Latest update March 26th, 2023 12:59 AM
Oct 27, 2015 News
…investors, citizens must feel safe in GDF hands – Pres. Granger
By Jarryl Bryan
Following the successful staging of exercise ’Greenheart’ by at least two battalions and a support company of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in the jungles surrounding Bartica, President David Granger reassured foreign direct investors and citizens that they had nothing to fear. The army was one of the best in the Caribbean versed in jungle warfare, he said.
The exercise has been ongoing since Tuesday last and culminated yesterday morning with an impressive display of close country (jungle) warfare tactics that the GDF has at its disposal. The activity was observed by the President, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan and other officials.
Venezuela recently reinforced its claim to much of Guyana’s mineral rich hinterland. It was disclosed last week that the oil giant had written to Canadian mining company, Guyana Goldfields Inc. – owner of Aurora gold mines, — complaining and warning of legal action. Guyana Goldfields is the largest Guyana gold mine since OMAI gold mines closed ten years ago.
No sooner had the President returned from the United Nations (UN) summit in New York, than Suriname also revived its claim to the New River Triangle in south-eastern Guyana. Suriname also signed a major rice deal with Venezuela, a market that Guyana’s rice was recently denied access to.
Addressing the troops assembled at the Bartica community ground after a massive march past through the streets, Granger made it clear that the exercise was demonstrative of Guyana’s mastery of jungle combat. He referenced the GDF as one of the best defence forces in the Caribbean.
“People must know that when they come into Guyana to invest, they are coming into a safe environment, protected by one of the best defense forces in the Caribbean,” Granger said. “If they come to Aurora Goldfields or to explore our petroleum, they must know that this country is committed to protecting their investment. No other country must intimidate them.”
“So what the GDF has done is show our foreign direct investors that their investment is safe and Guyana will use every fiber of its state system to protect them.”
Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo was recently quoted as advocating a settlement with Venezuela. The settlement would involve maritime concessions. However, Granger made it clear that there would be no such settlement.
“We cannot sell out or give way. We cannot offer (claimants) any corridor or passage. We have an obligation to hand over (to future generations) the country that we inherited from our parents and grandparents.”
He noted that the nation would always employ diplomacy to ensure peace. Granger also stated that he would continue meeting with the UN and any agency committed to a peaceful resolution. However he made it clear that Guyana’s territorial integrity must be upheld.
He also noted that such jungle warfare exercises started years ago. He referenced the Colonel Robert Mitchell Jungle and Amphibious Warfare Training School (a school to which foreign troops have come to be trained) as further proof of Guyana’s legacy of commitment to jungle warfare.
“This was not an offensive operation (but) defensive. (Troops must) be protective but not offensive. Be positive but not negative. It’s a demonstration of our resolve and determination. We will not deploy gun boats into our neighbouring states and we never will.”
The President also expressed the wish that the GDF be fully integrated into the Cuyuni-Mazaruni and Bartica.
He also signaled that by weekend the exercises would stop as preparations get underway for the celebration of Guyana’s 50th anniversary.
The President’s reception by Barticians was an enthusiastic one. Barticians lined the streets as the President, with Ramjattan took the salute of the troops as they marched past the dais.
Granger was escorted by the crowd to the ground, where nursery school students featured prominently in the stands. As evidence of the grueling nature of exercise Greenheart, a few soldiers collapsed during the President’s address and had to be taken to the army ambulance.
Exercise Greenheart, named after the Greenheart tree-Guyana’s toughest wood- employed the simulation of troops who after a 24.5KM advance through jungle terrain would have taken up defensive positions.
The exercise was conducted on the outskirts of Bartica, where there was natural jungle terrain. The airstrip constituted the staging area for the final assault.
“In this position,” explained Col. George Lewis, who was among those overseeing the operation. “They would have patrolled and conducted close target reconnaissance. This is to let them observe the enemy’s position and how they are preparing. They would then use this to formulate their plan of attack.”
“What happened (yesterday) morning was the final attack, with simulated artillery fire and guns. That, along with the smoke, is to suppress the enemy, so that our forces can attack in relative safety, reducing causalities.”
He explained that after the exercise accountability measures included checking expended ammunition, causalities and dealing with prisoners of war.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
Mar 26, 2023SportsMax – New skipper Rovman Powell powered West Indies to a stunning three-wicket win against South Africa in a rain-reduced T20I clash yesterday. The start in Centurion was pushed back...
Mar 26, 2023
Mar 26, 2023
Mar 26, 2023
Mar 26, 2023
Mar 26, 2023
Kaieteur News – There used to be a running joke about the late President of Guyana, Forbes Burnham and horseback riding.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]