Day of Mourning welcomed by Relatives

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 23, 2018

Relatives of the victims of the April 27th and May 3rd piracy attack in neighbouring Suriname, that has left more than a dozen fishermen dead are pleased President David Granger has declared Monday the 25th June as a National Day of Mourning.

The proclamation which is in keeping with Article 99 (1) of the constitution of Guyana, calls on “all authorities, Boards, Commissions, Corporations, Public Agencies, Ministries and citizens to fly the National Flag of Guyana at half-staff to demonstrate solidarity with the families of those killed in these grisly and gruesome acts and to accord due homage, respect and reverence to the memory of the victims.”

During the incident, five boats with 25 crew members were brutally attacked. Nine Persons survived the ordeal, four bodies were recovered, while twelve remain missing and are feared dead.

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) many of the relatives of the fishermen expressed appreciation that the day has been set aside in honour of the slain men and find comfort that the entire nation will be in solidarity with them on that day.

“I am happy the government has declared the day of mourning because these men were hardworking people and have contributed to both countries and their families and they deserve to be remembered and recognized and I am glad that the whole country will be mourning with us,” said Arti Sarjoo the sister of Mahese Sarjoo called “Vishal” and “Kooba”.

Sarjoo who is based in Suriname said her relatives are planning to travel to the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo where a prayer service is being held in honour of the men on Monday.

Tarmattie Ibrahim called Kavita the wife of Danesh Persaud called “Vicky” like the Sarjoo’s is planning to travel to Suriname for the memorial service and expressed similar sentiments. “I am glad they’re doing this because at least we know they have not forgotten and will make sure the matter does not die.”

Meanwhile, Dian Singh daughter in law of Ramesh Sanchara called “Ravo” is planning to host a religious service on Sunday 24th in his honour and believes the day of mourning is a fitting tribute to the men and their relatives who had to endure quite a lot since the incident.

Below are the names of the boats and crew that were attacked on April 27th:

The Romeina captained by Deonarine Goberdan, called ‘Patar’ 47 is believed to have been the first boat attacked sometime around 18:30 hrs. Goberdan is a father of 17 children, he told this publication he drifted for 22 hours some eight miles away from shore keeping afloat until he reached land and notified the police.  Despite the near-death experience, he has since bravely admitted that fishing is his life and will return to sea since that is his trade.

The bodies of two of his crew members washed ashore and were positively identified as those of Tillacknauth Mohabir called ‘Caiman’ 51 and Mahesh Sarjoo called ‘Vishal’ while those of Bharrat Heeralall called “Cool Record”; and another identified only as “Palam”; are missing. The Romina is still missing and is believed to have been taken away by pirates.

The Joshua owned by Rosey Jones was found submerged in water allegedly sunk by the pirates after they launched their attack, the captain of the vessel “Aki Bai” was the lone survivor and have since gone into hiding fearing for his life after the attack.

His crew members were Lalta Persaud called “Sunil and Pudduck” 43 and a father of four, he migrated to Suriname over 18 years ago, working as a carpenter but would work in the fishing industry whenever business was slow in the construction sector. The others on the boat were “Spanish Man”, “Bandara” and “Mukesh”.

The name of the third boat is unknown at this time but had on board Ramesh Sanchara called “Ravo”, Ramnarine Singh 49, Looknarine Persaud called “Kleine”, Rajendra Bissessar and the Captain Dharmendrew Persaud who was also one of the survivors.

The last boat believed to be attacked sometime after 01:00 hrs on Saturday morning was the Shifanie, owned by Hemnlall Ramsarran.

Danesh Persaud called ‘Vicky’, 27 of Sheet Anchor, East Canje and a father of two children ages 4 and 2, was the captain.  His crew members were Ralph Anthony Couchman called ‘Burnham’ 22, Glendroy Jones called ‘Alkaline’ and ‘Joshua’ 20, Gowkaran Outar called ‘Gavin’ and “Longhair” 33, whose body was found washed up at the #63 beach and survivor Sherwin Lovell 35.

The government has intensified its counter-piracy activities in Guyana, in light of the deadly piracy attacks and has committed to a recapitalization of Guyana Coast Guard and deployment of additional resources.

By: Nafeeza Yahya.

Images: Nafeeza Yahya.