LETTER: ‘APNU/AFC Govt brought National Assembly into disrepute’

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Dear Editor,

An NCN “Government responds to the US Embassy” report on the evening of April 29, 2019 presented the General Secretary of the People’s National Congress, Minister Amna Ally’s pathetic response to the US Embassy’s “objection, in the strongest terms, to the actions taken in the National Assembly to pay homage to former Member of Parliament Abdul Kadir, who was convicted of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism on US soil”.

In her response, the GS trivialized the significance of the objections not just of the US Administration but of all decent minded Guyanese. How could the General Secretary of the PNC not comprehend that this was an MP who was sentenced for a serious crime against humanity and therefore forfeited his rights as a former parliamentarian to be honoured. The GS dismissed the outcry of the majority of Guyanese and the statements by the diplomatic representatives of the USA, the UK and the European Union which have all suffered as a result of terrorist acts. Coming on the recent terrorist acts committed in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, the statements by the GS of the PNC and her government that it “regrets the interpretation by the US Embassy” demonstrates the callous and opportunistic nature of the government and its leaders.

This is in sharp contrast to the PPP press release dated April 27, 2019 which recognized that the passage of the motion in the National Assembly on April 26th, 2019 put an “indelible stain on our people and national character that will not be forgiven or forgotten by those who have suffered at the hands of international terrorism.”

The PNC and the APNUAFC government brought the National Assembly into disrepute and the entire nation under international scrutiny. One also has to ask how was this motion allowed by the Speaker when so many Opposition motions of national importance such as the rice industry, Wales Estate closure, the economy, for example, were disallowed ? Surely the Speaker could not have been so naïve? He could have used his pen to strike out the motion as he did before.

Minister Ally’s banal attempt to split hairs and do damage control by saying that the government only spoke about him as a parliamentarian and not as a terrorist leaves one dumbfounded. Her callous assurance that the “sympathy motion that was passed in the National Assembly for its late member Abdul Kadir, who was convicted of a terrorist act in the US, in no way supports terrorism” is an insult to Guyanese and to all victims of terrorism across the world.

The GS then most deceptively tried to cover up her government’s shame by drawing a comparison between former Minister and MP Ronald Gajraj and Mr. Kadir. Let us put the facts in case the PNC believes they can continue to kafuffle the public with impunity.
First of all, Gajraj was never charged, arrested, convicted or sentenced for terrorism or terrorist activities in Guyana, or, elsewhere, or, for any crime anywhere. Mr. Kadir was.

Judge Irizarry at the time of his trial stated that “There can be no doubt whatsoever that the offences for which Mr. Kadir was convicted are about as serious as they come, short of actual murder,” In contrast, the Commission of Inquiry appointed by then President Jagdeo–which Brigadier David Granger was a member—to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings, demanded by the then PNC opposition, exonerated Minister Ronald Gajraj. The GS in spinning this web of deception goes on to claim that there was a similar motion tabled in honour of former Minister and MP Ronald Gajraj. Mr. Gajraj passed on December 15, 2018 and since then there has been no motion tabled or debated in the National Assembly on Mr. Gajraj. At the January 3, 2019 sitting, it is reported that there was one minute silence for 3 former MPs, Heralall Mohan, Ronald Gajraj and Abdul Kadir.
Following the US Embassy statement, the government should have issued an unequivocal apology to the US Administration and to other nations which have suffered as a result of terrorism and terrorist activities and continue to be under threat.

In fact, no nation is safe as we have also experienced in Guyana. The trail of Abdul Kadir provided that insight to our own vulnerability at that time.

The FBI Archives (U.S. Attorney’s Office ( NY Eastern District) December 15, 2010, revealed that “At trial, “Kadir, a former member of the Guyanese parliament, admitted that he regularly passed information to Iranian authorities about sensitive topics, including the Guyanese military, and believed himself bound to follow fatwas from Iranian religious leaders. On June 2, 2007, Kadir was arrested in Trinidad aboard a plane headed to Venezuela, en route to Iran. He was subsequently extradited to the United States”. Furthermore, “Kadir admitted under cross-examination that he drafted regular reports for the Iranian ambassador to Venezuela, including details like the “low morale” in the Guyanese army. The documents he allegedly drafted included a five-year development plan to promote Islam in Guyana, which included references to infiltrating the military, police and other government agencies.”

So not only did the Government offend the USA and all nations who have suffered from terrorism but simultaneously offended all Guyanese. Here was a person who violated the constitution art 155 (1) (a) that a person was disqualified to be a member of the National Assembly who had “any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power”. Kadir by his action and admissions in court did have allegiance to a foreign power. While one must remember this same article has been interpreted by the Guyana judiciary as the reason given for the removal of parliamentarians with dual citizenship, it also refers to Guyanese citizens who are accused of spying, treason and undermining the security of a nation.

Surely it must have concerned the Commander in Chief President Granger that the Guyana National Assembly was honouring a man who spied on his country, including the very Guyana Defence Force which he had previously headed, and, sent reports to a representative of foreign state? Surely it should have struck the President that under his government’s Anti-Terrorism Act Kadir would have been charged with treason?
But then maybe one should not be surprised, as the PPP statement of April 27, 2019 pointed out.

“The PNC has a history of honoring and exonerating violent criminals. Linden ‘Blackie’ London whose reign of terror ended when he was killed in a shootout with law enforcement services of Guyana, was honored by PNC leaders, who infamously draped Blackie’s coffin with Guyana’s national flag, the Golden Arrowhead. In addition, the five prison escapees who wreaked havoc and were responsible for murder, mayhem and an unprecedented crime wave, were dubbed ‘freedom fighters’ by many leaders of the PNC.

The Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry(COI), during which the father of a sitting Minister was its lone Commissioner and the brother of another Minister its legal counsel, was aimed at “exonerating” Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins. All of these actions show a pattern of association and glorification of homegrown terrorists.”

The main objective of the same Commission was to point the finger and blame the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force for the Lindo Creek massacre.

One must also not forget that the kidnapping and the grotesque murder of the Iranian Cleric, Imam Ibrahemi in 2004 remains a mystery. The Imam was associated with Kadir and the mosque he set up in Georgetown. The link between Kadir and the “Buxton gang” and international terrorists is/was known to several leading former members of the security services and leaders of the present day PNC and AFC. Maybe the Guyana Police Force should re-open this cold case and others of the 2002-2008 era.

I have tried to comprehend why the APNUAFC government would take such a risky and reckless action and more disturbing such a cold hearted reaction to the US, UK and EU statements. l can only wonder if this motion, being brought 6 months after Kadir passed, was merely a desperate attempt by the PNC to win back sections of the Kadir family and disillusioned supporters in Linden back to the PNC fold.

If l am right –and l hope that l am wrong —that the government would risk our nation’s image and place us under additional international scrutiny as a “defender of terrorists” for such self-serving and opportunist reasons, then, all Guyanese, must call on the government to resign forthwith. They have betrayed our people, our constitution and rule of law repeatedly but this one is unforgiveable.
Sincerely
Gail Teixeira

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