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– Lawrence says as she renews calls for swift justice for slaughtered Berbice teens
Chairman of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence said while it important for Guyanese to remain resolute in their call for justice for the four murdered Berbicians, it is important to maintain peace, law and order.
“I stand with you in your call and protest for justice, for our fallen sons of the soil, namely: Orlando Jonas, Joel Henry, Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh. As we stand up for what is right, we must not find ourselves on the wrong side of the law, lest our message is lost, and our cause is undermined,” Lawrence said as she renewed calls for peace to prevail.
The brutal murder of two teenage cousins – Isaiah and Joel Henry – aback the Cotton Tree Village, on Sunday, has sparked protest actions by hundreds of citizens along the along the East Coast of Demerara and West Coast of Berbice corridors. By Tuesday, the protest had taken a violent turn with the Guyana Police Force reporting that there were a number of persons were beaten and robbed, and in some cases vehicles set alight. By Wednesday, two other persons were killed – Haresh Singh and and Prittipaul Hargobin. Jonas was killed days earlier in Corentyne.
Having called for peace earlier, Lawrence said she is pleased that protestors have heeded to her call for peace and calm during this time. Tension on the ground is reportedly dropping, and the Joint Services have been able to make significant headways in clearing the blocked roads of debris.
“Considering all that has transpired, I call on the Government and the Guyana Police Force to act with urgency to bring the perpetrators for these gruesome murders to justice. The families of the victims need closure, their communities need closure, I need closure and Guyana needs to heal,” the PNC/R Chair said.
She added: “The people will not accept any outcome that is void of justice and we, the people, wish make this very pellucid. Therefore the opportunity to deliver justice should not be squandered, to protect and/or hide wicked people from the full brunt of the law.”
Four of the seven persons, who were taken into custody following the discovery of the mutilated bodies of Joel and Isaiah Henry, have since been released on bail. The Government, has turned to the International Community for assistance, in part, to investigate not only the heinous crimes.
Lawrence, in iterating that Guyanese must remain resolute in their call for justice, enlisted her full support but stressed that protest actions must remain civil. “I am resolute in my stance to go the full mile with you, until we achieve our desired outcome, justice. But we must protest in a peaceful and civil manner, doing so with respect for human life, dignity, and property. Our protest must be solution oriented and not driven by chaos, violence, and destruction. For those that have utilized violence or caused destruction, please refrain from such acts as we seek justice for those who were taken from us.”
Noting that racism has divided Guyana for far too long, Lawrence said it is time for all Guyanese to do serious introspection, so as to effectively bridge the existing divide. “Racism cannot be solved with more racism. At the end of the day, we all are sons and daughters of Guyana; we have to live with each other, we still have to travel together, go to school together and work together. And believe it or not we all want the same thing, and that is a better Guyana for all, young and old, rich and poor,” Lawrence reasoned.