National Archives to retain Rodney’s name – Harmon
The removal of Dr Walter Rodney’s name from the National Archives is engaging the attention of the coalition Government and is being addressed with its partner, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), according to Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon.
Dr. Rodney –a political scholar who was assassinated in 1980 –is a founding member of the WPA which is one of the smaller parties in the coalition Government.
The National Archives – located on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown – was renamed ‘Walter Rodney Archives’ in 2008 but the political scholar’s name was removed recently causing several concerns to be raised by the WPA members.
On Thursday at a post-cabinet press conference at the Ministry of the Presidency, Harmon explained that while there was a name change in 2008, it was never gazetted.
As a result of the concerns raised by the WPA, the sign has since been removed and will be replaced after the name is placed as part of the Official Gazette.
“As a temporary measure, the sign which was there, we have taken it down and we will do all that is necessary to ensure the law is observed and then we will put up the appropriate sign once that is done,” Harmon said.
Some members of the former People’s Progressive Party Government including former President Donald Ramotar deemed the removal of the name as injustice and disrespectful.
However, Harmon said “there is no disrespect to the legacy of Dr Walter Rodney. These are people who are legends in our own country and therefore there is no disrespect which we will give to anybody.”
Harmon, a member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) which heads the coalition Government, believes that the ruckus over the name change is geared at driving a wedge between the WPA and APNU.
“Our partnership in which the WPA is a member is as strong as it was when it first started,” the former Minister of State said.