If to want lasting peace is to be immature then line me up
Stabroek News
April 7, 2002

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Dear Editor,

It is not the best thing to respond to letters written about oneself but on occasion self-defence is best. In your edition (5/04/02) a letter appears, ostensibly written by a Steve Zulfikar, dismissing me as being an immature amateur! All this because of a few words attributed to me in a Stabroek News headline sometime ago. Not content, the writer goes on to suggest that I am dancing to the tune of the PPP/Civic. What poppycock!

Strange as it may sound, Steve, you have provided me a golden opportunity to expand on a number of matters. During my interview in June 2000 with the Stabroek News reporter the question was asked whether the PNC (as it then was) would be interested in genuine reconciliation with the PPP/C. My response was an unequivocal "yes" as I couldn't fathom belonging to a political party which was not willing to put the country and its people first and I was and remain certain to this day that the PNC/R is so willing. I however cautioned that reconciliation cannot be genuine, conscientious or long lasting unless there was an acceptance and recognition by both or all the players involved that they had done things to each other which in restrospect were perhaps unnecessary and even excessive, and which did not inure to the overall benefit of the nation. If and when the day beckons that as a people we must confront our past and plot our future together, I daresay that many issues will have to be settled or explained away. I recall during the interview referring to Kwayana's booklet "No Guilty Race" to point out that all the races and factions have done harm to each other and even to their own kind. In a sense therefore we are all either collectively guilty or not guilty. The choice is ours. (I am informed that the notes of the interview conducted are available and in this regard are open to forensic scrutiny).

It is the Zulfikars of this world who prefer to keep Guyana in a death grip refusing to face the past and who continue to be deceitful as to their true purpose. It has been said: "no man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true". By your own letter you have revealed yourself and your sinister intent to move like an assassin in the night unnaturally driven to destroy. Despite my best efforts I can find no proof that a Steve Zulfikar exists in Guyana or anywhere else. I say, be a man (or woman) and step out to fight your battles like I do. I know that there is no member of the PNC/R with this name and that in fact the letter smacks of a "Goebels-like" dirty trick on the part of the other side. Stop being deceitful and stop trying to drag the rest of unto your nastiness. I invite you to help me to pry us from the grip that is suffocating us, and which is literally killing the aspirations of young people and simultaneously destroying the labour of the old. If to want lasting peace and development is to be immature and amateurish then line me up on the side of the righteous immature. If Steve Zulfikar represents the future of the people of Guyana both young and old, then we will continue to drift towards an abyss that plunges us unto the waiting fires of hell and eternal damnation.

For the sake of my country I am prepared to make every sacrifice; for the sake of my country I am prepared to be vilified; and for the sake of the future of Guyana and the hundreds of thousands like myself who are sickened by a culture of hatred giving birth to reprisals and revenge, I am prepared to stand strong and tall whether I number in the leadership of the PNC/R or not. If the people have already chosen their leaders then I congratulate them but I will not like you sully the name of any of the leaders of the PNC/R knowing that at the end of the day, the leadership of the Party and ultimately that of the country, rests on many shoulders and will be moved forward by many feet.

In closing I wish to say that my strength will be my God who reminds me daily that whosoever dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty and will be satisfied with long life.

Yours faithfully,

Raphael Trotman