– claims anti-Chinese sentiments fuelling some attacks
Former President Donald Ramotar has asserted that the early morning robbery and beatings of the proprietors of the Real Value Supermarket is the latest incident that confirms that crime has our nation in a strangle hold.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
“Crime has increased greatly under this regime,” Ramotar expressed in a statement.
There were similar sentiments expressed about the crime situation while Ramotar was president under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration. Murders, including drug-related executions, were in some cases in the hundreds during the height of the ‘crime wave’ period. Many crimes also went unsolved, with some ‘cold cases’ only being solved after the PPP lost power.
However, Ramotar stated that the tough stand that the Coalition said they would take against the criminals proved to be totally false, pointing out that many police officers are feeling restrained in dealing with the criminals because they are afraid of being reprimanded by officials in the Government.
“The only way to get a handle on this situation is to involve our people, to gain their trust so that valuable information would be given to the police by the population in the fight against criminals,” Ramotar stated.
Further, he said that the people need to feel that the disciplined forces are protecting them as a whole and not carrying out the political diktat of the Government.
The former President pointed out that when the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) regime took power in May 2015, many felt that that regime would have been able to deal with the crimes. He noted that the ‘false expectation was, no doubt, due to the fact that the list of candidates of the now ruling parties were littered with numerous former army and police officers’.
“Indeed, President David Granger was Second in Charge of the Army at one point during his career. The Minister of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon was senior in the Intelligence Department. Both were in very senior positions when Walter Rodney was brutally assassinated. The list too has names like Winston Felix, a former Commissioner of Police,” Ramotar stated.
IMPACT ON POLICE
Ramotar pointed out that the administration ‘intended to fool’ law enforcement officers from the beginning by promising a 20% increase in the first year.
Further, Ramotar stated that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) APNU, the largest partner in the Coalition Government, had long ago signaled their displeasure in the strong actions the police was taking against criminals. This was manifested, according to Ramotar, in that whenever a criminal of Afro-Guyanese descent was killed in confrontation with the police, APNU raised the cry of police killing young black men.
“They made it into a campaign to blunt the police efforts in curbing crimes. When they were in the opposition crime served their destabilization agenda, therefore, they encouraged it. Today, criminals are killing people for pittance. Pensioners, children and other vulnerable people often lose their lives for a few dollars or a cell phone,” Ramotar pointed out.
Ramotar pointed out that while the crimes have grown and all are vulnerable, small shopkeepers and vendors; workers and farmers as well as the rich, the attack against the Real Value reflects a frequent and regular attack against Chinese business places.
According to Ramotar, the Coalition members in government wittingly or unwittingly created this ‘Frankenstein monster’ while they were in Opposition. He stated that the attacks began when the Coalition members were actively campaigning against investments coming to Guyana.
“This was most pronounced between 2012 and 2015. At that time, while in opposition, they had a one-seat majority in the National Assembly. They used that position to frustrate investments and developmental projects,” Ramotar stated.
He added, “They had encouraged a lot of anti-Chinese sentiments. Almost all the businesses owned by Chinese Guyanese have had the traumatic experience of being robbed. Some in that community were even brutally murdered.”
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