By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com]–Today (July 18), marks two years since the commencement of the almost one month long unrest in the mining town of Linden which left three persons dead, several others injured and the destruction of several buildings along with public infrastructure (roads, bridges).
Region Ten (10) residents are commemorating that bloody and fiery Wednesday which now stands as an unfortunate and dull period in their history in tears and sorrow amid several planned activities.
But according to Regional Chairman, Sharma Solomon while there is much to be regretted, the community in fact scored a “big victory.”
He reminded that the protest was solely against the imposition of increased electricity fares and pointed out that since the incident, three national budgets on, the administration has utilized $50 billion on electricity for the Region; a sum the residents would have had to pay collectively.
“I can proudly say that we scored a major victory against the government and until all agreements are honoured, which includes the establishment of an economic committee, we will ensure that no government imposes any electricity fee on us that we don’t have the capacity to pay,” Solomon told iNews.
He did acknowledge that “two year on the scars are fresh; relatives of those killed are inconsolable. In reflecting we are still healing and there is a lot of suffering from the losses.”
Solomon said too that the community maintains that it was within its right to protest against the “violation of their right;” adding that had they not protested it would have resulted in unbearable hardships.
He said he will never be satisfied with the manner in which the administration treated the residents; pointing out that citizens in other parts of the country are treated far differently when they protest.
“The administration is utterly disrespectful and against the people of Linden,” Solomon contends.
He said he awaits the adoption of the recommendations and the holding of those persons accountable in keeping with the report of the Linden Commission of Inquiry (COI) which was set up to investigate the incident.
Ron Somerset, Shemroy Boyea and Allan Lewis were the three persons killed on July 18, 2012 unrest by ranks of the Guyana Police Force.
Among activities planned for the 2nd anniversary is a counseling session for persons that were injured and relatives of those killed, a wreath laying ceremony at the Bamia grave site (which took place this morning), and a symposium and candle light vigil at the Linden Martyrs Monument site in the vicinity of the Wismar/Mackenzie Bridge at 18:00hrs this afternoon.