PPP rejects Lindo Creek CoI findings, says it wrongly tarnishes Joint Services

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General Secretary of the PPP, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The findings of the Commission to Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek killings, which was leaked to certain sections of the media, has come as no surprise to the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

This is according to a statement issued by the Party on Saturday, where it was outlined, among other things, that while the Party was expecting a certain outcome it was disappointed that blame was laid at the feet of the Joint Services men and women.

According to the PPP “So while we emphatically reject the findings of the Donald Trotman Commission of Inquiry, we are not surprised by it. In fact, we predicted it. However, it is a real tragedy when a Government can travel to such extent to protect criminals and tarnish our law enforcement officers, who risk their lives every day to protect the law abiding citizens of this land.”

Moreover, the Party posited that “We knew that this Commission was established with a preconceived intention of holding the Joint Services liable and to exonerate the notorious killer, Rondell Rawlins also known as “Fine Man” and his murderous gang. We pointed out that a close relative of a leading member of the Coalition Government was appointed as the lone Commissioner to bring home this finding. Nearly a year later and after the expenditure of unknown millions of taxpayers’ dollars, we have been vindicated.”

Commissioner, Lindo Creek CoI, retired Justice Donald Trotman

Almost 10 years after the eight miners were killed, the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek Massacre, commenced in February of this year. Retired Justice Donald Trotman, 80, father of incumbent Minister Raphael Trotman, was the lone Commissioner selected by Granger to oversee the CoI.

The Commissioner had said that the main objective of the CoI was to find the truth and to bring healing and closure to the nation as a whole.

However, he rejected suggestions to extend the CoI’s focus to several years before 2008 when other major criminal activities had plagued the country.

The PPP had said that the inquiry should have started from the period 1998 when the real wave of ethno-political violence commenced, which would assist in addressing the root cause of the violence.

Some time between June 12, 2008 and June 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp which was being operated by Leonard Arokium.

See the PPP’s full statement below:

From the inception, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) expressed no confidence in the establishment of a Commission to inquire into the Lindo Creek killings.

We knew that this Commission was established with a preconceived intention of holding the Joint Services liable and to exonerate the notorious killer, Rondell Rawlins also known as “Fine Man” and his murderous gang. We pointed out that a close relative of a leading member of the Coalition Government was appointed as the lone Commissioner to bring home this finding. Nearly a year later and after the expenditure of unknown millions of taxpayers’ dollars, we have been vindicated.

Certain PNC leaders’ close affiliation with criminals, criminal gangs and their posture against the law enforcement agencies are well documented and have a long history. The draping of our national flag on the coffin of the notorious criminal Blackie London and marching with his corpse along the streets of Georgetown; the nocturnal visits of many leaders of that party, including, a close relative of the lone Commissioner, in south Buxton to liaise with criminal gangs hiding out in “the gulf”; the labelling of the 2001 jailbreak escapees, who terrorized law abiding citizens for years, as “freedom fighters”; their mass street protests against segments of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), who bravely took on the bandits; the continuous pardoning of convicted criminals by President Granger – are all irrefutable evidence of where they stand on this issue.

So while we emphatically reject the findings of the Donald Trotman Commission of Inquiry, we are not surprised by it. In fact, we predicted it. However, it is a real tragedy when a Government can travel to such extent to protect criminals and tarnish our law enforcement officers, who risk their lives every day to protect the law abiding citizens of this land.

To our Joint Services men and women, who have been wrongly tarnished in this Report, we say, do not despair, we stand with you, and we are sure that so do a large majority of our citizens.

People’s Progressive Party

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