PM calls for calm as police conduct investigations

– during visit with relatives of slain teens

Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips; Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Robeson Benn; Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud and Advisor on National Security to the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Harry Gill, yesterday, visited the parents and relatives of murdered teenagers, Masters Isaiah and Joel Henry, at their respective homes in Number Three Village, Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five).

The Prime Minister and his delegation, in a private visit with the bereaved families, extended their condolences and reassured them that the Police are working swiftly to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I feel for the families. I have grandchildren around the same age and it’s a great loss for the village,” Prime Minister Phillips said.

During the visit, protesting villagers erected several blockages along the West Coast Berbice roadway. The delegation, during engagements with them, urged them to desist from doing same as the barriers were hampering the Police’s ability to properly conduct their investigations.  The blockages were also obstructing persons from traversing the only access road to Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) and East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six).

“We understand how you feel [and] we understand that you are angry, but we call upon everyone here to just calm down, be a bit patient and allow the law to take its course…. What is important is that the Police have started their investigation and we need to allow the Police to finish their work. The Police, I am confident, will get to the bottom of this issue. They will find out eventually who committed this criminal act against these two young men that resulted in the loss of their lives, but we need to give the Police space,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister’s call reiterated a similar call made yesterday by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who said seeking justice for the Henry cousins cannot be associated with criminality.

In a statement, President Ali said, “This behaviour is an injustice to the case of these two victims”.

The President also noted that the Police Force had briefed him on the progress of their investigation and had assured him that they would leave no stone unturned in ensuring justice for the teens.

President Ali condemned the brutal murders and reiterated the Government’s commitment to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Meanwhile, Minister Benn assured protestors that there will be no “cover up”.  He said the Police had arrested seven persons and their investigations are continuing. 

“We will ensure that the matter will be resolved without fear or favour, but we cannot allow a situation, which will allow continued law breaking. We have to ensure peace in the country and good relations between the communities,” he said.