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FEBRUARY 23, 2016 | BY | FILED UNDER FEATURES / COLUMNISTS, FREDDIE KISSOON

Just days before the country moved into overdrive to celebrate 46 years of republicanism, some intriguing things happened.   After six years, there are police charges against the men who threw a miasmic substance in my face and on my head.  This comes ten months after the PPP lost power and some of the men charged are in the employ of the PPP. Why the long delay? Because personnel in the political leadership of the state were involved.
The question that the television crew asked when they came to my home about the intellectual author was met with an automatic response; those people that were charged were just the foot soldiers. Politicians gave them the order. There is a colossal irony in these strange things that occurred just before the anniversary celebration began. I feel sorry that the younger generations of my country have to endure this politics of cruel masquerade.
I did not accept the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry when it was announced. So did one of Walter’s best friends, Clive Thomas, a Guyanese icon. It is not that I wanted the matter to rest. It should not. We needed to know how the Rodney assassination occurred, who planned it and the messengers that carried it out. My fear was that the timing was terrible and the implementation of it was for evil reasons.
My greatest fear was that the PPP leadership, sensing its minority presidency would fall at any moment wanted to dirty the PNC by invoking Burnham’s authoritarian era. The compelling question was: why did the PPP Government wait for 21 years?
My extreme discomfort centered on the obfuscation of the PPP’s dictatorial application of violence against its critics that the Rodney enquiry would create. One had to separate one’s historic pursuit for justice for one of the great sons of the Third World, Walter Rodney and the rejection of the commission whose purpose was to bolster the power base of a regime worse that Burnham’s.
Was I supposed to jump into the skies on the announcement of the enquiry when I almost lost my life twice under the PPP cabals? When Benschop was remanded for five years on treason charge?  When a mother was dragged, along with her husband and family friend from her home and charged for treason to spend two years on remand?  The woman was confined to a year of solitary confinement.
When Oliver Hinckson was remanded on sedition charges? When Ronald Waddell was shot dead at his gate? When Courtney Crum Ewing was gunned down while urging people to vote? When a drug trafficker, Roger Khan was given licence to kill hundreds of people?
No matter how we love Walter Rodney, the Courtney Crum Ewing and Waddell killings were just as vicious as Walter’s murder. Walter was lured into the night to test a device that turned out to be a planted bomb. Courtney’s death was more bitterly ironic. The PPP, which this columnist feels should be investigated in the Crum- Ewing tragedy, spent almost three decades crying to the world that Guyana did not have free and fair elections.
But state sponsored killers assassinated a critic while he was in the act of urging Guyanese to go out and vote doing so with his small bullhorn in his hand. That has to be a deeply sad irony that will one day destroy the collective psyche of the PPP leadership.
On the eve of the republican anniversary, men and women in the PPP leadership who committed untold atrocities and depravities against this helpless nation are rejoicing that the commission into Walter’s death found the PNC’s founding leader guilty of involvement. This joy of rejoice comes from people whose violent excesses were more widespread, dangerous and evil than the Burnham administration’s tyrannies.
On this day of republicanism, the findings of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry leave a bitter taste in our mouths. Republicanism may have been culturally inspiring in 1970 as we broke with the Queen as the symbol of British presence in Guyana. From Walter Rodney to Ronald Waddell to Courtney Crum Ewing, Guyanese must ask themselves how liberating has been republicanism.
Try as hard as you want to admire our first Republican Government under Forbes Burnham, he desecrated the value of post-independent Guyana. It is only a fanatic that would think Burnham didn’t use power in wild, wild ways. Jagan was not a moral and political alternative to Burnham. Jagan came to power in 1992 and set in motion a monster that created ethnic madness that almost destroyed Guyana. It would be no exaggeration to say that the 46 years of republicanism could be deemed the reign of Third World Jacobinism.