Residents advised to strengthen community security – Jagdeo

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, January 28, 2008 – President Bharrat Jagdeo has described the shooting incident in the community of Lusignan, which claimed the lives of 11 persons including five children,  as an act aimed at spreading terror.
He said that it was a clear case of execution.“It could not have been robbery because these families are poor families. It was intended to spread terror on the East Coast and in our country,” President Jagdeo said. The men who carried-out the act, according to the President can only be described as animals and cowards.
“Only sick, demented cowards could kill defenceless children. I would like on behalf of the government and all the people of our country to extend our deepest condolences to the families and relatives of those who have been so brutally murdered,” Jagdeo lamented.Jagdeo said efforts have to be intensified to ease the fears among citizens.
“I know that there is a tremendous amount of fear on the East Coast and that we need to alleviate the fear that these communities have. Because of this, I have met with the security forces and my instructions are clear that we have to dominate the East Coast. They need to mobilize…They have to bring people in line; the policemen and they have to bring the soldiers from other bases …we also have to simultaneously hunt down these criminals, Jagdeo assured.
The President believes that the attack on the Tactical Service Unit (TSU) at Eve Leary where two policemen were injured was meant to create a diversion from the intended attack at Lusignan.
In relation to claims by residents that the police were not too keen on responding to their calls and that they arrived late on the scene, the President said the matter will be investigated.
“The Commissioner of Police will fully investigate this and I can assure you that action will be taken if we find this to be true. We increased the resources substantially to these stations and they have to respond in people’s time of need,” Jagdeo said. He pointed to recent vague statements made by certain sections of society, including political leaders and called on everyone to support the security forces in their fight.

Guyanese are being urged not to be drawn into any motive by the criminals and others to spread ethnic tension.
“We have to be careful at the national level that this does not succeed because it could be exploited by the criminals and others to spread ethnic tension and I want to urge every Guyanese to ensure that the act of a few criminals is not interpreted in any way of ethnic lines. These are criminals and we have to hunt them down and all the country should be supportive of the efforts of the security forces to hunt them down,” Jagdeo asserted.