Some people just don’t know when to shut up, and they usually end up achieving exactly the opposite they had hoped to achieve. Such is the case with the self-appointed David Granger public relations officer, Malcolm Harripaul.
In the interest of full disclosure, I suggest that Mr. Harripaul considers a preface to his letters that reads: “I was an officer in the GDF, and served under Brigadier David Granger. He did me a favour when I was in need, and this is my way of paying him back for his kindness.”
In Harripaul’s own words in a letter to SN, (October 2, 2010) he wrote, “I remember well I once went to him (David Granger) with a problem. The credit union had for the second time turned down my application for a loan on the grounds that I did not have sufficient service, although they had twice given loans to another officer who had less service than me. I explained my case to Brig Granger and he was visibly upset. He called the officer on the phone and calmly said, “I have young Harripaul in my office. Could you please bring me his cheque for the loan he applied for? In less than five minutes the cheque was brought.”
Now let us examine the seriousness of this statement: Harripaul brags that after he complained to Granger about his loan request being turned down, Granger called the officer, and without asking the officer to justify his decision to deny Harripaul the loan, calmly ordered, “I have young Harripaul in my office. Could you please bring me his cheque for the loan he applied for?” Harripaul thought this to be sound management because he got his loan. The Loans Officer I am sure, thought differently.
Heaven help Guyana if Granger is elected President and brings that management style to the Executive Office.
And now to the main point of my letter: I respectfully commend Mr. Harripaul for having the gumption to finally admit what we’ve all known for decades: Acting under direct orders from their Commander-in-Chief, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, the Guyana Defence Force facilitated the fraudulent rigging of the 1973 National Elections with the seizure of ballot boxes, and the killing of PPP political observers.
Why is this admission so important? Well, it is the first time that I’m aware of, that a former officer in the GDF serving under Burnham’s Political Liaison Officer, David Granger, has admitted that the GDF helped Burnham to rig the election. Again in his own words (SN, March 4), “Dr Jagan contested the 1973 elections knowing fully well that whether the elections were rigged or not, the USA would not have permitted him to take office. That was the geo political reality of 1973. Off course the PPP supporters did not know all of that.
The PPP supporters were misled by Dr Jagan into believing that they could return him to power by elections if the elections were free and fair. Dr Jagan exhorted them to turn out to vote, to surround the places of poll, to take control of the ballot boxes, and to block the roads. That gave Mr. Burnham the legitimate cause to deploy the GDF to protect and secure (his interest in rigging) the election process. A few PPP supporters were shot and killed at 64 Village, Corentyne. Mr. Burnham gave his party a landslide victory.”
What a damning admission by a former officer in the GDF to make. My problem with Harripaul is his acceptance of the justification of the rigging by the Burnham Administration and the GDF, and to blame the entire reason for the rigging on one of Guyana’s Founding Fathers, Dr. Cheddi Jagan. It has become a favourite pastime for Malcolm Harripaul to bash and besmirch the respectable and honorable name of Dr. Jagan, so I was not entirely surprised when he wrote the following, “Dr Jagan cried foul and engaged in his usual media catching theatrics that mesmerized his idolizing supporters. Lost in all the accusations and protests was Dr Jagan’s part responsibility for rigged election, and his deceit of his supporters.
Dr Jagan’s post election protest antics obscured his responsibility for his predicament. Rather than share the blame, he sought to blame everyone else, just as he had done in his West on Trial. Everyone was at fault, except him.
“Unfortunately Indians only saw that it was African soldiers who stole the elections from them, and that it was Africans who perpetuated violence on them. The resentment for the GDF was exploited by the PPP to such an extent that the GDF became a symbol of African power and dominance in the collective psyche of Indians. That is why the phrases ‘rigged elections’ and ‘his past as an army officer’ will be used by the PPP as racist tools to remind Indians that Brig Granger is African, and he was in the GDF, so he must be evil.”
And then he blows my mind by comparing David Granger to that of the Hindu warrior, Bhisma, and either Forbes Burnham or the US Government to Lord Khrisna when he wrote, “If the enlightened soul Bhisma, found himself fighting on the side of irreligion and untruth because he was fulfilling his duty to the Crown, yet he was not deemed wicked, evil, and demonic by Lord Khrisna, what gives you the power to demonize Brig Granger just because he was a soldier in 1973?”
How idiotic and twisted his sense of reasoning must be, but this clearly suggests that Granger was “fighting on the side of irreligion and untruth because he was fulfilling his duty to the Crown.”
For the benefit of my dear and trusted friend of over 30 years, Mayor Hamilton Green, let me repeat an analogy I used before: If you’re living in New York, and you wake up one morning to find snow on the ground, even though you did not actually see the snow falling, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that it snowed sometime during the night while you were sleeping.
By former GDF officer Malcolm Harripaul’s own admission, the 1973 National Election was rigged to prevent the PPP and their communist leader, Dr. Jagan from forming the government. This he said was done with the approval of the US Government.
Burnham depended heavily on the GDF to facilitate this rigging. David Granger was Burnham’s Political Liaison Officer at the GDF during the rigging. If a junior officer, Harripaul knew about it, it is inconceivable to think that Granger may not have been one of the planners, and possibly the architect of this operation. After all, he was “fighting on the side of irreligion and untruth because he was fulfilling his duty to the Crown.”
And if he played no part in it, perhaps David Granger may wish to explain to the voters why Forbes Burnham would have left out his Political Liaison Officer in the planning of this operation that deliberately and illegally stole the 1973 election from the PPP, and disenfranchise the will of the Guyanese people. I rest my case.