President Irfaan Ali in an address to the nation this afternoon as the protests in West Coast Berbice area continued, condemned attacks on innocent citizens and their properties.
The President said he spoke this afternoon with the family of 17-year-old young man Haresh Singh who was found murdered, according to the Police in the backdam of #3 village. He said he made a call to the teenager’s family the same way he made a call to the family of the other two teenagers who were found murdered on Sunday. The President said there must be justice for all three of the teens.
“The criminals who snuffed the lives out of Joel and Isaiah were barbaric in nature. There is no other way to describe it. The criminals who snuffed the life out of Haresh Singh, seventeen-years-old are equally barbaric. It is in the interest of all Guyanese, of all of Guyana that these criminals are brought to justice swiftly”, President Ali said.
The President said those who have used the protests to attack others must also be brought to justice and it must be made clear that seeking justice has nothing to do with criminality.
Like his Home Affairs Minister, the President also sought to lay blame at the doorsteps of the Opposition for the situation in the Berbice region.
“Calling this a struggle against a fraudulent Government and oppression tells you the extent to which Mr. Harmon is trying to misuse the circumstances that surround us as a nation. The death of these three young men has nothing to do with oppression of any Government. This is not a struggle against a fraudulent Government. We respect the rights of every single Guyanese to peacefully demonstrate, to peacefully let their feelings and thoughts be heard, that is our fundamental right that this Government supports”.
The President now says he wants the Ethnic Relations Committee (ERC) to investigate the statement made by the Opposition Leader during a visit to the Berbice region today.
Mr. Ali said he wants to see citizens act in a responsible manner, adding that “this is the time for us to act in a mature manner; this is the time for us to bring Guyana together. Leaders must not misuse the circumstances”
The President said there is a need for healing across the country and he wants the citizens of Region Five to be calm and to allow the Police to conduct their investigations.