The nation should put politics aside and say a prayer no matter how long or short for a woman who over the years has been forced to bear more pain than most others on the island.
THE NEW TODAY is referring specifically to Alimenta Bishop, mother of late left-leaning Prime Minister Maurice Bishop who passed away at her home last Saturday.
The passing of “Ma Bish” as many close to the Bishop family used to call her, has definitely closed the chapter in the life of a woman who has been forced to bear so much pain in the past 40 years due to the death of both her husband and famous son in political events that helped to shape the modern nation of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
First it was her husband, Rupert who was gunned down at Otway House on the Carenage in political disturbances leading up to the granting of independence to Grenada from Great Britain in the early 1970’s.
Ma Bish would still have been grieving over the loss of her husband when ten years later she lost her only son, Maurice, the Prime Minister of the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) that exploded following bitter internal feuding in the then ruling New Jewel Movement (NJM).
Ironically, her son was executed along with some of his closest political allies like Unison Whiteman, the former Foreign Affairs Minister and his own “sweet heart” Jacqueline Creft, the former Minister of Education on a fort that was renamed after Bishop’s own father, Rupert.
The sad irony is that Ma Bish like so many other Grenadians were able to give “Rupert” a decent sending off to meet with his maker as we would say “at the gate”.
It was heart-breaking for this mother and grand-mother who was never able to see the body of her murdered son as his remains were destroyed by his former Comrades after the bloody events on Fort Rupert, now back to its old name of Fort George.
Ma Bish made several unsuccessful approaches and calls to different governments over the years to help locate the remains of Maurice in order to help her bring closure to this bitter chapter not only in her life but that of Grenada.
During the famous Maurice Bishop murder trial, there was credible evidence presented by a soldier at Camp Calivigny that the bodies of Bishop and those executed at the fort were placed in a shallow grave on the compound and burnt with tyres and other material by Lieutenant Callistus “Iman Abdullah” Bernard who was in charge of the firing squad that did the executions.
No one knows for sure if the so-called Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) of General Hudson Austin, Ewart Layne and Liam James and others might have engaged in another operation to remove the remains from Camp Calivigny.
If they did not then it is safe to say that the remains that were taken out of the shallow grave by the Americans after the October 25, 1983 military action to overthrow the Bishop killers would have been those of the former Prime Minister and his close colleagues.
It is only the Americans and the RMC who can give truthful information on these tragic and horrific events in the Spice Isle.
The Truth will set us free. THE NEW TODAY makes a call for all those with truthful information about the disposal of the remains of Maurice Bishop and the others who were killed on the fort to finally come forward – in the memory of Alimenta Bishop – and help to bring final closure to one of the darkest periods in our history.
The late Alimenta Bishop was a strong Grenadian woman and no one should speak ill of her at this point in time on account of whatever good or evil deeds that Maurice Bishop and his Grenada Revolution might have inflicted on their opponents.
Ma Bish was only the mother of the former Prime Minister. She was not in any way connected with the NJM Central Committee or Political Bureau – the major decision-making bodies and organs that charted the course for all the events that took place prior to the 1979 coup d’etat against Eric Gairy and helped to bring about its own bloody downfall. May Her Soul Finally Rest In Peace.
Finally, THE NEW TODAY calls on Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James to do the honourable thing to make sure that a truly independent investigation is conducted into allegations of rape and other sexual impropriety made against three senior police officers by a recently resigned Woman Police Constable.
The Acting Commissioner is not even scratching the surface with his press release that he has ordered an investigation into the allegations.
One week ago the news that came out of St. Lucia is that Prime Minister, Kenny Anthony was forced to turn to the CARICOM body to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings by member of the Police Force on the island.
The Prime Minister had no other choice than to act in light of reports that the U.S government had cut off assistance to the island’s police force in light of the failure of the St. Lucian authorities to take decisive and appropriate actions to seriously investigate these allegations.
The name of the game in the international community is transparency, integrity and good governance.
Nothing short of an independent investigation is needed in Grenada into the allegations against the three police officers.
Any thing otherwise will lead us to conclude that the Acting Commissioner of Police and those who hold authority over him are engaged in a massive cover-up given allegations that at least two of the officers are said to be strong supporters of the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Has any of the officers been suspended from active duties in the face of this so-called investigation announced by Mr. James?
Where are the voices of decency in Grenada like the Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG) and the rest of the Civil Society Grouping?
It would be a shame and travesty of justice if some of these groups choose to remain silent on issues of national importance in the wake of a promise by the State to give them a subvention to carry out their work.