Friday, February 22, 2008
Dr. Roger Luncheon knows fully well that this year's mash will be nothing more than black-washed event so he has already made the excuse that the government expects celebrations to be toned down. Dr. Luncheon has entered the realm of comedy and not for the first time.
The Alliance For Change and Guyana Action Party are concerned that the Government of Guyana is proceeding to host Mashramani celebrations in the midst of the recent killing of 23 persons and the displacement of many communities as the joint services hunt for the perpetrators. The AFC and GAP are of the strong view and opinion that the vibrant celebration of Mashramani will be inconsistent with the poignant fear and frustrations of Guyanese being experienced at this time, and will only add fuel to an already frightened society, confused as to what our national priorities and focus are presently. In a democratic society people are free to do as they please but ought to be aware of the concerns of others.
We therefore urge all Guyanese to spend the day of February 23 - in a solemn manner and to have very limited celebrations at this time when there should be national mourning and to reflect on what has transpired in the last month, and where we are headed.
For those who choose to celebrate Mash we would suggest that they wear a black armband or place a black flag/cloth on their vehicles or homes as a mark of respect. These persons should be aware of the fact that the excessive use of alcohol and the images of merriment could, and are likely to be, considered insensitive and offensive to the families of victims and to the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese who remain in shock and mourning at recent events. Celebrations should therefore be softened if they are to be proceeded with.We therefore call for Saturday, February 23, 2008, to be a day of National Mourning, Prayer, and Reflection. All Guyanese should take time to honour and remember the lives lost, and to reflect on the condition and ill health of the Republic on its 38th anniversary. Guyana is in a perilous state and only a combination of divine intervention and a display of unity at every level on the part of our leaders will lead to the establishment of a just, peaceful and wholesome Republic. The Inter-Religious Organisations and all religious leaders are urged to mark Republic Day observances by joining the call for a day of mourning, prayer and reflection.
With tear-filled eyes, 19-year-old minibus conductor, James Hyles stood in the dock of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, yesterday, accused of murdering 11 persons, including five children, at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, last month.
P.S. It's good to see the Minister shaking hands.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
February 19, 2008
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Office of the Prime Minister
Whitehall, Maraval Road
Dear Prime Minister Manning:
The Caribbean Institute for Democracy (CGID) notes your announcement that the government of Trinidad and Tobago will provide a helicopter and special weapons for 's security forces, to assist in their fight against crime. CGID lauds the generosity of the government and people of as well as its alacrity and readiness in rendering crucial assistance to the people of during this period of national security crisis.
The Lisugnan and Bartica massacres demonstrate that Guyana's security forces and national security infrastructure have been negligently disregarded and left to degenerate to the nadir, resulting in their collapse. As a result, there is a total breakdown of law and order in the society. Criminal elements with an apparent political agenda, now pose a serious challenge to the state.
Upon its assumption to office in 1992, the People's Progressive Party government ( PPP ) deliberately deprived the Police Force (GPF) as well as the Defense Force (GDF) of funds, resources and modern equipment because of unfounded trepidations that the mainly African Guyanese populated forces would use such resources to undermine the PPP government. It effectively diminished and demoralized the armed forces, as a political strategy.
The GPF and GDF are indispensable to the maintenance of law and order and the country's national security. The Institute is therefore pleased that the government of Trinidad and Tobago fully recognizes the critical needs of the security forces of , for adequate resources and modern equipment, in order to perform their constitutional mandate, and, has stepped up to the challenge, in the spirit of Caricom, by acting decisively to assist. One wishes that the people of could have benefited from this advanced level of national security consciousness and interest from their government.
In this context, the Institute expresses grave concerns about the ultimate use of the resources which the good people of will provide to the government of Guyana, as criminal elements turned out to be among the beneficiaries of such previous assistance by the international community. The same is true of the weaponry which has been procured for the GDF.
today is a dangerous and dubious place. It has emerged as a State with worrying signs of despotism. It is a virtual narco-dictatorship on a rapid path to becoming a full-fledged ethnocracy. The state verifiably engages in torture. There is a belief that the Jagdeo administration has an insidious, oppressive noose around the collective necks of Afro Guyanese and is attempting to drive them into subjugation and impoverishment.
Since 2003, over four hundred African Guyanese young men have been killed extra-judicially or executed by "Phantom" death squads allegedly connected to the ruling party and the government. Former Minister of Home Affairs and National Security, Ronald Gajraj was forced to resign over these allegations. There have been no arrests or prosecutions for these murders and CGID believes that there have been no serious investigations of them either.
CGID, and indeed me personally, steadfastly believe in and support all efforts to foster racial harmony and racial unity in . However, just as we are committed to racial unity, we are uncompromisingly obligated to promoting racial equality and equal protection under the constitution. The government of Guyana demonstrates deep proclivities to ethnic prejudices. We therefore exhort you to use your influence and diplomatic and other leverage, as a CARICOM leader, to prod the Jagdeo administration to launch an investigation into these killings, just as the Lusignan and Bartica killings must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. This would be an important step towards achieving social justice.
Furthermore, drug-barons are allowed to operate openly with impunity. One individual was arrested in 2003 by the security forces with a sophisticated computer system, which can only be acquired legitimately in a government to government transaction, with the capacity to scan and record telephone conversations within the country. The individual was unjustifiably released from the criminal justice system. Subsequently, in 2006, when the said individual's business establishments were raided by the joint services, he, with impunity, announced that he had tapped the telephone lines of then Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix. He then released several alleged recordings of Commissioner Felix's telephone conversations. The only response from the government was a request of the to verify whether or not one of the voices on the recordings was indeed that of Commissioner Felix.
The said individual was later arrested in and deported. In route to , he was picked up by US Federal Agents, on charges ranging from alleged importation of narcotics substances into the US, to conspiracy. At that time, President and other Guyanese government officials criticized the actions of the US government and even accused your government of facilitating "renditioning" by the United States. Additionally, President Jagdeo ostensibly angrily disbanded the military intelligence unit of the GDF because it raided this individual's properties without his prior knowledge and consent.
These misguided actions, apparent death squad and other corrupt machinations, continue to fuel allegations that individuals in the government are in bed with criminals and are the direct beneficiaries of the criminal enterprise they pretend to fight.
The US State Department's 2007 on states that "The GOG's counternarcotics efforts suffer from a lack of adequate law enforcement resources, poor inter-agency coordination, and widespread corruption. News media routinely report on instances of corruption reaching to high levels of government that go uninvestigated and unpunished."
The report also said that "The GOG has yet to implement the substantive initiatives of its National Drug Strategy Master Plan (NDSMP) for 2005-2009. is a party to the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (the 1988 UN Drug Convention) but still needs to pass and implement additional legislation to meet its obligations under the convention."
Consequently, CGID urges that you secure an assurance from the Government of Guyana that the resources your government will provide is used for the intended purpose of fighting crime, including drug trafficking and hunting down murderers, and will not be surreptitiously turned over to criminals, drug-barons and death squads to enhance their enterprises. We also recommend that the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago be assured that its resources will not be used to engage in torture, extra-judicial killings and other crimes against humanity.
Finally, it is critical that the perilous situation in be given a forum at the next Caricom Heads of Government meeting, in an effort to foster an immediate resolution of the degenerating security situation, while securing the overall safety of the Guyanese people as well as engendering sustainable political solutions to Guyana's many multi-dimensional challenges; efforts in which the Government of Guyana has failed miserably to date.
CC: Dr. Edwin W. Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The President had his chance to quack and he did so through the Government’s “gopher”, the so-called information agency.
We read the President’s statements with great retrousse. Admittedly, we were retched by his political stance because he choose to dabble in reverie over the most recent horrendous Bartica slaying.
Clueless as usual, the President has displayed idiosyncrasies that are unbecoming of a head-of-state. His casual and incompetent leadership has plunged this country in a state of anxiety.
Peace-loving citizens have lost hope and there can be no recompense what so ever for this. Nothing is more evident from the fact that Government believes that the security forces cannot foil another rampage. Where are the assurances and the decisive actions? Cabinet members have flung the word terrorism in the face of Guyanese without careful thought of its impact, but maybe its an admission of its failure to arrest the situation. Home-based terrorism can lead to UN interventions and more importantly it can be used as a basis on which citizens can seek asylum. Again thoughtless and empty words.
Guyana has relapsed into a state of hypothermia, as cold-blooded killers continue to strike at will. This Government has left this nation in the lurch as evident from the President’s departure shortly before the Bartica attack, and the total disrespect in the Parliament displayed by his Cabinet members. Jagdeo’s premature pronouncement that the Bartica and Lusignan attacks were pure robbery reflects his deep deception of the multiplicity of the crime situation confronting this South American nation.
It is not our intention to dive into the President’s attempt to dodge the fundamental issues of crime and its causes, but we will spotlight the dark areas and highlight the achievements of the security measures.
The recent slaying has attracted worldwide attention and at least our CARICOM journalists have already touched down here to report on the occurrences.
We wait with abated breath for a response from the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief. We must not allow the President to babble and shift blame to the security forces, since the President commands the joint services. This was evident from his master chess strokes in the Guyana Defence Force last year. We must condemn the beastly efforts of those who seek to sow seeds of division and to rebuke influential persons seek to charter a course for Guyana along a fractured pathway.We applaud the launch of the Citizen's Security Programme today with some amount of apprehension, since it appears the programme is yet another plaster to heal a gaping wound. Too many failed security plans are stuck in the pipeline, many are still on paper gathering dust. How many more must die before these plans are flushed out?
We will not blast the Drug Strategy Master Plan, neither the Crime Stoppers Programme. No we will not! The evidence of failure is glaring. We will not waste time to whip the Government over the Discipline Forces Commission Report. Laugh time done, time for serious and decisive leadership has come.
It was laugh time for this Government following the Lusignan massacre as the President puffed his frail chest and balked at meeting the Opposition Leader until a declaration was made that Buxton is a haven for bandits. It was surely Mashramani time in the National Assembly when the Government trampled a motion to debate the Lusignan killings, which would have called for firm action. It was a comical charade when none other than the Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee sought to grandstand the Speaker of the National Assembly. Quite despicable and sordid.
Dr. Roger Luncheon continues to smile at an ex-army officer, who is willing to negotiate with the criminals for them to law down arms. Why is this man still walking freely and not part of any of the stakeholders meetings. Notwithstanding the Government's fear of this former officer, there is need for this man to quizzed and not tortured. We need to hear from this gentleman.
This Government must not be allowed to parry further, least more innocent lives perish. We would admit here and now that Guyana is a haven for criminals.
Let us unite and let us ensure that those who lead are held accountable!
The Jagdeo Administration should take full responsibility for the loss of life and should resign in disgrace for such serious abdication of its responsibility.
"Another from the Muslim community believes that the crime situation stems from youths who have been idle in society, who have no proper examples to follow, and the breakdown of morals in the society as persons who are supposed to be respected have become less respected.
He pointed out that many who hold high positions and who are supposed to be setting examples have not been doing so, with family values lacking and infidelity and greed increasing."
Guyana360:When you have a Minister of the Government discharging his firearm and engaging in bar fights, yet remains on the job we wonder where is the example. Corruption is indeed rampant and leaders are not being held accountable. Minister's of the Government trampling on the rights of women by being promiscuous and in one particular case attempting to rape teen. Then we have a total break down. There can be no justification for lawlessness, but Guyana is reaping the benefits of successive corrupt governments. This Government has associated its self with Buddy's and Roger Khan and a few other people suspected to be partied to illegal activities and the informal economy.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
THE PSC CALLS UPON THE NATION TO
RAISE ITS COLLECTIVE VOICE TO DEMAND UNCONDITIONAL BIPARTISAN ACTION AGAINST THE VIOLENCE
The Private Sector Commission extends its deepest sympathy to the families and relatives of all of those who have senselessly lost their lives and suffered injury as a result of the horrific events which overtook the people of Bartica on Sunday last.
The Commission joins with the nation in expressing its outrage over and in condemning these bestial and malevolent killings.
The Commission wishes to commend the President for immediately summoning and the parliamentary opposition for their public commitment to participate in a national consultation to address the matter of national security. The Commission believes that such a consultation and commitment is long overdue.
The Private Sector Commission stands ready to fully participate in an ongoing and unconditional dialogue of all of the nation’s major stakeholders for the purpose of arriving at a national consensus in the formulation of a strategic security plan for the nation which will have the full and unqualified support of everyone concerned in its implementation.
The Private Sector Commission, in the meantime, urges that as a people and a nation, we remain resolute and focused in standing together in the face of this brutal assault on our peace, well-being and security.N.B It is the private sector that is refusing to assist the government in its crime stoppers programme, but yet they stand ready to assist. Everybody playing games, while the poor innocent coolie people perishing.
The Secretary-General and the Staff, most strongly condemn this barbaric crime. It is especially painful coming as it does at a time when the nation is still deep in grief caused by a similar traumatic experience of 26 January in Lusignan. These inhumane acts cast a long and disturbing shadow throughout and the wider Caribbean Community.
The Secretary-General and Staff mourn with the entire Guyanese nation and express heartfelt condolences to the families of those slain. It is also our sincere hope that those responsible for this abominable act will be soon apprehended and brought to justice.
February 19, 2008
Dr. Roger F. Luncheon, MD
Head of the Presidential Secretariat
Office of the President,
New Garden Street,
Dear Dr. Luncheon,
We refer to your letter of February 18, 2008 inviting us to attend or send a representative at a meeting of national stakeholders to address the deteriorating security situation.
We welcome the opportunity to participate in a genuine attempt at finding solutions. However we wish to state that we believe that this meeting is overdue and recognize that His Excellency is now responding to calls made by us in our letter of February 4, 2008, for such discussions to commence.
We are however of the opinion that this important meeting should be the genesis of serious engagement to address critical issues which in our considered opinion are:1) The formulation of a national security strategy and revised security plan;
2) The request for assistance from foreign governments; and international agencies such as the United Nations; and
3) 3) A holding of a national stake-holders conference to find consensus on, and to give meaningful effect to, Article 13 of the Constitution which implores us to establish an inclusionary democracy in Guyana.In this context we also believe that there has to be an enabling environment which should be supported by all political stakeholders and must include the reduction of the divisive rhetoric, as a step towards confidence building.
MP Raphael Trotman, AFC
MP Everall Franklin, Alliance For Change Guyana Action Party
Gunmen strike in Lusignan, arrest Buxtonians
Gunmen strike in Bartica, arrest Buxtonians
Gunmen strike in Essequibo, arrest Buxtonians
Gunmen strike in Berbice, arrest Buxtonians.
It seems as if they want to stir up Buxton so they can show supporters they are working. Kudos! The time for real action has now.
N.B. Hours before the Bartica attack, troops were rushed to Buxton Sunday afternoon and the President ducked out the country., suggesting that they knew of an attack but again they focused on Buxton and completely missed the real target. It must be embarrassing for the government and security forces. Guyana is a vast country with millions of safe havens. Shouldn't we be tumbling several places at one time? Roger Khan used a few and was eventually caught, but not by local police.
The apprehensive mood indicated that residents were bracing themselves for the unpredictable, sporadic violence that has enveloped Guyana.
Private and public schools, gas stations, money transfer services and others entities were among the lot which operated on the side of safety.
With the customary Mashramani celebrations just mere days away, Georgetown did not portray the usual frenzied shopping activities.
There was scarcely anyone on the streets, and compared to the Lusignan tragedy, more businesses apparently took precautionary measures.
The customary corners which swarm with taxis and minibuses on an average day were almost desolate.
At the Berbice, East Bank and South Ruimveldt car parks, which are noted for frenzied activity, there were just handfuls of people.
Public transportation owners also operated with vigilance, venturing on and off the streets at periodic intervals.
Pavement vending was a rare sight, too, as many merchants opted against journeying to their places of business.
The court martial proceedings against the army rank were also postponed, since several high level officials were busy in meetings.
Up until evening there were still little signs of life in the city, with no clear indication of when the atmosphere would return to normalcy.
CGID says insurgency underway in , condemns slaughter of 12 at Bartica
: The Caribbean Institute for Democracy (CGID) today condemned the slaughter of twelve people in last night. "The security infrastructure in has collapsed and there is a total breakdown of law and order. Criminal elements now operate with impunity, killing and maiming innocent civilians. The Guyanese society is in a state of fear and terror, and there has been no effective response from the government thus far. CGID therefore calls on the government of Guyana to "immediately seek assistance from the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigations ( ) and Scotland Yard in the (UK), to help solve this security quagmire," a CGID statement issued today, February 18, said.
This has been the second mass killing in in four weeks, inflicting a staggering collective death toll of twenty-three. Today the Institute ratcheted-up the ante against the administration, accusing it of "Being in bed with drug barons, money launderers and death squad operators. Consequently, it has obdurately refused to seek outside assistance for fear of being exposed," CGID contended.
"The Institute wishes to express its shock and horror at the assault on the Bartica Police Station and the Bartica community last night, by unknown gunmen, killing at least twelve people, including an unconfirmed number of Police officers. Like the Lusignan killings, these acts are abhorrent and senseless. We condemn them in the strongest terms. They must be brought to an immediate end, their perpetrators brought to justice and tranquility restored to the streets of ," the statement added.
Police sources report that a gang of gunmen dressed in military uniforms and armed with assault rifles, seized the Bartica Police station around 9:40 PM Sunday night. They confiscated ammunitions and weapons from the armory, killing both civilians and Police officers in the process. Bartica, a riverain, mining town in Guyana's largest county, Essequibo, is the gateway to mineral-rich hinterlands.
Commanding Officer of the E and F Police Division, Senior Superintendent Gavin Primo, has been quoted as saying that around 9:40 pm last night, gunmen stormed the Bartica Police Station on First Avenue, Bartica, and that by 10:45 pm when he was briefed on the situation, the gunmen had dispersed to Second and Third Avenues, shooting indiscriminately. It is believed that the assailants arrived and made their escape by river.
CGID President Rickford Burke, who was born in , disclosed that he had spoken with several individuals in the Bartica community and that they were in fear and utter shock. "Like Lusignan, the citizens of Bartica are terrorized, fearful and in utter shock. The government and security forces are incapable of protecting the nation. Up to two hours after this rampage, reinforcement had not yet arrived at . This is an outrage," Burke said.
He noted that both the Police Commissioner and Army Chief of Staff had assured the nation, after the Lusigna killings four weeks ago, that the joint services were prepared for all contingencies. "We now know this to be false. I am therefore calling on Police Commissioner, Henry Green, and Chief of Staff, Gary Best, to explain why joint services personnel, and indeed enough Police officers, were not at the Bartica Police Station, a sub-divisional Police headquarters of the E&F Division, to put down this attack? Why wasn't the joint services "in-line" and dispersed throughout the country at this time period of national security of crises?" These are serious questions that they must answer," Burke added.
The CGID head disclosed that a former member of the opposition People's National Congress (PNC) youth arm was among the fatalities. "I have been advised that among the deceased is Edwin Gilkes, a former member of the GYSM who served with me in the movement. I extend my deepest sympathies to Barbara Gilkes and family, as well as to the relatives and friends of the Police officers and the others victims. We mourn their loss and will keep them in our prayers."
Burke observed that "It appears that the perpetrators of these attacks have their sights on institutions of the state and are intent on terrorizing the society. From a national security standpoint, such attacks carry the fingerprints of a political resistance or an insurgence. I have therefore concluded that a full-fledged insurgency is underway in ."
"In my view, the security forces lack training and are ill-equipped to employ urgent, counter-insurgency measures to safeguard the public. The Army Chief of Staff speaks about waging "urban warfare." But he is a misfit, a bluffer. They cannot secure the country. Burke said. "The President and his Ministers drive around in SUVs with body-guards. They live in heavily guarded, reinforced fortresses, while the ordinary citizens suffer the brutality of criminals. Thus, in my judgment, overseas intervention from the US and is warranted to help stabilize the security situation."
Burke again criticized President Jagdeo for using "incendiary language" after the Lusignan killings. "President Jagdeo played the race card to appease Indians, the base of his People's Progressive Party (PPP). He used incendiary language to incite them into believing that African Guyanese criminals were deliberately targeting Indians. This was irresponsible and provocative bigotry of the worst kind, as there is no evidence to corroborate the President's misguided contention," he argued.
President Jagdeo had also suggested that the Lusignan killings were designed to be a distraction from his government's investigation into four firearms that were issued to the Ministry of National Development 30 years ago under the PNC government. But Burke blasted the investigation as a "fishing expedition" to cover-up the PPP's inability to secure and govern the country." He asked "At this time when the nation is under siege what is the government doing investigating the issuance of four firearms to a government Ministry thirty years ago?" They ought to get on with the people's business of governing the nation, he said.
He also posited that President Jagdeo's reckless utterances have drastically exacerbated racial animosities and tensions in the country, further eroded race relations and have unnecessarily and unfortunately aggravated political hostilities and instability."
Emphasizing that the majority of the victims of the Bartica massacre were African Guyanese Burke said that "The Bartica killings demonstrate that Jagdeo's previous comments were made out of ignorance and lacked substantive, investigative facts. "I hope that President Jagdeo goes back to the nation and tells them that he erred, that crime knows no race and that in an insurgency no one race will survive."
Burke further contended that President Jagdeo's irresponsible statements will not placate built-up anger against his government for countenancing criminal activities as well as its unwillingness or inability to protect the Guyanese people from criminals. "The Guyanese people are sick and tired of race baiting, blame politics and meaningless platitudes. President Jagdeo must tell the nation how he intends to achieve, at least, a minimal level of security and peace."
Aiming some cutting remarks at Jagdeo, Burke said "If the President cannot secure or govern the nation, then I call on him to resign. So too must Army Chief of Staff, Gary Best and Police Commissioner, Henry Green. They are guilty of the most reprehensible kind of misfeasance and malfeasance in public office."
Burke called on the government to demonstrate equality by providing financial assistance to cover funeral costs and to further compensate the survivors and relatives of dead victims, especially their children, of the Bartica disaster just like they did for the victims of Lusignan.
Burke also called on Jagdeo to abandon his partisan rhetoric and commence consultations with religious, political and civil society leaders to discuss a path to racial harmony and national unity against elements of the insurgency as well as against drug barons. He also called for political dialogue to end the oppression of African Guyanese communities, and contended that guns alone would not bring about a resolution to the situation in .
Monday, February 18, 2008
The President and other prominent businessmen scuttle out the country last night, opening wide speculations that the security forces had gotten wind of an eminent attack, but not of a place.
This was evident from the visible increase in troops and activity along the lower East Coast of Demerara. Its a total shame and if those poor police and civilians could have tapped tax payers money and fly out of Guyana, they would have been on the same flight with the President. We await G-force 1 to touch down. More to come.
It seems like only yesterday we laid 11 to rest, yet today we prepare to bury 13.
It seems like only yesterday the Prime Minister said blacks were killing Indians, today blacks are among the 13 killed in Bartica.
It seems like only yesterday the police and army said they were ready to do battle, today the killers escaped again.
It seems like only yesterday the country's most wanted man promised mayhem, today we are living in anarchy.
It seems like only yesterday government officials were rushing to Lusignan after the deaths of 11, today they boarded boats to Bartica to console the victims of another 13.
It seems like only yesterday, Bishop Juan Edghill was preaching forgiveness in Lusignan, today he has to ferry that message to Bartica.
It seems like only yesterday the Government said they had a plan, today 13 more souls lay cold as gunmen strike bold.
It seems like only yesterday the international community was condemning a massacre, today they bang heads to repeat the unified message of assistance.
It seems like only yesterday Glenn Lall made citizens scrape their pockets to give the victims of the L-11 attack, today we await the announcement from Lall of another fund for the B-13.
It seems like only yesterday the PPP was blaming the PNCR for the attack on Lusignan, today they search for another scape goat to lay blame for the Bartica attack.
It seems like only yesterday the bounty on Fineman was doubled, today we await the announcement that it has been rippled.
It seems like only yesterday we were preparing for budget presentation, today no money can repay the untold damage from Sunday's attack.
It seems like only yesterday, Government officials glamored for TV popularity on NCN in the wake of the Lusignan attack, today they faces looked beaten.
What new can the President of this land, who left under the cover of dark moments before the Bartica attack, say to us that can be of some assurance. Can we negotiate some truce here with the gunmen, or declare a state of emergency. Of course, the pack of jacks in the government would cling to power and watch more innocent people die just to fulfill their political endeavors. This is the worst ever state of insecurity.
"On the morning of January 26, 2008, Guyana awoke to the gruesome and shocking news that heavily armed gunmen had entered the East Coast Demerara village of Lusignan and executed 11 persons, five of whom were children, in probably the most horrendous crime in this country."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Seeking to abuse the Parliamentary process and make a fool of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Ralph Ramkarran, the Government introduced a sinister plot to counter a motion which was submitted by Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin.
Filled with hatred and venom because the PNCR took the initiative to have the ghastly event discussed in the House, the PPP/C formulated a plan to counter the strong motion submitted by the PNCR.
The anger and wrath of the PPP/C spilled over when Rohee, the Minister of Home Affairs asked the Speaker if he wanted to take him up outside a fight. Of more significance, was a statement made by Sam Hinds to the media that "Black people were killing Indians."
The PNCR was right to walk out than to participate in a debate that made a mockery of the Lusignan Massacre...we await the GINA ghost writers and spin doctors to put an evil spin on this afternoon's debate in the House...More to come.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Their concerns, which included employment discrimination, was taken up by the house of parliament and after careful review, a protective bill was approved unanimously across the political aisle.
It was then ascended to the President for his final approval. The Gay community breathed a sigh of relief as they anticipated no objection from Mr. Jagdeo since his MP’s in the house of parliament were in support of the draft.
Suddenly, out of left field the boogie man appeared and things suddenly took a disastrous ninety degree turn for the hopes of Gays to live in a harassment free Guyana. The boogie man manifested himself in the form of Bishop Edghill, whom was accompanied by his gang "the religious right".
The imposing faith base leader organized a formidable lobby against the approval of any rights being afforded to Gays and threatened President Jagdeo that he would instruct Guyana’s christian populous to ativate civil disobedience if the legislation was signed into law.
Characterizing the traits of the bully, “Adolf Hitler", Bishop Edghill immediately embarked on a campaign to demonized the Gay community and referred to them as child molesting deviants. He activated societal panic by informing the public that if Gays were successful in achieving protective rights, they would be emboldened to sexually molest their children with impunity.
He called on members of all religious faith, including Hindus & Muslims, to show solidarity by registering a unified message to the Government that there would be political consequences if Gays were given rights. The Bishop’s reckless actions reinforced and approved homophobia in the society and placed the lives of homosexuals in direct peril. Fearing a political backlash, President Jagdeo buckled under duress from the Bishop’s forceful lobbying and declined to sign the Gay Rights Bill.
The Bishop then went on to reveal confidential internal techniques being used by the police to investigate the shooting. The Public viewed the Bishop’s comments as an attempt to influence and interfere with the Police’s probe (particularly since he is the chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission and a loyal PPP supporter) and felt that his intent was to manipulate the investigation to produce his desired outcome.
Since Bishop Edghill held Gays accountable to biblical standards back in 2000, it is puzzling that he now rebukes the Police for taking note of Pastor Ian David’s alleged fornicating lifestyle. Why should the Police not consider Pastor David’s immoral character as a factor when conducting their investigation?
After-all, it was widely reported that his conduct was not in keeping with an orthodox church leader. Among the peculiar activities of which he was accused are the cohabitation with women whom were not his lawful wives and involvement with persons of questionable characters. Are religious leaders not required to lead by example?
This is the hypocrisy that some men of the cloth condone and is why Bishop Edghill should be questioned about his double standards. Or perhaps the hideous Bishop feels that homosexuality is the only sin the bible forbade?
Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife nor commit fornication are a couple that are displeasing to God. Should the Bishop not leave the investigation into the death of his colleague in the hands of a higher power and pray that the almighty, all seeing God guide the police to a successful outcome? And why were the Angels not on Pastor David’s side when he was brutally slain?
Is it perhaps that God was aware of his transgressions and turned his back on him? The bible said, whatever a man soweth, so shall he reap and God is very aware of false prophets who attempt to make a mockery of the bible by preaching and rebuking others while living double lives. While the Bishop may feel that he is able to hide the sordid contents of his closet from mankind, he should be aware that God is not asleep and his wrath is merciless to those who use the pulpit as a guise.
Zoisa's SN report on the ERC meeting in Lusignan is both informative and instructive. We have deducted three interesting paragraphs for comment.
Paragraph 1: Another resident said that the grass field at the back of the village is an eyesore and bemoaned the fact that there is no longer a police presence in the area. She said they were promised lights near the grass fields and so far that has not been done. A few of the lights that were erected in the area, she said, have already stopped working.
Guyana360: According to Zoisa's SN report, it is clear that the Government just set up street lamps as foolery plot to save their faces from another liter of Saliva. When will these poor Indians in Lusignan realise that this government is not keen on helping them. Everything is just an haphazard approach because the Government knows they can manipulate the minds of those innocent Indians. Dem cast dem vote for the Government, so dem have fuh tek whatever come dem way. When will they get up and make demands? How many more Indians have to die before the very Indians that placed the Government in power realise that they are being used as sacrificial lambs ?
Paragraph 2: Yet another resident told the commissioners that she believes that the entire police force needs to be upgraded. The woman said that ranks are using the police vehicles, which are being maintained by the taxpayers' money, for their own benefit. She said that not only do the police need upgrading but they need counselling as well.Guyana360: The Government knows fully well that the police force needs an upgrade in salary, equipment and personnel. There are numerous reports that made these suggestions, but the Government's lack of comprehension and vision have resulted in more slaying, high-profile murders and numerous robberies. Those GINA ghost writers like Anita and others would say that lots of money was given to the police. However, those reports that are languishing with the Government calls for an holistic approach to crime and security in Guyana, not for hand-outs at the whims and fancy of an uncaring Government.
Paragraph 3: The resident opined that the $50 million reward for the capture of Rondell `Fineman' Rawlins should be used to buy better weapons for the police or should even be given to community security groups. "We are fighting for ourselves now. We need protection at the back there," she said.
Guyana360: When you have people with no vision running a country that is complex like Guyana, you are bound to see pissing poor decisions. Crime and insecurity will flourish. No one is paying heed to that $50 M bounty and it seems that after each crime is committed the money increases. That $50 M should have gone to help bury the L-11 or at least to the establishment of a fund to help those that survived the massacre move on and out of the country through the back-track route. However, the government is shifting blame to the PNCR and Buxton, while they have sat and done nothing in the past to protect its citizens. Blaming the PNCR is in fact an admission that the Government is incapable of maintaining control of Guyana. They can't control a band of 25 bandits, how can they protect us from any invasion on any side of our volatile borders?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
What a shame, but only in this skuntry!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Buxton find! A glow of hope (GC, February 11, 2008)
The recent find of the skeletal remains of a man’s body by the Joint Services brings back chilling memories of the past - one which we would have wished never happened, but on the positive side provides a glow of hope that we may be closer to unravelling the intrigues and mysteries surrounding the deaths and disappearance of quite a few, (including missing sugar workers - Sampersaud Taranauth and Maikhram Sawh) which are related to the operations of the Buxton gang.
At least the families of these men, presumably dead now, have some degree of hope of the possibility of the disappearance of their husbands and fathers being brought to a clear closure, having lived for four years in both severe anguish and anxiety.
Operation Restore Order’, only in its infancy, has therefore made a significant headway, and while it is premature to decide on how effective it may turn out, this skeletal find is perhaps a little crack in the wall which will lead to other cracks and eventual crumbling of that wall.
Of extreme importance is that the skeletal find should be used to gather as much information and intelligence using all possible resources and help including foreign help in DNA testing and other high-tech probes.
As it is well known the busting of the criminal gang crucially depends on effective garnering of intelligence and information. This opportunity must not be blown as it could be one of those golden chances to dig deep into the operations of these mindless criminals.
What is of relevance too with respect to the skeletal find is the correctness of the operation to bulldoze the dense vegetation aback Buxton, because it is abundantly clear that if such a step was not embarked upon it is most unlikely that the remains of that body would have been found.
Unfortunately, too many, including those who claim to have the interest of this nation at heart, have been critical and in some cases hostile to Operation Restore Order, particularly the bulldozing of dense vegetation, because of narrow and partisan interests.
However, these critics must not be allowed to derail the course of hunting down these criminals and their collaborators because by doing so, they would be leaving the future of our dear nature hanging in thin air.
If and when this current operation proves successful, and all indications are that it would be, we hope that the detractors and those that are attempting to foment opposition against the Joint Services will not declare: “It wasn’t me.”
Perhaps an Arabian proverb may be pertinent here: “Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies.”
There is no other route than to resolutely pursue criminality to its deepest roots. There can be no room for ambivalence and double-talking.
We as a nation cannot fail the families and relatives across the country of the victims of killers. We are duty bound to provide some solace to those grieving families and relatives.