The rampage continues Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
September 27, 2002

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THE criminal rampage that has plagued the country since the February 23 escape of five dangerous criminals from the Georgetown Prison continues and the escapades are becoming more daring and brutal.

The Wednesday night shooting at the popular `Nathoo' bar at Pike and Lamaha Streets, Kitty, Georgetown, that left four persons dead and at least 10 wounded, has further shocked and outraged the nation.

In response, there have been calls for the Government to declare a state of emergency, a limited state of emergency or forms of a curfew to go after the criminal gangs.

These and other calls would have to be carefully weighed by the authorities who would have to consider all the implications of such options.

What is clear though is that the majority of Guyanese want tough and sustained action against the bands that have wrought such deep grief and pain among so many in only about seven months.

The killing and wounding spree, the robberies, the terror attacks have got to be stopped and there is need for a concerted campaign that is backed by the majority of the population.

As Wednesday night's murderous onslaught clearly demonstrated, no one is safe from the terror attacks - not even people having a few drinks in a comfortable bar in the capital city.

This was a brazen and brutal assault against all that decent and law-abiding citizens stand for and has left no one in any doubt about the extent to which the gangs will go and where they will strike.

Parliament late yesterday passed new anti-crime laws the Government says are not only relevant but germane to the criminal situation which confronts the citizens of the nation.

Home Affairs Minister, Mr. Ronald Gajraj told the National Assembly that the Bills are intended to be yet another step "to contain crime and assure citizens that we will act responsibly and will leave no stone unturned in our quest to contain, if not eliminate this scourge from our midst."

He noted that the Wednesday incidents "were particularly callous, daring in their commitment and represent utter disregard for the human rights and lives of our citizens going about their normal business and social activities."

All people of goodwill want an end to this situation and are looking to the authorities to produce the kind of results they so deeply yearn for.

Citizens want the criminals to be caught so that they can get on with their lives in peace, safety and security.

It is long past time for all groups, organisations and parties to put aside petty differences and come together for the common good of the nation.

Too many people have been killed; too many have been wounded and too many are deeply grieving for the harm already done.