Hoping for an end to the mayhem

Guyana Chronicle
April 16, 2001

THE major western donors that with others have been so instrumental in helping Guyana's economic recovery over the years, have urged an end to the violence and intimidation that flared in Georgetown last week.

In a joint statement from the British and Canadian High Commissions and the Embassy of the United States here, the three governments said they "are deeply concerned about the painful and disturbing events in Georgetown and its environs during recent days."

They recognised there are divisions and issues "affecting everyone" but noted, like so many others have, that "violence and intimidation from any quarter do not solve problems."

"These problems must be resolved through peaceful means within a framework of respect for human rights and the rule of law", the three governments said.

President Bharrat Jagdeo has repeatedly made known his willingness to discuss concerns with Mr Desmond Hoyte, the leader of the People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R) and with Mr Hoyte's eventual acceptance of the President's formal invitation to meet, the ground is set for dialogue.

The representatives of the two men are due to meet tomorrow on the agenda and arrangements for the talks but it is crucial that there is an end to the violence and the intimidation.

Continuing incidents of violence and rumours being spread of more places in the city targetted for burning cannot help the cause of dialogue and there's the danger that the situation could worsen.

"There is much international goodwill for Guyana and great respect for its efforts to achieve strength through diversity", the American, British and Canadian governments have noted.

But they have pointed out that it "is important for everyone to work together to achieve Guyana's long-term stability and prosperity. We will continue to assist."

Guyanese here and overseas are increasingly becoming worried about the future of the country and everything must be done to end the violence and the atmosphere of fear being spread by the intimidation that has been stirred.

Those old enough will remember the trauma and the deep scars that the civil disturbances on the early 1960s left on the nation and they will know that this is not the road down which Guyana should be pushed again.

Let us all hope that the good sense that is so desperately needed at this time, will once more flourish in this Easter season when soaring kites that bring so much joy to children also symbolise so much hope for so many.