Jan 28, 2011 News
As the nation continues to pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the hands of heartless criminals and families remember the horrific and terrifying times in which they lost their friends and loved ones, the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) last evening held a “Night of Remembrance” for persons who were slain during the Lusignan & Bartica massacres.
Head of the IAC, Neaz Subhan, told the gathering that this was the third night of remembrance, held in honour of those who died innocently at the hands of vicious and murderous individuals.
He stressed that the IAC “is aware of the excruciating pain that the families have experienced” and that is why the organization “believes that the massacres should not be forgotten”.
Subhan stated that “on January 26, 2008, the peace and tranquility of the Lusignan community was shattered” as gunmen took the lives of 11 residents in the wee hours of the fateful day.
He further explained that two years ago, the IAC indicated its intention to erect a monument in the office area of the community policing group (at Lusignan) as a symbol for those who lost their lives on that tragic morning, and he promised that such a monument would be erected “very soon”.
Subhan also added that “this evening we also remember the night of February 17, 2008 when heavily armed gunmen invaded sections of Bartica and slaughtered 12 individuals.”
According to General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Donald Ramotar, “it was indeed a very, very painful time for us and a very, very difficult time in our country”.
He told the families of the victims present at the remembrance ceremony that he is not aware of what the motive was for the barbaric murderers but he knows that “it was a very dangerous act taking place in our multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious country.”
“In our multi-cultural society we must be our brother’s keeper, we must look after each other. We must build step by step, brick by brick from that tragedy three years ago that took place here and in Bartica.”
He closed by encouraging persons to build unity.
Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) Bishop Juan Edghill told the crowd, “We were here mere hours after this gruesome act and incident and we will be here with you every year since then.”
He explained that while he was travelling to the memorial service at Lusignan last night he was not sure what message to deliver, however, he finally decided to speak to the turn-out about the strengths of Guyanese.
Edghill reflected on the night when he visited the homes of families who suffered the loss of loved ones on January 26, 2008, and expressed joy at being able to say that one of the major strengths of the families was the tolerance of each other’s religions as well as differences in culture, which he said, is not something that should be taken for granted in Guyana.
“The fact that we can respect each other’s faiths and beliefs is a strength for Guyana.”
The Bishop continued by saying that even in those difficult times of the families, they had requested that both the President of Guyana and Leader of the Opposition be present as they mourned the loss of their loved ones, which evidently showed that they wanted unity.
“The fact that we have assembled here tonight is a third strength because we did not just stay on the ground.”
Edghill posited that the last strength which he wanted to identify was that “our people have hope.”
Former Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles told the large gathering that peace and unity are two very important pieces for the continued progress of Guyana.
“As a Guyanese, the dagger of violence pierced the families of Guyana, the families of Lusignan, and the families of our brothers who have fallen”.
The former Health Minister added that such an event focuses on what is necessary and he supported the fact that the church plays an integral part in the restoration of morals – a critical aspect of people’s lives.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who was also present opened by saying, “the 26th January, 2008 is not a day that I would like to come again in our country”.
He emphasized that the nation is stronger for having survived, after being tested with the massacre which occurred in Lusignan and then in Bartica a few weeks later followed by the Lindo Creek murders.
“We do believe that the perpetrators have met their end,” he said
Hinds continued by stating that over the years the country has improved in many ways as it relates to security, while stating that the Police Force has benefitted from new and improved equipment and young people are also being encouraged across the country to join the various arms of law enforcement and security.
“We have to work at various levels to prevent or minimize these incidents,” he stated.
The “Night of Remembrance” also saw the attendance Religious leaders from the Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths, hymns, songs by the Lusignan and Annandale Mandir, a Quranic recitation, a Quaseeda and prayers by the representatives of the three major religions.
Jan 25, 2022Kaieteur News – Winners of the National under-12 Rapid Chess Championship were rewarded for their outstanding performance at the Grand Coastal Inn for the seven-round rapid tournament concluded...
Kaieteur News – By now most Guyanese and those in the diaspora (God, I hate to use that term, “in the diaspora”... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Rejecting the accusations of bullying and despotism that were levelled at Mia... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]