Georgetown, Guyana – (January 27, 2018) As the country and the residents of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, yesterday, commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Lusignan Massacre and continue to mourn the terrible loss of the eleven persons, who were cold bloodedly murdered in 2008, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, hinted at Government’s intention to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to probe the circumstances of those killings, along with the spate of murders, which were witnessed between the period 2002-2009.
Speaking at this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing, on what is now referred to as the period of the ‘Troubles’, where approximately 1,431 people were murdered, Minister Harmon said that it is the Government’s responsibility to provide answers to grieving families, whose quest for justice has not been realised despite the number of years, which have passed.
“At some point of time you have to bring closure to some things and I believe this is what the President is saying. We have to bring closure. Under the Laws of Guyana, anytime there is an unnatural death, the Law requires that an inquest is held. Every year there is a ceremony that marks the anniversary of deaths and every year these emotions rise up again and so what the President was saying as Leader of the Opposition was that he was calling on the government to do something about it. Now he is President and he is a position to do something about it and l assure you that he will do something about it. Once he says he will do something about it, he will. Something has to be done about it and we have to bring closure to these wounds,” Minister Harmon said.
On Thursday, in his address to the members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) at the opening ceremony of the Annual Officers’ Conference at Base Camp Ayanganna, President David Granger raised the issue saying that “society has been scarred by violence, which left a lingering legacy of distrust with the potential of fresh disorder. Monuments at Bartica, Buxton and Eve Leary have been erected to the victims of violence during the ‘Troubles’ between 2002 and 2009. We still have an obligation to investigate those troubles and ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.”
On January 26, 2008, gunmen stormed into Grass Field, Lusignan, opening gunfire on sleeping residents and raiding their homes. At the end of the fifteen-minute ordeal, Shazam Mohamed, Clarence Thomas, his son, Ron 11, and daughter, Vanessa 12; Mohandai Gourdat, 32, and her two children; Seegobin, four years old, and Seegopaul Harilall, 10; Shalem Baksh, 52; Rooplall Seecharan, 56, his daughter Raywattie Ramsingh, 11, and his wife, Dhanrajie, called ‘Sister’, 52 were all dead.