GASABO - Brian Lara felt so much a part of Rwanda after his visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre Gisozi.
The cricket icon who had jetted into the country for a brief nine-hour visit expressed his grief over the atrocities in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and called upon Rwandans to fight genocide ideologies.
“I am very moved by what I have seen but also very distressed that the world looked on while it happened,” he said.
The former West Indies captain recalled that it was in the same year (1994) that he first set the world test record of 375runs.
In October 2003, Australian Matthew Hayden re-wrote the record books by pounding his way to 380, but Lara went a mile further by setting a new record of 400 on the 10th commemoration of the genocide, in 2004.
“It is a shame I was busy trying to set records while people were dying over here,” he said before urging Genocide survivors to pick themselves up.
“There is always light at the end of the tunnel so those affected should try to pick themselves up. I know it is tough but forgiveness takes away a huge burden,” the Trinidad and Tobago national said before encouraging the local population never to let a repeat of what happened.
“Don’t let this happen again.”
After touring the museum exhibit, Lara signed a visitor’s book.
The retired cricketer summed up his visit with a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali and a stretched chat with Sports Minister, Joseph Habineza.