
This happens when you take children and put power in their hands. Political power is not something to be experimented with in the hands of immature minds. Placing great political responsibility in the hands of persons without the requisite political experience and maturity is like placing matches in the hands of toddlers.
Let us hope that in 2011, the PPP does not make the same mistake again and instead, decides to fire all these political travelers who are hitchhiking on the mandate given to the party by the electorate, and on this free ride are showing grave disrespect and lack of appreciation for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to democracy, human rights and to the development of Guyana as a whole.
Doodnauth Singh is a respected jurist. Long before he successfully prosecuted those involved in the events that climaxed in the US invasion of Grenada, he was an outstanding lawyer and one who was involved in fighting human rights cases and political cases on behalf of the opposition during the Burnham era.
He is one of the top legal minds in the Caribbean, better known for criminal cases both as a prosecutor and defence attorney but no less adept at constitutional matters.
He served as the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission in the controversial elections of 1997 for which he earned the ire of the opposition forces.
But it was Doodnauth Singh that saved this country from disaster since there were forces at work that were bent on subverting democratic rule. Had he not acted and acted in a principled way, this country would have had a constitutional crisis from which it would never have recovered.
How exactly it is that he decided to take up the position of Attorney General in 2003 is still a mystery which he will hopefully explain one day. But that he did so was supposed to be credit to the Jagdeo administration since he is by far one of the top legal minds in the country.
Why he stayed so long in a government of mediocrity is equally a mystery that also hopefully one day he will explain.
That he has been treated in such a shabby manner by the very government that he served is shameful. He did not deserve this type of treatment.
Why is it that he had to take steps to go to the Courts to receive what is rightfully due to him, more especially considering that he is an extremely sick person who would need the money for his medical expenses?
Why it is that someone could not intervene and remove those demands which were being placed on him so that he could receive what he worked for along with his pension?
I am sure that he must have tried to have someone intercede on his behalf. After all, he is not an ordinary citizen. He is a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice someone who was the principal legal adviser to the government and someone whose duty it was to safeguard the administration of justice in Guyana.
What a thing that here is man who over the years helped the government in its quest for justice, yet he himself had to seek the intervention of the Courts to obtain what is due to him for his years of service in the Cabinet of President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Now if Doodnauth Singh can be frustrated in his attempts at obtaining his pension, what is going to happen to poor Adam Harris and his outstanding pension?
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