'Crisis' is a favourite word of government critics
Stabroek News
May 27, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I refer to the Sunday Stabroek (12.5.02), page 6, which has three items. First, the cartoon representing bin Laden saying, "so that I can fight the injustices against my Muslim brothers and sisters," and Andrew Douglas saying, "so that I can fight the injustices against my African brothers and sisters."

Second, the quote of the week, "Negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason" (John Keats).

Third, the editorial, 'Acute crisis.'

I thought that the cartoon was very good, thought-provoking and humorous and we can all draw our own conclusions.

After reading the somewhat meandering editorial I felt that perhaps the Quote of the week could perhaps be accurately used to describe the editorial.

I have found that one word is extremely common in use by those who consistently and persistently criticize the PPP/Civic government and that word is 'crisis.' It is used on a regular basis by the PNC/R, ROAR, GAP/WPA and Stabroek News.

The editorial starts out by telling us "We are in crisis again. That is not to say that we are not in crisis all the time, it is simply that the crisis is in another of its acute phases during which we teeter precariously on the verge of social disintegration."

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am not wrong when I say that 'crisis' is a favourite word of Stabroek News in comments on the government.

Incredibly, every problem it seems, is placed at the feet of this government including those directly created by the main opposition the PNC/R and all the responsibility for the solutions to these problems is placed fully on the PPP/Civic.

It seems that some weak and lame attempt is made to attach some blame and responsibility to the PNC/R, ostensibly perhaps to be able to claim 'balance.'

After discussing the police Target Special Squad (TSS) the editorial states categorically and unequivocally that Mr Merai must be sent on leave with immediate effect. Would they have said the same thing if the head of the TSS was an Afro-Guyanese? What would be the reaction of Mr Hoyte and the PNC/R and others to such a peremptory and unilateral action? What would be the media's attitude?

Has Mr Merai been charged with any crime and wouldn't he be entitled to his day in court? Surely, if even a departmental enquiry is held, under the laws of natural justice he would have to be told of what he is being accused and would have a right to defend himself.

If such action was taken by the administration whether government or police, this very newspaper would have been asking the very questions I have asked above and more, and no doubt they would again tell us that we were in an "Acute crisis."

Yours faithfully,

John DaSilva

Editor's note:

In view of the number of extra-judicial killings committed by members of the TSS, and the fact that to all appearances this practice is continuing, we feel that there is every justification for asking the head of the squad to be sent on leave. It is perfectly normal for officials to be sent on leave while alleged wrongdoings in their department are investigated.

Factual reporting