IAC calls for nationwide peace & unity as Guyana celebrates 54th Independence anniversary

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See full IAC Independence Message 2020

The Indian Action Committee (IAC) wishes to convey greetings to all Guyanese citizens, on the occasion of the Independence of Guyana from British colonial rule on 26th May 1966, fifty-four years ago.

The IAC calls upon all Guyanese citizens to remember and recognize all those persons who contributed to the ending of British colonial rule in Guyana including former Presidents Cheddi Jagan, Forbes Burnham and Janet Jagan, and stalwarts of the struggle for national liberation like Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, Jocelyn Hubbard, Joseph Pollydore, Ramkarran, Ashton Chase SC, Jainarine Singh, E.M.G. Wilson, Cedric Vernon Nunes, Martin Carter, Rory Westmaas, Eusi Kwayana, Brindley Benn, Moses Bhagwan and Reepu Daman Persaud.

The IAC, in recognition of the challenging history of Guyana during the past fifty-four years dominated by authoritarian rule (1968-1992) and, especially the period from 1962 to 1964 when there was a state of undeclared civil war which resulted in:

  • Over 200 persons losing their lives
  • Over 900 persons suffering physical injuries
  • About 2700 terrorized families being displaced from their homes as villages were engulfed in orgies of ethnic cleansing
  • Over 1700 cases of arson in which over 300 business places and houses were completely destroyed by fire during wanton acts of terror
  • Losses of over US$ 20 million in the local economy as opposed to an investment of US$2.2 million used to destabilize pre- Independence British Guiana according to U.S. declassified documents.
  • The destruction of the Indo-Guyanese community at the adjoining villages of Wismar and Christianburg, where all 87 business premises and 215 homes owned and occupied by Indo-Guyanese were deliberately destroyed by fire between 24th and 25th May 1964 followed by the evacuation of almost 3400 Indo- Guyanese persons under the protection of British military forces on 26th May 1964, exactly two years before Independence.

The IAC is cognizant of the upsurge in crime within the past four years and while recognizing that in Berbice there is a high amount of criminal activity perpetrated by persons of Indo-Guyanese origin against other persons of Indo-Guyanese origin; elsewhere there have been many brutal robberies on Indo- Guyanese and Chinese business persons who have been deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, jewellery, electronic devices and vehicles by criminals.

While the IAC reiterates its call for the inclusion of Guyanese, in the drive towards economic development and prosperity, the organization is extremely concerned with the current socio-economic destabilization of the country by the overlapping events of  COVID-19 and the still-to-be-completed General and Regional Elections which together have resulted in massive unemployment of citizens with concomitant increases in poverty, substance abuse, domestic abuse and severe impacts on mental health; and highly irresponsible behaviour of persons disregarding COVID-19 safety protocols among other issues; and therefore, the organization,  is calling for a swift resolution to the elections crisis in a fair and transparent manner that demonstrates respect for the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana so that the country can move forward with its affairs.

The IAC joins its voice with those of the political parties, religious bodies, trade unions and other civil society groups in a nationwide call for peace and unity.

Let us all resolve to realize the dream of our fore-parents and Independence heroes and heroines to make our 54th Anniversary a true national occasion where the will of the Guyanese people shall prevail. The IAC wishes all Guyanese citizens a Happy Independence Day.

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