[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader David Granger says everything must be done to ensure that the historic and iconic landmark – Umana Yana – which was destroyed by fire on Tuesday afternoon (September 9), is rebuilt as soon as possible.
Granger, in a statement, said his Party – The Peoples National Congress Reform – is saddened at the destruction of the structure.
To this end, he called on the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately launch an investigation into the destruction of this Iconic Guyanese Landmark.
“The PNCR has a proud association with this historic landmark, which was commissioned by our Founder Leader Forbes Burnham in 1972 and was erected by a team of about sixty Wai –Wai Amerindians, one of the nine indigenous tribes of Guyana,” the statement added.
Yesterday, moments after the devastating ordeal, Minister of Culture Dr. Frank Anthony promised to have the rebuilding of the Umana Yana included in the 2015 budget.
He said then that its destruction will be felt now more than ever; pointing out that the country is currently celebrating Amerindian Heritage Month and a number of activities have been planned to observe the month’s celebration.
“We will then have to maybe include this for next year’s budget because this is an important heritage building for us and we would want to see it erected back as fast as possible,” Dr. Anthony said.
The 55-foot high cone-shaped benab (or shelter) was constructed by Amerindians of the Wai Wai tribe from thatched allibanna and manicole palm leaves, and wallaba posts lashed together with mukru, turu and nabbi vines.
It was specially constructed to serve as a V.I.P. lounge and recreation spot during the Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference held in Georgetown in August 1972.