Granger says will abolish piracy in Region 6
President David Granger on Tuesday night disclosed that the Government has received the report from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) which investigated the 2018 killing of 20 fishermen in a piracy attack in Suriname waters.
Addressing supporters at the APNU+AFC election rally at the Scottsburg Community Centre Ground in Corriverton Tuesday night, the incumbent President said his administration will implement the recommendations made in the report to eliminate piracy which has affected fishermen for a number of years.
“Dr Rishee Shri Thakur from this Region –Region Six- last week presented his report and we will implement that report…the APNU+AFC Government will abolish piracy in Region Six,” Granger said.
Dr. Thakur was appointed in July 2019 to investigate the deaths of 20 fishermen who were killed in April 2018.
Four fishing vessels were attacked during the time and four persons survived the attack while three bodies were recovered and the others are still missing.
Murder charges were subsequently laid against the suspects who hail from Region Six.
Dr. Thakur was expected to determine the role of state agencies of Guyana in the security of the fishermen in the area, recommend actions to be taken against all persons and/or organisations that are deemed responsible for the deaths of those persons based on the determination of the above and report on a plan of action to guide initiatives to be undertaken, both at sea and onshore, to prevent and counter-piracy and related activities, by addressing the root causes of this phenomenon.
President Granger told supporters that his Government has done a lot to curb piracy but will do more.
“From the time we got in, there were so many piracy attacks, housewives didn’t know if their husbands coming back home, fishermen didn’t know if they’ll see their wives again, we started a rigorous programme of air patrol or maritime patrol and we practically abolished piracy,” he said at the Corriverton rally.
He said the coalition has a plan for the security of the country from all fronts and pointed to curbing smuggling.
Corriverton is located close to the border shared with Suriname and persons are oftentimes found smuggling items from the neighbouring country which are not only illegal in Guyana but sometimes just to avoid paying taxes to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
“I don’t mean to hurt anybody but we have to stop smuggling…because the people are giving Region Six a bad name,” he told supporters.
Granger said the APNU+AFC has a regional action plan for security. He pointed to the increase in mounted Police at Black Bush Polder where several persons lost their lives in recent years and also where bandits were killed in a shootout with the Police in May 2019.
The President blamed the PPP/C-controlled Regional Democratic Council (RDC) for the slothful implementation of projects in the region.
“As long as you elect a PPP-NDC (Neighbourhood Democratic Council) you will punish, as long as you elect a PPP town council you will punish,” he said.
“It hard for me to hold two local government elections and can’t control Region Six,” he added.
According to the President, the regions governed by PPP/C are refusing to implement the Government’s Regional Plan of Action.
The President also spoke of plans to provide employment, provide better drainage and irrigation facilities for the rice farmers and abolish squatter settlements among other things under the Decade of Development.