First, there was the torching of the central and largest police station in all of Guyana – Brickdam Police Station. Built way back in the 19th century – and designed by our most noted architect Castellani – it was flattened to the ground. There were great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth – the President even sent home the Fire Chief in disgust at his men’s poor response from just a block away. Lots of evidence were destroyed and will have to be recreated to continue prosecutions.
But even though one prisoner was charged for the offence, it’s widely felt there was more in the mortar than the pestle. And the fire was actually inspired by Opposition elements who want to bring down the PPP Government. Or as they call it, “the illegally installed PPP cabal”!! The way it rolls off their tongues, you’d think it’s one 29-letter word – “theillegallyinstalledPPPcabal”!! Anyhow, there’s also widespread speculation folks from inside the GPF – sworn to uphold the law and to catch the bad guys – were themselves involved. After all, there’d been calls from radical elements in the Opposition camp for Government workers to “undermine the Government”! The Police are the most visible component of any Government and to a large extent, symbolise the authority of the Government. Clip its wings and you clip the authority of the Government.
Now a month and a half later, we now have another Police building torched – this time at the other end of Georgetown by the sea wall. Inside the compound that houses the Headquarters of the GPF!! Talk about bearding the lion!! The building that went up in smoke actually housed the Office of Professional Responsibility – which investigates lapses by the Police. Of which there have been more than their fair share recently! This time, we’re told that, unlike the Brickdam Blaze, most of the records were saved, but it’ll take quite a while to sort them out. Some had been dumped through windows to save them from the conflagration.
So, what’s really going on? In these matters of seeming sabotage, your Eyewitness goes by the “Dr No rule”. The first time it happens, it’s “happenstance”; the second time, you can chalk it up to “coincidence”. But if it happens a third time, then it’s definitely “enemy action”!! Now some may say there was that arson of a school at Mabaruma just a few days before the Brickdam Blaze – two explosions were heard just before the fire was seen. This could’ve been the “happenstance” and as such, we must conclude that the OPR fire was “enemy action”.
If that’s so, it’s action against the forces of Law and Order. As a frontal attack, it can’t be more serious!
As a Sunday School graduate (albeit under duress!), your Eyewitness remembers the homily from Ecclesiastes: “There’s a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” So, your Eyewitness wonders what “time” the PPP Government figures it is when it comes to dealing with the Government workers – Public Service, Teachers, Armed Forces, etc, etc – on this recent salary increase.
Most of those workers support the Opposition PNC – at elections time and through their unions, mainly the GPSU and the GTU. Now for the while, with its traditional ethnic support base a minority, your Eyewitness figured that for the PPP “it was a time to plant” some seeds in the PNC’s base so as to attract even a few new voters from across the divide.
Or are they “uprooting” new voters by not giving themselves a 50% pay raise?
…our ethnic catch-22
Some folks feel that with all the opportunities being created here in our new economy, we’ll have to import workers – even if we had the skills, which we don’t.
But only as temporary workers!!