Corbin suggests rowdy funeral crowd felt speeches hypocritical

Stabroek News
January 10, 2003

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PNCR Chairman Robert Corbin yesterday suggested that persons who behaved in an unruly manner at the funeral for late party leader Desmond Hoyte may have been reacting to speakers who only months earlier had been disparaging him.

Corbin said it was anyone’s guess as to the reason but he said that what should be taken into account is the fact that it was the leader of the PNCR who died and many of those persons have for more than a year “been hearing that he was a demon. That he was a man who.......was a terrorist, was a man who created confusion.

And our people are not as sophisticated to be able to separate sometimes what should be a solemn occasion from what they feel deep inside and I think that could be one of the reasons, that they believe there was some hypocrisy involved... What was clear is that the crowd did not want to hear, and I think what we should do as leaders of Guyana today is to take note of the behaviour of the people and see what we can do to understand why people would behave like that and plan for the future so that nothing like that could occur again.

To do so we would have to address the problems of the people and let those people see that we are concerned and their problems are being addressed.

If they feel that their problems are being addressed then we would get a better response.”

Many persons have voiced their disgust at the crowd’s conduct especially outside the Public Buildings where President Bharrat Jagdeo and others were jeered even as they paid tribute to Hoyte.

At the party’s weekly press conference yesterday, Corbin said any attempt to pin down a cause for the rowdy behaviour would be just speculation.

He said the party has already said that the unruly behaviour was not organised by the planners of the event since they planned for a smooth activity. “But as I said I could only give my opinion on this matter, basically that we are dealing with a situation in which the nation was thrown into grief. I have seen worse scenes in other parts of the world when big leaders die and even at family funerals in the country,” Corbin said.

Corbin also suggested that the crowd’s behaviour could be attributed to the fact that some of them were irritated after the programme started a bit late and some felt they needed more time to see Hoyte’s body.

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