President hails law enforcement professionalism, says…
No wish for security forces to violate Constitution
--- or thwart will of the people

Guyana Chronicle
July 22, 2003

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THE country’s security forces - facing public investigations by a recently appointed Commission - need to continue to display professionalism in the service they admirably provide to the public, even as they examine past actions and see what went wrong, President Bharrat Jagdeo said over the weekend.

Referring specifically to the shooting to death of two Berbicians during elections 30 years ago, he urged the forces to strive to reach that level of professionalism that they can defend as being above board.

President Jagdeo spoke at a public rally at Number 63 Village, Corentyne, on Sunday afternoon to honour Jagan Ramessar and Parmand Bolanauth, who were killed during elections 30 years ago.

The President promised that the security forces will never have a wish from the current Government to violate the Constitution or thwart the will of the people.

He reminded that they must be loyal to the Government of the day, but act as professionals and respect the Constitution.

President Bharrat Jagdeo addresses the rally held Sunday afternoon to honour Jagan Ramessar and Parmand Bolanauth at Number 63 Village, Corentyne. Looking on are Agriculture Minister, Mr. Satyadeow Sawh and Regional Chairman, Mr. Kumkarran Ramdass (second and third, respectively).

A section of the gathering at the ‘ballot box martyrs’ rally at Number 63 Village, Corentyne, Sunday afternoon.

The recently appointed Disciplined Forces Commission is to soon commence investigations and President Jagdeo said when this and other Constitutional bodies established to uphold law and order and the rights of citizens “turn on them (it means) something is fundamentally wrong.”

The Commission is one of several the Government has formed in consultation with the main opposition People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R). The two sides signed a joint communiqué in May.

The Head of State also urged the PNC/R to show “some remorse for past injustices” and come out with an ‘unequivocal statement’ on the issue of race.

The President said he intends to pursue the measures contained in the communiqué agreed to with Opposition Leader Robert Corbin as a strategic mechanism for building trust.

The rally was held to reflect on the political distance the country has travelled, a lesson he said was vital in the struggle to maintain a constantly threatened democracy.

Berbicians gathered for the rally around a simple red and white monument at the Number 63 Village market square, not far from where the Ramessar and Bolanauth were slain.

They converged at the colourfully decorated venue after a march/motorcade from neighbouring villages, holding aloft a red banner saluting Ramessar and Bolanauth.

A witness to their killing, Mr. Isaac Sankat, Regional Chairman Mr. Kumkarran Ramdass, Progressive Youth Organisation representative Mr. Zulfikar Mustafa, PPP/C member Mr. Cyril Belgrave, and Agriculture Minister Mr. Satyadeow Sawh, also addressed the rally.

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