Last year August, the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report on the murders of Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Horace Drakes, Bonny Harry, Lancelot Lee, Compton Speirs, Nigel Torres and Clifton Wong at Lindo Creek in 2008 recommended that the families of those men be compensated by the State for their loss.
But Minister of State, Joseph Harmon recently confirmed that the government has not made a “firm ruling” on this matter as yet.
The Minister said, “There were some recommendations which were made by the Commission of Inquiry into the atrocities of that period but there has been no formal ruling on compensation as yet. I can make some further inquiries into this matter and let you know.”
Harmon was then challenged by the media to say if one can conclude that the CoI which costs over $100M in taxpayers’ money turned out to be a waste of time since such crucial recommendations are yet to be acted more than eight months later.
The Minister of State said that he does not consider the money spent on the CoI to be a waste. He said, “…The CoI made several recommendations, some of which are administrative in nature and have been acted upon at the level of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defense Force. Some have pecuniary implications and those matters are still to be acted upon.”
Harmon also argued that when CoIs are conducted, a large number of recommendations are made. He noted however that when it comes to implementation, those must be considered in the context of what is feasible in the short, medium and long term.
In the Lindo Creek CoI, Harmon said that some recommendations looked at the restructuring of the way the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defense Force operate.
“There were some administrative arrangements which were made to ensure these operational matters are dealt with in a different way. The situation in which you can have the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defense Force going off on an exercise like that without clear orders from a superior authority has come out in the Commission of Inquiry and certainly those are not things which can happen anymore because clear directions have been given in this regard,” said the State Minister.