pervades East Coast as…
First of Lusignan massacre victims buried
- Hundreds attend funeral, mindful of appeals by relatives and others for peace and calm to prevail
By Shirley Thomas
HUNDREDS of Lusignan residents and other sympathisers from across the country gathered in the East Coast Demerara community yesterday for the funeral service of Shazam Mohamed -- the first of the 11 persons massacred by marauding gunmen last Saturday, to be laid to rest.
It was the
first day when calm dominated the village and neighbouring communities, as
residents respected the calls of family members for their loved ones to “go in
of Lusignan and other villages across the Coast, still in shock at the brazen
terror attack, turned out in their hundreds to show solidarity with the family,
as they await tomorrow, when the rest of those executed by high powered weapons
would be laid to rest, either by burial or cremation.
An outpouring of grief as family members view the remains of 22-year-old Shazam Mohamed at his Lusignan home yesterday
employed as an accountant with the H. Nauth and Sons civil engineering firm, was
one of the eleven persons mercilessly mowed down by heavily armed criminals in
their homes last Saturday.
wounded from his home, was his father Nazir Mohamed who was shot in both legs,
and who is hospitalized at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
are that the elder Mohamed was taken to the home in a wheelchair from the
hospital to see his son’s body for the last time.
Bharrat Jagdeo attended a private viewing at the headquarters of the Central
Islamic Organization in Georgetown.
Among the many speakers at the service held at Mohameds’ home was President of the CIOG, Haji Fazeel Feroze.
Muslim brothers and male relatives pay their last respects at the funeral of Shazam Mohamed.
admonished those present and indeed all Guyanese to resist and desist from all
attempts to hit back.
resist and desist from all attempts to hit back, because we do not know who
perpetrated this crime. To hit back at people of a different ethnicity –
innocent people, then we will be doing exactly what the killers of our wives,
our children, our brothers did,” Feroze told the large gathering of mourners.
He said it
was a time to sit down, think and reflect, and do so soberly.
the extent of the massacre, Feroze noted that it is “beyond the grasp of our
understanding that the innocent – the children, the women, the poor in our
country, the defenceless -- have been picked on by a ‘mad gang’ who have
unleashed their terror and horror on the community of Lusignan in this
cannot understand this and we are all shocked, and therefore we can only turn to
the Creator of the Universe, and beg Him for His mercy, His protection and
understanding, while trying to cope with what is happening here,” he said.
also used the occasion to admonish the people of Guyana, not to let the victims
of the Lusignan massacre and other horrific incidents in the country, go in
The body of Shazam Mohamed being taken to the Good Hope cemetery – its final resting place.
raise our voices, but do it in a peaceful, purposeful manner – a manner in
which we can get results – not to cause inconvenience and destruction to
others in their communities,” he admonished.
out that to fan the flames of racial disunity in the country would be to play
into the hands of those who want to cause problems in the country.
that there are problems with the security system in the country, Feroze said it
is important that such problems be addressed, so that those lives that have been
snuffed out during the reign of terror in Lusignan on Saturday morning, will not
go in vain.
to stand firm and demand of our government and our security people that we would
like to see an end to this kind of thing in our country, and that we will all be
willing to work with them to solve this problem,” he said.
Guyanese people – not only the people of Lusignan - need to be able to walk
this land without fear and live in peace, love and harmony,” Feroze stated.
those present to not only mourn with the grieving relatives “today”, but be
there for them even after.
will need to be comforted, consoled, and counseled. They will need our love, our
care. We must reach out to them. Let us not just come today to express our
sympathy then leave them. Let us stand by them as we want people to stand by us.
Let us not allow race, ethnicity or religion to get between us and divide us,”
Minister Sam Hinds and several government ministers were among those who
attended and witnessed the funeral rites at a separate service held on the
forecourt of CARICOM Auto Sales on the Lusignan public road, where hundreds
gathered to view the remains of the young man cut down in the prime of his life.
hundreds then marched to the Good Hope cemetery where Mohamed was buried.
residents of Lusignan have planned a peaceful protest “for security”
starting from Lusignan to Georgetown today.
Police said they received no application for permission to stage the march.
The residents said they will allow the funerals to go ahead tomorrow without protests, but plan to stage another march for justice in the killings on Friday.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008