A Special Anti-Terrorism Force should be set up
May 28, 2002
Letters on police
When President Jagdeo returns from his most urgent trip to Spain, we hope he can consider the following suggestions by the ROAR GUYANA MOVEMENT to return our bleeding land towards some semblance of normalcy.
Before we outline our proposals, we must agree on our terminology. A 'Domestic Terrorist' is one who uses violence or the threat of violence on ordinary civilians to put pressure on the domestic authorities to further some cause of the terrorists. In Guyana, the escapees are terrorists, plain and simple and must be dealt with as such. The escapees have declared that they are 'freedom fighters' willing to use violence against the Government for the African Guyanese in general and "wrongfully imprisoned" African Guyanese in particular. This makes them domestic terrorists.
The PPP's vacillation over this issue is the major reason why the government has not managed to put an end to the reign of terror and terrorism. The PPP claims that the escapees are 'terrorists' yet deny that they have a political motive. You cannot have one without the other. You can never destroy that which you cannot identify.
The political ends of terrorists lend a different focus and intensity to their activities as opposed to other criminals and as such demand special measures.
The following are ROAR proposals to deal with the Domestic Terrorism:
1. Immediately institute a joint army/police cordon and search of Buxton/Friendship for terrorists and their accomplices followed by continuous police/army patrols along the East Coast.
2. Concurrently establish SPECIAL ANTI-DOMESTIC TERRORISM FORCE:
a) Immediately establish a Special Anti- Domestic Terrorism Force (SATF) drawn from units of our present combined forces that have specialized in sophisticated weaponry, tactics, intelligence, and infiltration, etc. to take out terrorists.
b) Incorporate the 'Black Clothes' unit into the SATF, which must reflect the composition of the population of Guyana.
c) Immediately establish a Parliamentary Anti-Domestic Terrorism Committee to review operations of the SATF on an ongoing basis.
d) Enact legislation to specify terms, conditions and modalities of SATF's activities re powers, arrests, phone tapping, entry to homes, deadly force, etc.
3. Hire an experienced foreign anti-domestic terrorism specialist to head the SATF with a Guyanese understudy to take over in one year.
4. Equip the SATF with the latest and most sophisticated anti-domestic terrorist weaponry, equipment superior to that of the terrorists.
5. Legislate the penalty for conviction on domestic terrorism as mandatory execution. 6. Legislate that anyone found deliberately aiding and abetting domestic terrorists are also domestic terrorists.
7. Work closely with other anti-terrorist units from friendly governments.
8. Conduct inquiries into all killings by police, bandits and terrorists since 1998.
9. Reintroduce the Peoples' Militia in the villages as a 'Guyana Home Guard Force.'
10. Resolve the outstanding parliamentary impasse and begin to address the ethnic security dilemmas of African and Indian Guyanese by reintroducing Dr Jagan's proposal for a National Front Government.
Mr President, if your Government does not act expeditiously, matters will certainly careen out of control, and in the current course of inaction private citizens may organize to protect themselves and with the ethnic assertions and actions of the terrorists, the implications of private actions on our politics are frightening.
Only the state has the resources and authority to address this unfolding tragedy. The ball is in President Jagdeo's court.
Ravi Dev, MP
Leader of ROAR