Playing politics with our security will not protect our borders (Pt 1)

first_imgDear Editor,Two ludicrous news items appeared in the <> on April 6th. One bears the headline “Joint Services adequately resourced to protect Guyana’s border – Harmon”, and the other, “GPL will become world-class utility company – CEO”.Unless the Guyana Power & Light (GPL) is given full control of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Plant after it is built by the PPP/C when we return to office in 2020, GPL will always remain incompetent, unreliable, and be a major liability on the financial resources of the country.But this letter is not about GPL, it is about the ludicrous statement made by the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. If the article is correct, Minister Harmon was quoted as saying, “I would say that the disciplined forces there – the Police and the Army – they have the resources to respond quickly to these reports.” Of course he was referring to the “growing concerns about the safety and security of citizens living and working along the border communities, who complain of increasing attacks, particularly from the Venezuela-based Sindicato gang members.”As I’ve written earlier, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee for the Security Services, headed by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, just returned from a fact-finding mission to Region One, where we inspected Police stations at Moruca, Matthew’s Ridge, Port Kaituma and Mabaruma.The overall report card reflects the concerns of senior Police ranks on these very issues, and the willingness to get the job done. But without clear policy guidelines; adequate manpower; proper weapons, vehicles, boats; and more secure holding cells, it would be impossible for them to contain and deter criminal activities in the area. Sending more Police and soldiers to the region would further complicate matters, as accommodation is limited and inadequate even for those now living there. Where would Minister Harmon put these additional Police and troops? Did he not consult with his colleague, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, before making such a statement? Playing politics with our security will not protect our borders, but will condemn our disciplined forces to a failed mission if proper planning is neglected.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Member of Parliamentlast_img read more