CAL cancels Guyana flights over violence
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has cancelled two flights between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana as violence continued in Guyana yesterday.
The two cancelled flights were BW 483 from Trinidad and Tobago to Guyana on Thursday night and BW 483 from Georgetown to Trinidad and Tobago yesterday.
SKNVibes.com reported that police in riot gear clashed yesterday with youths armed with stones, bottles, sticks and cutlasses during a five-hour standoff, between the villages of Agricola and Eccles.
The clash brought rush hour traffic on the East Bank of Demerara to a standstill, leaving thousands of commuters stranded on either side of the conflict zone, SKNVibes.com reported.
The mob also torched a vehicle and burned lumber and tyres on both carriageways of the main East Bank thoroughfare.
The mainly Agricola youths, which included women, hurled large stones and even flaming sticks at the riot police officers, and even threw back tear smoke canisters that the officers eventually discharged.
Police only managed to clear the streets after officers from the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) converged on the scene and entered Agricola, SKNVibes.com reported.
Reports indicate that yesterday's protest was triggered by utterances by head of the presidential secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, that the government was prepared to "rumble" against demands for Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to step down.
Earlier in the day, Luncheon brushed aside demands by the opposition for the resignation of Rohee, saying the government will not budge.
"As Muhammad Ali said 'let's get ready to rumble'," Luncheon told a press conference.
In a press release yesterday, the ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) condemned "the disruptive and violent acts meted out to ordinary Guyanese".
The release stated: "Thousands of Guyanese from all walks to life had their freedom to travel impinged last evening by the ruthless action of the opposition who now seem bent on a campaign of creating instability and to undermine economic and social progress in our country.
"The party wishes to reaffirm that it has always and will always continue to support and encourage peaceful demonstrations by citizens who feel the need to utilise this medium to bring public attention to their issues. However, the PPP will not condone the trend of lawless demonstrations as has characterised certain activities associated with the AFC and APNU and their extremist allies.
"The justification given by the AFC and APNU for last evening's violence and mayhem which was carefully orchestrated against our citizens who were making their way home during the peak traffic period is outrageous.
"What is also sad is that the sickening attempt by the APNU/AFC to blame the government or the head of the presidential secretariat for the protest.
"The party calls on the Guyana police force to resist all efforts by the opposition to draw them into a violent confrontation and commends the ranks for remaining calm in the face of such provocative actions and attacks which were captured and broadcast on national television.
"However, the PPP urges the security forces to ensure that law and order is maintained.
"The PPP will also support efforts to document and even bring to the public light, victims of yet another AFC/APNU protest so that they can receive justice. The party also condemns the specific targeting of Mr Majeed Hussein, a member of the party's Central Committee, who was identified and singled out for attack, beaten and robbed."