Opposition anticipates debates on pirate attacks

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….re-establishment of Ministry of Labour as motions submitted 

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP), in anticipation of Friday’s sitting of the National Assembly, has submitted a “Motion of Adjournment on a Definite Matter of Urgent Public Importance” with regards to the two recent incidents of violent pirate attacks on Guyanese fishermen off the coast of Suriname.

Surinamese law enforcement officials taking one of the bodies recovered to the morgue

The PPP’s motion is requesting that the Government of Guyana inform the National Assembly of the actions they have taken in respect to this horrendous human tragedy which has left several persons dead and missing.

The Opposition wants to know what actions the coalition Administration intends to take as it relates to the “ the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of these horrific acts and the intellectual authors;the measures put in place or to be put in place designed to create a safe environment for fishermen to continue to ply their trade at sea; what form of financial assistance, if any, is being or will be offered to the families of the victims, as well as, the owners of the fishing vessels, engines, seine and equipment which have been damaged, destroyed or lost; what form of enhanced collaboration, if any, is being pursued with the Government of the Republic of Suriname to patrol and monitor the waters, inclusive by air, and including, the installation of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technological apparatus on licensed fishing vessels” among others.

They posited that if it turns out that the APNU-AFC Administration has not yet acted upon these issues, then they should begin to do so “with every convenient speed.”

Additionally, the motion outlined that the National Assembly should urge its Government to “to utilize the provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Piracy Act to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Two Saturdays ago, four boats were attacked by a group of men who brutalised the occupants by chopping them about their bodies, drenching them in hot oil and then tying the barely alive men on to batteries before throwing them overboard.

Two days later, another boat was attacked and the captain killed.

Those identified as missing include Ramesh Sanchara, Ganesh Persaud, Vickey Persaud, Glenroy Jones, Bharat Heralall, Ralph Anthony, and Tiaknauth Mohabir, among others.

Currently, law enforcement agencies in Suriname have a total of 15 persons in custody among whom are two alleged suspects – “Crackhead” and “Dick” – who were fingered by survivors as two of the pirates who attacked the fishermen in Surinamese waters resulting in three deaths, five survivors and 12 missing.

The second attack just days later, which saw a boat captain killed and his crew missing, is also believed to be linked to the first.

Apart from the motion mentioned above the PPP also submitted a ‘Private Member’s Motion’, calling for the re-establishment of the Ministry of Labour, to the Clerk of the National Assembly for debate at the same Sitting.

Moreover, the Opposition has also submitted a Question without Notice on the Guyana People’s Militia.

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