Gajraj will be remembered for opposing those who tried to compromise voters

first_imgDear Editor,I wish to extend condolences to the family of the late Mr Ronald Gajraj, a former Minister of Home Affairs.His tenure as Minister occurred at a time when, quite unfortunately, persons in the then opposition, with the aid of seasoned criminals, top-brass officials acting under the collar of law enforcement, and others sympathetic to the opposition, willfully orchestrated a campaign of violence to remove or compromise an elected PPP Government.The aforesaid tenure regarding security of the country is controversial because it involves confrontation with citizens whose premeditative intent was the open and notorious subversion of the will of the electorate that emerged at the March 19, 2001 Guyana general elections.I know this because I was steeped in the documentation of the period. It was a coup d’état in the making. It was much more than a crime spree. Rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping, arson, assault, battery, petit larceny, are all criminal acts committed as means to an end. It was a former police commissioner who stated in June 2001 that crimes were being committed to “create a climate of instability in the country.”It was not a period of mere “troubles,” as President Granger wants his supporters to promote. This is not Ireland; this is Guyana. There was no conflict about the constitutional status of any internal region. What we had were persons who swore allegiance to defend the Republic from enemies both foreign and domestic and instead worked to undermine both law enforcement and the elected administration.They offered protection to seasoned gunmen, gangs with sophisticated artillery, and nurtured a parallel army using state-owned equipment smuggled out of Georgetown into the East Coast corridor to make war on voters and open an avenue to high office for a then opposition waiting in the wing.If memory serves all correctly, we may recall, for example, at least one second-tier PNC leader stated that for the PNC to respond to public appeal for help stem the violence, it must first be offered political concessions. People, including traditional PNC supporters were being killed or raped and the PNC leadership watched on. Mr Raphael Trotman, the current AFC leader a former leading PNC member, arrogantly stated that the PNC’s job was to “depose” (as opposed to replace) the elected administration.There is more, much more about who were involved to set aside voters’ will. But perhaps that is the responsibility of local journalists to disclose, especially since no one has been prosecuted for their involvement, and some are bent on disguising it all as mere so-called “troubles” or tales of crime and now, drug sprees. It is not customary for notable politicians or political activists to go on crime or drug sprees.Acts to subvert the will and/or mandate of the 2001 electorate constitute some of the prima facie evidence of what transpired during the home affairs tenure of Mr Gajraj, and ought to be included in petitions or testimonies to be submitted by those who speak of court proceedings and commissions of inquiry.Voters who bear scars from having their right to govern trampled from one general election to another, are free to publicly recognise the late Minister as they see fit. But they must also be vigilant.This is because democracy is a terrifying thing to citizens who have been schooled to believe that in Guyana, most have a right to vote but only some have a right to govern. This is beyond George Orwell. However, controversial it was, opposition to this kind of schooling is part of the story some will remember of the late Mr Ronald Gajraj.Sincerely,Rakesh Rampertablast_img

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