State of terror must end by all means To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
May 20, 2002

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I strongly support your editorial's request for the army to be involved in the fight against the murdering gangs in Guyana. If not arrested soon these mad dogs will become more vicious, more confident and more daring. No Guyanese is safe as long as these people live in the free society. More at risk are our businessmen, police and security officers and politicians themselves.

What death will it take for there to be a major offensive against these people? What is truly sad is to see a trend where others may be joining in the onslaught against our people. Especially worrying would be the tendency for young people to see the murderers as heroes and follow their lead in stealing and killing. This trend and way of life must be stopped or the parasites will become too strong for the society.

At the moment it appears as if our police are not equipped in many ways to fight the mad elements. I hate to say anything negative about the police as they need much support and understanding in their difficult job, but the reality is that it is not easy. Their lives are on the line everyday until they can regain the balance of power.

Thank God that both the American ambassador and the Canadian High Commissioner have offered support. An action plan must be developed where we can utilise their technical support urgently.

It is good to read also the letters of Andaiye and Shawn Anderson who reaffirm our faith in our motto of one people, one nation. Never, should the majority of good thinking peace loving Guyanese, be fooled and be divided again.

So the reality is that a small group of murderous psychopaths has an entire country in serious distress. This is not hard to understand given our history of being ill-prepared for this onslaught because of the years of deprivation and poor preparation during the dark days of Guyana.
So what can we do or be done?

As The President recently stated, the army must be used to its maximum.

This is a state of national crisis, of terror from within and a state of national insecurity.

Do what has to be done Mr. President. Blockade the areas, villages where the suspects may be hiding and have a joint offensive involving the army and police. Ask the USA and Canada for armoured vehicles, bulletproof jackets and the latest in arms for all of our officers and security personnel.

Search from door to door until these individuals are found.

The business community needs to come together, in action, finding strategies for protection of all its members. Have a meeting under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce for example and discuss collectively what can be done for immediate protection. There is a war going on. No more rhetoric, but response. Security guards for one thing should not be easily identified.

Change guards at the business places. Have them located at different points every day. Businessmen should not have huge amounts of money in their homes.
Put your money in the bank while taking maximum precautions when doing so.

Changes must also follow simultaneously by urgently reviewing the penalties for any attempts at terrorism. Barbados has just passed new stiff sentences for the unlawful possession of weapons and terrorist activities there. The Government should also review the tax system to encourage people to use the banks. Having said banks, these are obviously high on the list of vulnerable places. Army personnel should be placed in and out of the banks as protection until the psychopaths are arrested, by the joint army-police sweeps.

I pray that this state of terror will soon end and peace will be restored for the progress and development of this great country of wonderfully diverse people.
Dr. Dave Sharma