No credible plan Editorial
Stabroek News
April 13, 2002

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Scared to death is a well-known, well-used phrase, perhaps overused, especially at this time. Maybe fear never actually killed anyone, but the phrase would certainly describe how many Guyanese feel with five armed and dangerous men running loose around the country, since February 23 and the series of carjackings and robberies that have followed.

Take the case of Mrs Persaud. Early morning gardening might have been part of her routine. On Wednesday morning she is in her yard when men jump over the fence, point a gun at her and force her into the house, which they intend to rob. Imagine the gut wrenching, paralyzing fear that must have gripped her. Mrs Persaud will constantly be looking over her shoulder after this and if she never ventures out into the yard alone again after now who can blame her?

Householders all around Guyana are no doubt grappling with the same fear. A stranger venturing into any community is likely to be viewed with fear and suspicion. This is the sort of climate that promotes disunity, chaos, migration and other negative moves that this society can ill afford.

The authorities have so far done nothing to engender confidence. Despite claims to the contrary, they do not seem to be on top of the situation. In fact, Mrs Persaud's neighbours, who engaged the men in a gun battle, forcing them to flee, have done a far better job. The armed patrols do not make the citizenry feel safer either, since the bandits are also posing as policemen.

In a letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] below, Mr Merrill Hyman Sr outlines the kind of credible policy one would have expected several weeks ago from the Commissioner of Police. The Minister of Home Affairs has also given nothing like the kind of leadership that should have been forthcoming in this crisis. Unless something is done soon, that can reassure the public that credible efforts are being made, these two gentlemen should resign.