Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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Minister Gajraj
(Aired 29 October 2002)

   Good evening ladies and gentlemen, just when you think that you have seen everything, you discover that there are still things that can outrage you further.

   Last evening this newscast played a verbatim report delivered by an obviously agitated Minister of Home Affairs, having problems breathing Mr. Gajraj? [perhaps those 216 thousand dollar meals at Cara lodge are having an effect on his breathing] castigating the media especially, to quote him, "the electronic media" and accused them of grossly misrepresenting the facts, since sections of the media had reported that he had left the country at 3 AM on a BWIA flight on Monday 28th October 2002, he in fact did not do so he says, and was in Guyana at all material times during the gang war which left seven persons dead.

   This country will pay its police force and this Minister 3,760,864 dollars this year to protect and to serve us.

   For eight months the citizens of this country have been terrorized by every conceivably sort of criminality, because the minister and the police force have failed us, this is not mischief or speculation Minister, it is fact, it is also fact that the terrorist and criminals who your police force have been seeking high and low in Buxton, Nebacalus, Brier root, Linden and other far flung areas of the country, were residing in a house virtually next to yours in Lamaha Gardens. In view of these facts minister how can you possibly stand in public and tell the media that everything that can be done is being done, when the criminals were virtually living right in your backyard, if that is the level of competence of your police force and, you, minister, then we have reason to be troubled.

   Ladies and gentlemen does Mr. Gajraj have no shame? Does he not see the total incompetence of those that are supposed to be protecting him and us? Since they allowed the most notorious criminals in the country to reside and to operate a few houses away from our Minister of Home Affairs, for what turns out to be several months.

  Minister Gajraj was not on the plane as alleged, no one insinuated that he left in fear when the criminals started killing each other, that is all in the minister's obviously paranoid mind, but given his performance or lack of performance to date, both he and commissioner Mc Donald should have been on that plane, it would have done this country a great service.

   Ladies and gentlemen I am not claiming to be brighter than anyone else, but were I a minister of Home Affairs, and the country in which I was minister of was paying nearly 4 billion dollars a year, approximately 9 percent of the total routine operating budget of the nation, to serve and to protect them, and the very persons who I was supposed to be protecting the public from, were operating virtually next to me in the street where I live, I would do the right thing, resign, and never show my face in public again.

  I would certainly not have the guts [no pun intended] to stand up in front of the public, panting, to tell us how mischievous the media is, and how in control of the situation I was.

    Finally ladies and gentlemen when the world trade centers were destroyed, did the Guyanese people see Mayor Giuliani giving the media updates at all material times, with his hard hat and his Fire Department of New York jacket on, acting with courage, accountability and concern for his New Yorkers. I saw him six or seven times that day telling us exactly what was going on, that is how public officials should behave. The United States has 260 million people 2800 died on September 11th 2001 that is 0.001% of their population, this country estimates a population of 730,000 people and seven of them were killed on October 28th 2002 that is .001% o our population. EXACTLY THE SAME PERCENT, criminals or not!   

   Throughout that fateful day our minister was not visible at any time on the Electronic media, dispute his claims to the contrary. If he was not in the country he had a legitimate excuse, since he was here, what is his explanation for not telling us what was going on?

   The media were invited to one press conference hosted by the commissioner of police at midday Monday 28th October 2002, at which he told us nothing, except that he knew nothing.

    Minister Gajraj was not present at this important briefing,... surely Minister, since you informed us on the 29th of October 2002 that you are the head of the defense forces of the internal security of this nation,... why did you not appreciate that fact on the 28th and not on the 29th of October 2002.