Canada leads the way with New Guyana Independence Day May 19

With four celebrations across Canada on May 19 this year, Guyanese Canadians and friends have taken the lead in choosing a New Guyana Independence Day.

Canada leads the way with New Guyana Independence Day May 19
Photo: Audience pledges support at Voice of Dharma Temple

With four celebrations across Canada on May 19 this year, Guyanese Canadians and friends have taken the lead in choosing a New Guyana Independence Day.

They have also rejected the old May 26 date for Guyana Independence Day as totally unsuitable because it is the anniversary of the horrendous 1964 Wismar Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing in Guyana.  They say that May 26 is better suited for memorials to the thousands of Indian Guyanese who were assaulted, raped, killed and driven from their homes by a mob of African Guyanese, in what the Wismar Commission called an organized, politically and racially inspired attack.

The first of the new Guyana Independence Day celebrations took place at the Voice of Dharma Temple in Scarborough, East Toronto, with the entire audience pledging their support for the New Guyana Independence Day.

 

Temple president Pundit Hari Sookram stated that the May 19 movement had started at the temple on  May 26 last year, when a group of Guyanese Canadians and friends held a Wismar Massacre Memorial. That group declared they did not want to mark Guyana Independence on May 26 and set up a Wismar Massacre Research Group to find an alternative. The May 19 celebrations this year was the result.

The second celebration was held at the Manitoba Hindu Dharmik Sabha in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the third at the Vedic Cultural Centre in Markham, Ontario.

A fourth celebration organized by the Wismar Massacre Research Group took place at the Windies Restaurant in Scarborough, East Toronto.

Photo : Celebrating at the Windies Restaurant in Scarborough, Ontario are from right Ram Jagessar, Sayeeda Hosein-Silochan, Ramdai Misir, Dr Roop Misir, Veda Mohabir, Everald  Seupaul, Dr Naveen Chandra. Photo by Herman Silochan.

There Dr Roop Misir commented, “This is a historic event and we are all privileged to be part of this move by Guyanese Canadians and friends to celebrate Guyana Independence on a day of our choosing.

“The message today is simple: Guyana Independence Day we like, Guyana Independence Day on May 26 we don’t like, we don’t want, and we are choosing a day that we want which is May 19.”

Dr Misir said that May 19 was for celebrating and not for memorials of the victims of the Wismar Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing. He promised that the Research Group would be dealing with the May 26 Wismar events at the appropriate time.  

The Research Group is reporting wide support among Canadians for the new Independence Day that is “Wismar Massacre free”, and especially among those with roots in Guyana. They expect that the May 19 movement will grow exponentially in Canada and the United States in the following years and may even find support in Guyana itself.  

For more information contact Ram Jagessar at 416-289-9088 or by email at ram.jagessar@gmail.com