Licenses, duty-free firearms delivered to Indigenous communities

− safe house for ammunition in the making- Minister Ramjattan

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, October 6, 2018

Residents of 12 villages in Region Seven (Cuyuni/ Mazaruni) were on Friday issued their firearms and licenses by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock.
The distribution was said to be a historical one, according to Minister Ramjattan, as never before has any government made firearms and licenses available to Indigenous communities.

It was the first time too that, as minister, he signed off on 130 licenses at once. Minister Ramjattan said the government was able to negotiate with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to have the guns exempted from duty.
Residents of Kako, Waramadong, Jawalla, Phillipai, Kamarang, Warwata, Parima, Wax Creek, Chinoweing, Imbaimadai and Wyling gathered at the Kamarang Sports Complex to receive their weapons.

Back in 2015, residents had turned in their unlicensed firearms during the Ministry of Public Security’s amnesty programme. The ministry’s plan was to regularise the system, to allow for every firearm holder to be licensed.
Minister Ramjattan said he was pleased to be delivering on another of the Coalition Government’s promises of returning the firearms and issuing licenses to the communities. He described it as yet another effort to ensure the Indigenous community gets what it deserves.

“Whatever else must come your way, because you so deserve it definitely will come your way through this coalition government,” Minister Ramjattan said.

He informed that he will be working with the Commissioner of Police to have a safe house established at the Kamarang Police Station for persons to purchase ammunition. The new licensed firearm holders were supplied with 100 rounds of ammunition.

Minister Allicock explained that the government was only seeking to ensure law and order in the country.

“I want to thank you for being patient. You have shown that there is a high level of understanding among you,” Minister Allicock told the residents at Kamarang.

The residents were also encouraged to be responsible as the minister noted that the firearms must only be used for the purpose intended.

Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams, who spoke on behalf of President David Granger, communicated that the Head of State was pleased by the success of the programme.

Residents were encouraged to use the firearms for sole purpose of taking care of their farms and providing for their families.

Alexis Rodney

Image: Leon Leung