I would like to think that if I am being slandered, and my professional record misrepresented, my friends and colleagues would come to my defence. I would appreciate the loyalty of my brothers in arms, that the men who served with me in uniform would stand up and set the record straight.
But in Guyana, loyalty and camaraderie are trumped by fear and self-preservation. One Vassan Ramracha, a Trinidadian hack, who has never lived in Guyana, or served in the GDF, opines in the Kaieteur News on David Granger’s role in the 1973 elections; meanwhile, retired senior army officers refused to come forward and set the record straight.
In 1973, the GDF did not have a political advisor to then Prime Minister Burnham. Second, army Majors don’t have the type of power that Vassan attributes to then 26-year-old Granger. Trust me. I know, I was an officer in the GDF.
It is apposite to note that retired Major General Joe Singh, who enjoys the confidence of the Jagdeo administration, is not being asked to atone, nor is he being accused of having blood on his hands.
This even though at the time of the 1973 elections then Major Singh was a principal staff officer at force headquarters Ayanganna. Yes, Camp Ayanganna, the place where Vassan claims the rigging occurred.
I wonder why this retired senior officer gets a pass, even though he was at the scene of the alleged crime, while Granger, who was miles away, is slandered and vilified.
Then there is Mr Ronald Gajraj, also an ex-GDF officer during the Burnham regime. He not only got a pass, but was elevated to ministerial status, and now serves as a member of the diplomatic corps as Guyanese ambassador to the great nation of India.
And what about Messrs. Vibert Budhoo, Assad Eshuf, Ramish Ramnarine, the Rambarrack brothers, and the many other Indo-Guyanese officers who served? Do they get a pass too?
Mr. Editor, in the military it is duty, honour and country. Army officers take an oath of office that is steeped in tradition, and those who train and serve together develop a bond that usually stands the test of time.
Vassan’s carefully couched racist ramblings must be answered by men of honour who are still alive, living and working in Guyana. These men, like Major General Joseph Singh, should come forward and defend the honour of the army that he led as Chief of Staff.
The commander of the Internal Operations Command (“IOC”), the unit that supplied the troops for the 1973 elections operations, must tell the press that then Major Granger was never a part of his chain of command.
David Granger is a man of honour, and the dishonourable men who now head the country are so scared that their days are numbered, that they resort to slinging mud and distorting facts in order to tarnish David Granger’s good reputation.
Mr Granger has told us, and we believe him, that he will work to unite this nation, binding up our wounds and leading us to the good life for all Guyanese.
He will restore dignity to the office of the President and put an end to corruption. The Vassans of this world and their cronies have nothing positive to run on.
Instead, they try once more to beat the drums of race and hate. My fellow Guyanese, 20 years is enough! We all deserve the good life, so let’s cast our vote for that good life.