Lindo creek massacre…questions appointment of Govt minister’s father as lone CommissionerWith the appointment of a sitting Government Minister’s father as the lone Commissioner for the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to be conducted into the Lindo Creek massacre of 2008, the inquiry has now taken on a “Kangaroo” trial appearance.Political Analyst Sase SinghThis is according to economist and political analyst Sase Singh, and is in reference to a juridical proceeding that does not follow accepted standards of justice.According to Singh, who is a former executive member of the Alliance for Change, handpicking a commissioner with close ties to a serving member of the current Government is sending the wrong impression.Retired Justice Donald Trotman, 80, took the oath of office before Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan in the presence of Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Wednesday. Following the ceremony, he promised to conduct the inquiry with fairness and impartiality.He is the father of Natural Resources Minister and Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman Raphael Trotman. Previously, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had urged the coalition Government to seek reputable and independent Commissioners for its inquiry.Singh explained there is a perception that current President David Granger partook in certain activities back in 1973 – activities that a properly constituted CoI would unravel. While calls for an extended CoI have seen the Government being hesitant, Singh questioned the rationale behind choosing retired Justice Donald Trotman to head this CoI.“Who we choose to do this CoI have to be independent people. Now perception is everything in politics. So you chose the father of a serving Minister to do the job? Yeah, right,” he continued.Justice (Retired) Donald Trotman“(And) what about the period of ‘Mo fiya, slow fiyah’ under (former Opposition Leaders Robert Corbin and (Hugh Desmond) Hoyte? GIHA (Guyana Indian Heritage Association) has compiled a whole compendium of evidence highlighting violence against the Guyanese people. Does Mr Granger care?”According to Singh, ethnic mistrust has proliferated among Guyanese for much too long. He noted the need to resolve this distrust so that Guyanese can move forward as a multi-ethnic and religious country.“The APNU/AFC, in the 2015 campaign, said that they plan to replace political hostility with unity,” Singh reminded. “Is this Lindo Creek CoI going to carve out that unity? If the intentions are national unity, then let us go for national unity. For 60 years, not 6 years, Guyana has been disunified politically. So how (do we) assess such a problem?“We identify issues, take appropriate political actions, and resolve the challenges in a time-driven framework…healing the nation and contributing to social cohesion in a focused manner. This knee-jerk, piece-meal CoI is not going to eradicate 60 years of distrust.”RationaleWhen asked why the Government has only moved to start with the Lindo Creek massacre but not those that took place in Lusignan and Bartica, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had tried to downplay the issue. To defend the Government’s position, Harmon claimed that the massacre was still fresh in people’s minds.He explained that the CoI would also have the benefit of researchers. While the Commission will have its own staff, staff working for Government are also engaged in researching other local massacres.During it being a separate event, President David Granger also sought to defend the reason behind launching a CoI into the Lindo Creek massacre. While he acknowledged that there have been over eight massacres, Granger expressed the view that “this particular one hurt families directly. These are eight persons, people that were not involved or not even being suspected of being involved in any form of terrorism or wrongdoing.”Describing the incident as a “massacre of the innocence”, the Head of State had rejected suggestions to go several years before 2008, when other major criminal activities had plagued the country.Sometime between June 12 and 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp which was being operated by Leonard Arokium.