– accuses Surinamese Police of ignoring reportsThe parliamentary Opposition has strongly criticised Government’s handling of the massacre of Guyanese fishermen in Suriname, claiming that the Administration dropped the ball on the issue.One of the four fishing boats that sunk during the first pirate attackOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo described the attack as an act of terrorism that will have far-reaching effects, not only on the people it was perpetrated on but their families as well.He alluded to an ulterior motive to the attack on the boat, besides stealing. He noted that from conversations with relatives, the purpose was to kill. The Opposition Leader told a media conference on Wednesday that President David Granger’s description of the incident as a massacre was not enough.According to him, he expected that security agencies would have treated the matter with some level of urgency and priority, but that did not happen.“He (President) used the occasion to score political points. He said we (Government) have been successful in curbing piracy over the past three years… If the President had visited the community… in just one meeting, when I totalled the number of times they were hijacked in the last two years, it’s nine times.”The former Head of State said this points to the President being out of touch with reality, as 95 per cent of the fishing in Suriname is done by Guyanese. According to Jagdeo, had it not been for the media, Guyanese would have known little about the magnitude of this problem at hand.He pointed to the fact that Government took eight days to inform the Surinamese authority that the Guyanese counterparts will be cooperating fully. Jagdeo said that could have been done with a phone call or using the Internet the very next day to advance cooperation on the issue.In addition, he noted that relatives’ attempts to contact Government were at times rebuffed. He described Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan’s account of his visit as disingenuous, explaining that aerial searches for the missing fishermen were done by private individuals and not the Surinamese authorities. “A lot of what he (Ramjattan) praised the Surinamese for did not take place,” Jagdeo asserted.Jagdeo, who recently returned from Suriname after meeting with relatives of the missing men and many Guyanese living in Suriname, said the piracy attacks in Suriname waters against Guyanese fishermen are not remote cases. In fact, he claimed that based on discussions with Guyanese, Surinamese Police have frequently disregarded reports because the victims making these reports are Guyanese.He also spoke of some of the struggles being faced by the fishermen and promised to raise the matter in the National Assembly. He said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) would on Friday push for a motion to be heard in Parliament in order to ascertain what Government is doing about the situation.“We would like to find out what he (Ramjattan) is doing with the Surinamese authority… since numerous Guyanese reported openly during the meetings there have been several cases when they have gone to report cases of hijacking, no attention is being paid to them… because they are Guyanese,” he said.Guyanese leading fishing industryBut Jagdeo again argued that the Surinamese fishing industry is made up of mostly Guyanese, who according to him, are legal and pay taxes. Therefore, they deserve the same treatment as Surinamese.The questions to be brought to Parliament include information on exactly what is being done on both sides, in terms of investigations and security for fishermen expected to go back to sea.Questions would also be brought about what the Government would be doing about Police Officers who do not act on complaints of hijackings. He noted that while some may have information, they are afraid to come forward. The Opposition Leader also noted the importance of Government using whatever tools are available to them to protect Guyanese citizens no matter where they are.Fifteen fishermen are still missing. Three bodies have been recovered and five people have survived the attacks. Surinamese law enforcement has arrested the main suspect in the recent deadly pirate attacks. The Police have confirmed that a total of 13 persons are in custody.