Phantom Inquiry: Investigate Everyone
by Rakesh Rampertab

This piece is in reference to an editorial titled “Impasse” (SN 3/26) by Stabroek News; “The PNCR has confined its campaign to the matter of the death squad and the alleged links of that group to government officials. But if it asks the government to agree to an investigation, it too must be prepared to allow the entire context of what occurred to be explored. If we are going to have honesty, let it be complete honesty from everyone, and not just from one side of the divide.”

I agree. If we are to know who did the paying on one side, let us know who is doing the plotting on the other. If the Rule of Law is to apply in defense of the Black citizens who have been murdered, it must be applied equally in the defense of the Indian (and Portuguese etc.) citizens who have been raped, murdered, and robbed by these Black citizens. The rights of the criminals killed by the phantoms are no more important than the rights of the people killed and otherwise violated by these criminals. If the public must know the names of those who financed the phantoms, likewise the puplic must also know of , the public must know about those who:

1. Organized, approved, and financed the Mash Day breakout.
2. Advised and ordered the escapees and gangs in their day-to-day criminal operations such as the Rose Hall siege.
3. Collected the fortunes from these crimes and where are they today?

When the PNC says it’s concerned about crime, one has to be suspicion. After all, historically, the PNC leadership never condemned criminal violence related to the Mash Day escapees. Certainly not Mr. Hoyte; according to him, the “cause” of Buxton was “just.” Perhaps the new PNC leadership will improve on this—and by leadership, I do not mean subordinate PNC members moved to writing letters in the press after they witnessed the unthinkable; Black criminals violating Black citizens!

Let the new PNC leader address the issue of ethic-related criminal disobedience publicly. Let him condemn not only crimes brought against the Black community (his constituents), but also crimes coming from within this Black community.

Since one of the goals of this new leader is to attract Indian voters (as he claimed), this ought to be a good time to demonstrate his party’s legitimate concerns about the human rights welfare of these voters. If his concern about “rule” and “law” stretch beyond the issues of extra-judicial killings, then one would expect his party to head into Buxton where, surprisingly, all the good people who supposedly re-took that village a few months ago have suddenly disappeared.

Given that at least 15 armed men are collecting 6 million to finance some shadowy campaign that apparently, the phantoms stopped momentarily, it is unsure if names and investigations will serve us any good, since we already have to deal with this new group. There is a dark sail on the horizon.

[Editor's Note: This article was originally published in Stabroek News as "Inquiry must extend to those who helped organise the operations of the escaped criminals," on March 28th, 2004, approximately one week after the Rule of Law March.]


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