Mixed reaction To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
May 18, 2002

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The letter you published in your edition from me to Andrew Douglas
has generated mixed reaction among people who know me and have contacted me on the issue.

On the one hand there are those who feel that I have glorified Mr. Douglas and made a proposal that if pursued, would provide him and his group certain comforts they don't deserve. I referred my friends to the recent Church of the Nativity stand-off in Bethlehem which was brought to closure through the intervention of mediators who arranged for 13 suspected "terrorists" to be handed over to authorities in certain European countries.

If this can be done in the interest of peace in the Middle East why can't it be done as part of an effort to bring some stability and public safety back to Guyanese society? How do we expect Mr. Douglas and his group to surrender to local police, a section of which has been associated with a number of extra-judicial killings of persons not found guilty of any crimes?

My proposal is aimed at providing some relief to the Guyanese society while at the same time seeking to guarantee the protection of Douglas and his group against human rights and other possible abuses, as well as a fair trial for any alleged crimes, to which they are entitled.

Then, on the other hand, there are those who say I don't understand what's happening in Guyana and I betrayed the 'cause' by suggesting surrender. Well, although I don't reside permanently in Guyana I think I'm there often enough to understand and appreciate what's happening and to offer suggestions that might lead to a negotiated solution of a national crisis.

As for betraying the 'cause' , all Guyanese ought to recognise that no
'cause', no matter how legitimate, can be successfully fought through the killing of innocent persons. Those days are over. Mr. Douglas, as does Mr. Merai need to understand this clearly.

And as for the one person who suggested that Mr. Douglas and his group might target me, I say that's giving me and my simple proposal more weight than we deserve. While Mr. Douglas and his group might not agree with my letter, I doubt whether they would target me for offering them some sound advice.
Wesley Kirton