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IAC calls for Lusignan massacre to be included in CoI

first_img– urges Govt to establish national reconciliation platformThe Indian Action Committee (IAC) has raised several concerns following the launching of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek massacre, and has called on Government to have the enquiries expanded to include other tragedies, especially those that had a nationwide impact on Guyanese, like the Lusignan massacre.The IAC has said that while it recognises the importance of this CoI, and that it is the Government’s intention to unearth answers surrounding events linked to the June, 2008 massacre, which claimed the lives of eight miners who were brutally killed, the CoI must not be confined to any particular incident, or to a selected few.“These enquiries must be expanded to include others, which the IAC remains convinced were designed through maximum casualties or infliction of violence to instill fear into the hearts and minds of Guyanese, especially those of East Indian descent,” the organisation said on Thursday.The 11 victims of the Lusignan massacreThe IAC is calling for the commencement of an inquiry into the Lusignan massacre, which saw the brutal murder of eleven residents of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara on 26 January 2008. “Eleven innocent, poor, unsuspecting and defenceless residents, including five children, were slaughtered in the dark of night by heavily armed, merciless gunmen,” the IAC recalled.The organisation also pointed out that like all other families who suffered, those in Lusignan would also like closure, as they remain “befuddled over what could have precipitated such a dastardly attack.”The IAC is also calling for an inquiry into the unprovoked attack on Indo-Guyanese on January 12, 1998, primarily in the City of Georgetown. “Many were beaten, stripped and robbed by various gangs in what was believed to be their dissatisfaction over a High Court decision relating to the 1997 election petition. Twenty years after, many are still intimidated and scarred by that sudden unleashing of violence and the subsequent humiliation they were forced to endure,” the organisation said.The IAC has said it is hopeful that eventually the findings of these inquiries would form the basis for the establishment of a national reconciliation platform, which it is firmly recommending. The organization is of the view that rather than a continuation of blame and hate, the platform could provide a much needed mechanism to aid in healing and the fostering of national harmony.The IAC is of the firm view, based on this recommendation, that there is an urgent need for the members of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) to be sworn in immediately, since parliamentary approval has already been given. The IAC has said the ERC seems best suited to facilitate such a platform.Meanwhile, former President Bharrat Jagdeo said on Tuesday that events prior to 2002 have to be taken into account. He said the involvement of the People’s National Congress (PNC) (the majority partner in the coalition) in the killings and civil disturbances proceeding that year must be investigated.Jagdeo, who incidentally serves as the Opposition Leader, also highlighted several other incidents that the PNC has been named in. “Where are the 155 high-powered military weapons that were loaned to the PNC’s Ministry of National Development?” Jagdeo questioned.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), on the other hand, on Wednesday said the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI) was established with a clear political objective. That party has highlighted that the Commission was set up along partisan lines, and is being headed by only one individual.The PPP/C has said it notes the unilateral establishment of the Commission, like others named under the Government, underscoring the deviation from the approach of the PPP Government to have bi-partisan talks.The PPP has said that, given the nature of the Commission’s establishment and the decision to start an inquiry with the incidents at Lindo Creek as opposed to a more comprehensive review of the crime wave, the Party would find it difficult to participate in any of the events.last_img read more