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Was It Sedition?

The Clifton Review

 

The Clifton Review is a bi-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires, the links to unsavory characters, the use of the courts for personal agendas, the involvement of the Government opposition party, and the attacks on the Government of The Bahamas.

 

 

Was It Sedition?

 

By P.J. Malone

 

 

It is not often that political actions induce Bahamians to shout “sedition!” But that is exactly the sentiment that was expressed about the Save The Bays operatives’ escapade to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) last year.

 

On a Love 97 Issues Of The Day radio show during that period of reporting on the petition filed with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, the question of sedition was raised. It concerned the actions of the Save The Bays 5, who filed the petition claiming that they were in “fear for their lives” due to their advocacy in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

 

These claims were made against the then Progressive Liberal Party Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

 

Some Bahamians were up in arms about the lengths that these Save The Bays operatives had gone to because hardly anyone in The Bahamas believed that these individuals had to “fear for their lives”.

 

As one caller to the radio show had said, “The Bahamas is one of the most tolerant societies in the world. No one has led more vicious and incessant attacks on the PLP Prime Ministers, namely the Rt. Hon. Lynden O. Pindling and the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, as I have laid on them. I have been one of their most vicious attackers. And they have attacked me viciously in kind.

 

“At the end of the day, they have both been to me, most gracious, most understanding, even to the point where we have on occasions to laugh at the level of our vitriol, and sometimes slap each other on the back in acknowledgement of the acceptance of it, the appreciation of it as being part and parcel of the politics of the day and the waving away of all of that anger and all of that as just one of those things that happens on the political calendar of our country.

 

“I say that as an example of the tolerance. I have never been in any way threatened by any of them or their hirelings or supporters; and they have never been in any way threatened by anyone who I would know under my influence or within my association.”

 

Even recent times have found former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and former Prime Minister Perry Christie dining together. Who has been more vitriolic than these two against each other? Bahamians have often talked of how these two remained friends and in contact with each other even after their political battles, much to the chagrin of their supporters.

 

So if the country has a history of vitriolic speech and harsh rhetoric, where politicians incessantly attack one another and can remain friends at the end of the day with never any consequences, why would that change over Save The Bays’ criticism of a Government?

 

Does anyone really believe that members of any of our Governments, both past and present, would seek to harm these individuals for criticizing the Government?

 

Why would these Save The Bays individuals go to such extremes to report such claims to an international human rights organization?

 

What was the point of their action? Do they glory in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas being included on a list of countries with Human Rights abuses?

 

When asked his perspective on this on last year’s radio show, one caller asserted, “It is driven by crass manipulation of international and other opinions to sully the good name of The Bahamas. It is diabolical in its intent and it is, I think, as I see it being shaped now, something, which will bring shame and scandal on those who drive the nefarious initiative.

 

“It is an ugly nasty initiative, which will bring shame on those who are driving it.”

 

How embarrassing for Bahamians and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to be unfairly classified and likened to countries with dictatorships and human rights abuses.

 

No Bahamian has been found to believe that these 5 individuals were in fear of or ever had need to fear for their lives.

 

We still need to know what the new Government has done to clear our name and how Minnis will deal with the fact that one of his cabinet ministers is in such a compromising position as to have been party to such an act.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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