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--multi-stakeholder committee examining effectiveness of security forces

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon has stated that the Government of Canada has shown keen interest in addressing the security concerns in Guyana and is presently considering proposals submitted by the Guyana government.

Dr. Luncheon told reporters yesterday that the news of Minister Satyadeow Sawh's assassination had tremendous impact on the Canadian government – Sawh being from the Guyanese Diaspora who had studied and lived in Canada .

The HPS informed that Canada 's High Commissioner to Guyana Bruno Picard aborted engagements overseas and traveled back to Guyana upon learning of the Minister's murder.

He stated that it was no coincidence that the Canadian High Commissioner paid a tribute during the funeral of the Minister.

Dr. Luncheon related that prior to Picard's return from overseas, the second highest ranking official at the High Commission engaged the government in talks on bilateral cooperation to address the concerns about security.

This was followed up by a meeting with the High Commissioner and the proposals are being looked at.

Dr. Luncheon acknowledged that fears about the security of ordinary Guyanese abound in the current climate.

He noted, too, that criminals using guns to execute their crimes have become common and the weapons being used have also become increasingly sophisticated.

“Minister Sawh's assassination, following closely on the heels of the other executions, has heightened concerns and understandably calls for more efficient and effective crime fighting,” he said.

According to him, the subsequent period has seen more aggressive action being taken by the law enforcement agencies, particularly with reference to the criminal safe-haven in Buxton.

Cabinet has extended its oversight of law enforcement functions by establishing its sub-committee with Terms of Reference to examine the effectiveness of operations of law enforcement agencies.

Dr. Luncheon related that the special committee would include non-governmental personalities with suitable skills.

Also, the request for assistance to the donors particularly with respect to the assassination of the Minister and the disappearance of the AK-47s from the military base has had initial response with the arrival of the FBI team to continue the probe into the GDF weapon losses, he said.

In the meanwhile, efforts are being reinforced at the community policing levels and with implementation of the neighbourhood police initiative.

Additionally, the underserved areas of Sophia, East Coast Demerara, and Diamond/Grove, East Bank Demerara, should soon have the commissioning of the new

Police Stations, Dr. Luncheon said.

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