Jul 03, 2022 News
– COI can bring out truth and hold people accountable – Glenn Lall
Kaieteur News – In wake of last Tuesday’s chaotic protest along the East Coast Demerara, Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall is calling for a ‘once-and-for-all’ inquiry to investigate the causes of these frequent riots and make concrete recommendations that will punish the perpetrators and instigators as well as help prevent such recurrences.
Last Tuesday a protest, which started out at Golden Grove demanding justice for Quindon Bacchus – the 23-year-old youth who was gunned down by police three weeks ago – descended into chaos when some of the demonstrators marched along the East Coast Demerara public road, beating and harassing citizens. At Mon Repos, they robbed vendors, burned some of their vehicles and also assaulted passersby. Their actions have been widely condemned, with President Irfaan Ali promising a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Already some 16 persons have been charged.
Lall, speaking on his weekly radio programme, The Glenn Lall Show, drew reference to the ongoing inquiry into Donald Trump’s behaviour following the United States’ elections and the storming of Capitol Hill. “When you want to put an end to something once and for all, you have to go the length; you have to do whatever it takes to ensure that this never happens again. COI is something very important in all parts of this world, a COI brings out the truth and hold people accountable, nobody must think that they could hide in their office or behind a computer, create mischief, chaos, mayhem and walk free,” Lall stated as he made the case for the inquiry. He said in Guyana, chaos, destruction of properties, robberies, arson, race hate and even murders have been going on for decades and no one is being held accountable, “because most of these atrocities are being orchestrated and directed by selfish and greedy political leaders, who benefit from dividing our people. “
Lall said politicians are the only ones who benefit when Guyanese fight among themselves. “What went on [last Tuesday] should have never happened, had the leaders initiated a COI on what took place in the past on the East Coast of Demerara, what happened yesterday (Tuesday) would have never taken place. When I heard about the protest, I was like yes, we are getting backing for the protest. I started to bring about a change to that one sided contract with the oil companies, but that wasn’t to be,” Lall lamented.
Denouncing, the attacks on the vendors at Mon Repos and Annandale, Lall said, “they didn’t kill that man, they had nothing to do with it, and I want to make it clear that those who committed those criminal acts against those innocent people, must be held accountable. This lawlessness, this criminal behaviour has been going on for long and too often in this country, without people being held accountable or punished. We can’t be protesting for justice and at the same time have people joining in, to create more injustices towards our people…”
Mr. Lall said the continuous “madness and criminal activities can only come to an end uncle, if President Ali and the Opposition call for a COI and punish those people for their actions. How can the leaders of this country stay quiet and don’t address this…”
Lall commended President Irfaan Ali for committing to ensuring justice for the Bacchus’ family as well as the robbery victims. He also said it was commendable that persons will be compensated, but questioned, “How do you correct, how do you fix the trauma, the horror, the feeling of helplessness of what those people went through? Can money repair the horror and trauma they went through? No Mr. President, No Mr. (Aubrey) Norton, no amount of money can correct what those people went through and have to live with.”
Mr. Lall said the same justice Bacchus’ mother and family want to ease their pain, the vendors at Mon Repos want the same and this can only come about with a holistic COI. “In the past, people have been beaten, people were raped, people were kidnapped, people have been killed in this country when racism raises its ugly head, and we need to address it frontally and at the root once and for all. If not, it will continue and get worse, if people are not brought to justice for their actions, the country and its people will continue to suffer.”
Not going to solve the problem
Mr. Lall also threw cold water on President Ali’s statement that he will call on Parliament to denounce and condemn what happened. “That is not going to solve the problem; that is not going to stop the reoccurrence Mr. Ali. He also said the police will take action on those who committed violence, that has been an old song all these politicians keep singing and after two mornings, nobody is charged, no one is held accountable and life goes on until another injustice…”
Lall said if Guyanese truly want to put an end to the continuous trauma, they have been living with, “then we got to face this reality with a COI that will bring out all the evil that lies within, so that we can confront and correct it as a people…”
The newspaper publisher said he was not against protest; “protest is something I love, it’s the most important thing to get justice and bring about changes everywhere in this world. But beating, robbing and setting fire on people vehicles and property is not protest, that is criminal, especially when you doing it to your own people that did you no wrong. I don’t think that any right thinking Guyanese is happy about what went on during that mayhem, but I know for sure one set of people is smiling, smiling all the way to the bank, because while we focusing our energies on fighting each other, then no attention is given to them and what they doing…” Lall called on Guyanese to take their protest on the road, to the gates of the oil companies’ operations, “and let them stop robbing you of your rightful share of what belongs to you.” Mr. Lall has been holding daily protest calling for a better oil contract that guarantees Guyana a greater share of its oil resources.
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