Guyana 360: After reading this story out of the twin island respublic of T&T, is this a Guyana you want, where the gate keepers of truth carry guns in the execution of their duties. Reporters are liken unto pastors. Could you imagine a pastor preaching from the pulpit with a 9 mm in his waist? It is truly a sad state of affairs in Guyana.
TT Newsday writer COREY CONNELLY writes:
Guyana’s acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene is attempting to fast-track gun licences for reporters employed at Kaieteur News, the newspaper’s publisher Glen Lall says.
“I spoke to the acting commissioner and he’s trying to see what could happen. He is even talking to a government official to see how quick he could get it,” Lall said in a telephone interview, yesterday.
Lall had called for gun licences to be issued to journalists after Tuesday night’s incident in which gunmen stormed the Kaieteur News printing department and shot six employees, four of them fatally.
He said crime reporters were the fittest ones to receive guns since they often had to go to crime scenes during the early hours of the morning.
“They are able and competent and work 24 hours a day, unlike police,” Lall said.
The shooting, which has rattled Guyana, came amid sporadic gang-related violence in the run-up to the country’s general election.
The election is due to take place in two weeks.
Lall, who was robbed, tortured and beaten at his home in 1989, said he had subsequently been granted a licensed firearm for protection.
“That experience has built me into the type of man I am today. But, it still did not prepare me for what my staff is going through. They are really, really scared,” he said.
Lall said he was unsure about the criteria for acquiring a licenced firearm.
“When you look at some of the people that have firearms, it seems that once you have a friend you could get through,” he said.
“There are so many guns on the street and there are some business people who are being told that they are getting a hard time.”
Despite the tragedy, Lall vowed that the 12-year-old newspaper—Guyana’s leading daily—will survive.
“Life has to go on, whether Lall is there or not,” he said.
“We have changed the landscape where presenting the news is concerned and we will continue to practise aggressive journalism.”