APRIL 4, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
There are three grave tragedies of the Guyanese condition created or magnified by our divisive politics since 1950. One is the scourge of racism and ethnic polarization. Another is moral and psychological degradation of the nation. The third is economic impoverishment.
The first and the last elements have always existed in this land since the events pre- and post-Emancipation reshaped this landscape. The moral and psychological degradation of the Guyanese people before the arrival of the bitter struggles of the PPP and the PNC was limited to the immoral domination by the bourgeoisie of the working class.
The working class majority itself was peaceful, hardworking and decent-minded people grounded in justice and fairness in a sharing and crime-free working class stratum despite their sufferings. That changed with the arrival of the PPP and the PNC. They introduced full-scale ethnic division and racial apartheid politics to Guyana.
They caused their constituencies who were 85% of the population to adopt morally fraudulent and catastrophic positions out of this racial division. It was no longer what was right, just or fair, but what was racially opportunistic.
Negative ethnic generalizations and stereotyping became full-blown diseases under their reigns. All Africans were the PNC and all Indians were the PPP.
Moral hypocrisy strutted supreme. A dictatorial PNC government was to be overthrown by a Stalinist PPP party that crushed democracy. PNC socialism injected with healthy communist action (see nationalization) was condemned by the PPP and its supporters who advocated in the same breath the replacement with a communist state. PNC supporters sinfully accepted the atrocities of the PNC government just like PPP supporters support the abominations of the PPP government today.
In the grand circle of irony, these two groups of supporters have become one and the same. This moral undermining of the nation that took place in the racial-political struggles of the fifties and sixties have left an indelible stain on this nation’s psyche and morality. Even today, there are calls for the repetition of these stereotypes as evidenced during the 2011 election campaign when Bharrat Jagdeo reminded those who endured the PNC struggles to recall those experiences for the youths of today.
The moral damage was not limited to the psychological operations of the PPP and PNC and their race-driven political orgy. It has to do with the economic woe the PPP and PNC left this nation. Both of these parties have been dismal economic managers. Despite its working class rhetoric, the PPP’s economic management from 1957 to 1964 was a failure that saw economic decline and hardship for the working class along with increasing corruption.
The PNC was handed an economy in gradual decline in 1964 and took it over the precipice with a reckless socialist policy accompanied by corruption and mismanagement. In 1992, the PPP got a destroyed economy that was beginning to grow again and has delivered modest growth in an era of the greatest worldwide economic growth. The modest gains the PPP achieved have been largely shifted by deliberative government policy into the hands of a new upper class who benefit from the largesse and corruption of the PPP.
All of this economic mismanagement has pushed the majority of this country to moral corruption in order to survive. Not only do they have to work for immoral government, they are constantly morally debasing themselves in order to obtain a basic modicum of decent living. Even worse, this is now instinctive and normal for many.
By allowing illegal activity like drug trafficking to flourish, the PPP has firmly destroyed the already wavering moral core of this country. Economic destitution leads to moral equivalency and Guyana since the fifties has been a prime example of this truism. We have people who condone or execute all manner of atrocity for fear of losing that laughable paycheque in a country of rampant unemployment.
In dictatorial governments, people become afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation and harm. The mind becomes Pavlovian, directed by the dictates of the regime. This is what has happened in Guyana since the fifties. Slavery was abolished some 175 years ago while Indentureship ended 96 years ago, yet this nation remains very much a plantation moved by race and economic survival. This gives us the constant moral massacre or the annihilation of the moral code of this nation.
Right and wrong is relative in this nation because there is no moral line left that cannot be crossed. Wrong is very right in Guyana and right is often wrong and illusory. We are a nation in a moral quagmire from which extraction requires sacrifice, which we lack.
In every country that has built itself from ruins, except Guyana, there is an unmissable connection between sacrifice and struggle and moral reclamation. In these countries, people struggle, scrimp, sacrifice and battle to improve their lot, but they also possess a powerful moral philosophy about it; that they will endorse those who will help them achieve their redemption and reject those who are morally abject.
In Guyana, we have a generally hardworking nation that somehow abandons that moral requirement that is vital to their ultimate advancement. If people refuse to attach moral expectations and demands to their struggles, they will inherit societies constantly derailed by the immoral leadership and political parties they refuse to change.
Convenient moral blindness produces no economic profit or advancement out of poverty. You cannot expect less choke-and-rob of your earnings when you allow more choke-and-rob of your taxes by the rulers of the state. Choke-and-robbers at the top lead to choke-and-robbers at the bottom.
Moral hypocrisy allows crooks to bully a populace. Moral convenience leads to an immoral society where vagabonds thrive and in such a society only a handful of the depraved are enough to demonize and crush the rest.
The PPP and PNC have destroyed the morale of this nation and wrecked its psyche. Too many are worried about how those of another race or class are voting or how their own race or class are voting and not focused on what is important to them. That self-focus, which is evident in wealthy nations, and which allowed a White-dominated society like the USA to elect a Black President, is grounded in that element of morality that is missing in Guyana.
Crime and criminality under the PNC and the PPP
OCTOBER 20, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
No country can flourish in a society of criminality, crime, wrongdoing and breakdown of the rule of law. This is the kind of society Guyana has become under the PPP. The drug trade flourished under the PPP when other countries in the region saw major decline in drug trafficking. While Colombia has reduced the impact of drug trafficking, Guyana has become a drug trafficking haven.
As long as we continue to have drugs in Guyana, we will have serious crime, corruption and the breakdown of law and order. Guyana is now a full-fledged criminal republic. Criminality has found a safe haven in Guyana. Let’s get something straight. Crime in Guyana did not start with the PPP. Crime has been around for time immemorial and upsurged under the PNC regime.
What the PPP did was that it took crime and criminality in Guyana to an entirely crippling, sickening and frightening other level. Everything in terms of crime we had under the PNC we basically have under the PPP with some differences and exceptions.
In every society we will have crimes of passion, domestic violence, crimes against people and property, crimes of opportunity and crimes of corruption. Guyana under the PNC of particularly the 1980s saw its fair share of such crimes. We have seen more crime and criminality under the PPP despite its boast of economic development.
What is it that has caused these richer or less poorer and better living Guyanese to engage in more murdering, killing, slaughtering, domestically abusing, robbing, thieving, kicking down doors, filling their pockets and corrupting than they ever did when they were dirt poor, starving and destitute under the PNC?
The collapse of the rule of law, the drug trade and the rampant corruption and stealing from the public treasury are important answers. However, the PPP has encouraged a permissive culture of condoning corruption, immorality and stealing. Its bigwigs not only steal, but arrogantly display their stolen goods in extravagant style, throwing up mansions, driving luxury vehicles out of the reach of even the middle class in developed countries and living in brazen style.
This creates greed, covetousness, envy, keeping-up-with-the-neighbours mentality and copycat tendencies, particularly when others know the spoils were from ill-gotten. So, the decent-minded citizen will start accepting bribes or pilfering money from the people. Or the cop will leave his job and become a drug cartel enforcer. Then there is another set of criminals who think there is nothing wrong in invading the homes of these individuals and robbing them.
One cannot discount the skyrocketing cost of living issue. Everything costs a lot of money in Guyana. Criminality has made a handful of criminal entrepreneurs and those they bribe very wealthy. So has those outrageous fat cat salaries paid by the PPP to thousands of party hacks. This has created another small cabal of wealthy, using taxpayers’ money. Then there are the thieves who steal the public money and fatten themselves on the backs of the people. The spending of this small group of crooks and the corrupt, places significant pressure on the working class man and woman. Because these vagabonds can pay more for a product, they are constantly driving prices up.
When Pradoville mansions with ten bedrooms are being built, it drives up the price for building materials for the family of six building a simple home. People pressed economically start making immoral decisions and the downward spiral occurs.
Under the PNC, crime and criminality was kept to a petty level except for politically motivated crimes such as the assassination of Walter Rodney. Gun crimes were infrequent but are now a common occurrence. The drug trade existed under the PNC but was marginal at best. Contraband trading was big business but many viewed it as a moral necessity in the face of food bans.
The drug trade, proceeds from crime and the underground economy are now major centrepieces of Guyana’s economy under the PPP. The fact that the drug trade continues untouched under the PPP suggests the party sees the drug trade and the criminal economy as vital to the country’s economy.
One may argue the VAT was instituted to tax the spending of illegal wealth in Guyana. The PNC did not have a similar tax imposed on the proceeds of contraband trafficking. In fact, contraband trafficking and smuggling under the PPP is much larger than it was under the PNC.
The evidence of inaction against drug cartels points to the PPP strategically deciding to make the proceeds from drug trafficking and the underground economy a facet of its economic policy. The fact that the PPP refused to allow the DEA and the British entry to Guyana to fight the drug scourge and its denial of serious external help, strongly indicates the PPP sought to profit from the economic spinoffs of the drug trade.
Like every other jumbie and voodoo economic miscalculation of the PPP, this one backfired. Guyana grew 3.54% per annum under the PPP and 2.23% under Jagdeo, under whose rule the drug trade flourished in Guyana. There was far greater annual growth in Guyana under Cheddi Jagan when the drug trade was in its infancy.
It was a shameless, gutless and intellectually backward decision to refuse to crush the menace of the drug trade when the opportunity presented itself. Today, the drug trade benefits only a few who control it and those who are bribed by it.
The PNC had the same moral and economic dilemma as the PPP. During the heyday of the drug trade in the 1980s, where drug cartels made their most profits, the PNC could have allowed this scourge to take root to reap the economic spinoffs. But for all its skulduggery and wrongdoing, the PNC refused to take this step. Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte were patriotic enough to know the price of social devastation from encouraging criminal cartels and drug networks. They knew that drug cartels do not benefit a nation. They benefit the few leaders of that cartel and the corrupt who feed off of them. Corruption under the PPP dwarfs the stealing by the PNC. The PPP is showing us what thieving and bribery really is.
A bribe for a soft drink and a tennis roll or a small pittance to feed the family for a day in the PNC days is now a demand for millions, a car, a house and school fees for an entire year for the crook’s children. When men stole under the PNC to fix the leaking roof of their existing house or their fences, men today under the PPP are stealing enough to build several mega-mansions.
The scale of corruption and pilfering under the PPP is alarmingly outlandish. These are men with the impunity and unchecked greed. There is far more money collected from tax revenues available to the bandits within the PPP. It is evident that both the PNC and the PPP created criminal states or nations wracked by criminality. But the criminality and crime has attained a catastrophic scale under the PPP. Guyana is a narco-state.
For all their wrongs, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham knew when to draw that line in the sand. For all their flaws and there are many, these men knew that some things simply could not ever be allowed to set foot upon the country of their birth and the land of their political sacrifices. They may have loved power and worshipped foreign ideologies and run dictatorships, but they knew when nation trumped everything else. These were men who were wrong on many things, but right on a few things that matter. The prospect of economic prosperity from drug trafficking at enormous cost to the nation was not an option to these men. They preferred a life of poverty, free of drug cartel-created crime, than a life of illicit wealth created by a poisonous substance that filled the nation with crime, fear and the rawness of blood spilling.
Drug cartels and crime networks are run by a few for the benefit of a few. Wherever the drug trade blooms, death, crime and inequality take off. This is the deathly legacy of the PPP.
Roger Khan associate surrenders for Lethem arms bust probe
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 11:21
Ricardo “Fatman” Rodrigues, a close associate of a Guyanese drug lord in a United States jail, Tuesday morning surrendered to police to assist in a probe into a large cache of high-powered weapons discovered in a Rupunuuni yard.
Attorney-at-law , Glenn Hanoman said his client was questioned in his presence andd refused station bail. No written statement was given by Rodrigues at that time.
The lawyer said that as soon as Rodrigues learnt that he was wanted, he immediately made arrangements to hand over himself to police at E and F Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Rodrigues’ cousin-Clive “Bora” Lloyd King has not been seen since the rifles, grenade and other items were dug up from a yard in the southern Guyanese townsship of Lethem. Brazilian authorities have been asked to assist in loctaing and returning him if he is seen in the neeighbouring Portuguese-speaking country.
A wanted bulletin was Monday also isssued for King.
19-year old Benedict Thompson, who has been remanded untiil December 4 on charges of illegal possesssion of arms, ammunition and explosive, is being represented by Hanoman.
He is charged with being in possession of three AK-47 rifles, six M15 rifles, four AK-47 magazines, an AK-47 drum magazine, and one M15 magazine, without being a licensed firearm holder. He has also been charged with having two anti-riot grenades without lawful authority to have such weapons in his possession.
The man allegedly led investigators to the cache of weapons after he was confronted by police about allegedly being in possession of one gun.
Rodrigues is a close associate of Guyanese Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan who has been jailed in the United States for cocaine trafficking. Before he was caught in neighbouring Suriname, Khan had publicly claimed responsibility for preventing the then Bharrat Jagdeo administration from being toppled by heavily armed gangs and sections of the security forces. Khan has been repeatedly singled out by the political opposition as being a key-player in alleged state-sponsored death squads that had hunted armed gangs. Government Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has vehemently denied authorising the sale of sophisticated mobile phone tapping and user-location equipment that had been found in Khan’s possession. At the time of Khan’s arrest, wiretapped recordings of voices purportedly of then Police Commissioner, Winston Felix and Peoples National Congress executive member, Basil Williams had surfaced and used by the government to justify its claim that there had been political-security links in the crime-spree. The recordings have never been condemned by the Jagdeo administration.
Cocaine in pineapples, watermelons…Guyana link seen as Canadians arrest 6
Toronto, Canada (Toronto Sun) – Would you like pineapple with your cocaine? Some watermelon with your weed?
In a highly-tainted fruit salad caper, six Toronto-area accused drug importers were arrested after police and border agents seized coke and pot in loads of pineapples and watermelons.
“Drug dealers will stop at nothing to get their contraband into this country,” RCMP Supt. Rick Penney, Commander of the GTA Drug Enforcement Unit, said Wednesday in a statement announcing the arrests.
Sergeant Michele Paradis said the plot was uncovered first in the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, when Canada Border Services Agency officers seized a container believed to contain cocaine.
Their search turned up 19 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside 80 hollowed-out pineapples scattered throughout the shipment, Paradis said.
She said the illegal coke load was first linked to a Toronto-area address in August, and then traced to gang members with ties to co-conspirators in Jamaica, Guyana, Costa Rica and the United States.
Over the subsequent months, investigators tracked and seized other incoming drug shipments, including two trucks entering Ontario at the Windsor border crossing with 115 kilos of marijuana hidden in shipments of watermelons, Paradis said.
The cocaine had a street value of about Cad$850,000; the pot about Cad$230,000.
“It is through this type of interagency co-operation that we can thoroughly investigate and dismantle organized criminal groups,” Penney stated.
Facing drug-related charges in Toronto courts are Denise Sonia Edwards, 46 — who police say also used the last name Pilgram — and Linval Earl Brown, 52, both of Pickering; Dexter Emmanuel Boyce, 43, of Toronto; Abdool Zaman Haleek, 54, of Scarborough; Roman Clint McInnis, 42, of Keswick; and Lancelot Henry, 45, of St. Catharines.
By STABROEK STAFF | EDITORIAL | MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2012
As President Ramotar settles into his mandate and comes to grips with his agenda for the year and beyond, nothing will test his freedom of action and sincerity in reforming the security sector like the question of a full investigation into the rampage here of convicted drug lord Roger Khan and whether his activities ensnared senior members of the last two administrations or at worse criminalized them.
It is the proverbial elephant in the room. No other issue can hold a candle to it. Every other security matter will be a jigsaw missing its biggest piece without a true accounting for the Khan penetration of the security apparatus, his run-amok phantom squad and the ease with which he trafficked in cocaine. In his previous roles as PPP General Secretary and as presidential hopeful, like many others high up in the PPP/C and the government, Mr Ramotar did not grapple with the seriousness of the problem. His position then was quite likely in conformity with the stance of former President Jagdeo. Mr Ramotar is now, however, the person in the seat of the presidency and he now has to answer as President.
Whenever they get their act together, the parliamentary opposition will no doubt press the issue of the Khan inquiry and whether this entails a full-blown investigation of all of the violence and carnage of 2002-2008. The parties aside, there would be few independent-minded people in this country who would be opposed to a full-fledged Commission of Enquiry into the Khan reign of terror and drugs. This enquiry must be done for all the people of this country, particularly those who were directly affected by the terror and lost loved ones to the actions of this man who now sits in a US jail instead of having been subjected to the full extent of the law here and possible incarceration at Lot 12 Camp Street. The enquiry must not be seen as a trade-off between the parties or haggled into a reductive undertaking as was the case of the hearing into the allegations against former minister Gajraj.
Indeed, President Ramotar is in pole position to stake out the high ground. He can declare his intention to investigate the Khan period and enable a commission of enquiry with full powers. There may be challenges within his party and administration to it but it would be the right and appropriate thing to do. It is also worthy of note that Minister Ramsammy whose name was mentioned in a US court in relation to the permission for the purchase of spy equipment for Khan’s use has been retained in the Cabinet.
Despite the absence of a criminal investigation here into the many crimes that Khan was alleged to have committed, the disclosures in several cases in New York coupled with the revelations contained in the WikiLeaks cables place beyond any doubt that Khan was allowed to conduct his affairs here without fear of prosecution because of his connections. Where government officials are alleged to have been caught up in these matters the Rubicon has been crossed and the pathway to law and order and just governance has to be swiftly retraced.
Whether the government proceeds with foreign-funded reform of the police force which was so perversely obstructed by senior government members in the Jagdeo administration will not matter much if the nub of the Khan reign isn’t unlocked, understood and extensive walls built to defend against a recurrence.
Ultimately Khan is the one who is answerable. He has thrown in the towel and pleaded guilty. Surely he may now be in the frame of mind where he recognizes the futility of denying his role in the cocaine-spiked bloodshed here. He faces the prospect of being returned here upon the completion of his sentence in the US. He must certainly be aware that he would be a person of enormous interest in any number of murder investigations in connection with which his name has been called but for which there was never any prosecution. He might be prepared to make a clean breast of it and perhaps provide testimony to the Commission of Enquiry. On a state to state basis the Ramotar administration should be prepared to approach Washington on the prospect of having access to Mr Khan in his cell. This as we have said before is a matter that is perfectly in the domain of the President. There need not be any acrimonious parting of ways with the opposition over this matter.
Mr Khan fled here as a fugitive from American justice in 1993 – months after the PPP/C came to power – and at the time of his arrest in June 2006 he had taken over Kaow Island, owned and operated several businesses, had a private army and had been on the verge of securing a forestry lease in the south of Guyana undoubtedly for the continuation of his nefarious business. The collapse of that deal has raised questions about his possible involvement in the killing of Minister Satyadeow Sawh. All of this transpired under thirteen uninterrupted years of PPP/C governance and it is the PPP/C that has to enable its own conduct to be examined. Khan’s free reign was clearly a product of the compromised and broken security sector which the PPP/C never bothered too much about as control of the apparatus was its prime consideration. This commission of enquiry would be not so much about Khan’s mastery of the degraded security apparatus but as to whether government officials or the government knowingly facilitated his ascendancy for whatever reason. This is what President Ramotar’s government needs to get to the bottom of before it can embark on the much needed reforms to the security sector.
DECEMBER 30, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Dear Mr. Editor,
From the presidencies of Mr. C. B Jagan to Mr. B. Jagdeo, the PPP had numerous opportunities to change the Burnhamite constitution. Every PPP President has exercised the power and dictatorial impositions afforded by the Burnhamite constitution on every government related entity.
Most PPPites do not think that this rule of dictatorial impositions is against the will of the Guyanese people when their PPP Government exercised the powers and abuses afforded by the Burnhamite constitution. They (PPPites) now regularly rehash the PNC past with absolute disconnection from realities of the present.
Despite all the evidence of the harm inflicted on Guyana, there is no talk of changing the Burnhamite constitution, at least from the PPP and its Presidential candidate to reflect the will of the Guyanese people.
As a result of the current PPP and past PNC continuous and ingrained dictatorial governances, we have arrived at several positions of no return which if allowed to proceed in the PPP fashion, will probably make our chances of having an economic and feasible future of Guyanese society out of reach.
There are numerous positions or existing conditions to dwell, elaborate and write about— from corruption, crime, education, narco-state and failed state, to a ruling class of Guyanese connected to the PPP who have a greater chance to accumulate more personal wealth at the expense of the country.
If Mr. Donald Ramotar and Dr. Nanda Gopaul were elusive in protecting workers rights and economic interests then it is puzzling to understand what Mr. Navin Chandarpaul and Mr. Komal Chand stand and/or stood for.
Workers rights and economic livelihoods have deteriorated during their watch.
Through these same four gentlemen of the ruling PPP, sugar workers have less, earn less and have less to look forward to and their children have lost most of the possibilities to higher education and better futures. With a failing sugar industry there are chances sooner rather later they will descend in a deeper state of poverty.
NOVEMBER 16, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) continued its countrywide campaign with a number of meetings in Berbice. One such meeting was held at the Junction of NO 41 Scheme in Stanleytown, New Amsterdam where a few hundred persons were in attendance. The feature speaker was APNU Executive Member and Leader of the Opposition Robert Corbin.
Corbin lashed out at the ruling Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic for its incompetence and its lackadaisical performance which has destroyed Guyana.
He stated that the PPP is a party of deception, and conmen, who have been deceiving the Guyanese people for the last 19 years. He noted that Bharrat Jagdeo is the “chief deceiver and the chief trickster and con man.” Holding up a copy of the Sunday 13th November Kaieteur News, Corbin showed residents the photograph on the front page where Jagdeo “fooled the world that he was married to Vashnie Jagdeo. Conning everybody that he was married, what a shame. How can a President behave so low and have the gall to say things about people?”
“The PPP is in panic mode at the moment and we must vote them out,” Corbin stated.
Corbin stated that the PPP is in bed with the drug dealers and that this is the catalyst for all the bad things that are happening in Guyana at the moment.
He reminded residents about of the notorious Roger Khan, who stated that he worked with the Guyana government to fight crime. He mentioned a story told to him by a businessman who had closed his business and fled Guyana. According to Corbin, the businessman revealed that he had gone to see the President at Office of the President and Roger Khan was leaving at the same time. “He immediately became afraid, packed up and closed his business and left the country.”
Corbin reminded residents of the massacres that took place at Lusignan, Agricola, Bartica and Lindo Creek under President Jagdeo’s watch, for which no inquiry was ever held.
According to Corbin, newly converted Alliance For Change member Moses Nagamootoo was with the PPP for a long time “and if he could talk about the PPP banditry, corruption and thievery then you must believe him.”
Corbin said that when APNU had mentioned that the PPP was like Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, “They wanted to sue. But we were waiting for them. Now Nagamootoo who been with them say the ‘Robb Street’ gang make Ali Baba and is crew look like small boys.”
Corbin told the Berbicans that a vote for an APNU government is a vote for clean, lean and decent people to lead this country for the next five years.
“The Robb Street gang of thieves, yes men, soup drinkers and bandits are abusing power, and using their majority to bulldoze the Guyanese people. They must be stopped, and come November 28, the nation has that opportunity by voting for a clean APNU Government.”
“You must reject these sycophants, who are outdated and dealing in corruption, drug trafficking, threatening national security, the heart of discrimination, and simply put, dealing in bad governance.”
The PNCR Leader said that an APNU government will reduce VAT, ensure economic and infrastructural development, job-creation and investments in health, education and housing.
He went on to outline the qualifications of APNU Presidential Candidate and leader Brigadier David Granger and Prime Ministerial candidate Dr. Rupert Roopnarine who are by far the two most qualified and experienced campaigners who he said will lead Guyana with dignity.