By Stacy Carmichael-James
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan has sternly stated that the 2:00 am curfew would remain in place since in his view Guyana would suffer more from accidents, domestic violence and other issues as opposed to the concerns being raised by bar owners.
Minister Ramjattan speaking to media operatives recently said people need to understand that Guyana is an “extraordinarily heavy drinking” society; therefore the 2:00 am curfew is a must.
The Minister claimed that many groups representing the major religions in Guyana, primarily women are advocating for the curfew to remain in place. “As a matter of fact they want it brought forward to 12 ‘O’ clock, we have to understand that Guyana is an extraordinarily heavy drinking society, the last household report on the use of illicit and licit drugs prove that for binge drinking we are the biggest in the Caribbean,” Ramjattan noted.
These, he noted have far-reaching implications for Guyana, making reference to increased traffic accidents, domestic violence and misspending of money. ” I have good arguments and it is in accordance with international best practices that bars be closed at certain hours when you go around the Caribbean when you go around America. I’ve done research on it, generally, it is 12 midnight and 1 ‘O’ clock in the morning,” the minister said.
Ramjattan stated that he would not argue for the extension of the curfew on weekends since he believes that the country would pay a greater price as compared to what the bar owners are saying.
Citing an example, the Public Security Minister said a lot of people living in proximity to Seeta’s Bar in Kitty have written to him condemning the noise nuisance and blocking of traffic.
According to the Minister, people must understand that there will always be a collision course when it comes to certain matters, some for and others against.
Since its implementation there have been many calls for the 2:00 am curfew to be revoked on the basis that many businesses in the entertainment industry are suffering financially, however, the Minister remains steadfast that long hours of drinking is the result of many traffic accidents.
The curfew was relaxed during the 2016 Christmas holidays, following the request from the Private Sector Commission.