The Ministry of Education is holding fast to its decision to stick with the Stabroek Square to Durban Park route for the annual Mashramani parade arguing that it provides better security and is short enough to include child revelers.
A statement from the Department of Culture Youth and Sport on Tuesday (January 17, 2017) that comes in response to public outcry on social and other media, says the decision was not unilaterally made but was based on feedback.
“Chief above the reasons posited is the safety risks and concerns expressed by sections of the National Security Agencies on Church as well as along Irving Street. ‘From a security point of view this route is better controlled. It’s more of an issue of safety and security” the statement said.
In addition, the statement posits that the new route offers the best view for more persons to see the displays from the safety of the stands at Durban Park which can accommodate as many as 30,000 patrons comfortably in addition to those who would wish to view the procession from the 1763 Monument Square.
Regarding vendors who traditionally ply their trade along the Church to Thomas Lands route, there were assurances given by Mashramani Coordinator, Lennox Canterbury that there is adequate vending space at Durban Park and the Square of the Revolution” for this.
The Culture Department adds that the route also allows shut-ins at the Palms a chance to see the parade.
Meanwhile, “on the subject of picnicking, Canterbury said such activity happened on the route, at the Square of the Revolution and Durban Park as well as along Homestretch Avenue where vending can be done.”
Brickdam is also said to have historical significance being “the first road paved in Guyana’s history.”