Bulldozing of tombs in Number 56 Village cemetery result in standoff between some residents and NDC officials

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Some residents of Number 56 Village in  Corentyne, Berbice are accusing authorities of bulldozing an ancestral village cemetery, but officials say the land has been earmarked for a cricket ground, resulting in a standoff between some villagers and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
The ancestral village cemetery at Number 56 Village, Corentyne
The ancestral village cemetery at Number 56 Village, Corentyne

The land, situated on the seaside of the village, was cleared a few days ago and villagers say tombs have been destroyed. Fifty years ago it was known as the village burial ground.

Back then, ‘Old Poonai’ as he was known, had owned most of Number 56 Village. A section of it was given for the burial of family but other villagers also utilised the area.
According to Dhaneshwar Poonai, about 200 persons were buried there. He said although the cemetery had not been used for half a century it was still viewed as the resting place of their ancestors.
He said last year cousins from the United Kingdom came and assisted with cleaning the overgrowth and painting the tombs.
Meanwhile, Reerakraj Poonai said he tried to intervene when the land was being bulldozed, but was unsuccessful.
Acting Regional Chairman Dennis DeRoop, in an invited comment, said the area belongs to the 52/74 NDC and is part of their reserve land. According to DeRoop, it is not a cemetery. He said some residents had gone to the NDC seeking permission to utilise the land.

2 COMMENTS

  1. That jackass better leave the dead to rest…. it have other land they make a cricket ground… aint almost every village have a ground …. why they want a cemetary to build a cricket ground that chairman somthing wrong with his head… dont disturb the dead fool

  2. That is barbaric and horrible to desecrate anyone’s final resting place. How heartless and brazen in wanting to put a cricket ground where people were buried. No matter how many years had passed, it is not morally right to do such a thing. When disrespectful practices will stop when Guyana has so much of other land spaced to be designated as sports grounds.

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