You have nowhere to hide
-Jagdeo warns bandits

Stabroek News
January 1, 2003

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In his New Year's Address to the nation, scheduled for broadcast at midnight last night, President Bharrat Jagdeo said that "criminals must know that there will be no safe-havens and that no resource of the state will be spared in bringing them to justice."

Jagdeo also used the occasion to "acknowledge the courage and dedication of the members of the law enforcement agencies to making our homes, communities and country safer. They deserve our full support. As a society, we must collectively condemn the slaying of our law officers and the terrorising of innocent citizens." Twelve policemen were gunned down by criminals last year.

He repeated his call for a new political culture which would bring to an end the era of confrontational politics, while at the same time noting that "our democracy will not be alive without a vibrant opposition."

Jagdeo said he was "unreservedly committed to dialogue ...and to exploring every avenue for us to work together in the interest of our people. Only a relationship based on trust and genuine commitment will last. We will have to learn to trust each other..." He also said he was committed to the immediate implementation of the "historic new provisions in our constitution to ensure that all our people are further involved in the process of governance." These provisions have been at the centre of a long-running stalemate with the opposition parties.

He said that 2002 will be remembered as "one of the most eventful and challenging in our recent history". He added that modest growth had been experienced, fiscal and monetary targets were met and inflation was kept to single digits. No details were provided in the address. He noted that this year the priorities of the government will continue to be job creation through increased support for the private sector, enhanced health care and education, reform of the judiciary, more accountable government and an intensified crime fight among others.

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