A Nation-State and Citizens must always be alert to signs that they are heading to human degradation in the form of barbaric treatment by one set of people against another group.
Just a few years ago, we experienced the wanton killing and torture particularly of a certain section of our male population.
Not so long ago, those who trumpet and proclaim the return to democracy were silent when the two Henry cousins were tortured and partly buried in West Coast Berbice.
In the aftermath, there were protests, I say justifiably by shocked citizens against this barbaric and cruel behavior.
Later we heard a prominent gentleman tell a particular section of our population, that they should arm themselves.
After August 2020, we have seen the harassment and persecution of certain persons by certain sections of our Police Force.
While decent law-abiding citizens cannot get a ready response from the Police in certain areas of Guyana, this same Police Force could have deployed half a dozen vehicles and 47 ranks to retrieve a few Barber Chairs, the State apparatus claimed were illegally procured and a pattern has since been set.
The Police Service Commission is demonized as top-ranking members of the Government, seem to want to decide which Officers should be promoted or not.
The essence of democracy is not what takes place at National Elections every five years or so, but whether the average citizen could enjoy the benefits of a free and fair environment, where the State regards the life of every citizen as sacrosanct.
The role of the Police is to protect those lives and as its Motto says “To serve ALL citizens, communities of Guyana in a professional, proactive and accountable manner.”
Daily, we are in receipt of reports that sections of the Guyana Police Force are being used as the proverbial pit bull, snatch, snare and suffer certain identifiable groups in our society.
Tuesday morning, we received information that a 29-year-old resident of Dartmouth on the Essequibo Coast was shot and killed while asleep in his bed after it is alleged his home was broken into by the Police with neither warning nor warrant.
No matter what investigation takes place, we must not ignore the sanctity of a man’s home.
Nothing promised by the top brass of the State apparatus can justify this summary execution of 29-year-old Orin Boston, a young businessman with a wife and two small children in his home.
In a truly democratic environment, the Minister in charge of the Police would have offered his resignation forthwith.
Not so in Guyana!
We recall how scores of young men were killed by the infamous Black Clothes Police.
Statements by the Bacchus brothers and conversations I have had with one of them who lived near to me and was later executed suggest that this process of wanton killing was supervised by a high Government Official at the time.
A truism is that history repeats itself.
Is this killing of young Boston at Dartmouth a beginning to the return of the days of execution and brutality by certain sections of our Police?
I quote only a few lines from a Dossier, which refers to certain events.
The list is painfully long.
Remember the torture of 15-year-old Twyon Thomas, at the Leonora Police Station.
We must not forget the torture of residents at Buxton, the torture of Patrick Sumner and Victor Jones. The killing of PPP Government Minister, Satwaydeo Sawh, Ronald Waddell, Inspector Leyland October, etc.
But Editor, I will not burden this letter with sordid details for I yearn, plead, beg and pray for peace in our land and I wish to neither excite nor incite, but those of us who know the demographics and history of Guyana would appreciate the significance of what took place in Buxton and today in Dartmouth.
Notwithstanding, for peace not conflict I ought not to commit the sin of silence as I lean heavily on the wisdom of the Late Martin Luther King, Jnr, when he reminded America and the world, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
In the circumstances, the period I referred to above and the Statement by the Police, it would be tragic, unfortunate, and unacceptable for an inquiry to be conducted by the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Home Affairs, or the Government hierarchy.
We live in a polarised society and only a truly independent individual or group identified as a result of meaningful and open consultation, the Government, Opposition, and respected members of our society will be satisfactory.
The President if he is truly wedded to One Guyana must not miss this opportunity to show openness and impartiality.
In the meantime, on behalf of my wife and family, I would like to offer our sympathy to Mrs. Boston and the two young children who must face a fatherless future.