Guyana Politics: Mysterious counter-force in a mysterious land – Freddie Kissoon

Mysterious counter-force in a mysterious land

Feb 12, 2018 –  Kaieteur News –By Freddie Kissoon

Here are the words of former Prime Minister, Sam Hinds in a letter to this newspaper recently, “Following the 2001 jailbreak and their projection by some political factions as ‘Freedom Fighters’, the attacks on assumed supporters of the PPP/C were taken to a higher level. When the national security forces showed remarkable inability to apprehend them it was inevitable that a similar irregular counter-force emerged.”    

Hinds is a trained engineer and never professed acquaintance with the central concepts of political theory. But he ought to know that in those words above, he is referring to a serious breakdown in the role of the state to perform what philosophers since ancient Greek City States days (Plato was explicit about this and Hobbes popularised it forever) postulated was the essential role of the State – to provide security for the citizenry.

Let’s follow political theory and Hinds and we will see that unless Hinds stopping doing what he is doing he will end up with credibility problems. If the state breaks down, then central actors (like the Executive and the Legislature) suffer diminution of power to the point where they may lose it (the examples in history are too many to cite even one).

Is Hinds conceding that the fulcrum on which national security rests (the security forces) were paralysed during the period 2002-2006? His answer is yes which is pellucid from the above quote. What is important to note is that even though the Buxton gunmen were localised, Hinds admitted that the security forces were unable to stop them.

It can be deduced that if the security forces were unable to curtail and contain the Buxton conspirators, then the Jagdeo regime would have fallen in, there were four more Buxtons at the time. Now let’s follow Hinds. In the paralysis of the security forces, the second in command of the state machinery at that time, the PM, admitted that a counter-force was formed to confront the gunmen.

After following political theory and Hinds, let’s follow commonsense. There is a myriad of dimensions to the crime wave which I will say at the absolute level, Hinds and Jagdeo have to clarify. One – why would a private group decide on its own to spend manpower and huge amounts of money to fight a group of gunmen?

Maybe they did but that taxes the imagination and it must be an exception you would not see again in a life time. Two- did anyone from state power request the intervention of this counter-force? If the answer is no, then what we are talking about is an unprecedented situation in world politics ever.

Three – Hinds wrote that his government never employed Roger Khan. Jagdeo said he never met with Khan. Using the concepts of political theory, this makes no sense. The state is under attack, a counter-force is saving the state, and there is no contact between state personnel and the fighters from the counter-force. This is comic book stuff. It is just not possible in the real world.

Four- if there were contacts between state official and the counter-force, then it had to be at the subordinate level, since leaders of the government have denied interaction with the counterforce. But why would powerful leaders leave sensitive encounters to lower officials who may get compromised or would easily give out information?
Five – Hinds description and analyses of the origins and contours of the crime plague have formidable weak points. They will not be easy to defend. There is the commission of inquiry into the role of the Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj where telephone records showed Gajraj was managing (to use a term in espionage language) an underworld figure who did extra-judicial killings as part of the counterforce, Axel Williams. Williams was later gunned down. Then there is the infamous spy equipment found on Roger Khan and impounded by the army/security. The store manager said the equipment was ordered by Minister of Health, Leslie Ramsammy.
The sixth dimension of this period was the indictment of the brother-in-law of Minister “Sash” Sawh who was murdered along with other siblings. He wrote that he asked Canadian authorities to investigate the murders because he was not convinced that the Jagdeo Government wanted the facts to come out and that the government was hiding evidence. That to date is one of the most serious accusations against the Jagdeo regime.

It is difficult to believe that between 2002 and 2006, Guyana suffered a security breakdown and a drug trafficker, on his own, spent stupendous resources, all on his own, to save the state. That doesn’t happen in real life.

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  • guyaneseonline  On February 15, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Sam Hinds’ “counter-force” remarks raise serious questions; inquiries into massacres won’t “demoralise or destabilise” police force- Granger

    Posted by: Denis Chabrol in Dmerara Waves – February 15, 2018

    Photo: President David Granger addressing the opening of the 2018 Police Officers’ Conference.

    President David Granger on Thursday Feb 15, 2018 said former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds’ talk of the formation of a covert “counter-force” to fight heavily armed criminals has raised several questions, and that the several planned Commissions of Inquiry into massacres are aimed at improving the force’s operations.

    “Numerous questions arise from these careless remarks: who comprised, who commanded, who controlled that counter-force,” Granger said in his address to the opening of the 2018 Police Officers’ Conference.

    Hinds, also a former President, has said that two counter-forces had been established during efforts to destabilise the then People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration when the security forces had failed to arrest perpetrators.

    In his address at the Police Officers’ Conference, the Guyanese leader acknowledged that the police force failed to crush the criminal violence in the 2002-2008 period of the “troubles” but said that was partly due to role of drug lords and rouge members of the Guyana Police Force. “The inability of the police force to curtail the criminal violence led to the emergence of counter-forces and death squads.

    It revealed complicity between rogue elements in the security services and the drug lords. It exposed the infiltration of rogue elements into the force. It rendered the security forces vulnerable and exposed some of its vulnerable members to unwarranted death,” said Granger, a retired Brigadier of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

    Before drug lord, Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan had been arrested in Suriname and later convicted in the United States for cocaine trafficking, he had openly taken credit for preventing the Bharrat Jagdeo-led administration from being toppled.

    Evidence also led in a United States court had shown that then Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had played a role in procuring high-tech phone-tapping and location equipment like what had been found in possession of Khan and his cohorts at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara. The company has said that government authorisation is required before such equipment is sold.

    He announced that in addition to the Lindo Creek massacre, now currently the subject of a Commission of Inquiry, “in due course” there would be inquiries into, among other massacres, one that snuffed out the lives of then Agriculture Minister, Satyadeow Sawh and his siblings at La Bonne Intention in April 2006.

    Others on the President’s radar for inquiries are one those in 2002 at Kitty, Lamaha Gardens and Bourda; Buxton-Friendship in 2003; Prashad Nagar in 2003; Agricola-Eccles in February 2006; Bagotstown-Eccles in 2006; Blackbush Polder in August 2006; Lusignan in June 2008 , Bartica in February, 2008 and Lindo Creek in 2008.

    The President assured that the Commissions of Inquiry are not aimed at breaking the spirit of that law enforcement agency. “The inquiry into the Lindo Creek massacre and inquiries which eventually will be commissioned are intended to improve the force’s operation and administration. They are not intended to demoralise or destabilise the force,” he said.

    Granger further reasoned that surges of corruption of the security forces, communal violence, execution killings and the failure to eradicate drug trafficking. “The authorities, at that time, instead of trying to cure the cause were more concerned with concealing the symptoms,” he said.

    The President said the causes of violence must be uncovered to ensure there is no repeat and that there is human safety.

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