In commemoration of the 70th death anniversary of the five Enmore Martyrs, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Thursday morning held a wreath laying ceremony at their gravesides at the Le Repentir cemetery, in Georgetown.
In his address to the gathering, PPP Executive Member, Irfaan Ali said that if Guyanese do not step up and fight to preserve their rights and democracy as a whole, it will be a slap in the face to the five men who died for same.
“This is our opportunity to make our mark. Young men and women, this is your opportunity to create your own imprint like these five Martyrs. Your own imprints in the history of Guyana and we are not asking for any undemocratic imprint. We’re asking all our brothers and sisters in Guyana for one imprint and that imprint is to pledge and dedicate ourselves to safeguard and protect freedom and democracy in this country,” he charged.
On June 16 1948, Lallabaggie, Dookie, Rambarran, Harry and Pooran were shot and killed by police at the Enmore Estate, East Coast Demerara, while protesting for improved working conditions.
As those gathered reflected on the sacrifices of these men, they were reminded of the current state of the sugar industry whereby some 7000 sugar workers have been placed on the breadline.
To this end, former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds urged that those affected persons draw inspiration from the five Martyrs.
“Whilst it’s very difficult at this time to see a way forward, let us not give up hope. Let us use the example of where we were in 1948 when these five comrades gave up their lives and let us see that we were able to struggle and work for better things,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Assistant General Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) Aslim Singh also took the opportunity to call on government to recognize the importance of the sugar industry in the country’s economy.
Solidarity remarks were also made by the Guyana Rice Producers Association, the Women’s Progressive Organisation and the Progressive Youth Organisation.