Death squad allegations
PNCR leadership to re-examine dialogue process
Stabroek News
February 1, 2004

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The PNCR leadership will be re-examining the constructive engagement process and all other relations with the government and the PPP/C, if the ruling party maintains its stand on the death squad allegations that implicate Home Minister Ronald Gajraj.

At the first General Council for the year, the PNCR leadership was asked to do a critical examination of all relations, if the PPP/C holds to what it calls "an unprincipled and indefensible position" on the issue.

That resolution and others were adopted yesterday by the PNCR's Regional Committee members, Regional Council-lors, Members of Parliament and Central Executive members, who attended the General Council which preceded a rally at Well site, Ruimveldt last night.

According to a statement that was issued shortly after the council ended yesterday evening, the PNCR leadership was also called upon to intensify its campaign for the removal of the minister and to launch a full and independent inquiry into state-sponsored murder and violence.

At a press conference on Thursday, the PPP joined the President in the call for a formal statement to the police on the allegations which have been made by a man who says he was once an ex-informant for the squad. The PPP has stated that only on the basis of a formal statement to the police can an investigation be initiated into the bombshell allegations.

Dialogue between the government and the opposition was restarted in the constructive engagement process between President Bharrat Jagdeo and the PNCR leader Robert Corbin in May last year after a pause for more than a year. Corbin late last year however reported that the dialogue was in a precarious state, due to the non-implementation of agreements which were reached.

In the wake of the recent allegations and the fallout between the PNCR and the PPP/C over the latter's response, Corbin has written to CARICOM, requesting that the political situation in the country be placed on the agenda for discussion by regional leaders meeting in Kingston.

In his feature address at the meeting, Corbin emphasised the need for the party to re-organise and re-invigorate its organs and membership, in preparation to take government.

Workshops were held at the council meeting to discuss the party's work programme for 2004. Plans for party mobilisation and organisation, public communication, human services and welfare, policy development, outreach, education and training were some of the issues which were discussed, the statement said.