laid to rest
on national day of mourning
slain soldier duly honoured
on a national day of mourning in their honour, 10 of the 11
victims of the Lusignan massacre, and the Guyana Defence Force
Corporal who was cut down in a hail of bullets in Buxton were
laid to rest.
The outpouring of grief and unbridled emotions from relatives
as well as thousands of strangers were displayed at the
Lusignan Market Tarmac and Lyken Funeral Home and Dartmouth on
the Essequibo Coast.
the midday sun blazed in all its glory, followed
by some intermittent showers, the large gathering at Lusignan
on the East Coast of Demerara did all they could to get a last
glimpse of the villagers who lost their lives in a senseless
Despite being offered comforting words by the various
religious leaders, many expressed that there would be no
closure until the perpetrators of the heinous act are brought
Yesterday, Raywattie Ramsingh, 11, her father Rooplall
Seecharran, 56, her mother Dhanrajie Ramsingh, called Sister,
52; Clarence Thomas, his son Ron, 11, daughter, Vanessa, 12;
Mohandai Gourdat, 32, her two children: Seegobind Harilall,
four-years-old and Seegopaul, 10; and Shalem Baksh, 52, were
bid their final farewell. The eleventh victim, Shazam
Mohammed, was laid to rest on Tuesday last.
was a chaotic scene yesterday as the thousands who converged
the area pushed and tugged to secure appropriate vantage
points to observe proceedings. As the bodies arrived at the
site, loud wailing provided an eerie reminder of the horror,
which unfolded in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Relatives who were overwhelmed were placed to sit in chairs
beside their loved ones as the crowd filed past slowly. There
were also several mourners who collapsed and were immediately
removed from the crowded areas to be revived.
The viewing of the bodies continued for almost an
hour-and-a-half with police ranks on duty being particularly
hard pressed to control the large gathering of highly
A call for unity among Guyanese was reiterated by all the
religious leaders, who tried as best as they could to bring an
element of calm to the understandably tense environment.
Prayers were offered for the relatives to gain the requisite
strength to deal with their grief and to help the authorities
to find a solution to the problem. The call was also made for
Guyanese to not be separated by this incident, which they
stressed is clearly what the persons responsible for the act
this incident we will not be defeated; let us use this
opportunity to unite and make our society a more comfortable
one for all,” one religious leader urged. There was also a
plea for all members of society to not forget the families of
those slain following the burial of their loved ones. “Now
is when your support will be needed the most, so that healing
could be done.”
Following the closing of the sermons, a final moment of
silence was held for the victims as their remains were carried
off, for burial or cremation. Several government officials and
prominent Guyanese were in attendance to offer their support.
on the Essequibo Coast, slain Army Corporal # 19759 Ivor
Williams was duly afforded full military honours. Williams was
shot dead last week after his patrol came under fire from
gunmen while in Buxton.
had only served five years in the Guyana Defence Force, but
according to Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best, the life of
Corporal Williams was an exemplary one, and he died as a hero.
The 23-year-old Williams was interred at the Eliza Cemetery on
the Essequibo Coast.
a short viewing at Lyken’s Funeral Home, Williams’s body
was flown to Hampton Court and then taken to his Dartmouth
home where over 200 soldiers gave him a military send off.
Among those also present at the funeral were Head of the
Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, Minister of
Agriculture Robert Persaud and Regional Chairman Alli Baksh.
was recalled during the funeral service that Williams last
attended church on December 31. One month later on January 31,
he was again in church.
Relatives echoed the Commodore’s sentiments that the soldier
loved his country and died a hero.
in remarks, while saluting Williams for a great service to his
country, promised that Government would work tirelessly to
ensure that those responsible for his demise are caught and
Best reminded those present that the fight was far from over
and the Guyana Defence Force will effectively fulfill its
lined the Essequibo roadway to bid farewell as the soldiers
trailed their fallen comrade to his final resting place.