AG participates in ‘Night of Reflection’ for Lusignan massacre victims

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, MP this evening participated in the annual “Night of Reflection” for the Lusignan massacre victims, at the venue of the massacre, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the tragedy. Speaking to those gathered, Minister Nandlall stated that the event scarred the psyche of the nation permanently and called for introspection and reflection to see whether as a society we have learnt anything from the incident, “How else can we pay respect and homage to those who perished; if at least as a society, as a people, we do not do that which is necessary to ensure there is not a reoccurrence. It is clear that this was not a mere crime. It was an act of immense hatred, a manifestation of unimaginable cruelty and a human rights tragedy.”

The Attorney General stated that we have failed miserably, as not a single person who perpetrated the acts nor the intellectual authors of the event have been convicted by the legal system for this tragedy. He warned that the circumstances and the underlying factors which gave rise to the massacre, still exist in society.

“We saw recently similar atrocities, thankfully of less gravity, where hundreds of people were robbed, beaten and violated along the roadways of West Coast Berbice, simply because of their ethnicity and geographic location. Again, the perpetrators as well as the intellectual authors have walked scotch free.”

He stressed that this is our country. It is made for all of us but if we do not take up the mantle of rehabilitation, reform and introspection and do all that is necessary to model our nation into a cohesive unit, then we will continue to have violent, cyclical manifestations.

“Paying lip service to concepts such as ‘national unity’ is not helping us. We have to delve deeper. Every very strata of society must be engaged, starting with the politicians. How do we make events like this only of historic value? The power lies in your hands, the people to rid from leadership positions those who drive the wedge of division and plant the seeds of disunity.”

Mr. Nandlall also noted that all stakeholders have a role to play, including, the Guyana Police Force and the Religious community, while adding that the Government has a fundamental role to play. “We are a small nation, we have a small population but we have massive resources, our country is moving into a developmental trajectory, never seen before. This country will be transformed within the next 5 to 10 years.”

The Attorney General pointed out that “people across the globe are flocking to Guyana because they see our country as a beacon of hope, a beacon of prosperity and if we do not come together we will be divided and exploited and will never be the true beneficiaries of our country’s wealth. The conversation we need to have is how we rid our country of leaders who are not prepared to lead us in that direction. How do we replace them with people who are capable of unifying this country? It cannot be done by one group it has to be done by all our people, coming together and if we do not do it, we are shooting ourselves in the foot.”

The Attorney General concluded by stating that to pay proper tribute to lives of the victims, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations, to ensure we create an environment that does not produce this kind of human tragedy again ever again. He extended condolences to the relatives of the victims on behalf of the Government of Guyana and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and committed to continue to stand by them and with them in the future.