This is with reference to Gad Ntambara’s column, “HRW should not undermine Rwanda’s independent civil society” (The New Times, August 16).
Just to congratulate you on a well constructed and researched article. Well, Human Rights Watch should have endevoured to first learn and understand the resolve of Rwandans to own and shape their own destiny, before engaging in such a dirty and destructive campaign against Rwanda and the people of Rwanda.
They should have understood that the days of “Ndiyo bwana” (yes, sir) are no more. Someone tell HRW and co. that Rwandans are not about to relent on our development pace but rather to take it to another level.
Betty K, Kigali
Human Rights Watch is not to blame at all if it is in its very nature to obsessively smear Rwanda with dung every day. There is an adage I picked about 40 years or so ago and I am surprised it is more relevant today. It goes, “if a man fools you once, shame on him, if he fools you twice, shame on you”.
The implication is they are blind all those who believe and act on HRW reports.
Kennedy Maridadi, Kigali
Kennedy, the alternative to being fooled is, of course, that they and HRW are in reality acting in concert; with those who purport to believe the transparently ridiculous claims of HRW doing so in full knowledge the accusations have no basis in fact, but finding it in their interest to act as if they believed them.
Read James Peck’s seminal Ideal Illusions and you will understand; HRW and its fellow non-governmental organisations, including other heavyweights like Amnesty International, are far from independent of their governments. They are in fact close partners with defined roles that support each others’ actions and aims, even as they pretend those actions are autonomous.
In a nutshell, therefore, those who act on clearly fabricated HRW claims don’t do so because they have been fooled into believing the charges.
Rather, they do so in full knowledge they are untrue, but consider it in their own national interest to pretend they believe them and thus bolster the credibility of what they know to be claims created from whole cloth by HRW operatives.
That, unfortunately, is the nature of the world we live in – where those who incessantly preach about universal human rights rarely live by the same ideals themselves, and frequently look the other way even as their closest allies violate the most fundamental of those rights.
Mwene Kalinda, Kigali