Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Sash Sawh
(Aired 2 May 2006)

    I don't know why Minister Shaw was murdered, I have heard literally dozens of scenarios ranging from the theory that it was a reprisal for the Waddle killing to the theory that this was a robbery where 4 people were killed for 100 US dollars, i.e. 23,000 Guyana dollars, if this is true then life in Guyana comes very cheap indeed, I have heard that the murder was drug related i.e. that Sawh may have been passing sensitive information to foreign powers. Ladies and Gentlemen my function is not to tell you who killed Minister Sawh, that is the job of the police my job is to tell you that the system of which he was a part failed him.

    Around 3 years ago Sash Sawh came up to me at a function in the Chinese Embassy and told me that he likes my commentaries. He also said that he did not agree with everything I said but he recognised that every story has two sides and he accepted my right to my own views. This came as some surprise to me, since I did not know him and he is the only minister from the PPP who recognised my right to comment on what I see wrong, believe or not only four people from the PPP even speak to me Bharat Jagdeo who greets me everywhere he sees me, Bernard De Santos and Charles Ramson always speak to me when I see them anywhere, and Donald Ramoutar and I spent some time talking a couple of times mostly at the Airport exchanging some thoughts as we waited for the plane and I found him to be quite a pleasant man. The rest of the PPPites ignore me when they see me in public, it is the typical Guyana political nonsense syndrome, this concept that since we are on opposite sides and disagree on certain issues we have to be disagreeable, bitter and deadly enemies. Personally if I don't like you, then I will not be very friendly towards you and you will know it since I am not the type of person that hides that kind of thing since I abhor deception, but not because we have different views we have to hate each other. If I hate you because you are an idiot that's different!

   Now we come to the point of this commentary where does this hatred between the PPP and the PNC come from?  Well we all know where it comes from, politicians cultivate and perpetuate it to keep the afro Guyanese and the Indo Guyanese alienated from each other for political manipulation. But since the parliamentary division is so close 52/53 % to 47/48 percent the PPP are not in power with any sort of real majority and they must remember that they cannot run this country when nearly 48 percent of the population hate their guts! It may be worse now since everything I have seen or studied tells me that the PPP can win the next election but only with around 42% of the vote so they cannot win with enough support to control the parliament! And that ladies and gentlemen can change everything.

   In an effort for the PPP to gain the parliamentary majority they need to be in complete conytrol, something had to be done, first they frustrated the work of GECOM so that there would be a flawed election, which they can stack in their favour i.e. they wanted to rig it. This attempt to rig the election was thwarted by the international community who demanded that certain mechanisms be put in place before the elections were held; this in turn led to the opposition GECOM members walking out of the Commission.

   Next, faced with the declaration by a majority of the commissioners of GECOM that given what remained to be done the elections cannot be held by August 4th Mr. Jagdeo called in the leader of the opposition and they signed a memorandum of understanding as to how they will work together to prolong the life of the parliament so that GECOM can use the additional time to sanitise the 2001 list, put the biometrics apparatus in place and conduct and complete the verification and registration exercises which cannot be done in one month.

   Nearly a week passed and nothing happened, but thinking that cooperation and reconciliation was in the air the leader of the opposition on Thursday 27th April in a television address to the nation condemned the assassination of minister Sawh and called for all political leaders to meet to discuss the crime situation with a view of cooperating to re-inject some sanity into the situation, of course at that moment in time Corbin was under the impression that he and Jagdeo had a deal as to the extension of the Parliament since they had signed a memorandum of understanding [MOU] establishing how they will work together to get the two thirds majority vote needed to prolong the life of the parliament. The next day Friday 28th Corbin received a slap in the face when he read in the newspapers that the PPP did not have to initiate any dialog with him or make any concessions to him, since they had discovered an alleged loophole in the constitution that would allow them to delay elections with just a simple majority vote in parliament. But we got a glimpse of the Guyana we all yearned for in those couple of days i.e. after the Jagdeo/Corbin MOU signing, up to the time when the press announced that the PPP had found this loophole in the constitution which allows them to stay in complete control and hold the elections a month later than August 4th we saw progress a lessening of tension in the country, the only sour note was Dr. Luncheon's accusation that PNC MP's were implicated in the assignation of Minister Sawh, ladies and gentlemen what a totally unnecessary, un-provable, nonsensical thing to say and tells me that Luncheon does not want peace in this nation, his strategy to get back the traditional Indo Guyanese votes, lost due to his and his colleagues' own shenanigans, corruption and incompetence is to force the PNC on the road to march and to disrupt the nation and whoever gets hurt even the PPP's own supporters that's inconsequential.

  That's a hell of a way to get votes Doc! So now any cooperation between the PNC and the PPP is gone, there will inevitably be a court case, and I am saying this now there is no loophole in the constitution to allow the extension of parliament, the only hole is in the legal advice the PPP is getting. But I condemn the behaviour of the president to treat the leader of the opposition in such a discourteous and unconscionable manner; this is the kind of thing that makes any future we may see for ourselves or our children here in Guyana impossible!!

  Now ladies and gentlemen we were expecting violence in this nation during or after the August 4th election, I for one was sending my wife and children abroad for that period especially if the results appeared flawed or if the system itself appeared flawed, now we have prolonged this period of tension from literally today to all of the time it takes to determine this loophole case, it happened in 1997 with the elections petition case, I don't think that this country has ever recovered from what happened here in 1997, so with more than 45 percent of the population being angry and frustrated from now to September 4th the explosion could be bigger than in 1997 and there will potentially be four heavy sparking points, 1. The declaration of the election results if the PPP forces an election whilst the case determining if it is legal is pending 2. The declaration of the courts' decision on this loophole case in the Supreme Court 3. The decision in the Appeal Court and 4. the decision in the CCJ, all four can ignite the powder keg, so hostilities can commence at anytime in the intervening period as the opposition forces and their supporters see their right to a fair election and a better looking future eroded by deceit, betrayal and shenanigans by the PPP.