Arson reports at Rose Hall Estate

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IF we are to be guided by a recent report, “Burning of canes could hamper investment in Rose Hall Estate – Officer in Charge”, published on September 05, 2019 in the Guyana Chronicle, it means that arson is being committed against the State; an act that is premeditated and perpetrated with a certain goal: To subvert government’s efforts at rebuilding the broken sugar industry, thus repositioning this still vital industry for a re-entry into modern sugar production.

In fact, offering the closed sugar estates for sale is a major consideration that is still on the table, but awaiting the conclusion of national elections as a surety for the potential buyers to continue their negotiations. The fact that these acts taking place for the past twelve months points to a planned orchestration directed against State assets. Absolutely reckless in describing such acts is an understatement. They are wholly subversive, criminal in nature, and definably acts of sabotage that can do no more than harm government’s efforts at seeking to ensure the survivability of an industry which, in the long-term can only redound to the benefit of the communities and citizens within the particular locale and beyond.

Although this editorial focuses on arson in the sugar industry, there has also been similar acts with regards to connectivity, such as a community bridge at Canal No 2, where a number of farmers who use the bridge to transport produce and access their farms were affected, and vandalism on the Providence and Diamond overpasses on the East Bank Demerara. Transportation in and out of Lethem had been severely hampered as a result of the destruction by fire of the Yupukari Number Two Bridge.
Surely, it is not understandable how the burning of a vital community connectivity such as

a bridge that is vital to the movement of citizens, or the wrecking of an overpass, all costing millions of taxpayers hard-earned dollars, for the safety of pedestrians, can ever benefit the political aims of those who are its planners, much less those who are the actual perpetrators.

**Guyana has a well-chronicled history of arson directed against the sugar industry that was rampant during the 1970s, and directed against the then Burnham government. Undeniably, it was part of the then political opposition’s plan of action, which took place at a time when the price of sugar on the international market fetched a very high price. It was such actions that took a toll on the revenues, and others such as constant strikes, among other unmerited, unproductive and selfish acts which gradually brought the once powerful economic entity of sugar to its eventual demise before the ‘Coalition’ came to office in 2015.

**For those who are behind such serious acts, designed to cripple both social and economic infrastructure that are vital to the daily lives of citizens, and the national well-being in the process, must be aware that their acts are treacherous, wicked and criminal in nature; immoral as well, because they are acting against the best interests of the State, and conspiratorial, because they are acting in consort with persons to commit acts of sabotage against the State.

Further, their acts, unconscionable and without merit, cannot and will not be of benefit to those who they claim to represent; or to themselves, since they are acting against the best interests of their community and country, and are therefore guilty of serious crimes against the State.

There is a reminder for those who are involved in such wanton acts of destruction, that it has been similar actions, although committed in the past, that would have gradually accrued, with the passage of time, to the mountainous debt that finally caused the collapse of the sugar industry, concomitantly causing hardship in the lives of so many. For those who are now continuing such a spiteful and vile act as prime movers, resurrected from both a dark and decrepit political page, are again guilty of willful acts of destruction to a major industry.