Govt must summon opposition parties, others to deal with crime upsurge -WPA
Stabroek News
August 14, 2002

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The Working People's Alliance (WPA) says that the government should forthwith summon the opposition parties and other related agencies to deal with the current upsurge in violent crime, rather than indulge in trading words with the PNC/R.

The party said in a press release yesterday that it had long concluded that the government was incapable of handling the situation on its own and therefore it had a duty to request help from other quarters.

Further delay, the WPA stated, will force the party to wonder if the PPP/C is benefiting or intends to benefit from the present situation.

The release pointed out also that this is a time for soberness and the government must take the lead, adding that the WPA and the PNC/R have already suggested a course of action i.e. a national dialogue on the crime situation.

However, the party cautioned against any rash actions that could further endanger innocent citizens and aggravate tension.

Referring to the shooting and injuring of four policemen over the last couple of days, the WPA declared that it further undermines the rule of law in Guyana and underscores the need for speedy corrective action.

"Unbridled lawlessness has now become the norm as all of Guyana is being consumed. Our country is on the brink of an implosion from which it would take decades to recover," the party contended.

The WPA noted too that "it has now become difficult to determine what is naked criminal activity and what is politically motivated." "Our fragile racial environment," the release observed, "further complicates the situation."

"No civilised nation," the WPA asserted, "can continue to function in this condition of anarchy."

According to the release, an incident at Enmore, East Coast Demerara, in which a lactating mother was violated by a male who had accompanied police ranks during a search exercise by the police on her home, was ample proof of the madness that has consumed the country. And the Enmore incident is only one example of this wicked phenomenon, the release added.

In that light, the WPA has urged "that we cannot sit idly by and allow this barbarism against women to continue."

The party said it is angered by what it describes as the government's continuing behaviour as if nothing is happening.

The release said further that the WPA had long rejected the tactics of the Target Special Squad, better known as the "Black Clothes" police, which in the party's view in no small measure contributed to the current impasse.

While reiterating the party's call for an urgent inquiry into the unit's behaviour, the WPA has expressed its "solidarity with those officers in the country's police force who by their demonstrated professionalism in this difficult period continue to uphold the dignity of the force."