OPINION: A plea to humanity amidst the brutality – By Yvonne Sam

By Yvonne Sam

Are we not our brother’s keeper?

I am in no way soliciting a response, to the afore-stated inquiry, based on the fact that current happenings in Guyana reveal that the people are still answering Cain’s question to God. (Genesis, 4:9). Ironically, the Brother’s Keeper epithet was first framed as a negative:  When God asked after Cain, fresh from murdering Abel, where his brother was. Cain answered, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Today any morally upright, sane thinking, god fearing, people loving, oil benefitting Guyanese knows that where God is concerned, the right response is a resounding “Yes!”  After all, Jesus told us so Himself, through stories like the Good Samaritan and imperatives like “Love Your Neighbor.”         

However, the recent upsurge of deadly brutality wrought by citizen against citizen leaves one with the disturbing thought that the oil rich country, the famed Eldorado is now occupied by beings not worthy of the nomenclature “human” let alone “brother”. No longer are disputes settled amicably, instead they have been replaced by the utilization of weapons of mass destruction as the common form of dispute resolution, and age does not diminish the rage.

Who’s taking stock of the rising horrendous senseless crimes being perpetrated one against each other? Needless to say the acts, as horrific as they may be are in themselves the symptomatology undergirding a larger underlying problem. Plainly stated, fully related they are the manifestations of untreated, unnoticed and undesired social issues.

A Toronto- based Guyanese hotel owner, 71 year old Vivekanand Narpatty and his employee Harry Persaud Prashad were discovered hacked to death, bound and gagged with part of their limbs cut off.  Narpatty, recently returned to Guyana, dreamed of a new life under the sun, and was in the process of restarting Sunsplash Holiday Beach Resort in Corentyne, which overlooks the beach. The hotel was not in operation at the time of the slayings. A similar demise befell Deochand Ramsahoye, 72, of Lot 109 Pump Road, Strathspey, East Coast Demerara. The pensioner was allegedly beaten with a music amplifier and an equalizer, suffered severe head injuries and succumbed days later. The beating stemmed for allegations that one of the deceased’s son had removed an undisclosed amount of gold and cash from his employer.

There is a whole lot of truth in the old African proverb__ “It takes a village to raise a child”.  Nowadays, this proverb seems to be even more relevant in 2020, with working parents and single parents, and the accompanying family “busyness”. And, even though it seems that the support of a “village” is so desperately needed, it often seems like this concept has somewhat disappeared from Guyanese society. Age serves as no deterrent, as it is blatantly obviously that the village is no longer living up to its obligations as regards raising children. The lifeless body of 18 year old Wayne Anthony George of Kaneville, East Bank Demerara, was found in a trench at Craig, with injuries to the head. It is believed that the teen and a group of young men were previously involved in a confrontation of unknown cause. To further highlight the mentality and thought process of the children raised by the village, a family member of the deceased stated that while the deceased was being beaten, there were onlookers watching on, not lending a hand, just videotaping the dastardly inhumane act.

A 15 year old student of the Linden Foundation Secondary School was stabbed to her back with a long “Rambo” knife during an after school brawl within close proximity  of the school. . It was confirmed by a hospital official that the student underwent five hours of emergency surgery and was transported to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) early on Friday morning. According to the official, the student suffered extensive injuries to her muscles, tendons and several of her internal organs including her lungs, spleen, diaphragm and stomach.  There have also been other cases in Linden, involving school children being stabbed by classmates.  Schools are no longer places of learning, but instead breeding grounds for criminals. .

As Guyana stands on the verge of benefitting from oil, the country is concurrently facing an undesirable spoil—=  a metastasizing scourge of  heartless fiends. This issue must be addressed at the earliest opportunity from a mind altering perspective, starting from the root. These young murderers did not suddenly spring up overnight; there were cues all along the way, just that the adults did not any attention pay.

Dear Guyana—Say what do you see?  You may be a land of many waters and many people, but you have now become a land of many problems, chief of which is the genre of brutality among even the very young. Take a good look at our wounded nation. What is needed now is evidence-based interventions to address crime and violence at all school levels, and above all the related communities in which they are situated. The justice system needs to treat each crime with the severity it merits, sending messages that would serve as life altering deterrents.

There is obviously a lack of unity manifested in the displayed brutality, Guyanese must work to right it, the battle may be long but the nation must fight it, otherwise the very oil of which we now boast may serve as a stain on the nation from coast to coast.

Yvonne Sam.

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