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Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Anil Nandlall S.C, in a Guyana Chronicle January 12th 2023 story ‘Sympathising Judas’ accused the Opposition of having a history of bulldozing squatters, being a Judas, using the race card to support squatters in breaking the law, and hindering development. According to the newspaper, Nandlall made those comments during his weekly Facebook programme.
Speaking to Village Voice about the AG’s comments, Shadow Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Roysdale Forde S.C, said Nandlall’s thinking reflects the intellectual bankruptcy Guyanese are forced to endure from some leaders.
“Rather than address his mind, as the government’s legal advisor, to issues of laws and international conventions, and counsel President Ali and ministers of the importance of complying with these, Nandlall opted for cheap shots in response to the pains and sufferings of the residents at Mocha Arcadia, who are now homeless, have lost their livelihood and earthly possessions as a result of the brutal actions of an uncaring government.”
Before Nandlall speaks, he must think, said Forde. “Had he address his mind to the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities Report, he would have found 12 reasons attending to the issue of squatting, and none supports the government’s violation of the rights of Cane View/Mocha residents nor the destruction of their properties.”
Nandlall could have also addressed his mind to Article 154 in the Constitution of Guyana which protects the rights of Guyanese, the shadow minister pointed out. “These rights are not unlike the issues addressed in the UN’s Minorities Report.”
Turning attention to accusation the Opposition is playing the race card, Forde said the evidence shows the persons affected by the government’s inhumane policy are African Guyanese. “It is the fact and Nandlall cannot wish away the evidence, however much he tries.”
Going further, the member of parliament said even if we were to accept the AG’s fulmination the coalition government bulldozed squatters, it does not make it acceptable. “Also, Nandlall should advise this nation, by his logic, if Guyanese are likely to see the intensifying of human rights violations reminiscent of slavery, indentured ship and colonialism.”
According to the Forde, the problem with the president’s ‘one Guyana’ is that it is divisive and would not engender unity and peace among Guyanese, and therefore poses a threat to all Guyana. “Most Guyanese are from ancestry whose earlier experiences here were cruel and barbaric.” Is this where the PPP/C wants us to return, he questioned.
The shadow minister said the government continues to make blunders on basic matters and ignores its responsibility to work with the opposition and to govern for all Guyana. Resolving the disagreement in Mocha Arcadia between residents and government is not insurmountable if President Ali could accept that all Guyanese are important and have identical protection under the law, he emphatically stated.
He warned that the government’s predisposition to a havoc-wreaking political style is not healthy in the 21st Century oil and gas economy. Instead of Guyanese warring with each other, Guyanese should be coming together to best exploit, manage and benefit from the economy, which is the development Guyanese deserve, said Forde. “Unfortunately, President Ali’s ‘one Guyana’ is not interested in nationwide comity.”
Returning to Nandlall, the shadow minister said he wonders if the AG heard the anguished voice of the mother whose child’s spectacles were among the rubbles, is suffering from headaches without her glasses, and couldn’t do her homework. “If that couldn’t tear at his heart, then all Guyanese should ask if he has a heart.”
It is political depravity to revel in or seek to justify the pain, anguish, loss, discomfort and dislocation of others, Forde contended.