PRESS RELEASE THE BARTICA KILLINGS People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana. Monday, February 18, 2008

The Leader, Central Executive, and all of the Members of the People’s National Congress Reform, learnt with shock of the brutal, senseless and horrific killing of thirteen (13) of our fellow Guyanese citizens in Bartica, on Sunday night, 17 February 2008. The Party wishes to express condolences to the families, relatives and friends of those killed.

The PNCR Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin, M.P., led a team to Bartica that included Party Vice-Chairperson Ms. Volda Lawrence, M.P., Ms. Amna Ally, M.P, Mr. Keith Scott, M.P. and Ms. Judith David-Blair, M.P., among others. The PNCR delegation visited the homes of those killed and conveyed the condolences of the Party to their families and relatives. The PNCR delegation also visited the Bartica Hospital and the Bartica Police Station.

The PNCR is convinced that this recent attack is a clear indication that the security situation in Guyana has rapidly deteriorated and there is need for a definite and comprehensive plan of action to arrest the current security situation. It is the hope of the PNCR that the Government will face reality, treat this situation as a matter of national emergency and seek to achieve a national consensus on crime and security in Guyana.

The PNCR is of the view that the present situation demands strategic policy formulation and the development of a suitable programme for its implementation. At the level of policy formulation, an approach that includes all political parties, civil society and other stakeholders is needed. At the level of programme implementation, there is the need for a professional approach, on the part of the Joint Services, to tackling the security problems, in the context of an enlightened military-civil relationship. It is evident that the security forces should aim to mobilize support from all communities to aid their crime fighting efforts.

The PNCR urges the Jagdeo PPP/C Administration to fulfill the promise, made since June 2002, to immediately establish a well trained and specialized professional SWAT Squad, as a unit of the Guyana Police Force, to deal with the demands of the current security situation.

There is clearly a need for additional assistance to help the Government to fulfill its constitutional mandate to ensure the security and protection of all of the people of Guyana.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Monday, February 18, 2008