New approach to resolve conflicts needed, Justice and Peace Commission says
-in aftermath of Agricola unrest
In the aftermath of the recent unrest at Agricola, the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) says there has to be a “different and responsible way” for the citizenry to address disagreements and prevailing controversies.
“Frightening new images and haunting memories link the past with the present. No one, no community, and certainly not the nation benefit from the assaults and injuries inflicted by waiting criminal opportunists and stealth operators. All the noble aims and intentions are smothered, and lost in the graphics of fires and masks and detritus,” the Commission said in a statement issued yesterday on recent developments in Agricola.
“Nobody benefits,” it added.
The statement came almost a week after a protest that saw residents burn tyres on the road while confronting police. During the unrest, a police rank suffered burn injuries, while robbers took advantage of people stuck in the traffic. The blockage also forced the cancellation of two Caribbean Airlines flights.
The JPC said yesterday that resolving conflict cannot involve young children, the elderly, workers, neighbourhood activists and other persons being targeted and victimized.
It said the spectacle of political players seizing the mayhem of the streets to berate each other publicly about origin and responsibility is also pointless. “This strategy is overused and has consistently proven to be unhelpful to those genuinely interested in harmony and progress, whether at the community level or for the nation as a whole,” it said. “Indeed, the efforts of those committed to building and uplifting are smothered and overwhelmed by the postures and language. There has to be–must be–a better way,” it added.
The JPC also noted that while the besieged Guyana Police Force (GPF) may have made its share of mistakes, it needs to be encouraged in the honourable discharge of onerous duties, to be urged to change rapidly from within, and to be supported in any attempts to become a truly respectable body in service of the nation. “Let us refrain from further maligning of the GPF; rather let there be the patience of Christian exhortation and understanding,” the Commission said.
It also emphasised that Christians are obligated to be constructive in dialogue and responsible in action. They are tasked with remembering the example of Jesus Christ, the reality of their faith, who rose above every temptation and circumstance by demonstrating love and compassion, it said. Saying every citizen shares in Guyana’s uplifting and it progress, the Commission urges that each person does so in a spirit of genuine commitment and steadfast dedication.