The leadership of the Coalition of La Associations (COLA) has described as false reports by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) indicating that the people of La demonstrated at Burma Camp in Accra on Thursday, April 15.
“We wish to bring to the attention of the general public the facts of the matter as the GAF, in their attempt to control the damage it has caused itself through the assault meted on innocent and unarmed civilians, has peddled so much falsehoods,” portions of a statement by the Coalition read.
According to the Association in a communique dated Friday, under the instructions of the La Traditional Council, the group went on a routine site visit to their land at Kpletso, a location hundreds of meters from Burma camp.
The Coalition’s statement briefly follows an apology letter drafted by the Ghana Armed Forced to the group signed by Director of Public Relations, Col. Aggrey Quashie over an alleged assault.
In the said apology letter by GAF, it disclosed that the military beseeched a 200-acre land at Tse Addo to disperse demonstrators who they said had turned violent.
journalists and all innocent persons who might have been affected by the troops’ effort to clear the unruly demonstrators,” the military said.
But reacting to this piece of information, the Coalition of La Associations intimated that the people of La, under its leadership “has never demonstrated at Burma Camp as falsely mentioned by the GAF.”
“In fact, there was never a demonstration and we never went to Burma Camp on the said day. In view of the fact that the exercise was not a demonstration, we needed not to notify the police let alone to go for any permit (whatever that means) to go on such routine visits,” the Group added.
Also, the Coalition pointed out that there was no point in time its members behaved violently during its exercise as alleged by the Armed Forces.
The false statement purported by the military according to them has been orchestrated to create disaffection for the people of La who are well known for their hospitality.
The letter by GAF also made mention that the group had trespassed into areas that were dotted with sensitive national security installations.
Also refuting those claims, the Coalition’s statement revealed that the said parcel of land is only but “virgin land which has been used for farming since the people of La settled here in the early 17th century.”
“The closest vital installation is the Armory which is several hundreds of meters from Kpletso,” it added.
Furthermore, the Coalition says it fails to fathom how the use of G3 assault rifles to hit and injure unarmed and innocent civilians could be considered as reasonable by GAF.
“How reasonable is it to beat up elderly people with sticks and weapons while kicking some on the bare dusty ground? Is this what the GAF calls reasonable?” it quizzed.
For them, the stealing of mobile phones and other personal effects by personnel of the GAF and the destruction of vehicles belonging to members is “highly unacceptable.”
They are, therefore, calling on Parliament to institute a bi-partisan probe into the matter in order to establish the reasons why the military acted in such an unruly way.
“The investigations should not be left in the hands of the same people who orchestrated this dastardly act. Anything short of that is highly unacceptable,” it advised.
Read full statement below