Kaieteur News – The material on which to build one’s analyses of the year 2020 is literally mountainous. There is so much to assess and reflect on in 2020 that I feel I will do an injustice to my readers if I leave some angles untouched. For example, I am yet to highlight the racially charged things Barrington Braithwaite wrote in 2020 as a columnist in the Chronicle.
Braithwaite is a commissioner of the Ethnic Relation Commission (ERC). He wasn’t called to account by the ERC for his derogation of Major-General, Joe Singh. These and other stories, including a look at the ERC in 2020 I will pursue very shortly. For now, my analysis centers on one news item and a published letter.
It has been announced that a new civil society group has been formed titled Civil Society Forum (CSF). Something is not right here. After the vote counting ran into trouble on March 4 in the general election last year, it dragged on for five months. It is within this period one would have expected a proliferation of civil society entities to perform four tasks.
These are: 1 – Ensure that the integrity of the election process where one’s right to vote is guaranteed. 2 – Ensure that the election commission adheres to its constitutional and legal mandate and offer the nation professional behaviour. 3 – Demand that all political stakeholders fulfill their obligations to the nation by being transparent and accountable. 4 – Hold all civil and political holders to civilized conduct that avoids ethnic and political incitement.
The emergence of new civil society grouping failed to materialize during the five-month period. Now we have the birth of CSF. When you examine its members, alarm bells should start ringing. Except for the Catholic Church that did express a concerned sentiment about the election impasse, the others who make up the grouping did not utter one word of criticism on five months of election rigging which in the annals of Guyanese history constitute one of Guyana’s most dangerous moments.
The constituents of the CSF include the Trade Union Congress. Its president is an APNU+AFC parliamentarian. Its General Secretary supported the election rigging. Next is Transparency Institute – Guyana chapter. This is one of the most shamelessly opportunistic organizations to emerge in society. There is Heal Guyana. I don’t know who or what is that entity. There is Election Reform Guyana. I suggest that Election Reform Guyana tell us where it was when our right to fight was being deformed. Finally, there is the Inter-Religious Organization. My advice to young minds interested in saving Guyana is to be careful whose message you listen to and to avoid people with a very opportunistic agenda.
Now for the letter. In yesterday’s Stabroek News, the usual suspects – Danuta and Vanda Radzik, Dr. Allisa Trotz and Karen de Souza were at it again. These four folks would compose a letter each month then call up personalities they are familiar with and ask them to add their signatures. Then they send it to the newspapers. All Guyanese in and out of the land who read the dailies are familiar with this theatre club.
So the latest one is a request to the Chancellor of the Judiciary seeking justice for Walter and Donald Rodney. This columnist is a fervent admirer of Walter Rodney and is a friend of his brother Donald to whom I will forever be grateful for his commitment to me and my wife when all three of us were caught up in my home when the American invasion of Grenada began in 1983. This columnist endorses every word in that letter. But there is a huge strangeness on the face of that missive.
It is signed by 25 persons many of whom were close to Walter Rodney; some knew him very well and many of them belong to an organization named Overseas Friends of the WPA. But the omissions are worrying and you feel that there are underlying currents. Why would the Radzik sisters, Dr. Trotz and de Souza choose to include close friends of Rodney and omit the intimate comrades of Rodney?
In the book, Walter Rodney: A Promise of Revolution, it was revealed that the three most trusted lieutenants of Rodney were Rupert Roopnaraine, Eusi Kwayana and Clive Thomas. Edited by Clairmont Chung, the book records Roopnaraine and Thomas describing their strategic relationship with Rodney. Roopnaraine tells readers that Rodney only told him, Kwayana and Rodney’s wife when he was leaving Guyana illegally to be in Zimbabwe where he, Rodney, knew President Burnham would be. I always found the WPA to be strange people who would self-destruct one day. They have.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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