SINGAPORE - Students at the National University of Singapore’s, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, on Tuesday evening, joined the Rwandan community in commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event that was graced by Rwanda’s outgoing High Commissioner to Singapore, Paul Kayoboke, who said that it was an opportune moment for students of this school to understand better the events in Rwanda.
“This school hosts future leaders and hopefully, by understanding what took place in Rwanda, you can help avert similar tragedies from occurring again,” said Kayoboke, who has been recalled to Kigali and reassigned as Head of Human and Institutional Capacity Development at RDB.
He said that as history has proved, the possibility of another Genocide anywhere in the world is something very real.
“It would be a fallacy to think that you are immune. Genocides have taken place in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and yet we still have not established an effective mechanism for prevention,” the envoy told a multitude of students at this school who are drawn from different parts of the world.
The event which was attended by students of the school and faculty members was characterized by candle lighting, poems on the Genocide, a minute of silence, and a lengthy discussion on the 1994 pogroms.
Students overwhelmed by Rwanda’s renaissance, albeit being written off after the 1994 tragedy, were eager to find out if there is any particular blueprint that could be leveraged to other countries in conflict areas so as to instil sustainable harmony.
“Our new nation is built on the principles of unity and equality. The leadership of Rwanda has built its legitimacy from providing a safe and secure living environment for its people,” noted Kayoboke.
He added that Rwanda is now a country that is no longer divided along ethnic lines, “and I am pleased to say that these policies have been central to our remarkable transformation.”
Kayoboke acknowledged the fact that the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy plays a cross-cutting role in preparing public policy officers to lead and serve their country.
“But most importantly, in order to serve well, you must indeed have the right values and motives, the first of which must be to protect and further the interests of the people.”
He also urged them to grasp the issues that lead to correct decision making, or at least propose sound solutions.
“The range of knowledge for government is wide. It encompasses business and economics – not just how firms and industries operate, but how to build new competitive capabilities for the nation, and create jobs and prosperity for the people.”