– President Ali says on recent protest action
THE chaos that took over the country’s East Coast Demerara (ECD) corridor, on Tuesday, could have been avoided if there was no instigation, President, Dr Irfaan Ali said on Wednesday.
The President made these remarks on the side-lines of an event Wednesday evening as he engaged members of the media corps.
When asked about the situation that occurred which saw protestors making their way down the roadway from Haslington village to Mon Repos village, ECD, causing destruction along the way, the President said this could have been prevented.
“All of this could have been prevented if you didn’t have instigation; if you didn’t have people egging people on; if you had decency in the protest.
“Protest is good in any democratic society but it must be lawful and decent… all of this could have been prevented if you didn’t have instigators,” President Ali told reporters.
To this end, when asked whether earlier action from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) could have prevented the escalation of destruction, Dr. Ali noted that the police worked based on intelligence and information they received.
He said they acted based on that intelligence.
“Let us think for a moment. If the police were in advance of the crowd and action was taken in a different direction, what might have been the outcome? Some actors might use it against the police,” the Head of State expressed.
With that, he stressed that the immediate task of the Force was to secure the corridor and return things to normalcy.
In relation to the chaos that erupted at the Mon Repos market which saw several vendors being robbed, beaten, and having their produce and stands destroyed, President Ali said that the government has already started to give some compensation to those who were affected.
He added that this is an ongoing exercise and following its completion, the funds that have been allocated for this along with how many persons in total were affected, will be disclosed.
Meanwhile, he added that he went against the advice that he was given and went on the ground on Tuesday as he understood the anger and sentiments on the ground by many of those persons.