- PRESS RELEASE
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-one 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-one 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 joins with the political parties, religious bodies, trade unions and other civil society groups in the call for inclusion, genuine and lasting national unity in the drive towards economic development and prosperity.
The IAC has recognized recent endeavors by certain elements of Guyanese society to ludicrously portray the false impression that Indo- Guyanese were not involved in any meaningful manner in the struggles for Independence from colonial rule and therefore, to counter this anti- national behavior, the organization will resist any attempt, whether intentional or unintentional, whether subtle or openly, to miniaturize, minimize, deny or erase the important role played by Indo- Guyanese during the struggle for Independence.
To this end, the IAC will continue to host lectures to highlight the contributions of Indo- Guyanese struggle.
The IAC wishes to inform the citizens of Guyana that the organization has heard the call by the APNU- AFC Coalition Government for inclusion and social cohesion but feels strongly that this call must be matched by action on the ground and, therefore, now calls upon the government to reach out to the sections of Guyanese society that did not vote for it in May 2015, so that real social cohesion and national unity may be achieved.
Let us all resolve to realize the dream of our fore parents and Independence heroes and heroines to make our 51st Anniversary a truly national event. The IAC wishes all Guyanese citizens a Happy Independence Day.