See full statement from the PPP/C on the Anniversary of the Ballot Box Martyrs
Today (July 16, 2020), marks the 47th death anniversary of two sons of Guyana – Jagan Ramessar and Bholanauth Parmanand – the ‘Ballot Box Martyrs’ who lost their lives in the struggle to ensure that democracy is not thwarted and the will of the Guyanese people is not subverted.
On Election Day, July 16, 1973, Bholanauth and Ramessar were part of a crowd that had gathered outside a polling station at No. 63 Village on the Corentyne as part of a protest action. They were peacefully protesting the illegal removal of the ballot boxes from the place of poll at the end of voting. Bholanauth and Ramessar were shot and killed by a Guyana Defence Force Officer. This was during an era when the oppressive and authoritarian People’s National Congress’ (PNC) regime was brazenly rigging elections to stay in office.
The 1973 incident was of the many struggles to restore democracy to Guyana. These martyrs, by their sacrifice, helped to shaped our political struggle that led to free and fair elections in 1992.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) notes that the sacrifices of those two courageous and young heroes have strengthened the resolve of Guyanese during the painful and arduous struggles for democracy and remain a reminder of the work needed to preserve our hard-won gains. Such a reminder comes at a time when the PNC, disguised as APNU+AFC Coalition, shamelessly persists with its effort to hold on to power, despite the expressed will of the majority of Guyanese, clearly evidenced in the results of the national recount.
In honoring the memories of the ‘Ballot Box Martyrs’, particularly at this important juncture of our history, the PPP takes this opportunity to reiterate that it will not relent in its stance against the perpetuation of undemocratic actions.
That said, the lesson of years past – that democracy will prevail – will hopefully resound in the halls of the ‘coup plotters’ who are, today, bent on taking Guyana backward via their efforts to thwart the democratic process and subvert the will of the people.
July 16, 2020