Remembrance should not be used to score political points

WHEN A child is growing up, parents play a major part in shaping his or her future. Among the many lessons a child receives, most are on how to fit into society and not be an unnecessary burden to others.

WHEN A child is growing up, parents play a major part in shaping his or her future. Among the many lessons a child receives, most are on how to fit into society and not be an unnecessary burden to others.

To play fair and square and graciously accept defeat is one of the most valuable lessons. But fair play, it seems, is not part of the French politicians’ vocabulary.

When the French government pulled out of the commemorations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Genocide at the last minute, one would have thought that the sulking would be over by now. But that is not the case.

When individual mayors of towns join the political fray and pour cold water on the memory of victims of the Genocide, that is going a bit too far.

The Rwanda Diaspora Association in Toulouse is not a political organisation, and their plans to erect a monument in memory of the Genocide should not have fallen victim to petty political vendettas.

So when the mayor postpones the event “indefinitely” citing the Rwanda-France tiff, it is a sign of cold-hearted political immaturity. It is a reaction of a child caught his hands in the cookie jar and nowhere to run.

Shame should not make remembrance its first victim, neither should France bury its head in the sand. In fact, it would have helped appease the wrath many French people have for their politicians who have been lying to them for the last 20 years and now the shroud is slowly peeling off.

 

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