Dec 02, 2017
In 2010, I was about to deliver an academic presentation at the National Library as one of the guests of the Guyana Historical and Research Institute when a group of persons barged in and disrupted my talk. I recognized in the crowd two faces – Charles Ramson Jr. and Randy Persaud, lecturer, at the American University in Washington D.C.
The former went on to become a PPP parliamentarian. That can happen, of course, only in Guyana where few persons have any moral standards by which they judge civilized behaviour
It brought back terrible memories for me. I lived through the entire period of PNC rule under President Burnham and I saw how thugs attacked similar academic forums as what happened to me in 2010.
PPP academics, supporters and members had experienced similar hooliganism by House of Israel goons and PNC hooligans. The victims back in those days were now in power in 2010 and they were committing the same atrocities they suffered when the PNC was in power.
In 2015, the PPP lost the power it inherited from the PNC in 1992 and last Thursday, in Linden, what the PNC did to the PPP when it was in power and the PPP did its critics when it was in office as in the case of the National Library incident, the PNC has done again.
I have read two reports of an incident in which an indoor discussion sponsored by the PPP to highlight the flaws of the 2018 budget was disrupted.
The Chronicle in describing the attack, reported that the event ended in chaos (Chronicle’s word).
The Chronicle carried a photograph of one of APNU’s parliamentarians, Jermaine Figueira, talking to the disrupters and reported that the parliamentarian was trying to calm the crowd. One of the online media outfits did not put Mr. Figueira in such a positive light.
It reported that he was the protagonist (my word). Mr. Figueira needs to clarify his role. One thing for sure; if the Chronicle photograph is real then he was at the place of occurrence.
The Chronicle named a number of PPP bigwigs who had to face the barrage – the evergreen Roger Luncheon was there.
Decades from now when Clement Rohee is long gone from the political scene the press in referring to his name will highlight his weird exclamation of “goat nah bite meh.”
It will be the same with Luncheon. When Priya Manickchand threw away diplomatic protocol and descended to a cuss-down deportment directed to the then US Ambassador at his home, the next day, Luncheon termed Manickchand’s delivery as a “feral blast.”
I have heard some serious observers of Guyanese politics say that “feral blast” may have been one of the contributory factors to the PPP losing the 2015 elections.
Could it be deemed a feral blast what Luncheon experienced last Thursday at that indoor PPP meeting? Judging from the Chronicle report, it would be plausible to describe it as such.
But whether or not it was a feral blast, Guyana has to move beyond this violent depravity and excise from political society the sarcoma of anti-government meetings being attacked by centrally directed agents.
I saw this at the anti-parking meter protest outside City Hall earlier this year. Centrally directed thugs stood in the compound of City Hall and were abusing the protestors. Some even came out and were mingling with the demonstrators saying nasty things. Guyana has to move beyond this sickening infamy.
It happened when Mr. Burnham was president. It happened when Mr. Jagdeo was president.
I became a victim of this political philistinism during the reign of the PPP, so did Sherlina Najeer. Citizens, whether PPP, PNC or whoever have a right to denounce their government, expose their government, criticize their government and enjoy the right to do so once that right is exercised responsibly.
I have no doubt in my mind that even if that Linden incident did not occur, the PPP would have done the identical thing if it was an indoor meeting by Nagamootoo and Ramjattan at Port Mourant.
Burnham is no more. Jagdeo’s reign has ended; Guyana needs to enter a civilized era of political competition.
The AFC and the PNC should be allowed to denounce the semi-fascism of Jagdeo in any school in Bath once there is no violent incitement. The PPP should be allowed its right to speak to the Linden people. It is called democracy.
My fear is that the 2020 election campaign is going to be vile, putrid and violent and two years before then we should do things to prevent it .