Ramjattan enforces 2am curfew on bars; threatens to revoke licenses of those who don’t comply

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.

By Leroy Smith

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.
Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan has decided to enforce the 2am close off time for bars, nightclubs and restaurants across the country.

The Minister has also threatened to revoke or suspend the licenses of those businesses which do not comply with the law.

He made the disclosure while being grilled by journalists at a handing over ceremony of vehicles to the Guyana Police Force on Friday, July 03. According to Ramjattan, the Police Force has already been instructed to travel around and ensure the 2am curfew is enforced at all nightspots.

Ramjattan decided on this action in an effort to reduce crime, which has increased significantly over the past weeks.

“I would want all of them every single night to close at 2 and I have indicated to the business people that they would not get any assistance from me in that regard and the law will be upheld and there will also be sanctions of suspensions or revocation of their licenses, the requirements are that if you breach these and violate your licenses will be taken away,” the Public Security Minister said.

He however clarified that a different close off time will be imposed when there are regional and international artistes performing in the country.

“The regional and international shows will have its special permissions and the time period would be put on those shows too but I don’t know necessarily if that will apply. If there is a special show that can go until 4 am then fine, we will deal with that and that’s a show.”

He said too that already women rights groups, which have met with him, are in favor of the closure while on the other hand, the owners of clubs and restaurants have been lobbying him to pause on the enforcement of the law. Ramjattan is of the view that the opening of these entities pass the 2am curfew is a direct link to accidents, domestic violence and has a bigger negative impact on the economy of the country.

However, he has failed to provide any kind of evidence to support his claim in this regard. As a matter of fact, the Minister believes that Guyanese and other patrons of bars and nightclubs should spend their money “wisely” doing othe “things.”

His decision to enforce the law has been met with mixed reactions from the public, more specifically, businesses, which are stand to suffer. iNews had reported that Clairmont Cummings, the owner of Gravity Lounge and Nightclub had expressed his disapproval with Ramjattan’s decision, saying it was a weak approach to fight crime.

Already, promoters and other stakeholders in the entertainment sector have condemned the proposal saying that it is “foolishness”. Cummings noted that one of the central problems with this policy is that it assumes that nightclubs and alcohol are at the root of Guyana’s crime problems thereby ignoring more structural and systemic issues that play a more significant role in alleviating the scourge of lawlessness and crime.

According Cummings, instead of imposing a curfew, the government should seek to bolster the police presence in the streets and look at new strategies of crime fighting.



  1. Well I think this is the dumbest decision ever what he is trying to do will not work the main reason is to stop the accidents of drinking drivers but not that they will know there’s a 2 am curfew what do u think they are going to do they going to drink more and start the party more early so this is a waste of time and most clubs start to make money at that hour when they have to close then they wouldn’t make enough money they might have to cut back on staff and all things thats when u will see many thiefs in the streets because there is already and employment crisis this will be adding more the curfew should go

  2. Bunch of nonsense. “the Minister believes that Guyanese and other patrons of bars and nightclubs should spend their money “wisely” doing othe “things.”…..” Who are these people to determine what is wise and unwise spending for other people?

  3. I simply cannot believe this attitude displayed in this country. When you look at the runaway train of domestic abuse and violence, robberies and murders shouldn’t we all applaud every effort to rein these things in? The call for empirical data to prove that this would work is based on pure ignorance. The agencies that can supply those types of data are UG, the business community itself, some other research type agencies or the Government through commissioning a study. Such reports would take about 4 months to commission and prepare. What is the Guyanese nation required to do in the meantime-just wait? At the same time, the anecdotal data about time limits implemented by most developed countries suggest a correlation between criminal activities and opening and closing times. In many such societies, they have banned smoking from public places without empirical data but the common sense belief that if you restrict the places and opportunities for smoking, it would reduce it as part of their public health drive. The lawlessness that prevails in every walk of life in Guyana has to be brought to an end. Our short sighted selfishness blights the whole nation. We need more punitive laws, more all embracing policies, systematic procedures that are consistently applied, more intelligent resources to implement policies and monitor compliance, more capacity to evaluate every policy area, more personal responsibility by all Guyanese to be our brothers keeper and an unremitting commitment to support every effort to make Guyana better if we do want a better Guyana.

  4. la…good move jatta, some of these bars have no respect for people..noise level is so high, you have to sleep somewhere else rather than your bed..and its very consistent!!!….all civilize country do,long due!

  5. Let’s evaluate the Ministers cerfew for approximately 6 months instead of getting all agitated, this will give us an opportunity to observe the advantages and disadvantages the cerfew .
    Just take a light sip of your favourite beverages .

  6. Seems you have done some research into the causes of crime. Why not share your findings with the relevant authorities and probably publish them.

  7. We have to be careful in balancing security with our free Caribbean lifestyle. Not sure if such restrictions are in place in our sister Caricom countries , some of which may have higher crime rates. My two cents…


  9. When you’re working, you’re working. And when you’re having fun, you’re having fun. Do people really have time to look at the clock when they’re partying “all night long”? This curfew is the perfect definition of thrash. But the question is, is it a true reflection of the change? And is it a good first step in the direction of dictatorship? There’s nothing like a Ramjattan raining on your parade at 2 AM in the morning.

  10. “WOW”…I’m a firm supporter of the new government,but this the first thing that they have done, that i really don’t understand.How is Night clubs being opened late directly linked to the crime situation happening presently.Last time i checked most criminal activities such as robberies and murders happen in broad day light.Now i am all for change but positive change and i need to see the data which supports the minister’s reasoning behind this step.Minister you can’t just say these things and not show proof.Show me the proof and I’ll be 100% with you.Now You also say that people need to spend their money more wisely and with this i also agree,but again this is not your decision to make.However someone choose to spend what they earn is entirely up to them.Sir don’t go down this dictatorship road, show us the data/ proof behind your reasoning.

  11. While I am not in agreement with the curfew, I can see the unmentioned logic behind it all. When one wants to squeeze toothpaste from its container, you squeeze the bottom… hard. The entertainment business in Guyana is part and parcel of a number of illegitimate and illegal businesses and operations; while some try to keep things above board, a number of hits have originated from among the monied members of this section of our business community. In fact, it is common knowledge that most, if not all, of the unsolved cases, a la Monica R, have links to the entertainment business. Squeeze the bottom of the container Mr. Minister…

  12. I am trying to work this strategy out to see how this can stop crime since entertainment is most people way of life..got off work at 5pm to sometimes 7pm sleep until 11pm then ready for an outing which normally will take 4hrs of satisfactory time…oh well lets see how this works.

  13. Time to take a stand. Ramjattan is not MY favourite politician/minister but he has made a bold pronouncement and MUST carry it out to the fullest.If he does not, then he would be seen as a weak politician; one must not make pronouncements and not carry them out.
    The night club owners are concerned about one thing only; that is to milk their patrons of their cash without regards how they got it.They have no policy with regards to responsible drinking.They will sell, sell, sell as long as the profits keep soaring.
    Ramjattan should go one step further but by negotiation, that is to persuade the night club owners/operators to take responsibility to ensure there is order not only inside their premises but in their immediate surroundings. Many acts of violence are triggered during or after binge drinking in the presence of other patrons but no one would volunteer to give evidence as to exactly what transpired when there is an investigation. Case collapsed due to lack of evidence.

  14. Of a fact individuals do not like changes they expect things to be in their favor all along for too long the Guyanese people have been getting away with things going their way you folks are very short sighted there has to be changes deal with it I absolutely agree with the 2am restriction for a country to make progress changes are to be made that would be frowned upon like some of you are doing under the ppp there was a free run that’s what you became accustomed to wake up people it’s a new day make the best of the time stop whimpering like an old women.

  15. Why does the media insist on calling the new rule a curfew? Nobody restricts them to be at home which is the definition of a curfew. Just like stores not opening beyond a certain hour, it is a rule or regulation. I like the comment I read that only jumbie, tief and police are on the road at that time and if you’re not police then……..

  16. Most of the operators of these clubs don’t give a damn about the NOISE NUISANCE from their clubs resulting in sleepless nights for hard-working, law-abiding citizens. All these people care about is the millions of dollars they make every month. There are many people who are unfortunate to live near to one of these establishments who and are suffering from SLEEP DEPERVATION which affects their health.

  17. I expected better judgement from these so called educated people. Khemraj as a lawyer should know that this curfew violates the civil freedoms of every Guyanese. We are not living in a Military run country. His approach to fighting crime and drunk driving is to create discomfort and unemployment. I do want to know about Princess and Mariot casino gives away free drinks to their patrons until they close at 4am what about them. What happens to that? Don’t they have to close at 2am what about all hotels that sell drinks to their clients who may want a drink before making love. Which accounts for at least 30% of the population. Now he is also stating how people should spend their money. I did not vote for bullying. I vote for a positive change. Not this North Korea Bullshit. That the new government is doing. Please guys hire smarter people so that Guyana can move forward or you won’t be there next time and neither will the PPP.

  18. The minister should have taken it to 10 pm instead he give them 2 extra hours on the present 12:00 midnight shutoff . the criminals now have 2 extra legal hour to prowl on the road with out explanation to police for been on the road we?eking out there victims. It will work in favour of the criminals and against the law abiding citizens of the land.

  19. Very dictatorial in my view. How would this measure impact bank customers robberies/murders, and other such crimes that occur during broad day light?

  20. BULLSHIT!!! Clubs are a means of enjoyment to people who enjoy little else in Guyana’s economy. U gonna take that away too??? Dumb move!!!

  21. Crime is a result of man’s greed, greed for money, love, power, desires,etc.
    Guyana is on the right road towards fighting crime. Curfew at 2 is not the answer but it’s a definite start. I hope we persue in more areas. Way to go Guyana.


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