IT is quite apparent that the instigators who conspired to usurp the peace Guyanese want from “One Guyana” paid no heed to the call to learn a lesson from the last election in Grenada.
In that island, democracy was respected and there was no violence as a peaceful transition of power was had from one Mitchell to Mitchell as Prime Minister.
Guyanese would recall the bitter lessons learnt from the general and regional elections in 2020, when for five prolonged and agonising months, the former A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change administration refused to accept the legitimate re-counted results and hand over the seat of government to the legal winner, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic party.
It even resulted in then-President David Granger being referred to as “sanctimonious” by Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who also told Granger to: “Take your licks like a man.”
But the party comprises characters whose actions make it easily presumable that they will not be embarrassed by spreading propaganda nor will they hesitate to be tongue-twisters or dishonest in any move they make.
They will not play any game fair and square. Guyana has witnessed all the violence, high handed attitude, the party-card preference, the banning of essential items, the food shortages, unemployment, poverty, foreign exchange scarcity, the media censorship, the mass exodus of citizens, the hardship, the suffering, the drug shortages, the wage freeze, the hurt and the cry of poor people, all under the leadership of Burnham, Hoyte and, more recently, Granger leadership.
The mantra of power grabbing, retaining and maintaining by supposed illicit means, is the root of their survival.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, had good reasons to say: “There was one thing I said to my colleague at the time, who was the President of Guyana, is that if you have lost this election, lose it with dignity.
“There will be another chance, but if there is no dignity in this defeat, the next time you and your party will be of no use to your country and that was the position of Trinidad and Tobago in Guyana.”
History continues to repeat itself with beating, hurting, robbing and burning one particular community which is deemed anti-PNC by another community.
It is a daunting picture to reflect on the evidence of the Wismar massacre, the 1964 strike, the looting and burning of Georgetown, the early 2000s election violence, the Buxton uprising, the PNC inspired mayhem in West Coast Berbice in 2020 and now the Mon Repos 2022 fiasco!
Who gained and who suffered? Guyana was led to economic chaos and bankruptcy every time the PNC was in power and the small man never got a chance to be the real man because only the chosen few enjoyed the good life.
Mia Mottley, Barbados’ Prime Minister, reminds us: “The truth hurts… I have nothing more to say. The truth hurts but what we must never do in CARICOM is to avoid the truth and avoid our principles.”
“Justice for all” was the battle cry of the legitimate demonstrators who were peacefully picketing and protesting over the death of Quindon Bacchus. But the infiltration of criminal elements turned the wave of genuine reason for the march into a battle ground for survival.
The malicious and vicious attacks on harmless and innocent vendors spurred the inspired vandals into looters and, with direct intent, to hurt and harm the members of the community.
There is little room for doubt that they were definitely instructed to carry out a job of destruction and to create as much damage as possible.
Guyana could only knock on one door for the answer. President, Dr Irfaan Ali said: “While everyone has a right in a democracy to let their voices be heard, it does not give them the right to loot, steal or harm anyone.”
His Excellency urged patience and to “let the system work,” as the Police Complaints Authority has their hands filled with the investigation into the death of Bacchus. Incidentally, there was no uproar when Deanraj Singh (Steve Singh) was shot and killed by the police a few weeks ago in Riverview Ruimveldt.
The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility. The question is, why wasn’t there an uprising by that community to the magnitude as what we have seen this week? Again, we can only traverse one road for the response.
Does one wrong justify another? An eye for an eye will make the world blind, Gandhi taught us. Definitely not, and this incident was staged as an excuse by an evil force to contaminate the tranquility of complacency.
To date, vendors have been compensated as promised by the President and some 16 persons have been charged for riotous behavior with only one pleading guilty. Many sober minds have openly expressed their condemnation, disgruntlement and registered their enragement over this sad incident.
Guyana’s legal mind, Attorney-General, Mr. Anil Nandlall, summed up: “A perceived injustice can never justify the commission of another injustice.”