[www.inewsguyana.com] – Residents of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara turned out in their numbers on Sunday evening (January 26) to join in an inter-faith service at Tract “A” in remembrance of the 11 persons who were killed during an attack in the village in January 2008. They also remembered the victims of the Bartica massacre.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) bulletin, the event was held by the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC), in collaboration with the relatives of the slain victims, residents of Lusignan, and members of the religious community.
GINA noted that tributes were paid by relatives and representatives of the three major religions. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds told the gathering that the massacres were the most horrible events he ever experienced in Guyana’s history.
“These were two horrible events in our nation really tested us and I think that we should be commended that we have survived it,” he said.
“As we live day by day, we should give some of our time and efforts in reducing animosity, typically between people and extend our hand in creating an understanding among people”. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that events such as Lusignan in particular will not happen again.
“Bartica I think as I said, had a different focus, a focus for robbery… they’re quickly going after riches maybe that would always be with us,” the PM Hinds.
Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill emphasised that a miscarriage of justice is done when the police do not conduct their investigations properly.
“One way of bringing closure to a horrible event like the massacre is to bring justice to the relatives”. The minister added that one way to deal with hatred and anger is to continuously spread love among others.
Residents of the community have erected an arch in remembrance of those killed on that fateful evening. On January 26, 2008, gunmen stormed into the small village and murdered the 11 persons, including five children.
The gunmen armed with shotguns and AK-47s around 2:00 AM, and invaded the homes of five Lusignan families and within 20 minutes eleven people were murdered.
The victims were: Clarence Thomas, 48; Vanessa Thomas, 12; Ron Thomas, 11; Mohandan Goordat, 32; Seegopaul Harilall, 10; Seegobin Harilall, 4; Dhanwajie Ramsingh, 52; Seecharran Rooplall, 56; Raywattie Ramsingh, 11; Shazam Mohammed, 22; and Shaleem Baksh, 52. In August 2013, a mixed jury found that the men accused of the killings were not guilty and they were subsequently exonerated.
On February 17, 2008, gunmen attacked the community of Bartica, Region Seven leaving 12 persons dead.