21 C
City of Banjul
Friday, January 22, 2021

On the student massacre

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Dear editor,

April 10 and 11, 2000, will remain as the single most brutal act of massacre on innocent civilians in our history. It was a dark episode that will forever scar the conscience of those who ordered the deadly crackdown on students and every member of our service personnel who carried out the order.

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17 years later, memories of those who died are fresh as the day they were murdered. We are awed by their bravery and grateful for their sacrifice.

We thank the Almighty God for the opportunity to commemorate these events in a manner befitting of their lives and legacies for the first time in nearly two decades.

We call on Gambian authorities to publish the Commission Report on the massacre, repeal the indemnity bill and begin legal proceedings against all those implicated, at every level, in the deployment of lethal force on unarmed students.

This day, as in every day, we renew our commitment and reaffirm our pledge to ensuring that justice is dispensed expeditiously and proportional to every crime committed on our soil and that victims are duly compensated.

These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.

We thank all Gambians for their tireless efforts in bringing about this day and for helping victims every step of the way.

May their souls rest eternal peace.

Zakaria Kemo Conteh
Queens, USA

In defence of Mamma Kandeh

Dear editor,

The level of hypocrisy or double standards in our society is just too much. Oh! Rain on our nation to cleanse our heart and purify our souls.

I saw so many Facebook posts crucifying Mamma Kandeh and GDC for holding a press conference on the 10th of April when they should have mourned the victims of the year 2000 students demonstration. I quite agree that 10th and 11th April should be declared a National day of mourning as a market of RESPECT to the fallen students and a day to honor the living victims. But now what I couldn’t understand is why the same people are not attacking government for holding the election of National Assembly different committees yesterday which also fell on a day we should be remembering victims. How many of those people crucifying Mamma Kandeh and GDC.

Have had naming ceremonies fall on the same date with April 10th and 11th? Did you postpone because your ethics wouldn’t allow you?

How many have gone clubbing on these same dates over and over again during the past 17 years?
How many of you have ever voluntarily visited a victim during the 17 years?

You see until we put the interest of The Gambia ahead of our individual interests, we would continue to fail collectively. I am totally not in agreement with Mamma Kandeh and GDC but I believe it’s their democratic rights to accept or reject but then it’s their responsibility too to bring proofs that would warrant us to have doubts on the whole process. For now I see their complaint as someone who has gone to a battle with high hopes of winning only to fall below their expectations.
Let’s begin to appreciate our new democracy with debates of programs and not trying to score political points.

Lastly, I wish all the parliamentarians a very successful term in which God will give them the wisdom to put Gambia first in everything they do at the national assembly.

God bless The Gambia!

Dabakh Malick

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