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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, centre, and other mourners at the funeral. (IWN photo)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, centre, and other mourners at the funeral. (IWN photo)

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says the development at the funeral of Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch was orchestrated in an attempt to absolve Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of his contemptuous attitude to the propagandist during his lifetime.

“What developed, and something that the leadership [of the New Democratic Party (NDP)] is now being blamed for as having not stopped, was started by Prime Minister Gonsalves. That’s how I will put it,” Eustace said.

Some mourners booed, jeered, and otherwise heckled Gonsalves as he entered the church behind the cortege and later as he was called to deliver a tribute.

(Scroll for video reports on the funeral)

“I would not have intervened there at all, because I knew it was set up. I knew they were trying to take the blame away from the contempt displayed by the prime minister to E.G. Lynch, fearing that people will react to it. You don’t expect people to react to that?

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“A man who was well loved in the society, you may not be an NDP supporter but he was well loved and respected by many, many people in this country, and he appeals to you with his hand, and look at the kind of contemptuous statement … the prime minister made there in that recording,” Eustace said.

A woman rings a bell in protest against Gonsalves delivering a tribute at the funeral. (IWN photo)
A woman rings a bell in protest against Gonsalves delivering a tribute at the funeral. (IWN photo)

Eustace, who is president of the New Democratic Party, was speaking on radio on Monday.

The recording he mentioned, which was also played on the radio programme, “New Times”, on Monday, was of Gonsalves commenting on Lynch’s asking him for forgiveness for defamation.

In the recording, presumably from when Gonsalves hosted the radio programme “Ralph on Star” some years ago, a female caller says, “Ah wah yo deal with Lynch hard.”

“The last time, when the thing came up for big money, for Lynch to pay, when there was a proceeding in the court, he come and say we wah beg me pardon,” Gonsalves responds in the recording.

“I tell him that it too late to beg me pardon. And he holding up me hand. I tell him, I say, ‘Lynch, I am not that kind of a man. I am not a woman. What you hold me hand for?’ Beg me pardon — I don’t want no pardon from him. When the time for them to beg me pardon, they didn’t say it. They must be think that Ralph Gonsalves is going to roll over,” Gonsalves further said.

Commenting on the recording, Eustace said Gonsalves spoke of Lynch “in such a derisive manner, with such disdain and contempt for a man who used to be his friend and who was once with him in politics.

“Listen to that comment from a prime minister, responding to a talk show host who he took to court and who he appealed to him for forgiveness…

“That explains, to a great degree what happened on Saturday. A lot of people were annoyed by the contempt to Lynch by this prime minister over and over again and to others of us here,” the NDP leader said.

He said he listened to the response of the media after the heckling of Gonsalves on Saturday.

Eustace recalled that in 2010, when there were several incidents of violence in the lead up to the general elections, he had called on Gonsalves to join with him and make a statement condemning the violence.

“The Prime Minister answered me with total contempt. He said I wanted to play prime ministerial. The same press said not a word about that. Not a single word about that contemptuous answer,” Eustace said.

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Eustace greets mourners on arrival at the funeral. (IWN photo)
Eustace greets mourners on arrival at the funeral. (IWN photo)

He further spoke of the incident in 2011 when some opposition lawmakers were reportedly injured as they were thrown out of Parliament

“We were in Parliament a few years ago when parliamentarians were being beaten right outside the door. … The same prime minister sat down there and continued the Parliament without an inquiry or coming to see the beating up that was taking place outside,” Eustace said.

Opposition lawmakers thrown out of Parliament

“The press said nothing about that. They didn’t call on him and ask him why he didn’t come out and try to mediate that situation. Now you are calling on me to come and talk because some persons expressed their dissatisfaction with the way Mr. Lynch was treated?” Eustace said.

“People were incensed because they love Lynch and they knew how he was treated, and they objected strenuously to that treatment.

“As I said, we were there, as we ought to be, given Lynch’s contribution to our party and this country. We were properly dressed, too; not like the prime minister. And we paid our respect to Lynch for his service.”

Opposition MPs wore suits to the funeral, while Gonsalves wore trousers and a guayabera (“Wedding Shirt”), a type of formal wear in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Eustace further said some of Gonsalves’ “own people warned him that he should not go into that funeral because it will cause problems.

“He had to have his way and we know know the result of him having his way.

“It was horrible the way lynch was treated over many years, and when the time came to show some mercy [Gonsalves didn’t].

“But he must get forgiveness because people demonstrated against him? Well, I am not forgiving him for that. His comments were too contemptuous of a citizen of this country, who happens to be EG Lynch, our radio programme coordinator,” Eustace said.

13 replies on “‘It was set up,’ Eustace says of protest at EG Lynch’s funeral”

  1. What a lame excuse from the opposition leader!
    The Opposition Leader missed the point totally. The family INVITED the Prime Minister to PAY respect to the man putting aside all the political fights and disagreement.
    The leadership of the NDP failed on this one, and it is going to cost them the next election.
    Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is the ELECTED leader of St.Vincent and the Grenadines and therefore RESPECT ought be shown to him at ALL times in ALL places.
    The Leadership of the NDP failed on this one and it shows they have no control over the people who continue to cause ruckus in St.Vincent in the name of the Party.
    The NDP should in the strongest of terms condemn the disrespect shown to the family of EG Lynch, the Church and its parishioners, and the PM and hold their supporters accountable for such despicable and barbaric behavior.
    Vincentians at home and abroad continue to condemn this action despite party affiliation and the NDP should do the same!

  2. Again and again,we see that the opposite leader cannot lead this country because of his backwardness. All he wants to do is sit in the chair of the prime minister,he doesn’t really care if the nation stays with there ignorance. For your information mr.eustace,tht behaviour froom your ppl is a plus to the prime minister. I guess u have already made it clear to your household not to invite the prime minister to your funeral,dumbass!

  3. Alicia Gonsalves says:

    Eustace need to shut the hell up ! Stop bringing up the past and live in the present . You and your supporters have no respect for God and the person who governs our country. Everyone fail to realize this is being aired all over the world and people will judge us from what they have seen. Its time for us to work together and build our country .

  4. Kay Bacchus Browne says:

    Kenton please investigate the alleged dire hard ULP supporter shown in the Searchlight today as an NDP supporter who disrupted the funeral
    He was particularly disruptive and it appears he wAs a set up

    Why?? Are there others??

  5. DRE…Under the fine leadership of your god (ralph). Banana has decline by over 90%, the cocoa people gone before they start, agriculture on it last leg. The national bank gone, tourism dieing slowly, health care and the hospital in the tank. Roads going back to the days of donkey cart. Corruption, crime and unemployment is at a all time high.

    I guess that’s your idea of leadership….LMAO!

    So, progress will be backwardness for you.

    1. Camilo,I wonder if that was ur moms funeral that was disgraced like that you would have made these same comments. Further more,you correct to say all tht because the good good prime minister left NDP supporters at the head of most of his departments so his down fall is because of him and to the PM if you reading this,find your people and bring them to the forefront,they will bring more supporters for you,stop playing mr nice guy. Camilo,those people in the church didn’t listen to lynch daughter,I think your boss(eustace) could have calmed that crowd. It’s all about control. To be a leader,you must be able to set order.

  6. The PM declared some years ago that he will make the country ungovernable so that he can get into power are you now surprised that it is? Cockroach has no place at fowl party…he should not have been there cause he knew it would have happened…he himself said that he felt it would cause problems yet you turn up to cause problems…so I feel it was done purposely…you wreck a man then expect to be welcomed with open arms

  7. Searchlight Newspaper of 22 JULY 2014.
    The guy in the yellow T-Shirt who was very very disruptive at the funeral is in fact a supporter of the ULP who said he will do anything for the comrade.
    He and others were sent to be disrupted.
    It was indeed a set up.
    You may ask, How do I know he is a supporter of the ULP? My answer, I know him. I discuss with him. Even after the funeral I had discussions with him. My question now to you is, How do you know the person ringing the bell is an NDP supporter?
    Did the comrade have a strategy meeting before he decided to attend a funeral?
    Junior, C-ben David, DRE, Alicia Gonsalves, the PM tried to ride on EG’s parade even in the time of his death. Totally unacceptable by all. Even you guys.
    It is wrong and it is disrespectful. It is distasteful and very scary.
    These people are willing to go to any level to achieve their political goal.

  8. The Prime Minister is the duly elected Leader of the sovereign nation of St.Vincent and the Grenadines. There could only be one leader of St.Vincent and regardless of which party you belong he or she is to be respected as such!
    This disruptive and barbaric behavior has no place in our society. I would wish them to try that in any other country and see if they would not be arrested for disturbing the peace.
    I bear no bones about my loyalty to the Comrade as the elected leader of SVG, but I will call a spade a spade. The NDP failed to control this disruptive and barbaric behavior at a time when they could have shown the people of SVG how they are going to govern should the chance come around. Instead of holding the supporters accountable, they try to tell people the Prime Minister and company set it up. What a lame and shame excuse!
    In other countries they would have been escorted out of the service and arrested! The leaders of the opposition baited the PM by not doing anything because they wanted the people to be arrested so they could cry foul and create a larger issue- that was the setup they are talking about, but it BACKFIRED.
    Let me say this loud and clear..what happened in that hall, placed the duly elected leader of St.Vincent in a position of harm and I thank God he (also the family members of EG, along with the State security of SVG) acted in a professional manner and as a human beings to stop this from turning into a national disaster.

  9. Alecia Simon says:

    As a Vincentian, I am deeply ashamed of the behaviour I see displayed by my fellow Vincentians. A funeral is no place for politics or political affiliations. They were there to mourn the passing of a son of the nation, a father and a grandfather. They instead displayed disrespect for Lynch’s family, for the priest and for the Almighty, by behaving in such a disgraceful manner in the Lord’s house. There is no excuse for that. I extend my condolences to the Lynch family on their loss.

  10. It is very shameful that vincy people are sooo dumb in this day &age for them to behave in that manner,they were not at a political market square meeting where behavior like that is normal,this was a Church of GOD where they went to put to rest a human .What ever political feud mr LYNCH and the prime minister had ,that has nothing to do with him going and paying his respect,so all those who say he should not have gone are a BUNCH of FOOLS.SHAME on them.

  11. Well Alicia we have made the world news already about the alleged rape of a police woman. Stop blaming the opposition for Ralph appetite for photo-op opportunities. He was clobbered in his own constituency, which shows it’s time for him to “ring the bell’.

Comments closed.