March 2008

Vol 7 - No. 9
























Rest of the World | March 2008



Eleven PIOs Killed in Deadly Guyana Massacre   


In an unprecedented execution style massacre, 11 persons of Indian origin were shot dead in their homes in the village of Lusignan on the East Coast of Guyana 10 miles east of the capital city of Georgetown. The victims were all killed by gunshots while they slept, including 5 children ranging from 4 years to 12 years old. The victims are: Raywattie Ramsingh, 11, her father Rooplall Seecharran, 56, her mother Dhanrajie Ramsingh, called Sister, 52; Clarence Thomas, his son Ron, 11, daughter, Vanessa, 12; Mohandai Gourdat, 32, her two children: Seegobind Harilall, 4 years-old and Seegopaul, 10; and Shalem Baksh, 52; and Shazam Mohammed. The injured are Howard Thomas, 19, Nadir Mohamed, 48, and Roberto Thomas age 5.  


Once report said: A gang of marauding gunmen created havoc in the East Coast Demerara village of Lusignan killing 11 persons, including five children, in one of the deadliest attacks in recent years”. President Bharrat Jagdeo President Bharrat Jagdeo has described “the shooting incident in the community of Lusignan early this morning as an act aimed at spreading terror on the East Coast Demerara and in the country”. President Jagdeo said “This morning our country awoke to the sad news that 11 persons were gunned down in a brutal, cowardly act by criminals. I say cowardly because only sick, demented cowards could kill defenseless children”. The President declared a national day of mourning in their honor as widespread anger, disbelief and grief were in full display from the time of this tragedy and continued through the funerals. Family, friends and strangers alike mourn the loss of innocent lives in this senseless carnage.  




The government of Guyana has offered a reward of $150,000 for fugitive Rondell Rawlins who is believed to be behind the massacre of 11 people of Indian origin last Saturday. An official of the Guyana Police confirmed that Rawlins, a former soldier of the Guyana Defence Force, was on the run and all efforts were being made to capture him dead or alive. There are reports that he is dead, but police cannot confirm this.  


Guyanese of Indian origin are in a state of shock since the massacre of the 11 people in Lusignan village, about 15 km from capital Georgetown. Most residents of the village are of Indian origin.  


The ethnic Indian community has launched protests, condemning the government for failing to offer them safety and security.  


President Bharrat Jagdeo has sought assistance from the United States and other developed nations to provide more aid to the country’s impoverished security forces. The roughly 3,000 police officers and 2,000 soldiers of the country are ill equipped to handle the threat posed by increasingly brazen gangs.




The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) expresses strong and unequivocal condemnation of the execution-style murders of eleven Guyanese of Indian origin that took place in Lusignan in Guyana on January 26, 2008. GOPIO strongly and categorically condemns this most blatant and reprehensible act of crime against innocent people, including small children. We share the shock, pain and anguish of family and friends of the victims and extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and relatives of the victims and offer prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured.  


We grieve at the inhumane, uncivilized and blatant act of murder perpetrated on the innocent within a select ethnic group seemingly directed to create fear and insecurity on the population at large. We urge that all the people in Guyana stand together and denounce such acts of crime and violence. We are hopeful that the security forces will apprehend the murderers promptly and bring the perpetrators of this ghastly crime to justice as expeditiously as possible. We particularly urge the Government of Guyana to promptly take all necessary steps to ensure there is no repetition of attacks of any type targeted against people of Indian origin or any ethnic group.  


Yesu Persaud, Chairman of GOPIO of Guyana, voiced his strong condemnation of the murders, stating that “the indiscriminate wanton acts of terrorizing and killing eleven persons of Indian origin, including five children in their beds, are blatant acts of crime against humanity and must be condemned by all persons irrespective of origin in every part of the world”.  


Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International, stated that, “GOPIO is truly saddened and distressed by the savage murder of so many innocent people of Indian origin, including children at sleep. Dr Abraham continued that, “we call on the Government of Guyana to promptly take all necessary steps to quickly bring the murderers to justice, to prevent such acts of violence in the future and to provide safety and security for its citizens”.  


“People of Indian origin throughout the Indian Diaspora are generally a peaceful, law abiding ethnic group and have contributed tremendously to their respective country’s economic growth and progress”, said Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International. “Attacks on any one group are not in the interest of progress and peaceful co-existence, nor in the national interest”. Singh further stated that, “GOPIO urges the Government of Guyana to initiate needed steps as a matter of urgency to further nurture and promote peaceful co-existence among people of the various ethnic groups living in Guyana in order to prevent such attacks in the future”.  


Lord Diljit Rana, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International (House of Lords, UK), said “I am very saddened at the killing of innocent people in racial savagery. The Government of Guyana and the world community need to take strong action against the culprits responsible for this heinous act. Such dastardly acts do not help anyone or any group”, he urged.  


“With due consideration and recognition that guaranteed security for a country’s population and swift and just application of the rule of law are the cornerstone of a progressive society”, stated Guyanese born Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General of GOPIO International, “we call on the Government of Guyana to take all necessary steps to provide needed security and peace of mind for its people, in particular those who continue to be the target of such brutal attacks in Guyana”.  


“It is criminal act against innocent people and all efforts should promptly be made to bring the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible, with reassurance by law enforcement agencies that the safety of the citizens of Guyana is of paramount importance”, said Ambassador Krishna Nandoe, Vice President of GOPIO Caribbean Region.  


For more information, please contact Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International at or by telephone at +1-818-708-3885 or Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General, at or by telephone at +1-718-939-8194 or Yesu Persaud, Chairman of GOPIO of Guyana, at or by telephone at +0592-226-2135.  



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