Truths about the past should be told
Stabroek News
November 30, 2001

Dear Editor,

With regards to your editor's note to Mr. Rohan Sooklall's letter captioned "We needed a truth and reconciliation commission" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] (28.11.01), please tell me as an East Indian Guyanese what I should apologise for? Your tone suggests that we (Indians) should forget about the past and get on with it. Why is it always the Indian that must give in to move on. When will the African Guyanese, especially those linked with the PNC, admit to the "truths" about the PNC dictatorship? How many more riots and banditry must East Indians endure before you call a spade a spade?

The truth about the dictatorship of the PNC should be told and recorded so that we, all Guyanese, would never forget or repeat. The time is drawing near when this may be impossible and for this, the present Government must share the blame.

I suggest that if the powers that be in Guyana do not establish a truth and reconciliation commission, that those in opposition during those times take it upon themselves to do so. Maybe then we will know who ordered Dr. Walter Rodney killed or how the armed forces were manipulated to work for the PNC dictatorship and perhaps then we Indians and others who were discriminated against or suffered irreparable harm under the PNC dictatorship, would be able to move on.

Yours faithfully,

Mohamed Z. Rahaman (Breado)

Editor's note:

It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at an agreed version of the past. Both sides have their own versions of what happened though obviously a commission that took evidence could establish clearly some of what had taken place. There are certainly arguments in favour of having a truth and reconciliation commission as happened in South Africa though that does not of course in itself put an end to ethnic resentments and insecurities.

Our argument was that rather than keep rehashing the past, it should be put behind us, and an effort should be made to move forward and live together peacefully as was done in South Africa.