Dear Bruce Golding,
Ever since 2010, you have been trying your endeavour best to duck your responsibility for the Tivoli Gardens massacre, and apparently you tried it once again at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York City, where you gave a lecture which some see as an opportunity for political rehabilitation.
Having dodged the issue of your homophobia raised by protestors outside of the Schomburg, you were forced to confront a questioner who wanted to know whether you shouldn't be tried by a Nuremburg-type tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Predictably, according to a report in the Observer newspaper, you believe that if any crimes were committed, it is the security forces which must be called upon to answer. According to you, "What the commission of enquiry must determine is, in carrying out that function [i.e. to bring that challenged part of the state -- supposedly Tivoli Gardens -- within the ambit of law and order], did members of the security forces act outside the law. If they did, they must be held responsible for whatever the consequences are."
First of all Mr Golding, do not try to obscure the fact that it was you and not God who declared this state of emergency ("it must be borne in mind that a state of emergency was declared"). The question is: did you as prime minister remind the security forces, as it was your legal, political, constitutional and moral duty to do, that, though the state of emergency suspends certain civil liberties, it does not absolve the security forces from acting in a lawful manner to protect life and property?
Furthermore, having given them that reminder, did you as prime minister, minister of defence, and parliamentary representative for the area, seek to make sure that they were abiding by their legal responsibilities?
I will not at this stage go into the facts and what the evidence reveal, which are known to you, except to say that you did none of these things. You were aware of atrocities being committed from the very beginning and you did nothing to stop them. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is now in prison for doing nothing to stop the Tahrir Square massacre. So was Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala convicted for doing nothing to stop the genocide against native Guatemalans during his time as prime minister. Only you know best why you did nothing!
Consequently, because you had command responsibility for the operation (not in name but in deed) and because according to prima facie evidence crimes against humanity were committed, as defined by the International Criminal Court (which Rome Statute was signed by the Jamaican government), you are not excluded from being tried for these crimes.
It is obvious by the weight you give to security-forces responsibility, that you wish to exploit the age-old Jamaican legal practice of excluding those who have command responsibility for crimes committed by the security forces from being prosecuted. And as a keen legal observer I'm sure you know very well that no individual policeman or soldier will ever be charged for these crimes.
That is why you are willing to testify with a "but" according to the interpretation of your comments in the Observer.
As far as the Tivoli Committee is concerned, you can legally have no say in how your are investigated, you are only entitled to defend yourself.
Perhaps you have an unwritten understanding with your friend Portia Simpson-Miller in terms of how their investigation will proceed. And that is precisely one of the reasons why the Tivoli Committee continues to insist that this matter must be referred to the ICC because that is the only body that can impartially investigate what happened in 2010. The people demand justice and justice must be done otherwise the other Tivoli Gardens massacres are just waiting to happen.
on behalf of the Tivoli Committee