Sep 07, 2015 Editorial
The overall impact of the unprecedented plethora of crime plans and strategies that have been implemented by the last administration in the country have not only failed but they have also been so disappointingly unimpressive that the people had subconsciously surrendered in almost silent submission or in frustrating despair, to the fate that befell them all.
Many were in disbelief that they have virtually become an endangered species in their own native land. And while others have tried to cope, their fears have overwhelmed them as they had hide in their homes behind iron bars windows and doors.
The gravity of the iniquity which the former regime has committed against the citizens of Guyana is enormous and its impact is felt by almost everyone, particularly the youths. It has not only demoralized the youths but it has also betrayed their confidence in and trust of the political system.
This type of treatment to the people in general during the past decade has stretched the limits of misconduct in public office to the likes of which have never before been seen in the country. And there was absolutely no justification for it other than being greedy and wicked.
With the election of the Granger/Nagamootoo led coalition government on MAY 11, 2015, there are high expectations that the trend would be reversed, and that within reasonable time, the country would be restored to a state of harmonious livability. This was one of the main planks upon which the APNU+AFC coalition had pegged their election campaign promises on.
Contrary to some in the opposition, it was not empty rhetoric but one of significant importance to the people. Indeed, crime, especially armed robberies and gang related murders have spiked in the last three months, but the people can breathe a sigh of relief because the APNU+AFC government has implemented a series of new crime fighting techniques to stem the spike in crime and they appear to be working. They include amnesty to surrender illegal guns, joint services patrol and the deployment of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams across the country.
The tragedy is that most of the reported incidents of crime and lawlessness are being committed by youths who find themselves exposed to a world which has raised their normal expectations to unparalleled heights of fantasy.
Paradoxically, they confront abysmal levels of hopelessness and despair as they gaze at the discouraging options being offered them long before they commence their working life. They are marginalized and have resigned themselves to the fact that the poverty gap is widening while the rich and privileged in society are galloping away, leaving the poor and working class haplessly and uncaringly behind.
The country’s poor educational system has relegated them to settle for a future that is bleak and is dictated by the urgent necessity to compete for jobs that did not exist. All they had hoped for was a decent paying job but instead all they got from the former regime was nothing more than empty rhetoric.
Today, the youths are given adequate opportunity by the newly elected APNU+AFC coalition government which has created an environment conducive to their development and advancement as well as to express their opinions, exchange ideas or views within a structured or institutionalized setting.
The government has not only recognized their contributions to society, but also their importance and as a result, has increased the budget of the youth ministry to help train the youths in entrepreneurship, management and other skills. The goal is for the youth not to fall prey to criminal activities or to be coerced and influenced by friends and acquaintances to choose a direction contrary to the norms of civilized societies.
Despite these fine initiatives by the government, there is still a large cadre of young people who are forced daily to face to the stain and stigma of marginalization. They feel alienated in their own country and there is evidence that alienation breeds resistance and resistance invariably takes the form of violence, crime and lawlessness that would normally translate into gang warfare against innocent, law abiding citizens.
This is the worrying conundrum. The coalition government must act to change the minds of youths. It is wise to do so.
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