Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John

From Louis B Robinson:

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, at this independence time when you are calling for unity and healing, it would be in the interest of yourself personally, and the nation as a whole to take the high road and honor the first prime minister of Dominica, a former leader of the labor Party, as well as the WAWU, Mr. Patrick Roland John.

While it is true that our history needs to be recorded, at least we should also have some intellectual honesty and integrity about it. Patrick John’s administration made a much more sustainable contribution to our development than any other government in the form of the National Bank of Dominica, The Social Security, the stadium, the DFP destroyed, he was so advanced that the concept of economic development zone (Free Zone) now been embraced by States and developed countries was introduced by him and citied by my friend Gabo among others. Even his foreign policy was far advanced of his other Caribbean leaders; although most of us at the time were critical of it due to apartheid, but we forgot that all the big powers were dealing with the same South Africa. He led the country into independence, and was its first Prime Minister, a fact that no amount of disrespecting can ever change.

These in my view are substantive contributions that need to be recorded,

Now for those of you itching to talk about coup and attempted coup remember our largest benefactor Chavez was convicted and served time in prison for attempting to overthrow the government of Venezuela, and now Dominicans worship him as though he is the second coming.

We need to take note, and these are the kinds of comparisons I like to see made with other countries, President Obama, upon taking office apologized to the world for alleged wrongs supposedly committed by the US, So when the government of Dominica passed a special law for just Mr. Patrick John, to deprive him of his freedom, after the courts had freed him, I believe The present government on behalf of the people need to do the honorable thing of which an apology must be the first state of rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister Mr. Patrick Roland John.

Here is a citizen who was put into double jeopardy by his own government, by enacting a special law, and making that law retroactive, just for one citizen, now how vindictive, vicious, and wicked can your government get

It would be in the best interest of the Country and the current prime minister, to restore the first Prime Minister of Dominica, and the father of our independence, “Patrick Roland John” and accord him the honor and respect deserving our first Prime Minister, especially at this time when we are celebrating independence day, and we are calling for unify, peace, brotherly love, forgiveness, and pardon.

4 Comments on "Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John"

  1. Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John
    Truly we can’t deny his role as the one who led Dominica to independence. We also cant erase his efforts to organize the External Trade Bureau to lower the prices of imported basic commodities to the lower income consumers, the computer center and national bank.

    However, Louis I think that Patrick needs to remain a convicted criminal. And the achievements mentioned can’t erase what he did to the country and its people as well. You mentioned that Patrick John was a leader in WAWU the question still remains how can someone who was in such a position turn against the workers and pass anti worker legislation and get at loggerheads with the trade union movement and its leaders to the point that its leaders organized the strike that played a major role in his fall out of power. Beside the anti labor legislation he began to pass ant youth legislation as well. The blatant disrespect for human rights as demonstrated in the Unlawful Societies and Associations Act (Dread Act) is a prime example.

    On the birth of his son Nyere, Patrick declared to the nation on political platforms that his son was going to be the next prime Minister. That is the tone of someone drunken with power in the likes of Eric Gairy of Grenada & papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti. To ensure his stay in power he began to surround himself with thugs in the like of papa & Baby Doc Ton-Ton Macoute & Gairy’s Mongoose gang.

    Patrick John’s alliances with South African white supremacists , Zionists and the KKK to regain power and promise to pay them back with land and resources that natives would have no access to thereby converting Dominicans to second class citizens in their own country cannot be forgotten. These alliances are a total insult to our ancestors who struggled for emancipation, the African independence and liberation movements, The Civil Rights Movement in the USA, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and freedom loving and seeking people universally.

    You are right regarding apologies for past wrongs. Patrick John no longer represents anybody. He needs to stand up and take responsibility for his past wrongs including the impact of the Dread Act via the bloodshed of so many innocents, destruction of the future of imprisonment and criminalization of individuals because of their hair and cultural symbols. Beyond taking responsibility he needs to apologize for his actions.

    Beyond the above atrocities there are the crimes against the state. Treason is no simple matter. The victims of the failed coups that he was a part of also has victims on both sides of the issue. For his followers their families were victims for those they victimized there’s more pain and anguish.

    The espongement of Patrick Johns crimes if possible would need to be preceded by a Truth Commission as in Mandela’s South Africa. Only then would the atrocities by the Dominica Defence Force and then members of the Dominica Police Force be exposed. There would be need to compensate the victims of such suffering for the trauma that they suffered for which they have never been treated or even acknowledged. You asked for brotherly love, forgiveness and pardon. Tese should go along with truth, remorse reconciliation.Louis you have reopened a sad page in the history of Dominica.

    Ras Mo

  2. Citizens Forum | November 1, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Reply

    Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John
    Rasmo,
    It is not a sad page, having experienced the administration of all the political parties in Dominica from Leblanc to Skerrit, I can make an objective assessment of the situation.
    Your comments were exaggerated and to discard Patrick John into the gabbage bin of history equating him to Papa Doc is a continuation of the distortion of history.
    I participated in the protests against Patrick John from 1976 when Charles Savarin effectively used the Civil Servants to bring down the government. Most of us who supported the general strikes did so innocently until the aftermath of May 1979 when Savarin used thugs like Chris Volney to hunt down the leftists and communists who were supportive of Roosie Douglas.
    Upon reflection, Patrick John was forced to take some of the action that he took, the anti-dread act was justified to a certain extent because the extreme elements in the DREAD movement were terrorizing innocent citizens, you will admit that the dreads had gone to the extreme.
    What else could a government have done when Charles Savarin as an agent for the Freedom Party was shutting down the country if there was no bandage in the hospital?
    One of the few people who understood PJ was Roosie Douglas who gave him critical support with the Popular Independence Committee PIC, on the march to Political Independence.
    The problem with PJ is he turned against the same people who were prepared to assist him.
    To demonize PJ in the way that you did is not fair, any government that was overthown in the manner in which PJ was, has a right to gain back power in any way possible.
    I attended a school independence rally and no mention was made of independence and what it means, the process. much less mention of who brought the country to this major milestone and it appears that you are perpetrating this denial of our history.
    Whether you like it or not the fact is PJ took D/ca to political independence and while he is alive the country owes it to him at least for recognition.
    Roosevelt Skerritt who was only 7 years old in 1979 should not allow the influences of Charles Savarin and Chris Volney obscure his vision of objectivity with hatred.

  3. Louis Robinson | November 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM | Reply

    Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John
    It is interesting Ras Mo that you write very eloquently of your hate for Patrick after 31 years, yet your eloquence, and obvious education, does not allow you to see past your anger and bitterness and embrace the lesson of Nelson Mandela.

    It puzzles me that we keep calling for unity, peace, forgiveness, and christian love, yet we are unwilling to follow our basic christian teachings.

    It was nor is it now my intention to defend Patrick, neither am I disputing that he has made errors, in fact by saying that he has paid his dues to society, by the years he was imprisoned, and even those who were responsible for his incarceration for as you claim treason, released him of their own volition after serving only four and a half years of a twelve year sentence,

    That in my view speaks vo;ume. Yet it would seem to me based on your post you would have had him hung.

    This further tells me that we have become a hateful and heathen people rather than the loving Christian people that we were. The saddest part though, is that that hate comes not so much from the less educated, but from some of our most educated, who have been blessed with a better understanding of the world, the communities in which we live, and of human beings and human nature.

    I am happy that I wrote that piece, I have learnt that we have a long way to go to heal the wounds of political hate, and that 31 years later most of us still have these raw emotions, and that we find forgiveness very difficult to extend to selected people.

    Let us pray that God will be more merciful to us than we are to some of our fellowmen.

    Bless Bro Ras Mo Moses

    Louis

  4. Rehabilitation of Dominica’s first Prime Minister and Father of Independence Patrick Roland John
    Louis,

    I am happy that you wrote this piece as well. It is sad that you falsely accuse me of hate and so I forgive you. I hold no hate for Patrick John. I have forgiven him.

    My writing may be passionate but lacks any hate. My experience allows me to contribute to this discourse from a place where I saw the human suffering that I mentioned and it disturbs me that no efforts have been made towards addressing the impact of such trauma. Don’t you think that in the process of healing we need to address this?

    The issue you brought up is not one of personalities or who is more loving, righteous or self-righteous. I’ve learned that our perception of others and interpretations of the actions are based on our own being. I’ve dedicated my life and my work nationally and internationally to peace, violence prevention and healing through the arts.

    All I am saying is that, in order to restore rehabilitate the former prime minister and restore a record to a clean slate the following needs to happen:

    1) 1) Patrick John must acknowledge his wrongdoing.

    2) 2) He should apologize to the individuals, families, the nation, and international community who have been affected by his atrocities.

    3) 3) Since the actions of Patrick John adverse affected many, the impact on those affected need to be acknowledged in a genuine effort for truth and reconciliation.

    R Ras Mo Moses

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