Will Minister Rohee advise what Anna Catherina residents should do next?

Dear Editor,
We thank Stabroek News for publishing our letter ‘Noisy event being advertised by restaurant [in Anna Catherina] despite court injunction‘ in your August 30 edition. We also thank Home Affairs Minister, Mr Clement Rohee, for his prompt response to our letter also published in Stabroek News of September 4. In his response, the Minister said that it is “[their] understanding that no permission was granted by the relevant authorities, for any outdoor activity of the kind referred to in the letter.”

We wish to inform the Minister that the Village Day was held as advertised on Saturday, September 3, and loud music was played from that afternoon until the next morning, creating a terrible noise nuisance. Residents were seriously disturbed throughout the night and early morning hours by the noise nuisance. We had no peace or rest in our own homes.

Our question is: how were the owners able to execute the event if it was said that no permission was granted? The entire issue is very puzzling. Prior to the event being held policemen came to our homes and took our statements about how it would affect us. While they were doing this they confirmed that no permission was granted so far.

Given their response and that of the Home Affairs Ministry, how come the event was successfully pulled off without any disruption by the Leonora Police Station? If, indeed, no permission was granted then the show would not have been held. Or, if the event was unapproved and the owners defied police authority then the police would have swooped down and halted it. It can’t be that the police were ignorant about a big, unapproved event being effected by the owners. It was in their faces. If the police still claim that the event was unapproved and they failed to stop it from being held and from disrupting the peace then what we have here is neglect to perform duties to protect the public.

Editor, it is alleged that permission was granted at the last moment by the police but only the Home Affairs Ministry can confirm this, as they are the ones with the means of getting to the bottom of how this big event was carried out even when a court ruling prohibited it from taking place on the premises.

Given what has taken place last weekend at the Caribbean Temptation Restaurant and Bar, the Laws of Guyana – (Section 175 (1) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act – have been trampled upon unapologetically; the court’s authority disregarded and a court ruling shown contempt. Residents appreciate Minister Rohee’s letter and assurance that “the representations made by the residents to enjoy their peace and tranquillity in their neighbourhood must be given serious consideration within the meaning of the law pertaining to noise nuisance.”

Editor, the Minister means well but the police have not given us, the residents, the serious consideration we deserve. We are not asking the police to honour our social or economic status but rather our right which is enshrined in law and which they swore to protect when they entered the police force. Whose side are they on?

We would be very grateful if the Minister can please advise us on what next we must do when we confront a situation like this. If we know the Caribbean Temptation Restaurant and Bar and the way some police operate, this situation will repeat itself.

Yours faithfully,
(Names and addresses provided)

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