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By GHK Lall
It was the second President of the infant American Republic, John Adams, who gave the world a memorable statement that resonates to this day. It was that Massachusetts and, by extension, America, was “a government of laws, and not of men.” Hear, hear, good sir, is my salute.
Now ask any man or woman on the inside of the PPP Government and they will be quick to say that theirs is a government of laws, and not of men. They lie; every single one of them that has the audacity either to still think so privately, or to share that in the public space. It is a denounceable falsehood from those who are nothing but pathetic and pathological liars. Because this paper is likely to be read by children and righteous adults, convention prevents me from using more colorful language that local circumstances demand.
Where is the law in this country? Where is the respect for it, and the greatest of care in the employment of the law for purposes that are just and equitable? To whom does it apply? More importantly, to whom does it not apply? And last, but of utmost importance, who are the ones doing the applying of the law, such as it is? I look at the men in the midst of the PPP Government, and I see lawless men; men and women bent on breaking the law, through their deceptions and maneuvers, their slimy wielding of the law as a weapon to batter the objectionable into submission before their excesses, their chronic wrongs. To cross them for what is right is to incur the worst of curses from them, the most heinous of retaliations from them.
Law officers of the State are used to come up with covers for who should be charged, and who should be given a pass, usually under the most transparently frivolous of legal conclusions. The Police is deployed to bring the full force of the State of those who cross the powerful people in Government, or their allies and henchmen. This is not the wisdom of the law, or the blindness of its sacred ideals, but of what men in the PPP say that it is.
There are senior men in the PPP Government who have drummed up the most self-damning narratives about what is truth and what is of transparency, and which brings yet another noteworthy indication of how far and ugly about how law and lawless have progressed here. What is now conspicuous is not that there are these self-serving narratives about obedience to the Constitution and its body of laws, but of a whole new language that corrupts all past and standing interpretations of what is law with what are nothing but manmade concoctions.
The law says that there must be disclosures of certain businesses executed by government on behalf of the people. the PPP Government’s reaction is simple and savaging: to hell with what the law says. We don’t have to follow it, ether in letter or in spirit. The people watch these arrogant displays of what is secretive and self-serving to leaders, and before long they follow suit in their own little, ordinary ways. What results is a state of controlled chaos. The concern is what becomes the norm when the control fades away, and the uncontrolled then takes over as the new order.
The Police, at a senior level, shuts up an attorney in her sensible instructions to her client, pursuant to law and constitution, and all that civilized men stand for, only for her to be collared and bagged like some common criminal, and carted off to jail. Instead of the gleaming brightness of the law surfacing, notwithstanding raging overzealousness by a ranking law enforcement officer, there is only the constancy of the dismal blankness now the norm in Guyana. Wagons are circled in quick order, and the higher up one goes, the thicker the canopy of protection for those who willfully break the law while wearing badges of the law. The OPR, it is. Incidentally, as has now come out in the public sphere, it is the same officer who went to manhandle a citizen (a former senior officer of the law himself) in the precincts of one of Guyana’s courtyards.
By now it should be obvious that some men, with the full backing of the PPP Government, see themselves as above the law, bigger than the law, and neither subservient nor answerable to any law. And this is anywhere. For there we have the ugly and sickly in New Delhi by one of our own, a betrayer according to some, and a pretender of a diplomat no less (according to others). A specially selected officer of this PPP Government goes all the way over to the far corners of the earth to exhibit the lawless that takes increasingly tighter and deeper hold of this country and its captive, passive citizens. If a man of this nation could go to a foreign nation and create such a commotion in a place over a dog in a vulgar entanglement with a woman, then it should register more sharply that men in this PPP Government are now of a settled conviction. It is that they are a law unto themselves, and God had better lookout for those who say differently, who dare to challenge them.
What is there to expect when national leaders were either charged before for violations of the law, or alleged to have engaged in a series of questionable financial acts, and nothing comes out of such developments. One national figure benefited from the friendly interpretation of a legal comrade while another made himself look guilty by his tortured verbal sparring. This is how the law looks in Guyana from top to bottom; and when the head reeks, the rest of the body assumes the same odor. Whither law in Guyana? Just ask the PPP Government what it did, and what else its leaders have in mind for more lawlessness.