Learning from our past to prevent negative repeats (Part 1)

first_imgDear Editor,Last week, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and other democratic-minded Guyanese observed two important anniversaries in our country.The first was the murder of Michael Forde, a PPP and PYO militant who was in the forefront of the fight for independence. He died on July 17, 1964 when a bomb set by one of the PNC terrorists, Emmanuel Fairbram, also known as Batson, exploded at the headquarters of the PPP, Freedom House. Michael Forde was trying to disarm the bomb. Batson was arrested at the Office of Clark and Martin, the legal office of Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte.This is one of the crimes that the PNC committed while in service to the British Intelligence and the CIA. That party sided with the CIA and the colonial power to stop Guyana from becoming independent. The PNC was the local tool used to carry out terrorist acts, as described in the X13 Plan. It was used to promote racial division. WikiLeaks document revealed that the PNC was collecting money from the CIA up to 1973.Guyana was granted independence in 1966, after the combined foreign and internal forces managed to eventually remove the PPP from power in 1964. However, the PNC has worked against national interest, mismanaged our country greatly. Its legacy was racial and political discrimination, corruption and the de-professionalisation of our public service, judiciary, Police and other constitutional bodies. Our country became famous or infamous for rigged elections, thus undemocratic governance.By the time the Guyanese people managed to throw out the PNC from power, the country was in ruins. The economy, the infrastructure, and every aspect of national life lay in shambles.The other incident was in many ways a continuation of the first. The PNC, having been propelled to power by the colonial power, established a neo-colonial, undemocratic state.The fight to save Guyana from economic ruin and political dictatorship was very intense. The PPP mounted a great struggle for free and fair elections. The struggle was against racial and political discrimination, and for human rights.After the experience of the massively rigged elections of 1968 and the even worse rigged Local Government Elections of 1970, the PPP concluded that only counting the ballots at the place of poll could give the democratic forces a chance at halting that practice of crooked elections.In 1973, Jagan Ramessar and Bhola Nauth Parmanand were in the crowd that demanded that the votes be counted at the place of poll before the boxes were removed. The army shot into the crowd, killing the two PPP supporters. Scores of others were injured.Bhola Nauth Parmanand was taken to the Skeldon Hospital by citizens in the community, and was pronounced dead on arrival.Jagan Ramessar, did not die on the spot. However, his body was seized by the army, and kept for more than eight hours in a truck, where he bled to death before meeting New Amsterdam.Some of the injured died later, and it was felt they died from those old wounds and blows they received at the hands of the security forces that were directed by the dictatorship.One who was seriously injured and could not go to the hospital, because he was wanted and the security forces were still looking for him, was Mr. Richi Ram Motie. He is still suffering from those injuries. Only recently, the doctors who are looking after him told his wife that the injuries he sustained then are now having great effect on his health.Their sacrifices were not in vain. Our country did become independent. We welcome that, even though the PNC had made it a neo-colonial state. They were the servants of foreign powers. The most important thing was that the struggles of the PPP made independence possible. That was the closing of one chapter in our history. Michael Forde and other sacrifices made that possible.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img

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