Georgetown, Guyana – (March 7, 2020)Minister within the Ministry of the Presidency, Ms. Simona Broomes, on behalf of President David Granger, this morning, visited the homes of the six children who sustained injuries when protesters hurled objects at the ‘David G’ school bus they were travelling in.
The incident occurred yesterday on the public road at Bush Lot Village, Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five).
The Minister said President David Granger and the Members of Government are saddened that protesters would launch such a brazen attack on a school bus and cause bodily harm to innocent children.
“The President is responsible for all Guyanese and the protection of children, [both] boys and girls is at the top of his agenda,” Minister Broomes said.
She said too the Government will ensure that all of the children that were on the bus at the time of the incident receive psychological support to deal with the resulting trauma.
Minister Broomes appealed to both supporters and non-supporters of the Government to remain calm and to let peace prevail during this period of political tension.
“What some people are trying to do is to hand down the bitterness of hate and division [and] that is wrong and I condemn it at every level. What we are supposed to be handing down as a legacy to our young people is peace, love and unity. Educate them and protect them and ensure that they are safe. We should not be out there to endanger them…we are one people and one nation and regardless of who your neighbour is and who they voted for, let us at this time just demonstrate love,” she said to a group of persons gathered at Ithaca Village, West Coast Berbice where two of the injured children reside.
The children who range from ages 13 to 16 are Master Christopher Srikishun, Miss Orissa Noble, Master Reon Bobb, Miss Beyonce Knoble and Miss Jahia Phillander, all students of the Fort Wellington Secondary School and Miss Mariah Jacque, a student of the Bush Lot Secondary School. Both schools are located in Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five).
Miss Jacque, of Ithaca Village, sustained a bruise to her head. She recounted that while she was in school she heard a commotion outside of the building and saw persons riding around, hurling and threatening the safety of the children in the school.
Miss Jacque said she and other students hid in the school’s Information Technology Laboratory for some time, then a group of residents of the community entered the school and informed them that they were there to protect them.
However they did not leave their hiding place until their Head Teacher arranged for a ‘David G’ school bus to transport them home.
“When we passed Bath [Settlement] all of us were scared by the burning of tyres and cars and then when I looked back, all I saw was someone pelt and it hit the back window and my head got hit. After that I fainted and woke up to someone fanning me and wiping blood off of my fingers,” she said.
Fort Wellington Secondary School student, Master Reon Bobb, who lives at Blairmont, West Bank Berbice, could only recall a stone hitting his head and blood dripping from the wound onto his uniform. He was taken to the Fort Wellington Hospital for treatment.
Additionally, Minister Broomes visited the two Police ranks, who were injured in the line of duty while trying to quell simmering tensions during separate protest actions in the Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) area.
Sergeant 16999 Punit Nuth Ibarem sustained head injuries and fractures to both hands after being severely beaten, with pieces of wood and metal, by protesters at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. He iscurrently an in-patient at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Constable Tussie Wallerson sustained a fractured ankle while retreating from protesters, who were hurling objects at her and other ranks, during a protest at Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice.
“There were about 13 of us and after we realised that we could not handle the crowd, we began to retreat because we were out of ammunition and they were throwing missiles at us. They came after us and we ran. We ran into a yard and began to hide and secure ourselves but they ended up finding me and another Police who also got injured. They just began to hit me, mostly in my head and when they felt like stopping, they stopped,” Sergeant Ibarem said.
Minister Broomes commended the two ranks for their bravery and reassured them that the Government will ensure that they receive the best medical care that is available.