The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) has penned its budding concerns to Police Commissioner Leslie James, specifically as those relate to a ‘destabilization’ of security at a volatile time, when the Guyana Elections Commission is expected to make a declaration.
Executive Director of the private sector body, Richard Rambarran, wrote the Top Cop on July 13 on behalf of GCCI President Nicholas Boyer.
While monitoring both the health and education situation in Guyana, the GCCI has shared its concerns about a weakening security enforcement at a time when there could be a disastrous outcome.
“The Chamber has been monitoring closely the public health and electoral situation in our country. In addition, the GCCI is also concerned (about the possibility) of a destabilization in the security situation as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) makes its final declaration of the results of the March 2 Regional and General Elections. These two situations can combine to have disastrous results on the security and well-being of our society,” the Chamber expressed.
Another issue brought to the Commissioner’s attention was the behaviour of persons assembling in large gatherings, as was witnessed in the vicinity of State House and the GECOM Headquarters on Monday. In one scenario, an individual was lying on the ground in front of the Presidential convoy in an ‘obstructive manner’. This was in clear defiance of the health regulations specially crafted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, stringent calls were made for the Guyana Police Force to better handle these crowds, which are becoming a norm in recent times, as well as to install mechanisms to deescalate such circumstances.
The GCCI recalled, “Notably, a situation on July 13, 2020 saw persons gathered closely together in large groups, one person lying in front of the Presidential Convoy in an obstructive manner, non-adherence to public health precautions, amongst many other actions which are dangerous to both public health and potentially threatening to the well-being of the citizenry of Guyana.
“Commissioner, we would like to request of your good audience the measures which are being taken to handle these crowds, which are now becoming more consistent, as well as the plan by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to deal with a situation of potential de-escalation.”
Another correspondence followed for the National COVID-19 Task Force, specifically addressed to its Chairman, caretaker Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.
After highlighting the same incident as is contained in the Top Cop’s letter, the GCCI said, “In this regard, we would like to request of your good audience the measures which are being taken to handle these crowds, which are now becoming more consistent, as well as the plan by the National Taskforce on COVID-19 to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 emergency measures.”
On Monday, during the protest by supporters of the APNU/AFC coalition, the President’s convoy leaving State House was blocked, with one person lying on the ground in front of the President’s car. There were also scenes of supporters displaying an effigy of GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, in a wooden coffin.
Many persons, from the PPP/C to the Private Sector Commission (PSC), have called upon Commissioner of Police Leslie James to ensure that the rule of law is respected, and firmly applied and enforced without favour against any attempt to promote, incite, or participate in public disorder or violence of any kind.