Mahaica family granted refugee status in Canada

- claims repeated criminal attacks

Kaieteur News

June 20, 2004

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Today is an especially important day for three Guyanese teenagers residing in Canada, because for the first time they will be able to enjoy Father’s Day with their father while enjoying legitimate status in Canada.

The Singh’s family recently attained refugee status by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board.

Drupattie Singh and her three children, Raywattie, Gaitree and Jagjait fled their Good Hope, Mahaica home in January last year after enduring a number of repeated criminal attacks.

The attacks had affected the family so adversely, that the children became so traumatized that they were unable to go about their usual activity

In a report carried by this newspaper, Drupattie related that the children were so scared that they resorted to huddling together on one bed to sleep.

In January 2000, the family awoke to find the door to their house open and their jewellery gone.

The bandits had reportedly gained entry to their home through the window and the youngest child, Jagjait, recalled seeing one of the bandits standing over his bed with a cutlass.

On August 22, 2002, the family was attacked when three armed men invaded their home, terrorised and relieved them of their jewellery, an undisclosed sum of money and a number of household articles.

A Colombian guest who was staying with the family at the time was also robbed of her belongings as well as Drupattie’s husband, who was home on vacation from Canada.

After that second incident, the teenagers became even more traumatised to the point where the youngest child could not even visit the toilet or take showers alone.

On the family’s arrival in Canada in January last year, they immediately contacted the law offices of Sharma and Sharma in Toronto and they initiated refugee claims.

Sharma and Sharma, Barristers and Solicitors is a top community Law firm with combined legal experience of over 40 years, who have been successfully representing clients from countries all over the world.

In a testimony to the Immigration and Refugee Board, Drupattie testified that due to a sweeping crime wave, which threatened the security of ordinary citizens in Guyana, they no longer had any guarantee of protection by the state.

On completion of the woman’s testimony, the Board rendered the decision to accept the family as persons who were unable to have access to protection in Guyana, and accepted them as refugees.