The University Board expresses its profound indignation and protests most strongly over the attacks perpetrated on the 13th. January, 2004, against the media in a desperate and clumsy attempt to muzzle the press, in particular the independent press. The Board notes that these acts of vandalism occurred after certain officials and the like, whose identities are well known, had publicly made threats. The first elements of a journalist’s enquiry point ? once again and once too often ? to partisans of the powers that be, whose identities and origins are known? To the press workers, to the media victims, to the ANMH, the University Board renews its expression of sympathy and solidarity.
The University Board remains outraged by the attitude of passivity, complicity and permissiveness of the judiciary apparatus, which, a month after the tragic aggressions against the UEH planned and directed at the highest level of the State, has neither set up an inquiry nor undertaken any investigation aimed at apprehending and bringing before the law enforcement authorities the hired cutthroats and henchmen, whose faces have been seen on television and most of whom boasted of their misdeeds, confident as they are of their impunity and of protection from high up. If such unmentionable acts, committed in plain daylight, are not punished, what can one say of the results the public expects from the inquiries into innumerable lives put to end in the shadows and many denials of justice?
The Board of the University reaffirms its dedication to education and the functioning of the various faculties. The government is responsible for the repression threatening every citizen guilty in its view of pursuing an intellectual activity, in particular students coming from the masses of which the Lavalas regime claims to be the sole representative. It is the human and material damage caused by the Lavalas policy that hinders the normal resumption of school activities. It is the total loss of confidence in a government whose acts do not conform to its words that leads the people not to believe any more that Lavalas government can allow a climate of security. The fruitless accusation leveled against the opposition or the bourgeoisie that they obstruct the functioning of schools is another example of Lavalas rhetoric of divisiveness, of social hatred, with the sole object of holding on to power at any price.
On the 2nd of January, 2004, the Coalition of Civil Society and Political Parties proposed a transition alternative aiming to fill the coming expiration of parliament and other institutions. The government presents this initiative as a coup d?etat attempt and demands of the opposition to play according to the rules of democracy by respecting the mandate of President Aristide and taking part in future elections. The position of the government has neither a moral nor a legal base. In fact, the mandate of an elected official is defined in terms of duration and content, and the two are inseparable. It is a civic duty to struggle to put an end to a mandate of an elected official who tramples underfoot his obligations defined in the Constitution and the laws of the country.
It is the Lavalas government that, after having scoffed at the awareness of the public in the months of May, June and November of 2000, went on, among other things, to:
· break down systematically the organs of the State by bringing them under the rule of incompetence, arbitrariness and corruption; destroy brutally the institutions outside its control, notably the Université d?Etat of Haiti and the independent media;
· violate outrageously the most basic rights and liberties of the citizens, in particular the right to demonstrate peacefully, the right to burial with funeral rites conducted in peace and dignity, the freedom of expression, the freedom of enterprise;
· subjugate the judiciary to make it an appendage of the executive;
· use funds of the Public Treasury to remunerate delinquents, scoundrels and gangs;
· arm children and adolescents to make out of them criminals in its pay;
· defy morality, decency and all norms to transform the country into a State enjoying impunity and without law, threatened by the spectre of chaos and anarchy;
· murder hope, mortgage the future of the nation, above all by shamelessly fomenting attacks on empty handed youths, among them students and school children.
The University Board considers that, when a nations is so close to the abyss, the authorities must have the courage to recognise their failure. Consequently, the Board welcomes the proposed alternative presented on 2nd January, 2004, by the Coalition of Civil Society and Political Parties which it deems a stage in the process of putting in place the conditions necessary for the full application of the Constitution of 1987, for the normal functioning of institutions and establishing a climate conducive to the prosperity of its citizens. In this regard, the Board, although not a member of the Coalition, undertakes to work with the other segments of society concerned so that the final version of the proposal distinguishes more clearly those elements that must lead to the strengthening of the State of law and of democracy in this country. In this sense the Board to the request made to it to designate a representative in one of the structures designed to normalise the political, economic and social life of the country during the transition period that must follow the departure of the Lavalas government.