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Kwayana appeals to gunmen of Buxton: ‘Return the guns’ 

Sunday, September 8, 2002

WPA member, Eusi Kwayana, has called on the gunmen of Buxton to question those who have given them guns, to return the guns they have been given, and to ask the donors to get out of their lives. 

In an impassioned appeal to the gunmen of Buxton-Friendship, Kwayana wrote [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] that the Indians of Annandale, Non Pariel or any other part of the country did not deserve the treatment being meted out to them. “It is sheer madness,” he said. 

“Indians were not responsible for the enslavement of Africans. Get that straight.” 

The plea came in the form of a letter to our Sunday edition, which arrived too late for publication. The full text of the letter will appear on Monday. 

Headed ‘An open letter to the gunmen of Buxton-Friendship and to those who gave them guns,’ the text goes on to read: “Let me tell you that those who gave you guns know nothing about race relations in Guyana and its rights and wrongs. They pick up one thing here and another thing there. They are one-sided and dangerous. I am well acquainted with their 5% truth standards.” 

Kwayana said that he was speaking as the first person in the twentieth century to tell the world that there were problems between the two major races in Guyana, and to propose solutions to those problems. “I understand the inter-racial conflict,” he wrote, “better than those who are fanning your fire and spreading lies, half truths and falsehoods.” 

He went on to remind the gunmen that he was the person who took charge of the defence of Buxton-Friendship in 1964 following Buxtonian casualties. Buxtonians were afraid of an attack from Annandale, he said, but the residents of that village never attacked, and neither did they attempt to attack. “Get that in your pipe and smoke it,” he wrote. 

Kwayana made reference to Mussolini’s aggression against Ethiopia. “What you [the gunmen] are doing to the people of Annandale and Non Pariel, Indian or African, is aggression,” said Kwayana. “Christian, African, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafari faiths all have deep attitudes against aggression.” 

The Buxton elder called on the villagers not to strike first, as many of them and their friends had done since May, 2002, with the consent of the gunrunners. 

“So far,” he continued, “the Indian Guyanese, whether they have guns or not, have shown better behaviour, yes, better religion, yes better civilisation than we have shown. And I am very jealous of African civilisation and its values.” 

Kwayana concluded his letter: “Yours with indignation at the gunmen’s aggression, and with love for the divine essence in all people which is crying out for expression.”