Rodney's mission still not accomplished - WPA
June 14, 2002
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On the anniversary of the slaying of its leader Walter Rodney, the Working People's Alliance (WPA) asserted yesterday that his mission is still not accomplished and that human development and reconciliation will not be possible as long as governments fail to take responsibility for their human rights abuses.
The WPA in a press release yesterday, focusing on the assassination 22 years ago of the party's leader, said that "this political and national red letter day is a stern reminder of the climate of the country at the time when Walter Rodney was assassinated."
The release observed that sections of the diplomatic community had noted the likelihood of state involvement in the death of Dr Rodney, a renowned historian and scholar.
"Not only was no official attempt made to bring the suspect to justice," the release said, but "then, as now, a private prosecution was aborted, not by the Director of Public Prosecutions, but by the Magistrate's Court, on the ground that there was no evidence on which a summons could be issued, although the police had eventually issued a wanted notice."
The party recalled that Rodney had returned to Guyana at a time when one party rule had been consolidated. And while he desired a new form of governance for Guyana's multi-ethnic population with its majority of working people, he had to concentrate his efforts on the regime which had instituted one party rule, the WPA said.
"Under his inspiration the Working People's Alliance engaged in struggle on a variety of fronts, employing a variety of means, (but) it never injured a single individual physically," the release stated.
Rodney's campaign, the release said further, was very effective and gave hope to all generations, and all races, especially the young people.
The release also contended that Rodney's campaign prepared the country for free elections, for non-racial politics and for a government of National Unity and Reconstruction.
As a result of the fairness of his political approach, the WPA posited, his mission attracted support without regard to ideology, and the then ruling party was excluded so long as it did not concede fair and free elections.
"All we can say today is that with Rodney's mission still not accomplished, development is stagnated. The way is not clear for the developments urgently needed by today's society," the WPA concluded. It added that human development and reconciliation will not thrive as long as governments "of the past or present fail to take responsibility for their human rights abuses, or those committed on their watch and cover themselves with self-justification".