One Chowtie, two spin doctors Frankly Speaking
By A A Fenty
Stabroek News
April 17, 2004

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Perhaps ironically, this piece will actually represent and project the views of the People's National Congress Reform (PNCR) with respect to the crime situation, the "Gajraj Affair" and the much-promoted "Guyana-in-crisis" syndrome.

Even though I am not in total agreement with that party's two spokesmen's spin on the situation. I suppose it's the old Party-propagandist, opinion-shaper streak in me which made me appreciate, if not admire, the interpretations, conclusions and slant projected by the two spin-doctors on the pro-PNC television station and show "Nation Watch" on Sunday.

First, their views in my paraphrase, on recent events, their linkings and decision: the bandit shot dead, Gopaul Chowtie, a PPP one-time member and apparent life-long supporter, evidently had no fear of being prosecuted if caught because, beside being nattily dressed, he had personal incriminating documents on him, a cell phone with numbers and either he or an accomplice named a Government Minister as a contact before succumbing to arrest and/or death.

The death of Chowtie the bandit "proves" that the PPP - a party which allegedly uses violence against its own supporters for its own ends - is indeed linked to criminals and criminals activities. One of the Party's hawks appearing on the Sunday programme came to the guarded conclusion that the late Chowtie was linked to the "Death Squads". This spokesman has always scared me a bit. But I'll return to his conclusions a few paragraphs later.

The two competent Congress Comrades emphasised that the capture and death of Chowtie also served to establish a link between the PPP and organised crime, adding that "Chowtie and his merry men" was probably involved in all the crimes being perpetrated along the Lower East Coast Demerara. Even tho' the failed Chowtie caper at the Chabrols was beyond mere robbery. "Dirty tricks" and manipulation of minds was obviously the objective, the two Sophia seers concluded.

Creating a linkage between (Chowtie), the Death Squads and the escapees, the two high-profile PNC opposition reps agreed with each other totally. The shorter spokesman who somehow manages to fill me with foreboding, kept intimating that unless the Gajraj Affair is resolved, unless the whole question of governance wherein and whereby freedom of choice, equal opportunity and, generally effective shared governance to be dictated now by all-inclusive national dialogue is settled, elections cannot be properly conducted or tolerated. They intimated that any elections held now or soon could not be deemed "free and fair" as they would not be free from fear. Presumably, this, according to the two interpreter-party analysts, would be as a result of the government being involved in denying life to the same citizens who are voters. I say "wow". I wonder what the same voters-to-be think about this issue. Split down the middle, I'll bet.

As I've hinted before, I was impressed - not persuaded - by the two senior fellows' "presentation". Great stuff. Clever use of events, crafty slanting of evidence to incriminate; effective employment of emotionalism and their supporters' suspicions, frustrations and vulnerabilities.

To me, this is a most appropriate time for any opposition here to influence the young, the uninformed, the older folks who have lost hope. It is indeed a good time too, to ignore statistics, even the sustained savagery meted out to one group predominantly, where crime is concerned. Shrewdly present Chowtie and the relatively few "Indian Bandits", then the "Black Victims" again relatively small in number compared to other victims, and theorise on the "fact" that crime is not racially or politically motivated. This is a good time for any clever opposition. Go to it fellows. But be careful of incitement, if nothing else.

You're not persuading me but I'll leave my own in-depth comments for later. Except these two way out questions: In the midst of a crime wave being executed by one group from one location, outwitting a weak, indifferent Police Force, is it not "tactical" for another criminal minded group to take advantage of that evil? To infiltrate? Secondly fellows, what's your analysis on the Rose Hall attack which left the young PYO lad and two policemen dead - just after a PPP Congress there? Mind you no one could reasonably deny Chowtie's PPP's links and past. But did his type stage that Rose Hall siege too?

1) The ultra Modern Bartica Mall, the projected cement facility and the promised Chinese Northwest Sawmill. Will these things happen or be sustained?

2) Shouldn't the EPA (Environmental Protection agency) indicate just where is available for appropriate investment?

3) And as much as I wish for a modern Stadium, I am sobered by two pieces in the last Business Stabroek. Great pieces, editor.

4) Now tell me people. 80 packets of cocaine in the South African's stomach. Poor fellow, pity he wasn't privy to the more friendly Canadian Justice system. Our Beauty Queen accused is enjoying pre-trial hearings, whilst free for months!

5) Cricket, Lovely Cricket! I'm hurt. Was so hurt on Wednesday. The English Fans, singing "Rule Brittania", out-voiced our people. And Lancashire commentator David Lloyd reminds me so much of Geoffrey Boycott.

(I can testify. I don't ever 'buse Brian Lara!)

`Til next week!