‘Darkest hour coming to a close’

He added the outcome of the inquiry, whenever it begins, should also be properly documented for future generations.

Robinson, who was the Prime Minister and political leader of the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) at the time of the event, told this to party activist Wendell Eversley during a private meeting at Robinson’s home in Ellerslie Park, Maraval, yesterday.

He was speaking in the wake of the People’s Partnership’s decision to launch an inquiry, some 20 years after the incident.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the announcement during the post-Cabinet news conference. It had been one of the Partnership’s campaign promises in the run up to the May 24 General Election.

Eversley, who, for the past 19 years, has been campaigning through fasts and one-man marches for a commission of inquiry to be initiated, said he met privately with Robinson yesterday, for the second consecutive day, to discuss the upcoming anniversary of the attempted insurrection.

According to Eversley, Robinson is expected to hold a news conference today to discuss the Government’s announcement and its implications. The time is still being finalised.

Eversley, who was sitting in the public gallery of the Red House as member of the youth arm of the NAR when insurgents stormed the Parliament Chamber, said God had finally answered his prayers.

“God has given me what I deserve. Now, the nation will watch and see all those who orchestrated the cruelty. The darkest hour in the nation is finally coming to a close,” he said.

Yesterday, a former NAR parliamentarians expressed elation at the Government’s decision to set up a commission of enquiry into the event.

“It was long overdue,” former NAR Minister of National Service and the Environment Lincoln Myers told Newsday.

Myers said, however, he hoped the commission will comprise truly independent individuals who would be given the requisite resources to carry out a thorough investigation.

Former Arouca North MP Rawle Raphael lauded the People’s Partnership for fulfilling its campaign promise.

“It would relieve some of the tension in the country,” he said.

Raphael, who had served as parliamentary secretary in the then Ministry of Industry, Enterprise and Tourism, said the perpetrators will finally be brought to justice.

“The truth will come out and the nation, as a whole, should rest comfortably. I welcome it,” he said.

Retired Dean of the Anglican Church Knolly Clarke said he hoped the inquiry will not be a witch-hunt. Clarke helped negotiate the surrender of the insurgents in 1990. He felt the time had come for the issue to be properly ventilated.

“If that is the wish of the nation, we need to hear it because many people have been calling for it over the years. I am positive about the development. It is a good thing to open up the cupboards and see what is inside,” said Clarke, Director of Lay Training in the Anglican archdiocese.

The retired clergyman stressed the modus operandi of the commission must also be well-intentioned. “I hope it will be well-dialogued in looking at things in a positive light and we must find a way forward because it attempted to affect our democracy,” Clarke said.


"‘Darkest hour coming to a close’"

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