If the Keith Noyahr incident brings back the memories of any movie, it would be ‘The Last King of Scotland’ It is based on a true story about young and newly-qualified Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) heading to Idi Amin’s Uganda seeking adventure. He works in a small clinic on the countryside. At the time of Garrigan’s arrival, General Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) leads a coup against current president Milton Obote.
Garrigan and Amin meet on a chance encounter on a country road, where he treats Amin’s hand. Amin is impressed when Garrigan takes his gun (without asking) and shoots a wounded cow. He likes Garrigan because he is Scottish, and offers Garrigan the job of becoming his personal physician, and, after some hesitation, Garrigan accepts.
The movie builds up the close relationship between the two until the dictator loses trust on his doctor. The scariest scenes of the movie, that would perhaps make the more sensitive audience vomit, are how Garrigan was beaten and tortured nearly to death by Idi Amin’s ruthless thugs. He escapes only because of a Ugandan colleague, Dr. Junju, who offers his help (and ultimately his life) in exchange for Garrigan’s promise to return to Europe and tell the world the truth about Idi Amin.
Now, wasn’t that the same happened to Keith Noyahr last Thursday night? Wasn’t he too was beaten nearly to death? Who was behind that? Was it an NGO initiated move to discredit the government, as we are told? Or was it an abduction by Martians?
This is what ‘The Nation’ has to say about the incident to the President in its editorial today.
What the country needs from you now is the political will to put an end to this type of savagery. And that direction has to come from you, not from your pathetic minister of mass media and information or from your omnipotent doctor-minister of labour- or even from your younger sibling the Defence Secretary.
This country does not need a ‘fifth estate’ that decides who should live and who should die, who should be punished and who should be rewarded, who should say what and what everyone else should believe. The fourth estate is there to do its job and it will-it does not need a ‘fifth estate’ telling them what to do.
And that is why, Mr. President, you would have to take steps to stop the rot – and do so now. After all, it is but a short step from the sublime to the ridiculous – as it would be, from Mahinda to Mugabe.
Well, one also observes in the map of African continent, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is not too far from Uganda. If President Rajapakse ever wants to travel from one to the other, we assume it might take only a few hours flight.