New York-based groups support Presidential Commission appointment
Guyana Chronicle
May 20, 2004

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TWO overseas-based Guyanese organisations have expressed satisfaction at and support for Government's establishment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of the existence of a death squad purportedly involving Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj.

Jama Masjid in Queens, New York, said in a letter to President Jagdeo yesterday it learnt "with great interest" that he had established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations against Minister Gajraj.

The Queens-based Jama Masjid, which has a membership of more than 2,000 and a following of another 6,000 persons, also congratulated President Jagdeo for announcing plans for a similar investigation into "the prison breakout, the escalation of crime and past atrocities, including unsolved murders of prominent individuals, that took place after the jailbreak by five notorious convicts.

Emphasized the organisation: "We know that some people will argue to have representation in the commission from CARICOM. If we accept this distorted argument that will mean that we have no confidence in Guyanese. It will also mean that we have to search for integrity outside of Guyana. And that will be an insult to all Guyanese."

It said, "We note that you have appointed three eminent Guyanese with impressive credentials. They are knowledgeable in criminal jurisprudence and have also distinguished themselves in public service. We believe that they will perform in accordance with the requirements of due process and justice. We call, therefore, upon all Guyanese to support the work of this Commission. It's important we bring this matter as quickly as possible to closure."

The other group, the New York Vedic Hindu Dharmic Society, also congratulated President Jagdeo on the appointment of the three-member panel. "The appointees are credible persons who we believe would be impartial in their investigations.'

The Society rejected what it said were attempts by the "opposition want to appoint their own 'goons' to persecute, condemn and hang Minister Gajraj," and said it fully supported the Commission and the President in "resolving this matter amicably."