Will Rodney COI breed Indo-Guyanese resentment? – PNC/R expresses fears

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By Kurt Campbell

APNU[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) has expressed fears that the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI), set up to investigate into the 1980 death of Dr. Walter Rodney may result in the stirring up of indo-Guyanese resentment against the Party.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, May 9 Leader of the PNC/R David Granger said the ongoing inquiry is set to miss the chance to pursue the truth about Dr. Rodney’s death.

Granger’s views rest in his objection to the Terms of Reference four (IV) which asks the Commission to examine and report on the actions and activities of the state (then PNC/R Government), to determine whether agencies like the Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defence Force were tasked with surveillance of and the carrying out of actions and whether they executed those task against the political opposition for the period January 1978 to December 1980.

To this end, the PNC Leader recalled expressions by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) who had previous stated that TOR four (IV)had greater potential for reviving, rather than healing ethnic division in Guyana.

The Leader said that his Party had urged President Donald Ramotar to consult with interest parties to redraft the appropriate TOR’s which would more likely be widely accepted, which has not yet been done, hence the PNCR’s refusal to participate.

Granger said his Party is of the view that the purpose of the inquiry should not be to ascertain civil or criminal liability or to determine blameworthiness and concluded that TOR four (IV) is tendentious, malicious and incongruous.

“It is a deliberate diversionary smokescreen,” Granger said, adding that “It is clear that the administration is more interested in seeking to gain a political advantage by unashamedly provoking resentment against the PNCR.”

Further, Granger reasoned that the ruling PPP/C deliberately waited on the onset of local government elections to begin the work of the commission, with the intention of diverting public attention from the prevalent problems of crime, corruption, incompetence and conflict within the PPP itself.

The Party summarized that the entire inquiry is designed to damage its reputation and to impugn the character of public servants who served under its regime.

Meanwhile, Granger’s sentiments were echoed by PNC/R Member Joseph Harmon, who sits on the Legal Team representing the Party’s interest in the COI. Harmon said the PPP is using the COI to bolster its sagging political fortunes.

“The PPP days are numbered and they will use any means to cling to power,” he added.

On a separate note, Chairman of the PNCR Basil Williams reiterated the Party’s concern regarding conflict of interest involving the COI Chairman, Sir Richard Cheltenham and what he says is the suspension of national laws by accepting evidence that will not be admissible in any local Court.

The Party summarized that the entire inquiry is designed to damage its reputation and to impugn the character of public servants who served under its regime.

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