AFC Statement – Meeting on Linden situation held on July 19, 2012

AFC  Statement –  Meeting on Linden situation held on July 19, 2012

Linden massacre a violation of human and constitutional rights – AFC

This afternoon (July 19), at about 13.00 hrs. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon called to confirm that a meeting would be held to discuss the Linden situation. The Alliance For Change, A Partnership For National Unity and the Government were there.

The AFC was represented by Raphael Trotman, Speaker of the National Assembly, Cathy Hughes, Nigel Hughes and Gherard Ramsaroop. APNU was represented by David Granger, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Joseph Harmon and Winston Flex, while the government was represented by President Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Dr. Roger Luncheon, Gail Teixeira, Ministers Clement Rohee and Robeson Benn. 

Having due regard for the safety and security of all citizens and especially those in Linden at this difficult time, the Alliance For Change entered the discussion in good faith, prepared to work with the other parties to restore normalcy to Linden and to address immediate steps to investigate the killings of Wednesday July 18th, 2012.

The Alliance For Change put to the table the following four measures for immediate implementation:
1.    The appointment of an Independent Commission of Inquiry with international agency representation and involvement and a “Good Officer” to manage the process.
2.    The immediate removal of the commanding officer and ranks involved in the incident.
3.    The resignation of the Minster of Home Affairs.
4.     A moratorium on the imposition of the rate hike pending a review by a panel of experts. This review to include the operational costs of BOSAI and an assessment of the impact on the poorest by way of a means test and to report in 6-8 weeks.

The above supports the AFC’s position that the people of Guyana have lost all confidence in the Guyana Police Force.  It was clear to the AFC that the government was not willing to take on board any of these measures, referring instead to the establishment a group that would produce Terms of Reference for an inquiry but not guaranteeing international input.

This approach the AFC considered another “talk shop” that could lead nowhere. It was clear that the other two parties seemed willing to get into “bilateral arrangements” on this issue.

The Alliance For Change notes attempts to turn these tragic events into a political football with racial underpinnings and reminds all Guyanese that in 1948 a similar situation occurred in which five sugar workers protesting for better working and living conditions were gunned down by colonial forces.  Most appropriately this act of aggression was condemned by all the people.

Regretfully Guyana seems stuck in those dark ages.

The Alliance For Change remains unequivocal in its condemnation of the massacre of the four young men at Linden. These senseless killings have placed a further stain on Guyana that is no less severe than earlier killings at Lusignan, Bartica, Lindo Creek and the killing of Yohance Douglas, if we are to recall just a few.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3 states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and Article 20 (1) “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”

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