Friday, March 26, 2004

Gya: Gov't indifferent to the will of the people

The allegations concerning a death squad have brought this society to yet another standstill. At their heart is the charge that the squad had state sponsorship at some level, which if true, is no small accusation. It is the kind of imputation which in more normally structured democracies would have caused a government to act with dispatch against whichever of its members was enveloped in the cloud of suspicion. The fear that the administration as a whole could be contaminated by such allegations would have constituted sufficient incentive for quick action.

But not here. In this country the government has proved impervious to whatever evidence has been placed in the public domain, and has made statements on the subject which in some instances border on the obtuse. It has, in other words, behaved in a way which sends the message that it has something to hide. But this is not the total explanation. At the back of its obstinacy there is something else as well in operation - and that is the feeling of injustice. There has been no reckoning for the PNC in terms of its behaviour over many years, and now, after the ruling party attempted to respond to an 'evil' - albeit with another 'evil' - it is the one whose actions the opposition is demanding be the subject of an independent inquiry.
...
The administration in the form of Dr Roger Luncheon repeated again on Wednesday that it was not prepared to negotiate on the question of an independent investigation into the death squad killings. Its obduracy is wearing and counter-productive. What we need at this point, perhaps, is the intervention of some civil society group in the first instance, to create a forum where the government and the parliamentary opposition as a whole could discuss in private the possibilities for breaking the impasse. At the moment, there is no problem in this nation more in need of resolution.

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