Police to step up public relations
Guyana Chronicle
January 13, 2002

`The Police must not be seen as the criminals and the bandits and crooks as heroes' - President Bharrat Jagdeo

THE Police Force will have to do much more public relations work so that the police are not seen as the criminals and the "bandits and crooks don't become heroes", President Bharrat Jagdeo has declared.
The CARICOM Bureau, which is the Management Committee of the 15-member Community, decided on Friday evening at its meeting in the Turks and Caicos Islands, to send a two-member team to Port-of-Spain to help in resolving the current post-election political impasse.

But this would depend on the concurrence of President ANR Robinson, Prime Minister Patrick Manning and former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday.

The Chronicle was informed that Panday, who had originally raised the issue of CARICOM's involvement in the current crisis following the community's monitoring of the December 10 election, has already signalled that his United National Congress (UNC) would welcome the proposed CARICOM Mission.

There could be no official confirmation yesterday whether President Robinson and Prime Minister Manning will be prepared to meet the CARICOM team of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of The Bahamas and community Secretary General Edwin Carrington.

However, according to informed political sources, it would be "surprising" if either Robinson, a recipient of the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC), or Manning, a former Prime Minister committed to the "CARICOM Charter of Civil Society" that also deals with "effective functioning of parliamentary democracy", would object to a CARICOM "peace" mission.

The bureau's decision, arrived at following consultation with the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Kenny Anthony, who has lead responsibility within CARICOM for "Governance and Justice", is being communicated to all heads of government.

The decision to send the two-man mission of Ingraham, the immediate past chairman of CARICOM, and Carrington, himself a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, was taken following a review of the implications for the rest of the community of the current stalemate in governance in Port-of-Spain.

The bureau expressed the community's anxiety "for a return to normalcy in a key member state of the community and to cooperate with the major players in Trinidad and Tobago (Robinson, Panday and Manning) in determining how best to help in bringing about such normalcy".

Precedents for CARICOM's intervention in the domestic political crisis of member states exist as exemplified in the cases of Guyana in 1998 and in 2001 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The immediate problem to be resolved in the Trinidad and Tobago impasse relates to an agreement between the PNM and the UNC, both of which secured 18 seats at the December 10 general election. Without such an agreement, the inaugural session of the new parliament cannot take place.

Meanwhile, at a news conference yesterday it was announced that Panday's UNC was now pursuing a new strategy in its campaign to hasten new election, possibly in six months, by deeming the current Manning-led administration as "the Robinson Government".

According to reports out of Port-of-Spain, the thrust of this UNC slogan would be a government "elected by the people" not one "selected" by a former deputy leader of the PNM, a clear reference to Robinson who held such a post under the leadership of the late Prime Minister, Eric Williams.

The Attorney General of the Manning administration, Glenda Morean, told a public meeting Friday evening that there could be no new general election in six months time and that new arrangements for the Electoral and Boundaries Commission would first have to be concluded before a return to the electorate.