Tivoli report excuses evil
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I disagree with the conclusions and some of the recommendations made by the learned commissioners in the west Kingston commission of enquiry.
I disagree that the Government should apologise to the residents of Tivoli Gardens because one does not apologise for punishing those who willingly and knowingly aid and abet a criminal who is seeking to evade trial.
I disagree that the Government should apologise for counterattacking those who attacked and set fire to police stations - the symbol of law and order in the nation.
I disagree that the Government should apologise to a community that set up barricades and imported an army of criminals from other communities to resist the lawful security forces.
I agree that excessive force may have been used to overcome those who were seeking to defend and hide a person now convicted, but what took place in Tivoli Gardens was war. And what is excessive force in war?
I admit that the high loss of life was regrettable and that some may have been avoidable, but how can the loss of life be controlled when the State itself is attacked? The Tivoli Gardens insurgency was an attack against the State, and the State had the right to defend itself.
I fear that the conclusions of the commissioners, while undoubtedly pleasing to some persons, could be interpreted as a justification of crime, of community support to criminals, and a deterrent to the security forces to secure law and order in the nation. Worst of all, this report could be viewed as the official sanctioning of evil.
I fear that this report could also justify future actions of wicked persons by awarding compensation for any loss that may be suffered because of their unrighteous actions.