Disgusted with BWIA To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
March 6, 2002

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I recently attended our Mashramani 2002 celebrations and had a terrific time. It appeared as if all of Guyana was having a grand time, which is how it should be. I recorded lots of videos of the floats ,masquerade bands and revellers in the streets and thought I had great material for my website www.gemzmusic.com <http://www.gemzmusic.com> which is an entertainment site featuring Guyanese artists and music.

On Saturday morning, March 2nd at 2:00am I left Georgetown for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and had my luggage searched by BWIA security staff. One suitcase contained my prized video clips and equipment which was examined by security and subsequently locked and checked in. Upon arrival in Barbados we were all asked to disembark so that all luggage aboard could be scanned. This makes no sense to me. What reason could there be to warrant disembarking and scanning luggage without the passengers being present.

I am made to understand that Guyana is not equipped for such security measures so what purpose does a search in Barbados prove since any terrorist activity could have been carried out between Georgetown and Barbados. Aren't travellers from Guyana entitled to proper security measures? Could someone enlighten me please? As a result of this scamming (oops, sorry, scanning), my professional video equipment and irreplaceable clips of Mash 2002 were stolen from my locked suitcase. They were kind enough to replace my padlock hoping I would not discover the crime until I reached home.

I am totally disappointed and disgusted with BWIA for their treatment of Guyanese citizens, which I have observed in my many years of travel. I think it is high time we rid ourselves of this service, which by the way, still has not returned my many phone calls.

If there are any good Samaritans out there please note the equipment that was stolen is a Sony DCR-PC1 Handycam video camera worth over US$2,500.00. What is irreplaceable are the endless video clips and interviews with local musicians and celebrities.

Ray Seales