Rohee confident about CWC security
By Chamanlall Naipaul
Guyana Chronicle
November 6, 2006

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HOME Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has assured the National Assembly that his Ministry, which has responsibility for public order and safety, will carry out these responsibilities in an effective manner.

However, he chided opposition parliamentarians for being negative in their contributions with respect to Guyana’s hosting of World Cup Cricket.

Apart from Winston Murray, Rohee observed the other contributions from parliamentarians of the People’s National Congress Reform-One Guyana (PNCR-1G) created some degree of scepticism as if “we do not have confidence in ourselves.”

“We must send the right message to the nation. We have to have confidence in ourselves. We have to get it right as a nation, therefore we have to be positive and build capacity,” Rohee declared.

Rohee gave this assurance during the debate in the National Assembly last Thursday on the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Bill which was unanimously approved at the sitting.

Stressing the importance of creating a good first impression on visitors, estimated to be about 37,000 for World Cup Cricket 2007, Rohee revealed that training for Immigration Officers had already begun.

With respect to closure to traffic on several roads during the staging of the international event, the minister said the approach will be a flexible one, taking into consideration the peculiarities of local conditions, and full use of the media will be made to inform the public about security arrangements.

Notices will be put up and off limits zones will be made known, Rohee added.

Measures are also being implemented to cater for processing of visas and work permits in accordance with Clause 11 and 12 of the Bill.

He disclosed that a common Caribbean arrival form for visitors is being designed and this matter should be concluded by the end of this month, and a Cricket World Cup (CWC) visa which will be issued should be settled by the end of next month.

A major requirement to host World Cup Cricket 2007, the third largest international sporting event, was overcome with the unanimous approval of the ICC (International Cricket Conference) World Cup West Indies 2007 Bill, referred to as the Sunset legislation,

Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Karran Singh and several of his staffers were present at the sitting to witness the historic passage of the legislation

A minor amendment to the Bill was proposed by the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Bernard De Santos, and this was approved without opposition.

De Santos, who described the decision taken to host the event as a momentous one, “unlike anything we have undertaken in the past ”, suggested that a Clause 55A be included in the Bill to cater for imprisonment not exceeding nine months as an alternative to fines for offences committed, contending that the original proposed Bill did not have such a provision, and so someone found guilty could claim that he does not have the money to pay the fine.