Dec 12, 2017
Yesterday, there were ugly scenes that played out in Parliament. Speaking as a victimised activist of the fifteen years of the psychotic rule of Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar, it was difficult for me to sympathise with the claims of Manickchand that she was manhandled by police at the eviction of Juan Edghill.
People come up to me all the time and put questions about the wrong things the present government is doing. I try my best to be polite but I keep wondering why they approach me and not someone else because I have some unpleasant stories to tell. Therefore, these people who come up to me should know how I feel about the bullyism of ruling politicians.
Let us start with Jason Abdulla who was jailed for six months for attacking me on the same day that Manickchand claimed she was assaulted by the police and Edghill was removed from Parliament by the police.
I cannot see how Kwame McCoy and Shawn Hinds were freed when Abdulla’s confession clearly described their role in the conspiratorial planning, but let’s look at some interesting ways history plays itself out. Does the average Guyanese see the connection between the two incidents on the same day?
Let’s start with Manickchand. In a telephone conversation, he refused to acknowledge that there was a state conspiracy in the violence used against me. I can distinctly recall her saying that it could have been anyone because I write about a lot of people. As it turned out two of the persons charged – Abdulla and McCoy- are in the employ of her party.
I wonder when Manickchand spoke to me, if she ever envisioned that she would be part of the opposition crying over physical manhandling by a policeman. I would like to think if she were cuffed, then that policeman is wrong to have done that to a parliamentarian.
Juan Edghill is the man whose action generated the police presence in Parliament. It was this same Edghill that filed a writ of contempt in 2011 against me. His lawyer so shaped the writ that under the law if the judge had found me guilty, I had to be committed to prison. I wonder when Edghill tried to send me to jail whether he would have envisaged a situation where he would be in the opposition and would be dragged by force by the police out of Parliament.
Then there was Gail Teixeira videoed as being all over the Chambers of Parliament surrounding Edghill to stop the policemen from getting at him. She was videoed talking to the police at different points during the altercation. I did a column in 2012, in which I described Teixeira as sitting about eight feet from me during a meeting of the Council of the University demanding that Vice Chancellor, Lawrence Carrington, terminate my contract. She was the protagonist among the seven PPP Parliamentarians on the Council; I can remember her using the words, “my government” to the Vice Chancellor as she insisted my contract be done away with.
She got her way. In January 2012, the Council did just that. I wonder when Teixeira was in that mood when she dominated the University Council whether she ever thought that she would end up on the opposition benches in the National Assembly preventing the police from evicting a fellow MP?
So there you have it; on the day Manickchand alleges that she was cuffed by a policeman in the House, a PPP operative was jailed for using violence against me as a critic of the PPP Government.
One the same day, Gail Teixeira used her body to block a party of policemen trying to get Edghill to throw him out of the House, a PPP agent was jailed for attacking me. And on that same day that the PPP employee was sent to prison, a group of policemen evicted Edghill from Parliament for displaying disrespect to the Speaker.
Is what happened to Jason Abdulla in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court and Manickchand, Edghill and Teixeira in the National Assembly on the same day– December 11, 2017– a manifestation of poetic justice?
I don’t want vengeance for what Abdulla and others did to me. When the case was first called and the magistrate asked for my opinion, I told her I had no wish to see people go to jail so I would not support denial of bail.
I cannot accept that Abdulla acted alone. But then again, the man who threw the substance on me didn’t live to testify. He was ran over by a motorist. Strange, funny but frightening country, eh!