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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00011
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: November 1, 1970
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00011

Full Text
LIBRARY
RESEA2RCHI fi 4ST!Tiu-T-7
FOP R FijL
26'2 .;


NO


ELECTION


WITHOUT



WITHOUT


REPRESENTATION


THE MOVEMENT

At the tail end of an editorial two weeks ago in
which it reviewed the proposals for reform being
made by the different groups active in the coun-
try present, the Express mentioned that it
thought TAPIA's proposals for a Constituent
Assembly looked like the most exciting idea
around. But, the editorial then added in its last
sentence but one, "we forsee an organisational
problem."


It is unfortunate that the Express' editorial
writer did not fully understand the proposals.
Of course there is an organisational problem -
that is precisely why a Constituent Asembly is
necessary. The whole of Trinidad and Tobago's
public life for the past fourteen years has been
one'big organisational problem. If an assembly
of the people could be called into session by a
snap of the fingers there would be no such prob-
lem and therefore no need for the assembly. Con-
versely, if we can solve the organisational prob-
lem of summoning and conducting a Constituent
Assembly, we can solve the organisational prob-
lems of running the country. That is what we
mean by playing for change.
What people mean when they ask who will
summon a Constituent Assembly is: if the present
Government and the constitution within which
it exists are so bad that only a Constituent As-
sembly can change them, is it not unreasonable
to expect that the Government will contribute to
its own demise by calling the Assembly? We have
pointed out before that people who ask this
question are confusing unbroken devolution with
authority.


All Government authority derives from one
source only the people. This sovereignty of
the people in matters of constitutional reform is
written into many .onstitixtions in the form of
provisions empowering the initiation of reform
measures by public petition, or making referen-

FORTH COMING

THE POLITICAL PROSPECTS
IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
-LLOYD BEST

SEE INSIDE:
SDIVALI Page 2
TERROR IN GRENADA Page 3

LETTER TO C.L.R. JAMES Page 4

TAKING LAW TO MAKE
POLITICS Page 7
THE WHITEMAN'S BURDEN
IN AFRICA Page 6


da obligatory in certain circumstances. But even
where such formal provisions are absent, the
sovereignty of the people is still the foundation
of al I constitutional authority.
If the population wants a Cosntituent As-
sembly, the Government must call one; if the
Government will not, the people will do it for
themselves. The people can ignore the Govern-
ment, but the Government cannot ignore the
people.
If Williams didn't know this before, he cer-
tainly knows it since the ignominious defeat
suffered in the public (not the parliamentary)
forum by his Public Order Bill. ANR Robinson
knows it, and this is why he is always bleating
about getting reforms 'the constitutional way'.
He is mortally afraid that the people will realise
that they do not need to elect him to straighten
things out for them (even if he were capable of
doing so, which he certainly is not). Therefore
he loses no opportunity to suggest that TAPIA's
proposals, the only ones both he and his former
master are really afraid of, are unconstitutionall'.
In fact, they are the only proposals which are
constitutional in the deepest sense of tlie term
and therefore alone capable of producing a sys-
tem of government and politics firmly rooted in
the society.


It is this underlying popular authority, this
potential ability of the population to brush aside
Government and parties, which can solve the
organisationall problem' of providing for our
own destiny. Here lies the key to the seemingly
confused political situation.
Williams continues to juggle his three or
four rotten eggs. On the one hand he anxiously
seeks to use reports of ammunition finds as an
excuse for extending the State of Emergency
once more. If this doesn't work, if we refuse to
swallow the ammunition stories, if we don't let
him extend the emergency, then he realises he
must make a dash for it and try to win a hurried
election with his doctored const tuencies and a
record low poll.


Meanwhile, he keeps up his strategy of try-
ing to undercut the radicals with his 'Perspectives
for a New S cityy. Lately he has even made a
bid to pre-empt the Constituent Assembly by
holding it in the shape of the PNM Ceneral Con-
ference. He is planning to admit a number of
outside interests in the hope of drawing their
fangs, after the pattern of the 1962 Queen's Hall
spectacular.


Robinson, meanwhile, drills his grey-flannel
Mafia in an attempt to scoop up the PNM's
right-wing business support by the sedulous
cultivation of an image of sanitized impotence.
You are safe with me, he seems to say; with me
and my cocktail-party technocrats, you will be
on familiar ground: as powerless as you have
always believed yourselves to be, but at least well-
dressed. No one will force you to think un-
pleasant thoughts, or to come to terms with
anything.


But what Robinsondoes not realise is that
the thinking of unpleasant thoughts, the coming
to terms with Caribbean realities, has already
begun and cannot be stopped. The Youth of this
country do not supportRobinson, for they have
already found that thinking is as exhilarating as
it is painful, and in any case a necessary attri-
bute of a complete life; and they realise how
much less there is to Ibbinson than meets the
eye. But Robinson is not really talking to the
youth, for it is not they who he hopes will put
him in power; that is why he has as much interest
in a small poll as Williams has. Both Robinson
and Williams therefore want a snap election.


These are the reasons why TAPIA opposes
the holding of elections under the unrepresen-
tative and discredited system at present in
existence. Before any election is held, we main-
tain, there must be a Constituent Assembly,
a summoned by the people and composed of
representatives of every possible interest.
The first task of such an Assembly would be
to appoint an Interim Government. It would then
proceed to an exhaustive and open discussion of
every one of the problems besetting our national
existence, and to the elaboration and ratification
of constitutional instruments designed to enable
us to cope with them. Williams' PNM Conven-
tion could not even begin to substitute for such
a forum.
During the time the Assembly isdeliberating,
and this might extend for more than a year,
the Interim Government must keep order and
run the country.
The TAPIA conditions forthe holding of
elections, set out in Issue no. 8, are as follows:

Freeing of all political prisoners;
A Constituent Assembly of all com-
munity groups;

Sa lowering of the voting age;

automatic registration of all who
are eligible;

and last-minute drawing for positions
on the voting machines.
Oa Iv when all these conditions are fulfilled
will it be possible to hold genuine elections. Only
teh
then will the electoral process further the ends
of democracy and progress, because only then
will it present the voter with parties, candidates
and programmes elaborated with a framework
of representative institutions and against a back-
ground of constant political activity at community
level.

FORTH COMING

NOV. BUDGET SUPPLEMENT
DEC. XMAS SUPPLEMENT







Page 2 TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE



THE 'NATIONAL' FESTIVAL OF DEYA DEVALI


BRINSLEYSAMAROO
Once again October is upon us and for our
Hindu community this is an auspicious time.
For during the third week of October the
Ramayana; epic is re-enacted with all its deep
symbolism and this period.of spiritual revival
is climaxed by the Festival of Lights or Deya-
')evali.
Hindus in Trinidad have been celebrating the
occasion for over a hundred years and during this
time participants in the celebration have belonged
predominantly to that faith. The Hindu welcomed
the few who wanted to learn about the festivity or
to take part in it but he made no attempt to impose
his religious belief on non-Hindus. So long as he
was allowed to practice his religious functions
peacefully he was satisfied. But this Hindu desire
to maintain their religious festivities and to refuse
to abandon them for irrelevant European ones has
been a cause for deep worry among prominent
Indo-Saxons in the community.
The rootless Indo-Saxons, especially those who
are seeking or holding political office, spare no
pains to show how.the Trinidad Indian is part and
parcel of the Trinidad 'nation' and that their festi-
vities are everybody's festivities. However, even a
cursory examination of the position that lies behind
this facade of hypocrisy will demonstrate that In-
dian festivals are meant for Indians and that they
are the main participants; that no attempt is ever
made to explain them to the non-Indian sections of
the community; and indeed,' that in the absence of
such information, there is a tendency to look down
on them and to wish that these celebrations be ended
once and for all and be replaced by'decent' European
ones.



This type.of confused thinking is possibly a
necessary part of the process of formulating a
coherent attitude towards the cultures of the: various
groups of this community. What now seems neces-
sary are attempts by these groups to explain the
nature and significance of these various celebrations
so that the rest of the community would at least
understand what is going on. To expect people to
appreciate that which they do not understand (like
Indian songs on'the mass media) is a privilege which
we must allow only to our Afrpo and IndofSaxon 'lead,-
ers'. The rest of us must act more sensibly.
The Festival of Deya Devali is derived from
one of India's best-known epics, the Ramayana,
written by the poet story-teller Valmiki around
the 4th century B.C., but whose theme dates from
a series of incidents in West Bengal around 900.
B.C. In the story, Ram the hero, is the son of
Dasarath, King of Dudh and a seventh incarnation
of the God. Shiva. Ram wins his bride, Sita, by bend-
ing Shiva's magic bow. But the lucky couple do not
live happily ever after.


Ram, on the eve of his coronation to the King-
ship of Dudh, is deprived of this honour by one of
his father's younger wives, Kaikeyi, who advances
the claim of her son Bharat. Kaikeyi uses Desarath' s
earlier promise that he would grant her any request,
to secure Ram's banishment to the forest of Dhandak
for fourteen years. Sita accompanys Ram to the forest
but is abducted by a rival King Ravamawho carries
her off in a flying chariot to his kingdom in Lanka
(modern Ceylon). Ram and his brother Lakshiman
set out to rescue Sita which they accomplish after
months of bitter warfare. Ram's victory over Ra-
vana takes place shortly before the fulfilment of his
fourteen-year period of exile. So he goes back to
Oudh where Bharat willingly returns the crown to
him and he iules for a number of years thereafter.
Within a century of its writing this epic be-
came a part of the Hindu religion. The main charac-
ters were deified and their human qualities (for
example, Sita's faithfulness to Ram) given religi-
ous ascriptions. Indian women aspire to be like
Sita and the men to be as brave and courageous as
their God-hero Ram. Ravana, because of his perfidy
has been made into a demon (like Satan in Milton)
and invested with all evil qualities In countries to
which Indians have migrated since the ancient pe-
riod of their history, they have carried with them
the Ramayana story and it has become one of the
bases of their religions. .
During the celebrations which culminate in Deya
Devali, various groups dramatise through song and
dance various sections of the epic as part of their
religious duties. One group will" enact the abduc-
tion of Sita, another the defeat of Ravana. Deya De-


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3.1 3
:0


A44O -UU


MEETINGS


DIVAI U .

^ CELEBRATIONS:


A
ACTING



SCENE
FROM

It I THE

I RAMAYANA

,^'- EPIC




vali is part of this process; here, Ram's happy sub-
jects express their joy at his return by lighting the
route with thousands of deyas. These lighted deyas
become a symbol of happiness,a light that has re-
placed the dark sorrow caused by Ram's !absence.
Not all Indian customs that have come tp the
Caribbean have retained their Asiatic purity. In
the new environment certain modifications have
taken place and Deya Devali is no exception to this
process of change. In a number of instances bulbs
have replaced the deya and, in the Caribbean, where
caste .has undergone rapid-disintegration, a wider
cross-section of the Hindu community is allowed to
actively participate in the organisation and execution.



The Ramayana story must 'be studied by all
Trinidadians for two reasons. Firstly, in'our attempt
to forge a culture out of the mutilated fragments of
our past, we must know more of those parts of our
past which influence our present. It is only then that
we can obtain a true understanding of those forces
at work in the society. And such an understanding
can form a useful basis for change. Secondly, in a
Westernised ard highly materialistic culture we
seem to need a bit of the emphasis which Oriental
culture places on the importance of people as indivi-
duals rather than as cogs in a piece of machinery.
Eastern philosophy forces man to search himself and
to discover the roots of his consciousness. Our self-
destroying American style culture seems to needthis
kind of introspection.


a


EXCLUSIVE IN
SHOES AND

GARMENTS





FREDERI-K STREET
FREDERICK STREET


TAPIA


MEETINGS


EVERY THURSDAY
at 8.00 pm

SRain-Shine-Emergency-Without Fail

FREE AND OPEN DISCUSSION


91, TUNAPUNA ROAD,


TUNAPUNA


TAPIA MEETINGS


--


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I


MEIETINGS''







TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE Page 3


SR R A N ICE non all the evidence of 'change' in the
island. The Gairy administration has taken
an active lead in encouraging the alienation
TER A D SPICE of national resources, and the creationfor
the first time this century in Grenada of
a new privileged class based on RACE.
Papadocracy in T -BI It is against this background that we
crc y in rue e must see the Government's hysterical
reaction to the possible emergence of a
THE past few years have brought a new dimension to vibrant black power movement in GRE-
NADA. During May last, the Premier gave
politics throughout the Caribbean. To sterile develop- two addresses on the highly-censoredGo-
ment plans, constitutional dictatorships, corruption, and vernment station, WIB, on Black Power
in Grenada. In these he warned that he
youthful revolt we have now added the systematic de- did not have what he called the 'patience'
velopment of instruments of official terror, of Dr. Williams, and announced that his
At one end, in Jamaica, the popula- Government would spend any sums of
tion haone end, n Jamaica,the epopula- money to ensure social peace. (It is well
tion has long own the unbridled cruelty MIICHAEL BEAUREGARD known that the Grenada Government is on
of the police and now crein gly of the the verge of bankruptcy-following the Ex-
Army. At the other end, in Guyana, an xpo scandal, among others. Which is mainly
ever-renewed National Security Act pro- fact been for the past few months engaged why the Government has been desperately
vided the'legal'umbrella under whichwhat in setting up a regime of terror -the sort trying to win control of the Nutmeg Asso-
is truly an illegally chosen Government of terror which even sober observers are ciation's finance. Which is alsowhytheGi-
threatens any new upsurge of dissidence. beginning to compare with some aspects vernment recently borrowed $6 million,
This drama of intimidation reached a new of Papa Doc's Haiti. about 30 per cent of the budget, fromlocal
tragicomic pitch recently. With Burnham on The occasion for this recent turn by banksto finance recurrent expenditure).


his African Safari, the battle-dressed
Guyanese Army manned official positions
in Georgetown. The 'withdrawal' of the
Public Order Bill here in Trinidad and
Tobago is probably not the last effort of
a desperate but determined administration
to cow thepeople into quiescent submission
And, of course, in St. Kitts, Mr. Robert
Bradshaw, strutting in full Colonel regalia,
rifle in hand, adds a macabre personal
touch to all these new, menacing assaults
on democratic dissent, on assertions of
popular sovereignty in the region.



Mr. Eric Gairy of Grenada has always
boasted of his ability to outdo his fellow
West Indian bosses in public, and even in
private affairs of State. So that heappoin-
ted the 'first lady Governor' and received
a divine go-ahead for last year's widely
publicised Expo Fiasco. Truetothe genius
of charismatic politics Mr. Gairyhas con-
jured up these sensational gestures which
have left a great part of Grenada's small,
parochial population more than a little
impressed.
It seems now though as if Mr. Gairy
has come to the conclusion that the time
for circus politics is over at least for
the time being. His government has in


the Government has been broadly, the
recent upsurge of black power feeling
among the youth of the Caribbean par-
ticularly in Trinidad and Tobago Nearness
and social similarity make the two coun-
tries highly responsive to each other's po-
litics.
So when the mass demonstrations
and then the Emergency happened in Trini-
dad, a state of tension, even fear seemed
to grip the black and white elite in our
northern neighbour. The trial of one Gre-
nadian over the celebrated Sir George
Williams University incident in Canada,
and the detention of another in Trinidad
provided a personal connection with events
here. But whatever tensions arose inGre-
nada were based, not on a mere invita-
tion of the Trinidad situation but, quite
definitely, on a profound similarity of
experience of the black youth of both
societies.



In Grenada in recent years
tension has been increased as a result of
the dramatic spread of unemployment,
particularly among the Young alongsidethe
rapid takeover of landbyAmerican, Cana-
dian and other tourists. Enclave after
enclave of exclusive, white privilege is


YES...


88




I .... THAT'S

THE AMOUNT

(I OF STYLES

I 'II TO CHOOSE

VxI FROM

THIS

J1| COMING


Jii ..XMAS

SEASON

FROM..


glamour qlri Qjin3eerie ttd.


DIVALI GREETINGS TO ALL OUR

CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS


Since then the Government has been
implementing a set of measures to make
good Mr. Gairy's scandalous threats
against the people. Laws have been
strengthened to introduce the Cat for of-
fenses as minor as abusive language or
disorderly behaviour. Mr. Gairy himself
has publicly warned that anyone found guilty
of preaching 'racism' would be awakened
in jail with lashes of the Cat. The police
force has been doubled (partly through
the recruitment of Guyanese) while mili-
tary transports and large quantities of
guns and ammunition have been imported.
A recent shipment brought in over 600
semi-automatic rifles where the police
force is about 400. New emergency regu-
lations have been introduced to control
political activity. But the attorney Gene-
ral has recently resigned over the tough-
ness of these new repressive laws. It is
said that disagreements arose particularly
over the Government's request that the
power of exile be included in the new
legislation. This would probably have
made Grenada the only StateintheWestern
Hemisphere where Government had legal
powers to ban its own citizens.




But the most chilling aspect of the new
regime of terror has been the formation
of the so-called Special Security Police
(SSP). Many of the members of this new
arm have been drawn from the ranks of
hardened criminals and the former terro-
ristic 'Mongoose' gang linked in the past
with the ruling party. Mr. Gairy himself
has defended the recruitment of such ele-


ments against charges from the Churches,
by publicly stating that we must fight
roughnecks.' The SSP is a plain clothes
outfit and several of its members openly
carry revolvers supplied by the Govern-
ment. One of its tasks has been the sur-
veillance of known or suspected opponents
of the Government. To undertake this the
Government hires taxis for 2 or 3 SSP men
at a time at a rumoured cost of up to $50
per day.


These security taxis may follow
one's movements twenty four hours a day
for several days. The SSP is also engaged
in night time patrols in St. George's
and other towns in which open intimidation
and threats have been made against law-
abiding citizens under the guise o f pre-
serving law and order. A casual, peaceful
stroll through the town is now apt to be
crudely interrupted by SSP thugs, who are
given no acceptable police training. It
has, too, been reliably alleged that recent
savage beatings of Government
non-sympathisers have been the work of
SSP thugs. And, to top it all, the most
recent development is the building of a new
maximum security prison at Isle le Ronde
off Grenada's north coast. After one Nel-
son Island is two Nelson Island is....
All this has rapidly brought an atmos-
phere of terror to this small society.
One especially remarkable feature of this
tight official control is the total mistrust
which poisons social relations on the
island. At all levels of the community
people are afraid, very much afraid,
to criticise anything official. The swift-
ness, the certainty of official victimisation
has reduced the population to frightened
sheep.




The tragic consequence is that all those
among the educated class who could, as
in the larger islands, provide the basis
for intelligent criticism of the regime
have either been silenced or have fled.
In: fact it is remarkable how many young
graduates in Grenada have succumbed
to the baiting and the corruption of the
regime.
But hope glimmers.... The Young, Black,
Unemployed are growing too desperate to
care. And a new group of radical in-
tellectuals organised around the 5-month
old FORUM weekly newspaper is emerging
to articulate this black anger and create
a movement for the massive moral and
socio-economic shake-up so long awaited
and so long postponed in Grenada. By
building up a machine of terror before
any serious manifestations of social dis-
content take place Mr. Gairy may well
be hastening the reckoning he had set
out to stifle.


I SOMETHING


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CUSTOMER PARKING /


I


/I


F








Page 4 TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE



EXTRACTS FROM A LETTER TO CLR


IN MAY 1964

Dear Nello,
I am prompted at long last to write by Lamming's
Radio Review of Black Jacobins, (new Edition). I chanced
to hear it at home today during lunchtime just when I had
returned from reading the old edition at the Library.
(For some reason, the new has not yet arrived in the
bookshops here which, incidentally, tells you some-
thing about colonial society).

Under crisis conditions it is the structural weak-
nesses that come to the fore. They may express them-
selves initially in terms of demands for more jobs and
higher wages but in point of fact, it will soon become a
call for a total reorganization of the structure of all
economic and social relations.
At that point, the existing administration must
either dispose of decisive military force; or it must
make a switch of policy; or it must be replaced by a
new administration.

I was interested to hear George say how often he
has got back to B.J. for fresh insight for this has been
precisely my experience. As you know, in the last
few months I have been looking into some of the develop-
ments during the most recent phase of the colonial
transaction in T & T. Out of this many puzzling problems
have arisen. Perhaps the most important among these
is the basic amblivalence of the West Indian people
and particularly of the West Indian leadership. To me
this is the most important single structural fact in the
situation. This peculiar Afro-Saxon 'way of seeing' is
so much part of us that we are unable to formulate
any strategy to deal with Prospero. Indeed, among our
leaders there is a covert acceptance of theCaliban role.
This goes a long way back. I think it is inherent in
our historical circumstances and is reinforced by our
physical circumstances as well smallness of scale.
Thus in Generalissimo Williams, Maximum Leader, we
are merely seeing a modern manifestation of an old
*phenomenon which was evident in Toussaint. I think that
in B.J. the duality of T's character was somewhat
understressed. He could have gone, either way, left to
himself. In point of fact, he very nearly went the other
way when he conducted the negotiations for the emanci-
pation of a few hundred. Culturally, by virtue of his
education and exposure, he had a foot in both camps.
This is a West Indian dilemma. Among the Africans,
there is no conflict. The outcome is determinate be-
cause the African heritage which the African carries
inside him can lead him one way only. In Toussaint, as
in all of us, it was touch and go. What was decisive
in the Haitian case was the intransigence of the local
elite and the unity of the 'the property' (negro slave).
There are important lessons in that. Given the basic
ambivalence of the West Indian leaders, the local elite

What is not so well appreciated but is euqally
likely is that the key planners and statisticians, the top
bureaucrats and technocrats of all kinds, who are all now
in favour and closely identified with existing policy, will
also have to be suppressed as scapegoats. Thus we shall
probably see an open politicisation of the Civil Service
(it is covert now), and an attempt to muzzle the Judi-
ciary and a purge of the Party. It will wipe the smile off
the face of many who are revelling now in the personal-
ization of the Administration while they are enjoying'
the fruits. After one time is two! If you sit back and
allow the bureaucracy to be dominated by a single inid-
vidual you not only permit the Maximum Leader to
zigzag as he wishes (since he is not bound by the views of
his party and his governmental colleagues); you virtually
ensure that he must cut you down at some later stage.
So as you see, we are on our ways to trouble here.


BLACK JACOBINS: TOUSSAINT


By LLOYD BEST
will always stand a chance of keeping their privilege if
they are prepared to accommodate a few hundred. Unless
two other conditions are satisfied. First, the
'property' must be united and ready to press for
their rights; and, in the West Indian context of small
scale, developments must take place abroad.
That the "property" must be united and ready to
service their interests is obvious enough. Williams has
gone the other way, in my view, largely because the
PNM never transformed the 'riot potential' inherited
from Cipriani and Butler into disciplined constructive
power. Williams is no different from Toussaint but the
latter (a) created a hard core and (b) at the second
stage, harnessed the whole of the popular movement.
Williams not only failed to make the PNM a party but
also, related to that, never integrated the ruralhalf of the
popular forces into his movement.
It must not be overlooked that developments abroad
are also necessary for West Indian emancipation. Cuba
has shown the limitations set by scale though these
can be overstressed. Regional action can offset a lot
of the limitations of scale not because of the additional
territory and population as the 'Federationists' often
claim but because of the political situation that will
be created in the Caribbean by any act of regional
integration. It will completely befuddle the imperalists
whose way of seeing rule out any conception of a united
Caribbean. But even with regional action there will be
severe limits. This leads me to an important conclusion:
Padmore made an astute judgement in 'abandoning
the backstage of West Indian politics forthe world stage'
according to Williams' misinterpretation in BRITISH
HISTORIANS... He (Padmore) must have perceived the
essential connection between African development and
West Indian decolonisation and fromthatderivedthecoir-
rect strategy.
The emergence, of the African presence and 'way of
seeing' (and by extension the Afro-Asign) is an essential
condition for West Indian emancipation. Our basic
ambivalence springs from the fact that we have this
dual consciousness. But the African (or Afro-Asian)
half is a Freudian consciousness, inarticulate and in-
voluntary. This has two effects. One is that the more
articulate half always triumphs in time of conflict since
it has the supporting elements of a known language
and history and all the points of reference that come
with those. The Second is that we are incapable of bringing
about any integration of the two halves and distilling
what is our new heritage; the two halves have not yet
been brought on the same level and that is an essential
prerequisite for bringing them together and sortingthem
out.
All of this is merely by way of establishing that
Padmore's and your own decision to take the world
stage wasanecessary featureof theoverall strategy though
you may not have been fully aware of it. Either Williams
is unlettered as to.the nature of the. movement in which
.we are involved; or, he is distorting history in B.H. and


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the W.I. A proper interpretation would have had to develop
the point I made briefly above about the W.L-African
connection; and it would have had toevaluatethe courses
taken by the three (Padmore-Williams-James) in terms
of the requirements of that strategy.
Which brings me back to the B.J. The revolution
succeeded and failed at the same time. For look at
Haiti today. Perhaps you have something to say about
that in the Appendix "From T.L. to F.C." -I have
not seen the new edition yet.Inany event, I am convinced
that the failure of the revolution totransformthe society
is related to international events in Europe and abroad.
This is of course mere hypothesis but one feels that


And the unwillingness of people
here to do serious political work and
study now will make it impossible to
have any newly conceived party or

movement ready two or three years
from now.

Haiti could only have succeeded if there had been a
triumphant working class movement in Europe in say,
1848 and/or an awakening in Africa or Asia. I shall have
to argue some other time that the two must go together
but it seems to me obvious that the problems of Africa
and Asia and Latin America (and of the negroes of
America) can only be solved within the frame of some
universalistic mass ideology.
What B.J. shows among other things is that it is not
sufficient to achieve the transfer of power even with
mass participation. One has to have a scheme of ideas
for the reorganisation and these must be aligned with
some wider international scheme. This is hardly
appreciated in the Caribbean even today. Which is why
Willing _ns was so obviously struck by his visit to Africa.
He is bright and he noticed that the Africans, however
"backward", do have international perspectives. Onthis
basis, we can expect a new zig-zag from him anytime.
He has to accommodate this necessity without making
the radical changes in orientation which alone can
make the switch meaningful.
It is important for us to make some political pro-
jections of what is going to happen to Trinidad and the
*Cont'd on Page 5

The point is that the existing
administration will survive (second
possibility). In this case, Williams
will have to make a switch in policy
in order to secure his vulnerable
flank. The new policy will have to
have a radical tone for a number of
reasons not least of which will beto
make bid for rural support.
It will be a governmental and
not a popular strategy and indeed, it
will go a lot of intimidation and
terror (which is why the building up
of military resources will begin to
assume a fresh significance). Those
few in the country who had been ad-
vocating a democratic transforma-
tion of the rural sector and in in-
tegration of the rural people into the
society on par with everybody else
will have to be suppressed
M


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LETTER FROM LLOYD


*Cont'd from Page 4
West Indies as a result of this zig-zagging. It is in
this connection that systematic and organised corres-
pondence becomes important. There are so few people
here who are concerned with the achievement of in-
tellectual clarity either they are concerned to jump
on platforms and establish 'parties', or they are inti-
midated into keeping their mouths shut.
My own, interpretation is that W. will now be forced
to assume a more radical posture at home and a more
neutralist orientation abroad. As always the reasons
are many and complex. I cannot pretend to be able to
cover them here. But, on the external front, the Soviet-
American detente and the African advance are making
it more difficult to define the international issue in
terms of the Papal Donations of Yalta and Teheran. It
is also making it more difficult to get aid by way of


BEST


sustained mendicancy and obsequiousness. Especially
in a rich country like T&T.
Thus operational considerations alone, andnotideo-
logical ones, will force W. to be a colonial in neutralist
clothes. At home,the certain failure of the Devel. Plan
to meet the aspirations of the population for more
equality and greater domestic control of their affairs -
not to mention demands for more income and employ-
ment will create the mood where the structural
weaknesses in the society begin to assert themselves.
(This incidentally, has been the experience of B.G.
where economic stagnation, since 1954 has made it
impossible for the second-class leaders to obscure the
real defects of the economy by loose talk about more
consumer durables.
With oil down to 2% rate of growth, with the sugar
boom likely to end by 1966, with the foreign and the
pioneer industry on which the whole edifice is built


TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE Page 5
unlikely to yield the consumer durables with which the
population is bamboozled for a while ( you can fool
some of the people some of the time), and with popula-
tion continuing to grow at :3%, we are likely to face a
little crisis in about two years from now.
In T&T., the first possibility is ruled out though
as I shall show, steps may have to be taken to ensure
that it will always be a real possibility in future. The
third possibility, that of getting a new administration, is
also remote. Given the dominant conception of political
parties in the W.I. (a set of 'educated leaders' sitting
in a room sometimes, sitting in Government offices
sometimes, shouting on platforms sometimes and all the
time giving orders to the population), the PNM is far
and away superior to its rivals.
Though it is not yet too late, it is very likely that, by
1968, the field will be clearer still for the Maximum
Leader and he will gobble up Farquhar andDr. Tuesday.
Only the rural sub-sulture will remain as a counter-
vailing unit of power, susceptibel of mobilisation though
only for destructive purposes. That we appreciate.


THE CONSECRATION

IVAN LAUGHLIN
THE morning had a kind of magic to it.
It was the kind of morning that made you
say, "Oh God, Trinidad sweet".
The pan side was beating outside the
Cathedral. You see it still has its original
sin. It grew out of the ingenuity of poor
black men and so is not fit to enter into
the ceremony that is European. But the
boys were beating sweet, playing their
"role" well and every now and then a dig-
nitary would nod his head acknowledging
the sounds as if saying to himself "Those
boys have come a long way."

### ###
Woodford Square, that hallowed piece
of earth, had been opened for the occasion
and the large inquisitive crowd filled the
area near the Cathedral.
Mildred and Dora squeezed againstthe
Square's railing to get a glimpse of the
ceremony. They were both Negro women
somewhere in their forties and sporting
the latest in cheap European wigs.
"Dora, de square looking nice eh!
It paint up an de grass, green, gyurl".
"Dat is because de doc lock out and lock
up dem Black Power people. Ah tell you
black people. eh playing dey could overdo.
And de doc so nice, look how he open up
de place so de Anglican and dem could
have dey ceremony."
There was Ifanfare fromtheRegime:it;
Dora tiptoed and then held her breath.
"Oh God, Mildred when I tell you he look-
ing sweet, he dress up like de Queen. He
black gurl, but he looking just like dem
white people. Nice for so."
"In troot, look how all ah dem dress
up like a set of Englishmen, dignified


and ting. An gurl when you tink how dem
black bitches .-et on only do udder day in
dis same Square wid dey Afro robe and
sandals an beard looking so disrespect-
ful, it does make yuh blood boil."
"De doc was right to lock dem out. Is
he who know who is folks, you see who he
open de place for. Hm! It remind me of
when he uses to come here and lecture
to we, I mean he uses to say ting about de
English and dem but den again he was
always well dress up in he jacket and tie,
wid he hair well trim like dem white
people."
The procession had moved into the
Cathedral and the organ took over; the
pans had performed their duty and now
everyone could say: "Boy,pan play for de
Anglican Bishop ceremony. I tell you
religion really change yes."
Mildred and Dora relaxed to wait for
the dignitaries to come back out.
"So Dora, yuh mean to say dathegoing
to live up in St. Clair, in de white people
place, where dem English Bishop uses
to live?"

######

"An he is a bishop. Is dey he boun to
live. An de Catholic one does live up
dey. After all is dem local boys moving
up in society an you know when you is a
big shot is St. Clair you have to live. I
mean de doc and Pantin all dem does live
up dey Is only poor chupid black people
like we does have to live in John John an
Shanty Tong an ting."
"But dis religion is big ting eh gurl.
Look where dey reach An when you
tink dat is some poor, simple carpenter
dat start de whole ting. An he even dead
poor and he uses to preach to people
under tree and ting. Ah mean he didn't
have all dis rich kinda church day have
nowadays. To go in dem church you have
to dress up, oui."


THE PORKNOCKER

Sunlight filters through the forest
As particles of gold
Are sifted in the sieve of the porknocker.
Somewhere in the vast interior
Under Roraima and the Pakaraimas,
Under the alluvial of roaring rivers,
-Glitters the buried city of his dreams.
He has grown old in the search for El Dorado.
Skin peels, bone turns to rock, hair drops like fibre,
Disease grows roots like orchids in the flesh.
He too was young, and agile in the wood,
A rag-plumed spear, leaping upon the prey,
Sensing wild sounds and signs instinctively.
His eyes were dew sparkling in the whorls;
His veins lianas strapping sturdy trunk;
Flowering brain, leaves, supple branches
Drift on the pavement now
A blighted tree windblown to choke the gutter.
SYL LOHAR


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"Ah tell yuh religion really have money
in it. Black people could never have ting so."
Brother Gerard was dressed inawhite
T-shirt with the inscription "RELEASE
ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW" on
the front and on the back, "REMOVE THE
STATIC; OF EMERGENCY NOW." He had
been listening to the conversation At
this point he could restrain himself no
longer. He faced the two women, hin face


twisted with a kind of sorrowful rage.
As he spoke, his voice broke.
"Oh God, to tink dat black people
could talk so. Oh God", he held his thick
head of hair with his left hand. "De Bri-
tish shit we up, de Priest shit we up, de
doc shit we up..."
He could say no more, as he held the
railing which surround: the People's Par-
liament, his cry of anguish broke thequiet
of that magical morning.


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Page 6 TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE


Explorations In The History Of Our Peoples I



THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN IN AFRICA


PROFESSOR Bethwell A. Ogot, the distinguished East Afri-
can student of African history, has an interesting story
to tell. In 1958, he announced to his mentors and friends
that he had decided to study the history of East Africa
before the colonial period (1800). "What?" they ridiculed
him, "how can you study what is non-existent?"
The story may well be regarded as of
allegorical value only. Yet, it points to an
attitude of mind about Africa which was
long prevalent and which still persists FITZ BAPTISTE
today. And it persists in spite of mount-
ing scholarly evidence to the contrary -
this notion of Africa as a continent with-
out a past, without a history before the his place as a "natural slave.'
coming of the Europeans. Politics and race theories seemed
This conception of Africa has history natural allies. So it was; and so it re-
of its own, a history stretching far back mains in societies where it is politically
to the time of the classical writers. Then, useful. In South Africa, Rhodesia and
during the colonial period, it gained a new Portuguese Africa the alliance is open
and almost universal currency. It had be- and forms the keystone of the ideological
come useful as a justification for the arch; in the U.S.A., Brazil, and the West
European occupation of Africa. Indies, it is coy, covert and chamelon-
like.
I The doctrines associated with 19th
century racism arose partly from the fact
that Africans were then slaves in the New
At the same time, this view of Africa World. An intellectual stand had to be
was in an important sense, a product of devised to justify slavery and the system
what is today referred to as pseudo(false) of power relations which stood behind.
SCIENTIFIC RACISM. Such racism was the The situation was made worse by a serious
vogue in Europe and North America inthe error on the part of European and Ameri-
19th century. "Race is everything: Litera- can scholars.
ture, science, art in a word, civilisa- In the 18thcenturytheybeganseriously
tion depends on it." (Robert Knox). to apply scientific methods to the study of
Looking back, we can see now that human societies but they tendedto look for
there were some cases where such "theo- factors which seemed to have caused the
ries" did represent the thinking of men rise of civilisation. One obvious factor
who were pursuing truth. But in the ma- seemed to be race or colour. The "higher"
jority of cases, the proponents of such or "more developed' or "civilised' so-
views were in pursuit of political ends. cities seemed to be those inhabited by the
Forearmed, pro-slavery publicists like more "Light skinned" of "Caucosoid" races.
Edward Long who in 1774 put out a His- One can imagine the shock to such
tory of Jamaica, went to the "facts' con- established notions when the French scien-
cerning the African. Inevitably, theyfound tists who accompanied Napoleon on his
confirmation of their "theories' con- famous invasion of Egypt in 1798 made
cerning his alleged inferior status and the revolutionary discovery that the ori-


gins of Western civilisation were earlier
than the civilisations of Greece and Rome
and that the Egyptians were "Negroid". A
torrent of writing then followed. Its main
aim was to prove that the Egyptians were
"Caucasoid" or "white".
It goes without saying that the feeling
of belonging to a "superior" race was a
comfortable one. As the century wore on,
this feeling grew in importance. By the
1850s we find a number of scientists try-
ing to prove that the Caucasians w e r e
anatomically different from otherraces.
For example, in the U.S.A., the study of
human skulls made by Samuel Morton,
Josiah Nott and George Gliddon led to the
conclusion that the Egyptian was Cauco-
sold in bone formation.



In turn, such views served to re-in-
force then existing theories which con-
sidered skull-structure as a positive and
meaningful index of racial and cultural
capabilities. In Europe, if Carus can to-
day be regarded as one of the intellectual
originators of the ideology of Nazi Ger-
many, then Robert Knox must surely be
seen as the fore-runner of Mosley and
Powell.
It was around the middle of the 19th
century that Charles Darwin's Origi n of
the Species appeared. It was soon to
produce long-term repercussions for the
study of biology and the social sciences.
Darwin's main contribution to race theory
was to put into specific theoretical form
the notion that, while the "backward"
peoples of the world might be moving to
higher levels, those "in front", the Cau-
casoid peoples, might be moving evenfur-
ther ahead still.
Apart from serving the purpose of main-
taining the image of the African as in-
ferior (and perpetually so), Darwinism
carried other implications. It implied
that development. for the African could
result only through the intervention of


the white race. In turn, the assumptions
about white: leadership in the entire pro-
cess of change implied a self-appointed
duty and right of rule over the "lower"
races.
It was not surprising that these no-
tions became the most important cluster
of ideas in colonial theory in the late 19th
and early 20th centuries. Imperialism had
assumed the white man's burden!




SIR:
I came across the following extract
from the UWI Women's Club Newsheet of
October 7th:
EMPLOYMENT OF SERVANTS_

As far as we know there is no
actual written law about domes-
tic labour, each person hires their
own and makes their own ar-
rangements, but the following
may be useful.
It is advisable to have placed
in a prominent place in either
kitchen or pantry a notice saying
'I TAKE NO NOTICE AND I
GIVE NO NOTICE.'
This will avoid any unpleasant-
ness if one wishes to fire a ser-
vant or the latter walks out on
you!!
Regarding days off, it is usual
to give one half day a week and
one Sunday off every month.
On public holidays, the employer
makes his/her own arrangement
but if more than one servant is
employed it suggested that they
give one a full day off, and the
other the half day, and give the
other the same when the next
holiday occurs. This is only a
suggestion and has worked well,
but there is no hard and fast ruie
about it, it is up to oneself. No
money should be given in lieu of
the holiday as it causes a prec-
dent which other housewives may
feel obliged to follow. If a ser-
vant has worked well and has
been with the employer a year,
she should be given fourteen (14)
days leave on full pay.
There is one important law
about domestic labour, servants
must be insured against acci-
dents in the house and garden.
The cost of insurance is very
small against the possibility of
any household accident such as
bad burns, falls, etc.
I thought that some of your readers
might be as shocked as I was on reading
it. Comment is hardly needed but I would
like to add a fewpoints which struck me.
First, the very use of the term servant
seems to imply not so much service as
servility. As such, its use is contrary to
human dignity.
The terms on which people's services are
being engaged seem to me to be outra-
geous, That these terms.are being regarded
as the "norm" is a scandal; and that they
are being recommended as the standard
for possibly fair-minded newcomers is
simply inexcusable.
The greatest indignity of all, however,
arises from the fact that such standards of
employment are legally possible. It is
high time that firm standards be set at a
national level regarding minimum wages
and maximum hours of work. Such mat-
ters can no longer be left to the discretion
of quaint women's organistaions at the
College.
Carol Sigurdsson,
St. Augustine.


Dear Sir,
I take great pleasure in informing you
of another noteworthy leap forward in
the struggle to give the oppressed his
rightful place in and his proper share of
our social and economic life. For on Sun-
day 20th September, the various groups
that shout Black Power here in St. Kitts
met at Warner Park and decided to
amalgamate.
The new group's avowed aim is to
struggle relentlessly to make available to
blackmen the same sunshine of op-
portunity in which their white com-
patriots bask by virtue of their skin
pigmentation. We look forward to con-
tinued inspiration from your valuable
publication to make this venture a success.
Glenville Rawlins.
BASSETERRE.








TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE Page 7



TAKING LAW TO MAKE POLITICS


Report Of The Review Tribunal


DENIS SOLOMON
The supposedly apolitical ,Deten-
tion Review Tribunal has rounded
off its work by applying a not very
subtle daub of political whitewash
to the Government. What class of
Humming Bird Medal will Mr. See-
mungal get next New Year?
The basic fact which the Tribunal's
recently published report is trying to ob-
scure is that of the 28 detainees whose
cases were reviewed, 16 were released.
Now if the danger that supposedly gave
rise to the State of Emergency was a
genuine one that is to say, if the people
detained were behaving in such a way as
to bring danger on the state, then how
could the Tribunal release 57% of them
as soon as .their cases came up but still
say that the security police reports on
their activities were "accurate and ob-
jective"? The inescapable conclusion is
that their detention was not justified,
and that the Government's entire pro-
cedure detention, Tribunal, reports and
all was, by its own standards, 57%
unjustified,unfair, and corrupt.
The way the Tribunal has tried to re-
solve this contradiction is as simple as
it is unconvincing to recommend re-
lease in 57% of the cases but announce
at the same time that in all but one of
the cases there was sufficient cause for
detention in the first place.



In a situation where a Government
had to take emergency measures in the
face of real danger, a review tribunal might
be expected to release a small percentage
of the people detained those in whose
cases the security forces had made mis-
takes in their information. In a case
where detentions were justified but calm
had returned, the Government itself and
not the tribunal would be expected to
release all detainees not charged w i t h
criminal offences (and even these if the


Courts had granted them bail) and not
wait for the review of their cases to be
completed.
Perhaps the implication of the state-
ments in the Reports is that although the
detentions were originally justified, bythe
time the cases were reviewed they were
no longer justifiable. The question then
arises: at what point, in each case, did
detention cease to be justified? In what
terms did.the Tribunal's reports express
this dual judgement? Arewetounderstand
that the Tribunal, supposed to be con-
cerned solely with the facts of the de-
tainees' behaviour, undertook also the
task of answering the political questions
as to whether the state of the country
had returned to normal?



Such an assertion would be contra-
dicted, anyway, by two things first,
that not all of the detainees were re-
leased (perhaps the country is nowquiet,
enough for some but not for others?) and
secondly that the Minister of National
Security himself, petitioned for the re-
lease of the remainder, stated (in contra-
diction of an earlier statement by the
Commissioner of Police) that the country
was not back to normal. So we are back
at square one if the country is not
normal, and all detentions are justified,
why release anybody?
The matter of the Minister's statement
in answer to the Weekes petition has a
bearing on the sanctimonious (a n d
politically convenient) emphasis the
Government has placed on the need for
avoiding discussion that would prejudice
future Court proceedings. What could
be more prejudicial than for Williams to
say, in effect, "I can't release Weekes
because we found a lot of hiddenammuni-
tion?" But perhaps only the amount and
the place, which were not announced, are
prejudicial, not the implied connection
with Weekes.
Although the detainees who were re-
leased were not charged before any court,


they are still susceptible, in their every-
day lives, to the effect of slurs and in-
sinuations. The statement in Mr. See-
mungal's report that although they were
released their detention was justified is
a character smear. Mr. Seemungal, as
a lawyer, should beparticularlyconscious
of, and concerned to avoid, thepossibility
of smearing people's character whenthey
have no redress. The Emergency Powers
Act specifically takes away all redress
for any hardships or injustices suffered
by anyone as a result of the Govern-
ment's actions must the supposedly
impartial Tribunal gratutiously insult
people in the very act of releasing them?
Even in the case of iowhar, the only
detainee whose arrest is said bythe report
to have been unjustified, the statement
is qualified by the comment that at the
time when Lowhar's case was being re-
viewed the Tribunal had not yet perfected
its machinery for gathering and evaluating
evidence. So Lowhar gets his share of the
smear anyway. Teacher beat you? You
must be do something bad.
In order to mislead the public about
the need for continued detentions the
Government is also fostering the con-
nection in people's minds between the
detentions and whatever happenedat Tete-
ton Bay on 20th21st April. Mostpeople's
idea of the danger which is supposed
to have given rise to the State of Emer-
gency, centres on the events at Teteron,
and'it is this idea of dangerwhiclhin turn
is responsible for whatever feeling there
may be that the Emergency, andtherefore
the detentions that go with it, are justi-
fied.


The Government's insistence that
there is still danger, together with their
sedulous enforcement of the no-discus-
sion principle in relation to Teteron,
makes the detainees at Nelson Island
the victims of public fears aroused by an
incident with which there has in fact
been no indication that they were
connected.
As for the "'accuracy and objectivity"
of the security police reports used by
the Tribunal in its work, a close look


CHAIRMAN: SEEMUNGAL


at the Tribunal's report shows that this
compliment is paid to the police parti-
cularly in relation to their reporting of
speeches made at various meetings. When
one considers that this, is not a very
'difficult achievement(forwhile policemen
are often inaccurate tape-recorders are
not)it becomes clear that the police are
in fact being praised for not doctoring
evidence where doctoring could most
easily be proved. As for the other security
reports, the public in general have totake
the Tribunal's word for any "accuracy"
or "objectivity," they may have displayed,
because not only were .the hearings in
camera but' no government witnesses
were there to be cross-examined, and
the Tribunal revealed to the detainees
neither the source nor the content of the
"evidence" against them.
But whether the evidencewas accurate
or not,-what were in many cases com-
pletely and blatantly false weretheMinis-
ter's submission to the T r i b uinal


e Cont'd on Page 8.


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Page 8 TAPIA DIVALI ISSUE


TAKING LAW TO MAKE POLITICS


Cont'd from Page 7
purporting to give, on the basis of police
evidence, the reasons for the detention -
i.e. what the detainee was supposed to
have done. The submissions were not
only so blatantly-invented that they de-
scribed people as having said and done
things at places where they were not
present, but were so severe in their
accusations that if they had been sup-
ported by any evidence, they would have
constituted stronger charges of sedition
or treason than those which have in fact
been laid.


NON-DISCUSSION

.-I'I-One is not permitted to wonder pub-
licly whether these charges can be made
to stick. But in the case of 18 of the
soldiers charged with treason, no dis-
cussion is necessary they have been
released by the court for lack of evi-
dence,. and so, by the principles of the
system which Williams and Hudson-
Phillips are so concerned not to damage,
they are not guilty, even though Hudson-
Phillips is hoping for a second crack
at some of them by means of a military
trial for the same incidents. Apparently
the principle of autrefois acquit is one
which can be got around even if the
principle of non-discussion must be pre-
served at all costs.

SUSPICIONS

Aninteresting,example in the Report
of the schizophrenia of the Tribunal and
its attitudes is the complaint in it that
the Tribunal was (unjustifiably) "d i s-
credited" in the; eyes of the detainees.
The specific reference is to the case
of Mr. Pat Emanuel, and infactthereport
is wrong on this point-Emanuelwa s not
misinformed. Butwhatdoes Mr.Seemungal
want? Surely if the detainees were justi-
fiably detained and were therefore people
whose activities were inimical to the
stability of the State, it should neither
worry nor surprise Mr. Seemungal that
they should have no respect for the arm
of State power over which he presides.
If they were not disruptive elements,
then it would seem that their suspicion
of the Tribunal was fully justified by the
Tribunal's finding that they were rightly
detained. Again the school teacher syn-
drome the flogging teacher is
genuinely hurt if the naughty boys to
whom he has applied the tamarind rod
are not grateful to him for the correction.
In the case of Seemungal, this is compil-
cated by the fact that he himself is the one
who, willy-nilly, feels respect for many of
the detainees (on quite irrelevant grounds,
chiefly academic ones) and would like to
have their good opinion in return in spite
of the unsavoury jot he accepted. In other
words the flogging teacher has had to
flog not only some unruly pupils but some
teachers as well, and is worried about it.
And like so many Trinidadians he wishes
to continue to be considered as being


outside the fundamental conflicts of Tri-
nidad and Tobago the I'm-only-doing-
my job syndrome. This is a luxury that
can now be accorded to no one, least of
all the chairman of the Detention Review
Tribunal. There is no such thing as only
doing one's job. Anyone who accepts that
kind of a role (or any other kind) must
have the guts to sustain whatever oppro-
brium it brings, or the honesty to re-
fuse it he cannot take it and then whine
because he is not loved by the people he
is helping to screw.
The Tribunal, it is clear, existed for
three purposes only to give a spurious
legitimacy to a tyranically and politically
- motivated proceeding; to remove from
the Government the pressure for the re-
lease of the detainees by fostering the
idea that once the Tribunal was constituted
it was for the Tribunal to release them
(and thereby, at the some time, delaying


their release by means of laboriouspro-
ceedings); and, most important, to collect
evidence for use in the court trials of
other people. That is why, although there
were no police witnesses and no police
prosecutor at the hearings, there were
police observers and note takers. That
is why so many detainees and witnesses
were questioned exhaustively about the
movements and statements of people other
than the detainees. The report compli-
mentsthe Minister of National Security on
the speed with which he released each
detainee after receiving the report on him.
The interval was indeed short far too
short, in fact, for the Minister to have
read the voluminous report before signing
the release order. The contents of the
reports were designed to serve a comple-
tely different purpose.
The Amendment to the Defence Act,
too, is a pretty piece of Government self-


left who can carry them out, so you must
come in and do the job, after which we
will carry on from there" is pure farce.
In the words of the Express editorial of
Tuesday October 6 "...it is within our
grasp to understand a Black Power re-
volt in any island in the Caribbean todae
in terms of the Caribbean people decid-
ing to begin to firmly close accounts, as
Naipaul put it once, with this side of the
Middle Passage'. We can only close
accounts in relation to the problem of the
Army by taking this opportunity to ask
ourselves what is an army?
Do we want one? If we do, what role
is it to play? In relation to this role,what
is the fairest and most effective system
of justice to bind it together? Why should
courts martial be composed of officers
only? In fact, is the distinction between
officers and men a necessary one, and
does it reflect or foster the conditions
in which natural leadership manifests itself
and voluntary dedication is developed?
The Government in fact has done the
opposite it has appointed a ludicrously
composed Commission of Enquiry, re-


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promotion. On the surface, Hudson-Phil-
lips' intentions seem impeccably honour-
able. Officers from other Commonwealth
countries must be permitted to sit on the
Courts Martial because all our own offi-
cers were involved in the incident under
discussion ("implicated" was Hudson-Phil
lips' unfortunate choice of adjective, but
his vocabulary was always weak).' The
object is to ensure that the principles of
justice to which we are said to adhere
shall not be infringed.
But this issue is a false one,
just like the issue of the Republic and
the Privy Council. Laws do not existapart
from institutions; on the contrary, they
are evolved to regulate the activities of
accepted institutions and increase their
strength and effectiveness. They cannot
resuscitate moribund institutions. Mili-
tary law exists to regulate the activi-
ties of the defence forces. If an institu-
tion, in this case the Army is so unstable
that it can be prey to disruptive incidents
involving almost all its personnel, then
the institution and its laws are both
discredited. Only political measures are
then capable of repairing them.
To bring in Commonwealth officers
and say to them "Look, we share your
views of military organisation and mili-
tary justice, only we have found it so dif-
ficult to apply them that we have no one


quired it to report in a ludicrously short
time, and then suppressed its report on'
the grounds that it might be prejudicial
to the trials, while at the same time it
tries to shore up an alien and crumbling
system by pressing on with punitive mea-
sures in which it has to enlist outside aid.
The only long-lasting solution to this
problem- rather, to this facet of the over-
all problem of the decolonisation of Tri-
nidad and Tobago would be to grant
amnesty to all concerned and embark on a
serious study of our defence requirements
and the most desirable structure for de-
fence forces within our society.


PUBLIC DISCUSSION


The guidelines for these deliberations,
and many others of the same type. would
be best laid down within the context of
total public discussion of all our national
problems as part of the work of a
Constituent Assembly, If the present
Government cannot take such a decision,
another Government must or else the
population, as it did in the case of the
Public Order Bill, must call so clearly
and unequivocally for it that it has to
come about.


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