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Thousands gathered to pay homage to the slain victims of the Lusignan massacre last evening at the Lusignan Market Tarmac, where the first night of a three-night Satsang was hosted.
Under the theme, “Remembering Our Slain Lusignan Brothers, Sisters and Children,” a series of mantras were sung in remembrance of the departed, while those gathered took time to remember the victims of the slaughter.
Speaking with Kaieteur News, Pandit Rabindranath Persaud said that Pitri Shraad, which means ‘Ablutions to the Departed,’ is observed annually in the dark half of the month of ‘Ashwin’ (September/October).
On this auspicious occasion, he noted, Hindus worldwide pay homage and tribute to God as ‘Yama’ (The Lord of Death) on behalf of the departed souls.
“This is a special observance in which we have included all the members from the East Coast, pandits, mandir leaders and concerned Hindus, so that they can join together in worshipping and glorifying God on behalf of the departed souls,” explained Pandit Persaud.
He highlighted the fact that nothing could be done to change what has already happened, but said that the future could be changed. To this end, many young people have been included in the observances in the hope that a recurrence of the tragedy could be avoided.
“This programme is two-fold,” said Pandit Persaud, “one is to do prayers on behalf of the departed, and the second is to motivate and give the young people a charge, so that they can behave responsibly.”
In this exercise, the devotee will face southwards and pour ablutions, or Tillanjali, while reciting appropriate mantras.
Also, in this process, he said, they will seek forgiveness and solicit God’s intervention for the elevation of the souls of the Pitris, or the departed.
Some of the survivors of the heinous Lusignan attack expressed the feeling that, while the ceremony honours their loved ones, they still feel the emptiness and the pain when they remember their departed family members.
Despite the death of Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins and Jermaine ‘Skinny’ Charles, many of the survivors said that they still live in fear.
Some of the survivors expressed their fear at the fact that there are still other criminal elements out there. At the same time, many of the Lusignan residents in attendance sought to commend the Guyana Police Force for bringing ‘Fine Man’ and ‘Skinny’ to justice, and encouraged the lawmen to keep up the good work.
On January 26 last, gunmen invaded Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, killing eleven persons.
The gunmen struck at around 02:00 hours, simultaneously kicking down the doors of five houses and slaughtering children as they lay sleeping in their beds.
Raywattie Ramsingh, 11; Rooplall Seecharran, 56; Dhanrajie Ramsingh, called ‘Sister,’ 52; Clarence Thomas; his son, Ron, 11; daughter, Vanessa, 12; Mohandai Gourdat, 32; her two children, Seegobind Harilall, four-years-old and Seegopaul, 10; and Shalem Baksh, 52, as well as Shazam Mohammed were all killed in the massacre, one of the worst atrocities in this country’s history.
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