Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier Mark Phillips. (Image courtesy PM Brigadier Mark Phillips Facebook)

SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

The Guyanese Prime Minister is calling for his countrymen to stop their protest action over the violent murders of two teenagers, and a reprisal killing of another teen, in Guyana, over the last few days.

Speaking to CNC3’s Morning Brew host, Natalee Legore, Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips cast blame squarely on the shoulders of the Opposition leader, Joseph Harmon, saying Harmon’s statements to the grieving families incited protests.

On Sunday, the mutilated bodies of cousins 18-year-old Joel Henry, and 16-year-old Isaiah Henry, were found in a coconut field in Cotton Tree Village, West Coast, Berbice.

The two had been missing since Saturday when they left their Number Three Village homes to pick coconuts in Cotton Tree.

Their bodies were discovered by their families on Sunday afternoon.

The owner of the coconut farm near to where their bodies was found was arrested by police.

By Monday, protests had broken out in Numbers Three, Four and Five Villages in West Berbice over the murders of the Henry cousins.

Five people were arrested in connection with the murders and as protest action continued in West Berbice, a reprisal killing rocked the country on Wednesday.

A 17-year-old relative of one of the murder accused was chopped and beaten to death on Wednesday. Guyanese media reports said Haresh Singh of Number Three Village was murdered while on his way to his farmland and his motorcycle set afire.

His killing caused more protests to erupt.

Speaking on the Morning Brew on Thursday, Prime Minister Phillips said in the protests over the murders of the Henry cousins, protestors were burning homes, vehicles, robbing and even raping people who try to get through roadblocks.

He put the blame for the protests on the leader of a Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, Joseph Harmon.

Phillips said during Harmon’s visit to the Henry family, he (Harmon) told the grieving family to do what they felt was right to get justice.

He claimed that Harmon took a police matter and turned it into a political matter. Phillips said in Guyana, politics are synonymous with race and the murders have incited racial tensions between Afro and Indo Guyanese.

When Legore pointed out that Harmon had called for an end to protests on Monday, Phillips repeated his claim that Harmon had turned the issue into a political one.