Community Developers Head corrects Stabroek News article
Kaieteur News
June 16, 2004

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PRESIDENT of the St Francis Community Developers and Friends of St Francis, Alex Fraser has corrected a Stabroek News article titled, “Sexual abuse of Children worrying Berbicians” claiming that the article misquoted him about sexual abuse in Berbice and Government’s assistance in that regard.

The Stabroek News article dated Sunday June 6, 2004 quoted Fraser as saying that 31 cases of sexual abuse in Berbice were reported over the past two years and these incidents were brought to the attention of the Ministry of Human Services and the Office of the President, but to no avail.

Part of the article stated that “cases (of sexual abuse) were brought to the attention of the ministry of Human Services and the Office of the President but no action was taken”.

In a letter to the author of the article, Stabroek News Berbice reporter, Daniel Da Costa, Mr Fraser noted that there were actually 31 cases of children, who requested major medical operations overseas but this had nothing to do with sexual abuse.

Fraser noted in his letter that the two issues are totally different and in no way related, however, as they were addressed at the same forum, the reporter may have confused the two.

Fraser reiterated that his office and the Ministry of Human Services have been working together on several projects, including training programmes for community leaders and care workers, other Human Resources Development initiatives for St Francis, investigation of social cases, regular visits by probation officers and update and advice from the Probation Office in Georgetown.

Fraser said that the community is appreciative of the unique relationship it has established with the Probation Department and further states that the Strabroek News must publish a correction of the article.

The St Francis Community has received much needed assistance from the Probation Department of the Ministry and the article could only have a negative effect on the residents, Fraser contends.

Fraser’s letter was also carbon–copied to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Services, Phulander Kandhai and Information Liaison to the President, Robert Persaud.