Mar 31, 2014 News
…says President yet to respond to their concerns
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) yesterday said that while it has not been formally contacted or recognized in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the killing of Walter Rodney, it will allow its members to engage the process if they choose to.
In a statement released yesterday, the party also lamented the fact that it had formally written to President Ramotar since March 7, 2014, expressing its concerns over the Terms of Reference and composition of the COI and to date “we have received no response from the President.”
The party believes that ignoring WPA’s expressed concerns on so vital a matter is unworthy of the President and does not contribute to the development of a healthy political climate in Guyana.
Head of State, President Donald Ramotar, at a recent press engagement had said that, “this process started and it was not initiated by me, but by a request by the family, particularly his wife, Patricia Rodney”, Ramotar said.
He said that the Terms of Reference which some parties have been protesting over were crafted by Rodney’s family and advisors, along with some technical help from government.
Ramotar stressed that it was Rodney’s wife who made the comment about not wanting it to be political.
But the WPA believes that Ramotar’s refusal to respond to them is not conducive to the national reconciliation and political healing which had been the last position of the Rodney family and the WPA.
“WPA states again that our party was not consulted on the creation of the Terms of Reference for the COI…As far as we have been aware and based on the President’s pronouncements and on remarks of leading spokespersons of the PPP and the PPP/C government, the Terms of Reference was the creation of the Government of Guyana in consultation solely with the Rodney family.”
The WPA noted that according to the government spokespersons, the Rodney family had insisted on the exclusion of political parties from the process.
“In the absence of any denial by the Rodney family to the government’s contention, WPA must accept the government’s position as factual.”
The party reminded too yesterday that it is not one of the organisations which the Commissioners saw fit to meet on their recent support building exercise, “even though it has historically been for over three decades the leading voice calling for an inquiry into the assassination of Walter Rodney.”
According to the WPA, it should not be forgotten that it was the Peoples Progressive Party which abstained on its own motion in Parliament in 2005 which sought to establish a COI into Rodney’s death.”
That motion was supported by the WPA and the PNC.
According to the party’s statement, “after a careful assessment of the issues involved for and against participation in the work of the Commission, bearing in mind the family’s genuine pursuit of closure on this grievous matter, conscious of its responsibility to Walter Rodney, his family, the nation, the Region and the international community, WPA recommends that each individual party member be free to engage the process of the inquiry as he or she sees fit, taking into consideration that the Party itself has not been officially acknowledged as a participant by the powers that be.”
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