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Saturday, March 25, 2006
Commissioner of Police has jeopardised esteem in which he is held - AFC
Stabroek News

The Alliance For Change (AFC) reacting to the airing of a controversial tape allegedly of Police Commissioner Winston Felix and PNCR executive Basil Williams, said the commissioner has jeopardised the esteem with which he is held.

"These reckless statements of this public officer raise serious doubts as to his professionalism and further bring into question his integrity, credibility and ability to lead the Guyana Police Force," the AFC said in a release yesterday.

The party said further that consistent with its call for higher standards in public life, it is exhorting all public officials, including parliamentarians, to avoid insensitive expressions about any ethnic grouping whether in public or private conversation.

"Many of us," the party said, "may have transgressed in this regard, but it is an impropriety for which we at the very least must apologise when caught."

The AFC said that it has already gone in that direction in its "Time for Healing and Reconciliation" declaration, and would urge the Commissioner of Police to walk in that path so as to maintain the dignity of the office.

The tape contained racial remarks and expletives.

The party is urging the Government and the Guyana Police Force to reassure every citizen that mechanisms have been put in place to detect telephone tapping, and prevent the recurrence of such incidents, so that national security is guaranteed.

Further, this is a necessary step to safeguard the security, protection, dignity and privacy of every citizen, the AFC said.

The party stated that the incident "has no doubt directly, and by implication, threatened our national security, and breached the confidentiality infrastructure which ought to be the hallmark of a professional police force and a secure society."

The AFC expressed alarm at the ease with which such "unrestricted and uncontrolled access can be had of phone calls of public officials, and from all appearances and by obvious extension, of all Guyanese."

According to the AFC, "this kind of kick-down-the-door capacity of some on the privacy entitlements of Guyanese is most reprehensible."

But matters are made worse on this issue, the AFC said, by the assertion of the PPP/C that such improper tapping of telephones is nothing new in Guyana. "What has it as a party in Government done to make it a thing of the past? Nothing!

Similarly, the consequential non-response, if not lame-duck reaction, of a President and a Government, who and which are so loud-mouthed on other issues of lesser significance, is a revelation of their ineptitude."