The PPP Government Should Explain "Wanted" Bulletin?
by Rakesh Rampertab

                                    The mother of Roger Khan at the Surinamese Embassy in Washington, DC, protesting
                                    the torture of her son by Surinamese police in Surinam.


“The Minister statement's reflected the information that was currently available to the administration, and on which the warrant for his apprehension was based...That information, as we stand right now, has been supported by perhaps what were uncovered at his homes and businesses and, from our understanding…have not really contributed to the most compelling of cases for a successful prosecution.”
                      —Head of Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Luncheon, responding to public outcry after Home Affairs Minister,
                      Gail Teixeira, said that Guyana is not interested in Khan's extradition from Surinam. June 24, 2006


The nation must thank Dr. Roger Luncheon, Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), for confirming that the PPP Government is not interested in a Khan extradition. Apparently, the HPS thinks our home affairs minister spoke in Dutch, and we, the public, misinterpreted her statement.

Apparently, he is confident that if Khan wants to make certain disclosures that would benefit the public (as opposed to parties), such statement could be made from Surinam (where torture has been used allegedly), in timely and unaltered fashion without being accused by some in Guyana of being views extracted under duress etc. I suppose we are too stupid to see that the security of the big parties is more important than the security of the public.

Yet, it is good that the HPS has admitted that we do not have enough evidence to prosecute Mr. Roger Khan. Why did the Joint Forces go after the man then? Why only say this now? Did the PPP Government authorize the raid of Khan to get rid of him? In any event, the HPS statement means that the “wanted” bulletin issued by the Guyana Police Force was created on thin air. And that State resource was wrongfully used against Khan, a Guyanese citizen residing in Guyana, and others (including women and children).

The Guyana Constitution guarantees this right to exist in Guyana, and it is protected by the principle of “ius soli,” or the right of the soil to which Khan is entitled by virtue of birth. Forcing Khan to flee Guyana, therefore, is tantamount to destroying his birth certificate, which is to say he was denied his identity as a human being, since every human must belong to some country or territory in this world, first registered on our birth certificate.

This is a very serious and grave human rights violation for which the Joint Forces (and Government) must be held accountable.

I wish to acknowledge that after one calendar week since the arrest of Khan, the Guyana police have failed to state its interest in Khan, while the US restated its previous position. The US has shown consistency, but not our police. This is revealing. If the police had a legitimate reason for wanting Khan before his arrest, that reason should exist today after this arrest. It cannot evaporate unless it was all “thin air.”

To digress briefly, it is fashionable for the Joint Services to refuse questions raised by the public. It is an indication of their guarded policy towards what they wish to hide. This must be measured against the statement made by PNCR leader, Mr. Robert Corbin, whereby he alluded that the Government is too scared to bring back Khan. (Before I forget, it is troubling that such is even a decision when it is supposed to be a guarantee by virtue of birth.)

Otherwise, Mr. Corbin has a valid point. But the PNCR is also worried and this is why it welcomes the supposed “ferreting” of Khan from Guyana. The whole “ferreting” business points to a larger campaign at hand. Khan was not merely “ferreted” away; he was expelled by the entire state machinery.

Yes, one man absurdly called “insignificant” by PNCR MP Debra Backer, chased by the army and police. Ms. Backer better hope that Khan does not speak up and really become significant to the voters who are watching the smaller parties.

June 26, 2006
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