Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2021, 13:39 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Friday rejected claims by sections of the opposition that the recent killing of Essequibo businessman, Orin Boston, marked the return of extra-judicial killing of Afro-Guyanese, saying that an opposition-generated list of victims had already been debunked years ago.
“The propaganda that was used in the past about extra-judicial killing was dismantled,” he said, adding that an analysis of a list that had been published in the privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper contained no Afro-Guyanese. “In that list, they did not have any Afro-Guyanese so I am not going to go back to a position with a false basis,” he said.
The list contains the names of 449 persons, including Indo Guyanese, who had been killed from 1993 to 2009. Among them are Shaka Blair and Ronald Waddell. Among them are Shaka Blair and Ronald Waddell. However, the names of five men who had been gunned down on Light and Robb Streets in November, 2002.had not formed part of the list of 400 odd persons.
A Commission of Inquiry had not found any linkages between the State, through then Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, and death squads although telephone records had shown that he had been in constant contact with Axel Williams and even had his firearm upgraded.
Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan –who had been arrested by a Guyana Defence Force patrol in possession of firearms and sophisticated cellular phone tapping and location equipment that is sold only to governments- had said in statements in a section of the media that he had helped foiled a coup attempt against the then Bharrat Jagdeo-led administration. Mr. Jagdeo had distanced himself from Khan who had eventually been caught in neighbouring Suriname and eventually taken to New York where he had been convicted and jailed for cocaine trafficking.
But the President on Friday suggested that opposition elements had been behind efforts to tarnish the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC). “The narrative that was created about extra-judicial killing was a disgusting narrative aimed at discrediting the PPP Civic government… It has no basis, it was not factual and we have dismantled this and for a very ling time it did not come up back,” he said.
Dr. Ali said his administration’s vision is to develop Guyana peacefully in which all citizens enjoy prosperity.
In the wake of the police shooting death of Boston, the opposition Working People’s Alliance had assailed the PPP for its “pronounced” track-record of extra-judicial killings of especially African Guyanese males by a police force which “seems to become more trigger-happy under the PPP’s stewardship of the country.
But the Guyanese leader said there was no evidence to back up claims of illegal killings during his party’s tenure from 1992 to 2015. “You can’t return to something that never existed. If you’re starting from a foundation of lies, you can’t return to the foundation of lies,” he said.
For its part, the PPPC had blamed the People’s National Congress Reform and other associates for the violent crime spree that had begin with the February 2002 jail break and ended with the killing of Rondell Rawlins in August 2008. During that period, there had been three massacres at Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo Creek, in addition to several killings, disappearances, robberies and kidnappings. Among those killed had been then Agriculture Minister Satyadeow Sawh and a number of his siblings.