By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar has joined with other Caribbean leaders in expressing concerns over the level of violence in the region.
The Head of State says the level at which violence currently stands dishonors the struggles of those who resisted pressure so that citizens can live in freedom.
President Ramotar was at the time addressing scores of stakeholders at the opening of a two day National Conference for the prevention of interpersonal violence at the Guyana International Conference Centre on Monday (November 25).
He explained that the conference forms part of a wider national approach to deal with violence in Guyana.
“The level of development does not only depend on the economy but on the amount of people who live free from fear and violence,” he added.
He said there are several issues that abound which contributes to violence and urged that the conference address them. The President also urged parents to exercise better management of the video games youths play. He said there is also a need for a swifter dispensation of justice and a reduction in the time that first time offenders have to spend with hardened criminals.
These, he identified as prerequisites to addressing other deep rooted sociological issues. President Ramotar called on everyone to reject all forms of violence and strand in solidarity with victims.
Moreover, Ramotar advised the conference that while it seeks answers, it must be mindful of the experiences of other countries and learn from it.
Meanwhile, the need for a multi-sectoral approach in addressing the issue of violence was highlight by both the President and the Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee. The duo pointed out the role of society
According to Rohee, the Police cannot do it alone and needs its social partners such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and faith base organizations in its fight to curb violence in the society. He said anyone who believes otherwise is wasting their time.
“Can the Police be at every home, every door-step, every rum-shop?” Rohee questioned, adding that “look at the man that shot his sleeping wife, was the police expected to be in the bedroom, how is that to be prevented… the say God is always present but even he didn’t stop it.”
He said there is the need for neighbors and witnesses to speak out more of such issues.
“Nobody is saying anything or making any reports and when something happen then you hear how long persons have been fighting, it is not fair to the country to keep such open secrets,” Rohee added.
During the ongoing two day conference participants will hear from persons with a vast wealth of knowledge on the topic, examine strategies that would have worked in other countries and see which can be adopted in Guyana.