Aug 15, 2012 News
… Opposition Leader calls for resumption of negotiations
The People’s National Congress Reform has come out in condemnation of the recent phase of the Joint Services operation in Linden where a 10 year-old boy was reportedly shot in the face by ranks of the Guyana Police force while he was standing in his yard.
The party headed by Brigadier (Rtd) David Granger has lamented that the operation which commenced on Friday last and continues to date “has so far resulted in injuries to several innocent civilians, including women and children, many of whom were in their homes.”
The Party, particularly, “deplored the shooting in the face of 10-year old Nkosi Henry while he was standing in his yard at One Mile Wismar on 12th August.”
The PNCR expressed its alarm at what it calls the sudden and substantial police and military build-up and the violent nature of the ‘offensive’ in Linden “which are out of proportion to the passive resistance by residents.”
The PNCR has since renewed its calls for a reduction of police and military forces which are serving only to incense an already tense population.
The Party says too that it is aware that acts of arson have been perpetrated not by protesters but by “agents” who have been infiltrated in the population.
“It is they who are attempting to stigmatise the protestors and derail the talks aimed at bringing the four-month crisis to an end”.
The party reported that its leader Granger was well received by the people when he visited Linden on Saturday last to meet residents at Wismar and Amelia’s Ward, members of the Regional Democratic Council and civil society stakeholders.
Brigadier Granger is reported as telling Lindeners that he was looking forward to the early resolution of the crisis through negotiation and reassured Lindeners of the Party’s continued support for their legitimate struggles. The ‘offensive’ launched by the Government, however, is aimed at deepening the crisis in order to forestall a solution favourable to the Lindeners.
The Party has since called on the Administration “to bring an end to the crisis by resuming negotiations which it arbitrarily broke off on Friday, the same day that it decided to unleash the security forces on Linden.”
The Party also repeated its plea for justice to be served on those responsible for the killings, arson and shooting in Linden over the last four weeks.
“The PNCR stands with the people of Linden to ensure that their legitimate demands are met, that justice is served and the crisis is brought swiftly to a peaceful conclusion.”
The Joint Services in their explanation of what had transpired over the past weekend said that the use of tear smoke and rubber pellets was a reactionary measure.
According to the Joint Services Statement, its investigations into the weekend activities so far have indicated that on Monday morning, the Joint Services began clearing blockades set up by protestors at the western end of the Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge, along Burnham Drive, Half Mile, One Mile, Wisroc and along a number of adjoining cross streets in the Wismar area.
During the clearing of the blockades the police had to resort to the use of tear smoke to disperse large unruly crowds of persons who were in the process of preventing the Joint Services from removing the obstacles.
While clearing blockades along the roadways in the Wismar Old Housing Scheme and One Mile areas, large crowds of persons confronted the Joint Services ranks and began throwing Molotov cocktails and missiles (including bricks, bottles and pieces of metal) at them.
The police resorted to the use of tear smoke grenades, some of which were picked up by the protestors and thrown back at the Joint Services ranks.
Molotov cocktails thrown by the protestors damaged one of the machines used by the Joint Services to clear the debris and one of the rank’s uniform caught afire but was quickly put out.
In addition two ranks of the Guyana Defence Force were accidentally hit by pellets and received injuries to the face and the hand, respectively.
They have received medical attention and have rejoined their unit at Linden.
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