Most citizens live in dread of being attacked by bandits Viewpoint
By Volda Lawrence
Guyana Chronicle
September 20, 2002

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EARLIER this week I was dismayed to learn of the attempted kidnapping at gunpoint of a teenaged student on her way home from evening classes. As we all know, after-school classes have become an accepted and necessary fact in this society, an ongoing situation that places a considerable financial burden on many parents, who are concerned about their children's education. However, over the past few months, parents are faced with an additional and even more disturbing element -- the monster that now stalks our streets putting dread into the hearts of young and old alike.

My Viewpoint is intended especially for those who have had the unfortunate experience of being attacked, robbed, beaten, molested, violated, threatened, or those, who like myself, now live in constant fear -- always expecting something vicious to happen, when or where we cannot tell, but in our subconscious always anticipating another attack.

Today, in our society there is a perception among my fellow Guyanese that no one cares about the victims. But I want you to know that as a human being, I care, I feel the pain and anger in the same way as you do. I shed tears and pray not only for myself, but also for other citizens because like you, I can be the next victim. Most of all, I care especially for our Policemen and women and those in the various Guard Services who are like sitting ducks waiting for the next slaughter.

How can any human being endorse or encourage anyone to carry out such barbaric attacks on anyone? After thousands of years it seems as though all the efforts and emphases placed on the development of mankind as the intelligent species of this earth have not borne fruits. How can anyone condone an attack on a father/husband/friend, a human being in grief causing such pain and moreso, the raping of our women, cutting off of one's hair, the many physical injuries, and most of all, the psychological scars left on the old, the young and most of all our precious children?

Most of all I empathise with you members of the young generation who have to grow up under such devastating circumstances, and particularly those who do not have persons to direct their thoughts and to help them focus on the positive. They, unfortunately, are being robbed and are unable to share these values we treasure so much, as being proud to be a Guyanese, kind, respectful, circumspect, honest and loving.

My fellow Guyanese, we are denying them the chance to grow up in an environment where everyone is family, where you are your brother's keeper, where and one's life is molded and fashioned by the elders who are our role models.

Let us put an end now to this physical and mental abuse. All are involved. As our motto states: We must love our fellow citizens; we must dedicate our energies towards the happiness and prosperity of Guyana. Let us demonstrate love for each other. We must all care as I care.