[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) salutes the memory of the five sugar workers who were shot to death by colonial police on June 16, 1948, some sixty seven (67) years ago.
These five sugar workers-Lalabagee, Pooran , Kisson, Harri and Suurujballi- referred to as the Ennmore Martyrs, remain until this day a lasting monument to the cruel and inhuman nature of the planter-class who in collaboration with the colonial office did everything in their power to protect the interests of the rich and powerful even at the cost of the lives of struggling sugar workers.
According to the PPP, the slaying of the sugar workers left an indelible imprint on the psyche of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, his wife Janet and other leaders who participated in a mass protest action against the brutal slaying of the five sugar workers.
“Indeed, it was at the graveside of the slain sugar workers that Dr. Jagan made that silent pledge to dedicate his entire life to the cause of the working people against the bonds of oppression and servitude. The shooting to death of the sugar workers can be seen as the catalyst to the formation of the PPP which from its very inception committed itself to improving the lot of the sugar workers and the working people as a whole,” a PPP statement noted.
“The records will show that one of the first action taken by the PPP when it won power in 1953 was to take legislative action to have the Labour Relations Bill passed which would have led to the recognition of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) which had enjoyed the confidence of the overwhelming majority of the sugar workers. It was the attempted passage of the Labour Relations Bill that in the words of Dr. Jagan “brought down the clouds” and resulted in the suspension of the Constitution and the overthrow of the PPP from office after a mere 133 days in office even though the PPP had won a landslide victory having won 18 out of the 24 seats in the Legislative Assembly.”
The PPP also extended its sympathy to the relatives and friends of the slain sugar workers and pledges to ensure that their martyrdom will not go in vain.