Picketing the pilgrimage at Babu John was an insult to Dr Jagan
Stabroek News
March 12, 2004

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Dear Editor,

A gross insult and crime has been committed against my late leader Dr Cheddi Jagan.

I read in the Guyana Chronicle and subsequently saw a picture in the Kaieteur News about seven persons picketing the annual pilgrimage to Dr Jagan at Babu John in support of Khemraj Ramjattan.

I recognized and also read in the media that the picketers were in fact relatives and friends of Ramjattan who used the occasion to defame my great leader for cheap publicity.

If Ramjattan's relatives and acquaintances wanted to make a political point against the PPP, they should not have insulted Dr. Jagan and thousands who attended the annual tribute. I am quite sure Ramjattan and his handlers in the media, particularly Freddie Kissoon and Peeping Tom (a well-known associate of Ramjattan) are disappointed that their call for a boycott of the annual event went unheard.

The dozen or so relatives and acquaintances left after no one joined them and their photograph was taken out by a photographer transported to ensure that the picture was in the media.

Mr Ramjattan has once again demonstrated his total lack of respect for Dr Jagan's memory, the PPP and its supporters. Even if I had doubts about the decision to expel Ramjattan, I am more than convinced that it was a correct one. I don't blame the few relatives and friends who quickly wrapped up their placards and fled in shame as passers-by ignored them completely.

The PNCR could not have done a better job at insulting Dr Jagan. Ramjattan's absence from that picketing line does not remove culpability for this gross act of disrespect.

Yours faithfully,

Suraj Singh

Editor's Note:

We sent this letter to Mr Khemraj Ramjattan for his comments and received the following response:

"The letter you sent me was published in another section of the media. I should tell you though that the wife of Suraj Singh, who hails from Mahaica, told me in a telephone conversation that her husband is a farmer. He does not know to read and write properly and, in any case, he did not write any letter to the newspaper about anything that happened at Babu John.

It appears therefore that the "Suraj Singh" who sent you the letter you so kindly referred to me for comments, must be a "Phantom writer."

"Suraj" must be quite a prolific writer and a computer exponent as the copy sent to you was generated as a text document, titled "Singh3.txt", and it was the third such document passing through the letter-writing mill.

I have also noted your concern about the quality and credibility of letter writers. This must be written by a literary coward, who is afraid to be identified in anyway whatsoever. "Suraj" refuses to put an address, affix his signature or date his letter. This is nothing but a "gross act of disrespect" for your newspaper!

Yet, I am inclined to believe that "Suraj" belongs to that defined group of "honest and truthful" people who are justifiably enraged that anyone should lift as much as a finger on my behalf!

I can see "Suraj" trembling that seven persons should protest against my expulsion from my party. Those must indeed be "the Magnificent Seven!"

For indeed they must be so as "Suraj" himself testified that they replicated themselves into "a dozen or so" in his own letter to you.

"Suraj" claimed that "thousands" attended the Babu John event. So why the fuss over the "seven", or is it now dozens? I suspect it is the absence of the 10,000 or so who would flock to Dr Jagan's rally while he lived, that bothered "Suraj" and his creators most.

Dr Jagan could never be defamed by "seven" insigni-ficant Berbicians. If the number were twenty-nine, then perhaps I might agree!"