Many Amerindians have no access to the laws

Dear Editor,

Upon reading some Toshaos reports of teenage and other rape cases in their communities at their recently concluded meeting in Georgetown (SN: 10/26/07) and their urgent need for law to be enforced, I am wondering whether it is wise to enforce the law on people who may not be even aware that their actions are unlawful.

If our village schools do not even have a library much less a copy of laws how can we in the remote villages have knowledge of the laws of Guyana? We don’t even ‘catch’ the national radio station, (only radio stations from Brazil, Venezuela or Suriname) to know what is taking place in Guyana.

I have seen as a child and adult how some of the Toshaos behave in the villages and other public places – contrary to their role as leaders. As a child I witnessed one of our past ‘leaders’ frequent a man’s home in the nights whilst he was away. In my little world I knew it was not right.

When he rode through the village’s main road in the night every man jack caught their huts. No one was brave enough to come out and tell him what he was doing was wrong. Years later I became aware of the term abuse of authority. I can go on but that is not the point of my letter.

The point here is that because there is lack of knowledge about the laws among the Amerindians, I suggest, firstly to make aware of them the laws by having a compulsory (learning) programme (about the laws). In this way they can become enlightened, psychologically.

In additional, the document “stamp it out” that was given to the Toshaos can be ideal material to have workshops on. In this way we will not only be stamping out our unlawful behaviour but would be ‘stamping out’ our ignorance about the laws of our beloved country.

It is my hope that every Toshao will carry out this learning programme in his/her village so that every body (parents/children) can become familiar with the laws.

Yours faithfully,

Guy Marco

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