Give deportees a chance To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
November 26, 2001

It is vital for us, who have the means of reaching the masses through the media, to report responsibly.

In relation to the returning of the deportees, some of the media houses have had a field day. That maybe acceptable if they were fair, but when they deliberately set out to cause unnecessary alarm and panic, I had to respond.

Firstly, the majority of deportees have relatives that have already agreed to house them and have already done so. So the case of relatives wanting nothing to do with these individuals is unfounded. Further, there is a case of one person who came back and does not have or know of immediate relatives. For that person, the government through the Ministry of Labor, Human Services and Social Security has provisions in the form of homeless shelters located around the City.

Secondly, why should there be serious cause for alarm when we have a police force, though underpaid as is claimed, has the competence and capacity to handle any crime or criminal, whether from the United States or further afield.

Thirdly, the police force may not be adorned with the most modern equipment but like other countries, we are managing.

So dear Journalists, do not on your own initiative and selfish gesture, decide for society that there should be room for great alarm. We do not need unnecessary trauma in our society.

The Ministry of Home Affairs says they have measures in place to handle the deportees. Further, we should not proclaim that these persons are guilty before they are given a chance to prove themselves otherwise. The majority of them have already decided to reform their past criminal actions and decided to live a decent life.

Further, if some of you so-call accomplished journalists were to view documentaries originating from the U.S, which are based on their police service, you would notice that their force is also struggling to keep up with the sophistication and modernization of the underworld. But somehow with a dedicated and willing force like ours, they manage to keep the crime rate in check.

The main issue that citizens should be concerned about is the return to a life of crime, by the deportees, and we have been assured by the Home Affairs Ministry that this aspect has been reviewed and they are dealing with it.

So let us stop the unnecessary panic and try to move on with more productive matters of national interest. I recommend that before we as journalists decide to rave and rant, we should have fair investigations done on an issue and stop getting into politics.

Emanuel Cuthbert