Minister Ramjattan meets those affected by piracy attack

DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 7, 2018

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, on behalf of the government, met with family members and colleagues of the fishermen who were brutally attacked by pirates off the coast of Suriname, on Sunday last.

Reports emanating from the neighbouring state of Suriname stated that Minister Ramjattan, while at Guyana’s Embassy in Suriname, expressed sympathy to family and friends of at least five of the twenty victims in Paramaribo. He was accompanied by Guyana’s Ambassador to Suriname, Keith George and his staff.

According to dwtonline.com, Ambassador George said, “I am satisfied with the meeting between the minister and the people, we have addressed them, and they have also given us the opportunity to express their needs.” During the visit, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of those killed.

The Ambassador added that Minister Ramjattan will meet with representatives of the Surinamese government on Monday during which “agreements will be made about the further approach to the situation.” More so, a joint press conference to provide an update on the situation is to follow that meeting.

President David Granger, speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony for Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s (CFATF) workshop for judges and prosecutors, Thursday last, had described the recent attack as a grave one.

“We are deeply grieved by the tragedy. Clearly, some Guyanese have been victims and we are in touch with the Surinamese government, also the Surinamese police authorities. Our police in the East Berbice, Corentyne division are in touch with their families and we plan to observe formal mourning. It is a great massacre, a great tragedy,” the president had said.

He also took the time to extend sympathy to the bereaved families while noting that the recent attack, on what is believed to be mostly Guyanese, is a setback to successes achieved in the fight against piracy over the past three years.

“We have been very successful over the last three years in curbing piracy. So, this has come at a great setback,” the Head of State said.

The piracy attack which took place off the Atlantic Coast of Suriname on April 27, left sixteen (16) fishermen missing and feared dead. According to survivors, they were assaulted with machetes and forced to jump into the sea by the assailants who are suspected to be of Guyanese heritage. Some of the survivors also recounted that several victims had batteries tied to their legs.

Three bodies of the sixteen (16) missing fishermen were salvaged Wednesday last by the Coast Guard and members of the maritime police.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam.

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