NOAH - The National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians
December 25, 2003
The National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH) is deeply concerned and saddened by the wave of violence that has marred the political climate of our beloved country over the past few weeks. NOAH will continue to denounce, both in private and in public, the atmosphere of intolerance that has culminated in the regrettable events of December 5, 2003 in which the walls of the University were violated, the Rector of the University savagely beaten and seriously injured, and many compatriots molested. We condemn these incidents and express our sympathies to the victims and their families. The government of Haiti has the responsibility to find the perpetrators of these violent and criminal acts, and to bring them swiftly to justice.
In a democratic society, the State has the obligation to protect the rights of the individuals to express their political views in an environment of complete security without fear of persecution. All citizens, in turn, have the duty to use peaceful means in the exercise of their political rights, in accordance with the laws of the land.
We have been independent for two centuries. At the eve of the anniversary of this extremely important event in the History of Humanity, all Haitians, regardless of their political persuasion, faith or position in the social ladder, are yearning to pay tribute to the giants that were the artisans of our Independence. We exhort the government, the political parties and the various civil and religious organizations to refrain from any confrontational activities that can interfere with the rights of every citizen to commemorate publicly or in privately, or simply to reflect in peace on the momentous achievements of our Ancestors. The 2004 Bicentennial does not belong to any group or political party, but to all Haitians.
We are confident that, in communion with our ancestors, we can find the strength necessary to restore an atmosphere of calm and mutual respect conducive to a fair and durable solution to the current political crisis. We must all be prepared to make the appropriate, albeit painful, sacrifices in order to reach that goal. Let us unite in a spirit of Compromise. We owe it to our Ancestors.
The National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians
1400 East West Highway Suite G
Silver Spring, MD 20910
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela