Guyana’s President Ali calls for day of prayer

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Guyana President Irfaan Mohammed Ali –

IN THE wake of the deaths of five Guyanese Defence Force servicemen whose helicopter went down near the Guyanese/Venezuelan border on Wednesday, president Irfaan Mohammed Ali called for December 10 to be a day of reflection and prayer.

Ali called on religious bodies to join in honour of the memory of the fallen servicemen – Brig(Rtd) Gary Beaton, Col Michael Shahoud, Lt Cols Michael Charles and Shaun Welcome and Staff Sgt Jason Khan.

“It is in moments like these that we must find strength in unity, solace in each other, and hope in our shared humanism,” Ali said in a release from the office of the president. “Now is the time to draw strength from one another to share in the burden of sorrow and to collectively pray for the victims, their grieving families and for the swift recovery of the survivors of this horrific helicopter crash.”

He said the day of prayer will be an opportunity for different religions and communities to come together to offer prayers for the fallen soldiers and reflect on the sacrifices made by the men in service to Guyana.

The five soldiers died on Wednesday when the GDF’s Bell 412 chopper went down about 30 miles east of the border.

Lt Col Andio Michael Crawford and Cpl Dwayne Jackson survived the crash.