…Security reaction to water-bandits
Crime’s always been around – including violent crime. But in the first decade of this millennium, it took a whole new dimension with the entry of armed criminal gangs. Mass killings became routine. The denouement came in early 2008, when the Lusignan Massacre took 13 lives; the Bartica Massacre took 15. But Guyanese demanded action to stop Guyanese lives from being snuffed out by criminal gangs which had absolutely no regard for human lives.
Within months, the PPP govt-directed Joint Forces had tracked down the killer gang through the jungles and into the coast and executed all its members. The swift response obviously sent such a salutary message to wannabe gang-killer miscreants that none have raised their heads since.
So what’s going to be the response to the “piracy” massacre of 16 fishermen last week?? When this PNC-led Government slid into office in 2015, “piracy” had been a persistent problem on the Corentyne Coast. Unlike the pirates of old, like Captain Morgan — who’ve been romanticised through the ages for robbing the bullion-loaded Spanish Galleons on behalf of his country — these Guyanese “pirates” can be better described as “water-bandits”. They’re lowlife bottom feeders who prey on poor fishermen grubbing for a living. Their families depend on them, as they take grave risks to bring in their catch from the wild Atlantic at nights.
Generally, the water-bandits brandish cutlasses as they intercept fishing boats laden with catch at the mouth of the Corentyne River. It might not be widely known, but Suriname owns the River all the way to our bank – to where the water reaches at low tide, all the way to 61 Village. That’s right…when you swim out beyond that mark at 63 Beach, you’re in Suriname!! Anyhow all over the Corentyne, fisher folks were at risk from these water-bandits.
The PNC coalition Government – ensconced into office on the backs of the Khemraj Ramjattan AFC, with votes from Berbice, including those from the fearful fishermen – appointed him as Minister of Public Security. Being from 43 Village, he assured the Corentyne fisher folks he’d eliminate the problem. In June 2015 – only a month after being in office — he went down to Berbice with a phalanx of Policemen and informed the Upper Corentyne Chamber that the most effective solution would be to give the fishermen guns to protect themselves.
He claimed patrols by ship or helicopters would be too expensive to upkeep in what he called a “Wild West” situation in the fishing grounds. Like the cowboys of yore, the fishermen had to be armed.
Well, we understand Ramjattan’s finally decided to visit the Corentyne.
Where are the guns that could’ve prevented the massacre?? Blood might be on Ramjattan’s hands.
…top Judicial appointments
Asked what he’s doing about making permanent appointments to the two top Judicial positions – the Chancellor and the Chief Justice – PNC Leader and President of Guyana, David Granger, said, “The ball’s in Jagdeo’s court”!! Imagine that!! Clearly, Granger doesn’t accept that, being President of Guyana, that role trumps being the Leader of the PNC.
Because to treat the top judicial appointments as a “game” of tennis — wherein one just lob balls to get the advantage over the opponent — is to miss the central point of being president: to do the right thing for Guyana, NOT the PNC! And what’s the “right thing” for Guyana, rather than crass gamesmanship?? Suggest Judicial nominees to the Leader of the Opposition, who’s not prima facie objectionable.
Honestly, after packing every possible state position with old (and we mean ooollllddd!!) army buddies, how can Granger think another ex-officer – who imbibed his personal teachings on Burnham’s supremacy doctrine in the army – can be acceptable as Chancellor??
But then it’s all a game, isn’t it? Politrics!!
Granger’s bigging up of Indian contribution had to’ve been as PNC leader – with one eye on 2020. If he was being President of Guyana, he would’ve offered some hope of employment for the workers at Highbury — fired with Rose Hall’s closure.