Punishing and Praising Policemen
By A.A Fenty
August 16, 2002
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Supermarket of "Justice"
Far be it from me and my unlearned mind to make some of the pointed criticisms of our magistracy, judiciary and entire justice system which I've been reading and hearing recently.
Years ago, after spending many days, nay months in magistrates' courts, I had written a piece titled "The Supermarket of Law." It did seem then that money could have caused, or at least, influenced, the conduct of certain cases and trials. Perhaps I'm too old, cautious or conservative to make certain forthright accusations. What? This is not speaking frankly? However I did read a piece on Registrar Sita Ramlall recently. The challenges she outlined indicate an overburdened judicial system given to certain delays, biases and even open to miscarriages. Then I saw a letter - published twice in the Guyana Chronicle - which I'm sure this newspaper would not have carried "as is". That letter openly accused sections of the judiciary of being influenced by one political (opposition) party!
But I'm not enthused by what I see, hear and sometimes experience in our Courts of Law. Again, they're all we have (?)
Welcome back, WPA!
Though this is no time for levity, as our people are being robbed and killed daily, I can't resist this special welcome back note to the Working People's Alliance - after its obvious sabbatical in resent months. The WPA is "the party that should have been" unfortunately, as a people, by and large politically aware, if not matured, we did not and do not embrace it.
Some of that was as a result of its own doing. (Quiet snobbish arrogance??) But despite Desmond Trotman's and Ogunseye's efforts, I missed the quality of letter-writing and releases that constituted that Party's strength. Intellectual analyses put at the disposal of working people and their (other) leaders.
Now the letters, speeches and releases are once again in full august flow. Hinds, Kwayana, Roopnaraine, Dow, et al are back! Those folks know and articulate what's wrong. But the pity is they can't right things by themselves. But the think-tank power is there. I truly welcome them. I regret that electorally the WPA is lost. Third Force politics will go through several abortions here. Shrewdly, for its visual survival, the WPA embraced the GAP which, in turn, "absorbed" the WPA whilst putting paid to the United Force's (TUF) one-time reputation. Ask Manzoor. For now let's read the WPA releases. And try to implement their suggestions. And find out whatever happened to GAP, GGG, Ally's Group and other campaign "parties."
1) Some bad policemen roughed up three U.S. Army Officers who came to assist our Coast Guard. One thing this (unreported) incident made clear to me: the campaign which has resulted in making our policemen targets has succeeded to the extent that many good policemen are "on their nerves", jittery and eschewing proper procedures sometimes. Can you blame them for any backlash?
2) And I'm going to call on the Home Affairs Minister to respond to Mr. Woolford's "work" on the "Black Clothes" out of Chicago, USA.
3) How is former Commissioner Laurie Lewis getting on? Couldn't he assist with intelligence gathering out of Buxton, for example?
4) Are the Christian Churches in certain East Coast Villages praying to their God hard enough? For themselves and their non-Christian brothers and sisters.
5) Contact the writer of this Column with respect to the two literary competitions - Henry Josiah's children's stories and the Christmas Annual 2002
`Til next week!