OP expresses dismay at Linden unrest
The Office of the President last evening issued a statement in relation to the yesterday’s events in Linden. Below is the full text:
“The Office of the President views with utter dismay the events on August 9 in the township of Linden.
The August 8 agreement and initialing of the TORs by the Government and the Region 10 delegation signal a great sense of progress in the search for resolution of the issues associated with the Linden protests.
However, the Government was not unmindful of the complicated situation on the ground where representatives of the Opposition political parties and the negotiators themselves were sending mixed signals to the community.
The fact that a TOR was signed testified to the compromises of the Government in this matter.
It is indeed unfortunate that the rhetoric of the Opposition and the Region 10 delegation did not match their avowed struggle for a peaceful solution. The blockage of the road corridor within and through Linden was their weapon that they exploited to the disadvantage of all. Claiming to be peaceful, their very acts were destroying the livelihood of many and were occurring in total disrespect of the law.
There were two media events that the Government found sinister and responsible for fomenting the upsurge on the night of the August 9. At 5.00 pm on Thursday, August 9, Mark Benschop radio was warning Lindeners that the soldiers were coming. Later that night, Demerara Waves falsely informed Lindeners that the soldiers had seized control of the bridges, cleared the roads in Linden thereby disrupting and threatening the talks.
The facts are that soldiers did no such thing, not having entered Linden.
Predictably, the protesters were riled up, mobilised immediately and began a period of uncontrolled mob rule. Fortunately lives were not lost but the destruction of property and livelihoods was significant.
The Government continues to warn Guyanese about irresponsible media. The Government continues to warn its negotiating partners and their mentors about their questionable control of the situation in Linden, pointing out that extremists have seized a very prominent role in manning the front line of the protests.
Government remains committed to dialogue but, cannot and will not accommodate the willful rejection of the rule of law.
The Government calls on protestors to become part of and support the move to have the blockade in Linden removed.