The pronouncements by Dr Luncheon, at his Press Conference yesterday, Thursday, April 27, 2006, which depended heavily on innuendo to suggest that senior members of the PNCR are some how linked to the brutal slaying, last Saturday, April 22, 2006, of Minister Sash Shaw, his relatives and security guard, is a most dangerous, inflammatory and irresponsible development.

If Dr Luncheon, in any of his capacities, has evidence to support his pronouncements, his duty, and that of anyone else, including the President’s Office, should be to pass that information immediately to the Commissioner of Police so that the perpetrators can be arrested, charged and brought before the Courts. Unless he does so, the PNCR must reject his statements as baseless, without foundation and deliberately intended to insight racial disharmony and conflict in a security environment which is already tense and highly charged. Luncheon’s statement could only be intended to satisfy partisan political objectives without regard for the promotion and protection of national interests.

In our Press Release, on Saturday, April 22, 2006, we stated “The People’s National Congress Reform believes that it is in the national interest that the Guyana Police Force identifies quickly the perpetrators of this dastardly act so that they could be brought to justice”. In addition, the Party did point out that “… the situation demands leadership, prudence, patience and responsibility to ensure that the national interest is promoted and protected”.

In the circumstances, most Guyanese would have expected coming the day after the message of the Address to the Nation by the Leader of the Opposition, on Wednesday, April 26, 2006, that President Jagdeo and the PPP/C Government would have been seeking to place the welfare of the citizens first, rather than use the tragic death of one of their colleagues for cheap politicking and Party propaganda, which the President himself warned against. However, bearing in mind that it was President Jagdeo who, while violating the sanctity of the funeral service for the late Minister Sawh at Castellani House, spoke about hypocrisy, it seems that he is unable to control the utterances of the Head of the Presidential Secretariat or, otherwise, he has deliberately authorized such inflammatory statements to be made to heighten tensions and distract attention from his deliberate aborting of the work of the constitutional team agreed to, in his last meeting with the Leader of the Opposition.

Instead of seeking to deliver good governance, development and constructive programmes aimed at ensuring peace and security in our land, it has been the hallmark of the Jagdeo Administration to encourage wild statements by their members and cohorts to suggest that the PNCR is somehow associated with crime and criminals.

PNCR members are tired of being maligned and are angered by the constant public abuse by officials of the Jagdeo Government. While we understand and sympathise with the anger of PPP/C members and supporters over the death of their close friend and colleague, we are nevertheless, convinced that this is not the time for dangerous adventurism. The Leadership of this country must together, work to create a climate which would promote peace and stability.

Perhaps it is time that the President takes seriously the call by the Leader of the Opposition in his Address to the Nation on 26 April 2006, “….we must act together now; not tomorrow, but today. It is in that spirit that my party and I are calling for an immediate retreat of the political leaders of this country at the very highest levels to sit together to discuss and find a way out of this emergency”, so that light can shine through the present darkness that Guyana is facing.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Friday, April 28, 2006