All necessary security measures taken -Insanally
June 29, 2002
Foreign Affairs Minister Rudy Insanally is satisfied that the administration has taken all measures necessary to ensure protection for delegations to the Twenty-third Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Governments to be held in Georgetown next week.
Briefing reporters on Thursday, on the preparations for the summit due to start on Wednesday, Insanally said that the Inter-Agency Task Force established to look at physical preparations for the summit "included all of the law enforcement agencies to ensure that we provide the protection that is necessary for visiting delegations."
Security, he said, was the responsibility of the host country but some heads would bring along their own security officials, who, he said, would collaborate with local law enforcers.
Responding to queries, in view of the recent escalation of violent crimes locally, Insanally said, "I am satisfied we have taken all measures. We donít want to make it seem we are a country under siege and this is a battle zone...."
Just yesterday bandits shot at a four by four vehicle being driven by a woman at the junction of Mandela and Homestretch avenues outside the National Cultural Centre (NCC).
The NCC is the venue for the opening ceremony of the conference.
Noting that such criminal activities were not peculiar to Guyana, Insanally said he had been to countries in the region where meetings have gone on with incidents taking place right outside.
At the recent Organisation of American States (OAS) meeting in Barbados, he said there was no query about security in Guyana. He said the only queries that were made were "here in Guyana. Maybe we are much more sensiticised to it." He added that while precautions must be taken "there is a danger making it seem as if it is an overwhelming problem."
Insanally said that the local law enforcement agencies "are going to ensure that from their moment of arrival to their moment of departure thereís adequate security not only for heads but for the delegations."
Particular attention would also be paid to security around the venues where there will be meetings and receptions. Each delegation, he said would be provided with a police escort. "So I donít know that we can do anymore. And we certainly will perhaps be doing more than most people do elsewhere"
Responding to questions about the possibility of protests during the summit, Insanally said: "We believe in freedom of expression. I think people will be able to protest providing they show respect for the rule of law and the demonstrations do not disturb the business of the community."
Meanwhile, Acting Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald at a press conference yesterday said that the police had been planning for the Heads of Government conference for the last six months. Conference participants, he assured, have nothing to fear as the police have measures in place to secure their safety.
He said the police force was "doing all things possible to apprehend those who are bent upon causing fear and terror in our society." (Miranda La Rose)