By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – More than three months after the Sophia Elections Day disturbance, one of the politicians that was caught in the midst of the trauma has opened up about his ordeal and tells his side of the story.
Joseph Hamilton, found himself trapped in a home with several others including his two sons, as angry residents burned cars, homes and barns after they got word that Ballot Boxes were hidden at the residence, owned by a PPP supporter, Pastor Narine Khublall.
Khublall’s house was being used as the PPP Command Centre during the elections period. Molotov cocktails (Channa bombs) were lobbed at his home and nearby cars and stables burnt as the angry mob of residents demanded justice and “ballot boxes.”
Despite denials and resistance, the violence continued, leaving millions of dollars in property damages but thankfully no lives were lost. Hamilton in a recent interview with iNews explained that he believes the entire incident escalated as a result of persons not being afforded the right to represent a political party of their choice. He believes that this right is only extended to some sections of society.
“The thing is we have to protect the right of a person to support a political party of their choice….it seems that persons who support APNU+AFC have that right and for us who support the PPP/C we don’t have right….castigation and denigration continues on persons who support the PPP,” said Hamilton, who a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarian.
He also stated that another contributory factor was unnecessary political stirring up on the part of some political activists who were present at the time.
Hamilton however admitted that officials from the APNU+AFC political camp had tried to stop the issue from escalating but their efforts were futile as the words fell on deaf ears.
“The gathering out front was unnecessary. Many senior members of APNU+AFC came there and they attempted to say to the people that nothing untoward was happening at this office so everything was done to avoid it…we did everything,” he stated.
Asked to step outside of the political realm on the issue, Hamilton stated that he was scared for the lives of his two sons and concerned about the effect that it would have on his wife.
“At the personal level it was an experience for which I wouldn’t want any person to go through…I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy…any tragic circumstances…I don’t know how my wife would have dealt with that,” the Parliamentarian told iNews.
Since the unrest, five persons have been made to answer charges of larceny and looting in the Magistrates’ Court.