Nov 09, 2022 News
By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – The media carried stories on November 8 of an attack on two Cameramen at an Opposition APNU+AFC event in Mocha, East Bank Demerara. Amidst the clashing accounts of what took place, and who is responsible for this unpardonable and unacceptable attack, I come across several challenges, which I now layout in the clearest terms.
First, there are four accounts of this development, with each advancing its own version of truth. Who is to be believed, will take centerstage in the days to come. This is my position: I disagree with this attack, I am against such developments, and I condemn it. If it is the Opposition is behind this attack, in any form or shape, I denounce it. Second, in this instance, NCN, the Press Association, the victimized, and the Opposition have all come out with assertive or defensive statements of their own, which either seeks to allocate responsibility, or distance from what actually happened. What I detect is a four-way struggle for truth of what unfolded in Mocha. Third, I discern something missing from the accounts of some of the parties giving their versions of the sequence of events, and hands involved.
The Opposition contests the media identity of the two Cameramen, and attacking anyone; the same two men have reported being attacked and prevented from going about their professional duties; NCN has come out to claim employment ownership of the two Cameramen; and the Press Association is not buying what the Opposition has advanced in its defence. Cutting through the bog, I can gather, this is a story with four claims to the facts and accuracy of what took place. Each set of advocates has been stubborn in sticking to their position, with the usual care taken to express the proper degree of righteous anger. I don’t like any of this, and have great difficulty with all of it. This should not be rearing its ugly head, not with how and where this place is precariously perched.
What occurred at Mocha has some parallels to what unfolded at Mon Repos. We had dozens of people attacked at Mon Repos in circumstances that didn’t add up, and with members of the Guyana Police Force out in strength in the area. To this day, there are disputes over who was responsible, what was orchestrated, by whom, for what objective(s). The GPF was also present at Mocha. Given that the GPF is the common denominator in both Mon Repos, and Mocha, I would be interested to get its official version of who did what to whom at Mocha. This is fresh, and should be easy to recollect or track. Hopefully, this put this issue to bed, with firm conclusions reached as to what happened, and that everyone given notice of a harder line to be taken in the future.
This has to be, if we are not going to deteriorate to places that we don’t want to go, that always seem to lurk menacingly, and that looks increasingly inevitable. The latter is my concern, hence additional focus. We have managed to avoid degrading into the dangerous unknown in the 19 months of 2018-2020. Since, then little to no effort has been made to recognize that Guyana is a severely troubled society, and that a different route must be travelled. If I were to talk about the required knitting that leads to healing and possibly some semblance of reconciling as a community of people, I guarantee that I would both be laughed and run out of town. Yes, it is now this kind of town, and ‘One Guyana’ whatever its authentic and admirable features is not the platform on which to build and give us the breathing space, or the growing room, to stand tolerantly on our feet. We need true governance; we get pure politics, with lots of campaigning in between.
In leaving, I note the growing frustrations of a segment of this society at being discarded to the dumpsite in Guyana. There is an existential battle looming for a part of the prosperity and the process leading to it (for all). Meanwhile, I observe the subtle, yet palpable, uneasiness in this land of many minerals and more oil barrels. I see Mocha as an expression of that, be it composed, arranged, and directed by the PNC, or otherwise. My unmoving position is that nothing is as it seems in this country, as I have learned to my regret. Though the last truth is never lasting truth in Guyana, I still want to hear it, and I urge the GPF to step forward. In the bigger picture, we have some tensions already building around elections. If we thought that the last one was problematic, a more unpleasant surprise may be in the making. There is recoiling from the turns that matters are taking. The gravity concerns.
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