By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President Donald Ramotar says he is pleased that President David Granger and the APNU+AFC administration have decided to implement Operation Dragnet.
This is after an initial suggestion by Ramotar for the government to make use of the army during the festive season was rejected by President Granger.
“During the PPP/C period in Office, the Army was called out to do joint patrols with the police in times of heightened criminal activities that worked well. During the holiday season, the PPP/C administration had a programme where the army and police had joint patrols between November 15 to January 15 to minimize the crimes in the country,” said Ramotar in a social media post.
To this suggestion, the sitting President responded that “Mr Ramotar as a former Head of State should not comment on current political activities. As Commander – in – Chief, as Minister of Defence – I have given instruction to the Army…I think the best thing would be for Mr Ramotar not to interfere in the way the Guyana Defence Force is being administered.”
However, after rejecting Ramotar’s suggestion, the government announced the launch of Operation Dragnet, which is a joint operation between the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.
Ramotar during an interview with iNews on Tuesday, December 08, took no umbrage to the President’s remarks saying that Operation Dragnet is “better late than never.”
“I am very happy that they decided to do the joint service patrol – even though they had rejected my first appeal to them. It is better late than never,” said the former President.
Ramotar, who sat in the highest office in the land for three years, expressed surprise at Mr Granger’s initial comments given that the President was a member of the Discipline Services Commission (DSC).
“I am very surprised that President Granger had rejected my call because he sat on the Discipline Services Commission and the report of the DSC spoke about the army coming out to assist the police in heightened crime situations and so forth,” he said.
Ramotar further noted, “Whatever they might want to say as regards to statistics, it is very clear that we have a heightened crime situation in the country – particularly now coming to Christmas time; citizens deserve to feel safe.”
Operation Dragnet commenced on December 01 and would see extensive patrolling from the joint services. It will conclude in June 2016. The operation has already begun to yield results with an off duty GDF rank being arrested along with a few others in a car with high powered weaponry.