May 26, 2016 News
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COOPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA
May 26th, 2016 marks 50 years since Guyana gained political independence. At midnight May 25th, 1966, the Union Jack was lowered for one final time on these shores and the Golden Arrowhead was raised aloft and fluttered with grace above the newly named Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
On this, the auspicious occasion of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana’s 50th anniversary of Independence, the Coalition Government salutes all the people of Guyana for their resilience, dedication to nationhood, ingenuity and unwavering tenacity in building a nation which has established itself, with pride, as a democratic and progressive state in the community of nations.
On this historic occasion the Government recognizes the steadfast and visionary efforts of our leaders, led by former presidents Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, who fought and struggled for our political independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, President of Guyana recently observed that“independence imbued us with a feeling of pride, a sense of purpose and the ardour of patriotism.”
His Excellency further noted in his address to Parliament on May 12th that, “the first fifty years of our Independence had to be devoted to mending the social fabric, promoting peace and repairing the economy. The first fifty years were about overcoming a hostile international economic environment.The next fifty years must be different. Let us use this special year to usher in an era of social peace, political collaboration and economic prosperity for this and all future generations.
The Government entreats Guyanese to recommit to building a nation, which realizes social and political stability and cooperation and ensures a better life for each citizen.
Moreover, the Government rededicates to all Guyanese to continue to work to elevate Guyana as a leader among the nations of the world, particularly in climate change and environmental protection, national unity and social cohesion, equality and justice, sports, music and the arts, responsible economic prosperity, environmentally conscious exploitation of natural resources, science and technology and innovation.
Guyana’s sail is set to take our majestic ship forward to broader horizons that would see us realise our goals of unity, social cohesion and economic prosperity.
The past 50 years must inspire us to greater heights and bolder achievement in the next 50 years as we march confidently onwards as a free, democratic and independent nation.
ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE GOLDEN JUBILEE MESSAGE
The Alliance For Change congratulates all Guyanese on the historic achievement of 50 years of independence. The AFC welcomes all Guyanese who have returned to our beautiful homeland to celebrate and enjoy camaraderie and brotherhood on this momentous occasion.
Our nation’s journey has been one characterized by triumphs and successes, difficulties and set backs, honour and some distress. Through every season we have risen above and achieved and progressed. It is the people of Guyana who must be recognized for never failing our beloved homeland.
The strength and resilience of the Guyanese people have been the driving forces of this nation. It has been the people who have never relented and who have summoned the spirits of our forefathers and ancestors to push boundaries, to demand better and to engender change.
For too many of these past 50 years Guyana’s advancement as a progressive state and model economy has been stymied and curtailed. Now at the dawn of the next 50 years with the wind of change at our backs we must unhitch our nation’s future from divisiveness, disharmony and discord.
As we reflect on the life of our young nation we must take heart, and resolve to enhance Guyana’s greatness, to fast track her development, to cement her place as a leader among nations, regionally and internationally.
Our peoples’ diverse backgrounds are a source of strength which we should not becoy in embracing. Our colourful, effervescent and infectious culture is emblematic of an enlightened and endearing people.
Our people have demonstrated a capacity to achieve excellence in every major facet of human endeavour which they have pursued. Let these next 50 years harness the energies, talents and strength of our people to pole vault our nation to command a place of pride and envy, continentally and hemispherically. The Alliance For Change believes uncompromisingly that Guyana possesses every asset and quality to so achieve.
The AFC is enthusiastic about Guyana’s future and the destiny of her people. The party believes Guyana is poised to rise higher, shine brighter and emerge as a model state for responsible development.
Long live the great land of Guyana! Long live the blessed people of Guyana! Onward, upward may we ever go!
PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
On this significant milestone of the 50TH Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) salutes all Guyanese, both here at home as well as those in the Diaspora on our achievement of yet another year as a politically independent people and country.
The PNCR also welcome all our Guyanese brothers and sister from the Diaspora who have returned to the motherland to join us as we reflect, celebrate and inspire in this season of our Golden Jubilee.
The political developments of the past year open new avenues for the forging of a new democratic culture so necessary for the achievement of real independence and social progress in our country.
It is evident, from the way the Guyanese people voted at the May 11th, 2015 General and Regional Elections, that they wish to experience governance that is less confrontational and more cooperative. In this regard, the coalition government has shown great leadership by exhibiting a predisposition to compromise in the interest of arriving at policies and programmes which have the broadest agreement among stakeholders.
Our Party is confident that if as a nation we can build a truly, inclusive political culture in which all stakeholders are allowed to play a meaningful role and which can create an enabling environment for the orderly development of the nation, we can look forward to a future that is politically successful, economically self-sustaining and culturally rewarding.
As we celebrate this Golden Jubilee of Independence, the PNCR pledge to work with all responsible and reliable forces whose aim is to forge social cohesion and national unity. We believe that working together we can ameliorate the many known problems which have bedeviled our country and stymied our development.
The PNCR is proud of our record in government and the important role that our Party and our Founder Leader, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham played in our country’s struggle for independence.
It is with these reflections that the PNCR greets all the people of this our dear land and extend best wishes on the auspicious occasion of the 50th Anniversary of our political Independence.
Happy 50th Guyana!
PEOPLE’S PROGRESS PARTY
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) extends greetings to the Guyanese people on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the granting of political independence to the country by Great Britain.
Fifty years is indeed a significant moment in the political life of any nation. In this regard, the PPP joins with the entire Guyanese people in the observance and celebration of this historic milestone.
The struggle for independence is inextricably linked to the broader struggle for a free and just society waged by the PPP since its very inception as a political party. The call for an independent Guyana actually commenced with the formation of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), led by founding members Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan, HJM Hubbard and Ashton Chase.
The records would show that it was the PPP under the indefatigable and charismatic leadership of Dr. Cheddi Jagan that led the assault against the colonial system of governance which ultimately resulted in the granting of internal self-government and later, political independence.
It was a struggle that contained the elements of an epic story of political treachery and betrayal by the Anglo-American vested interests in collaboration with local reactionary forces that conspired to deny political independence to the country under a PPP government.
The PPP, despite being manipulated out of office in 1964 and denied the honour of leading the country to political independence, warmly embraced the granting of independence to the country on May 26, 1966.
Regrettably, the hopes and aspirations of the Guyanese people were shattered by the failure of the PNC-UF coalition to meet the expectations of the Guyanese people for a better life. The country experienced a systemic deterioration in all aspects of national life including that basic and fundamental right of electing a government in free and fair elections.
Our symbols of nationhood which Guyanese had eagerly awaited turned out to be largely cosmetic and for a considerable period remained a sad reminder of broken dreams and shattered hopes as the country experienced a free fall into an unending cesspool of economic and social decline as a consequence of undemocratic rule by the PNC regime.
As we celebrate fifty years of independence it is important that we reflect on the heroic contributions made by Dr. Cheddi Jagan and his wife Janet who together gave more than a century of dedicated service to the cause of a free and democratic society.
The PPP is extremely proud of the contribution it has made to the liberation struggle of Guyana. Indeed, all the major political and constitutional developments in the country carry the stamp of the PPP including the struggle for universal adult suffrage, internal self-government and ultimately political independence.
Following the rupture of democracy by the PNC regime, the PPP waged a relentless struggle for the restoration of democratic rule which finally materialised on October 5, 1992 after nearly three decades of authoritarian minority rule.
As the vanguard political party the PPP stands proud of the role it has played over the decades in the creation of a free, independent and modern Guyana.
The PPP takes this opportunity of our golden jubilee to re-affirm its commitment to a free, united, prosperous and democratic Guyana.
The Party is aware of attempts by the Granger-led APNU-AFC administration to down play the contributions made by Dr. Jagan and the PPP in its vain attempt to re-write our political history.
Such attempts will fail as the Guyanese people are much more discerning and knowledgeable of our political history than the APNU-AFC coalition would give them credit for.
Sadly, our Jubilee celebrations are tempered once again by the removal of the Party from the seat of government in highly controversial elections as was the case during the pre-independence years when the PPP was manipulated out of office by foreign vested interests in collaboration with local reactionary forces.
Be that as it may, the PPP remains optimistic that the dreams and aspirations of the Guyanese people for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous society would be become a reality in the not so distant future.
Once again, happy anniversary greetings to the people of Guyana.
US SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I join the families, communities, and leaders of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in celebrating their country’s Golden Jubilee anniversary of independence.
The United States and Guyana are bound together by our shared democratic values and our common interests in ensuring prosperity, stability, and security throughout our hemisphere. And our partnership has yielded tangible results on issues of vital importance to both our nations.
This year, we strengthened our relationship in law enforcement training, port safety, justice sector reform, and coast guard cooperation through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. We worked together to diversify energy resources and expand investments in sustainable energy projects through the recent U.S.-Caribbean-Central American Energy Summit.
At the same time, we have acted to create opportunities for vulnerable Guyanese youth through the efforts of USAID. And we have deepened people-to-people ties between our countries through initiatives to build bridges between American and Guyanese universities, and to dismantle barriers to study abroad for our students.
Fifty years after independence, the citizens and government of Guyana can count on the friendship and support of the United States as, together, we address our common challenges and build a future of peace and progress for our peoples.
GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION
As Guyana marks half a century as an independent state, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) is pleased to join with all Guyanese to celebrate this exciting and landmark anniversary in our history.
We need to recall, at this time, that there was near absolute consensus amongst our then leaders that we needed to shed the constitutional and other chains with which we were then wrapped. Independence brought us and we joyfully welcomed our new status as citizens of Guyana, no longer colonial subjects tied to a “mother” country. It also brought heavy responsibilities for a free and prosperous future. The onus was now ours to chart our own course and it was recognized that national independence needed to be strengthened by economic independence and social justice. Those objectives had to be attained and sustained.
GAWU feels certain that out Independence, which we fought for, is an attainment to be cherished and will be cherished by coming generations too. Since independence we have moved forward. There are successes in several fields nationally; and at the international level our country has earned recognition and respect especially when it took principled and laudable stance on issues that are of concern to humanity. That respect was surely strengthened with the resurfacing of our democratic culture over twenty (20) years ago, which today again faces new challenges. Notwithstanding, the trials and setbacks, periods of marking time, economic and social decline there have been also very many significant achievements in our endeavours to overcome the negative legacy of colonialism and fulfill our development obligations.
The GAWU is aware that several key objectives are yet to be reached. One of these is our economic sovereignty which we see crucial to safeguard our political independence especially in the context and circumstances that we see unfolding in today’s world.
The prospects for our country to grow and develop remain encouraging and we need to tackle the various tasks before us in a collective and united spirit. In this respect, acts and obstacle that tend to undermine our still fragile democracy should be discontinued, measures that bring hardships on working-people should be frowned upon and our people, especially our working people, need to become involved in the decision-making process at various levels of our society.
As we celebrate this historic anniversary, GAWU urges that we all recognize that we have a responsibility to build our nation, to make great efforts to realize enduring national unity and strengthen the strands that bind our nation. We must be justly proud of our well-deserved freedom and it must also be a joy for all our people.
At the same time, let us on this 50th Anniversary remember the struggles associated with the fight against colonialism and these organisations and outstanding leaders who were at the front of those history making efforts.
GAWU extends a Happy Independence Anniversary to all Guyanese!
GUYANA PUBLIC SERVICE UNION
On the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Guyana’s attainment of Independence the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) joins with the rest of Guyana in celebrating this historic milestone in the process of nationhood.
We believe that the period of what has been designated our Golden Jubilee must be as much a period of reflection as a period of celebration. Indeed, there is much to reflect upon as we, as a nation, contemplate the journey that we have experienced over half a century of independence. It would be more than worthwhile for us to measure, for example, the extent of our accomplishments as a nation, whether those be in the field of economy, culture, intellectual development or nation-building, that is the creation of a cohesive society.
Whatever else we do we must not forget to face, honestly and frankly, our accomplishments as much as our disappointments and perhaps more importantly to use the sum total of our experiences as a rudder with which to guide our path in the future.
What we, hopefully, would have learnt over those years is that real independence, real nation-building transcends the symbols and slogans that we create. What is clear is that the inspiration that will take us forward can only be derived from the setting of clear and worthwhile goals and the relentless pursuit of those goals.
For those of us who have been blessed with the experience of witnessing half a century of independence, our mission is to determine the legacy that we will leave behind and work towards the realization of that legacy.
Nor should we seek to evade our collective overarching responsibility to continue to reach for that noble if still unrealized goal of a Guyana united across differences, reflected in our national motto, “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.” That, in the view of the Guyana Public Service Union is the most important mission of all and one which, we believe, is yet to be realized.
On this note the President, Executive Council and Members of the Guyana Public Service Union wish to extend our congratulations to the nation on this momentous occasion.
Happy 50th Independence Anniversary.
THE INDIAN ACTION COMMITTEE
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) wishes to convey greetings to all Guyanese citizens, on the occasion of the Independence of Guyana from British colonial rule on 26th May, 1966, fifty years ago.
The IAC calls upon all Guyanese citizens to remember and recognize all those persons who contributed to the ending of British colonial rule in Guyana including former Presidents Cheddi Jagan, Forbes Burnham and Janet Jagan, and stalwarts of the struggle for national liberation like Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, Jocelyn Hubbard, Joseph Pollydore, Ramkarran, Ashton Chase SC, Jainarine Singh, E.M.G. Wilson, Cedric Vernon Nunes, Martin Carter, Rory Westmaas, Eusi Kwayana, Brindley Benn, Moses Bhagwan and Reepu Daman Persaud.
The IAC, in recognition of the challenging history of Guyana during the past fifty years dominated by authoritarian rule (1968-1992) and, especially the period from 1962 to 1964 when there was a state of undeclared civil war which resulted in:
Over 200 persons losing their lives. Over 900 person suffering physical injuries.
About 2700 terrorized families being displaced from their homes as villages were engulfed in orgies of ethnic cleansing.
Over 1700 cases of arson in which over 300 business places and houses were completely destroyed by fire during wanton acts of terror. Losses of over US$ 20 million in the local economy as opposed to an investment of US$2.2 million used to destabilize pre- Independence British Guiana according to U.S. declassified documents.
The destruction of the Indo-Guyanese community at the adjoining villages of Wismar and Christianburg between 24th and 25th May, 1964 followed by the evacuation of 3300 Indo- Guyanese persons under the protection of British military forces on 26th May, 1964, exactly two years before Independence and the brutal assassination of Dr. Walter Rodney in June, 1980.
The IAC joins with the political parties, religious bodies, trade unions and other civil society groups in the call for inclusion, genuine andlasting national unity in the drive towards economic development and prosperity.
The IAC has recognized recent endeavors by certain elements of Guyanese society to ludicrously portray the false impression that Indo- Guyanese were not involved in any meaningful manner in the struggles for Independence from colonial rule and therefore, to counter this anti- national behavior, the organization will resist any attempt, whether intentional or unintentional, whether subtle or openly, to miniaturize, minimize, deny or erase the important role played by Indo- Guyanese during the struggle for Independence.
To this end the IAC will be hosting several lectures to highlight the contributions of Indo- Guyanese struggle.
The IAC wishes to inform the citizens of Guyana that the organization has heard the call by the APNU- AFC coalition Government for inclusion and social cohesion but feels strongly that this call must be matched by action on the ground and, therefore, now calls upon the government to reach out to the sections of Guyanese society that did not vote for it in May 2015, so that real social cohesion and national unity may be achieved.
Let us all resolve to realize the dream of our fore parents and Independence heroes and heroines to make our 50th Anniversary a true national event. The IAC wishes all Guyanese citizens a Happy Independence Day.
THE GUYANA HINDU DHARMIC SABHA
As we celebrate Guyana’s 50th Independence, it is necessary for us to reflect on our history with the aim of understanding the common struggle which resulted in us casting off the shackles of subservience and rising as an independent country. Guyana’s pre-independence years were fraught with hardship and resulted in our fore-parents taking a resolute stance against colonialism.Many of Guyana’s sons and daughters lost their lives in our struggle for independence. As we observe this 50thmilestone,we reminisce on their valour and indefatigable spirit.
A sea of evolutionary changes occurred in the post–independence years. There were obstacles to real development and progress. The serious economic hardship, crime and loss of equal opportunities and democracy in the first two decades resulted in the consistent migration of many Guyanese families. It was the resilience of remaining Guyanese that shone as they are managed to contribute positively in diverse spheres of our country.
After years of struggle and development, we celebrate our festivals together and enjoy the many faceted cultures, norms and traditions of all the peoples of Guyana. We must move forward with that same tenacity and fortitude displayed by our foreparents. There are new challenges and difficulties but our spirit must never be vanquished. We must see theattainment of 50 years as a milestone of our evolution as a people and country.
TheGuyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha will continue to play its role of contributing in a sterling manner to the Hindu community and all of Guyana through its impacting and diverse programmes, initiatives and events. The Sabha has an impressive 42 year history of contributing to the cultural, social and religious landscape of Guyana and our vision encompasses many more years of sevice as we evolve to meet the many challenges and developments in Guyana and the world. 50 years as an independent country should motivate us to work harder and more diligently to achieve the ideals of togetherness, productivity, equal opportunities, understanding, sustained peace, mutual respect and sound value systems and principles for our children, youth, adults, families, communities and country.
Happy 50thindependence and may our beautiful land Guyana and all our peoples be forever blessed.
CENTRAL ISLAMIC ORGANISATION OF GUYANA
On this historic day May 26th 2016, the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) joins with our brothers and sisters in our blessed land in observing the 50th Anniversary of our nation’s Independence.
As we move forward as a nation, we pay homage to those who worked and sacrificed to win our freedom and national identity. All Guyanese should cherish this gift of God of a free and democratic society, rich in diversity, culture and traditions. We thank our Government for their efforts in energizing our people on this our Independence, so that we can strengthen the patriotic spirit that is so necessary to achieve cohesion and nation building. We must never forget that our allegiance is owed to justice for all, service to our fellow man and upholding the rights of all Guyanese.
It is the fervent hope and prayer of the CIOG, that from this day onward our Guyanese people should work in harmony to ensure that future generations can inherit a land of united people, with dignity, respect for all and a pride of being Guyanese.
As we move forward, let us eliminate the concept of division by religion, class, race and other means used to discriminate. As Guyanese we must never forget our common heritage, as our nation will have to determine our destiny. Guyana is a great country, and today the CIOG implores all Guyanese brothers and sisters to renew our faith with the certain hope, that by doing the right thing God Almighty will crown our efforts with success.
NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION INSTITUTE
On this significant milestone of Guyana’s 50thIndependence,the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) extends heartiest congratulation to allGuyanese. As Guyanese partake in various celebratory activities it is important that our many successes are acknowledged.
NAREI is proud to have contributed to Guyana’s development and is looking forward to continue serving the public. The local agricultural sector holds many possibilitiesin the areas of alternative energy sources, food security, and wealth generation.
As we look ahead there is much excitement at the myriad opportunities that are on the cusps of realization. Current work on exotic fruits and vegetables are moving apace with the transfer of technologies to farmers imminent before year-end, in some cases. In addition, modern technologies such as shade house cultivation and hydroponics are becoming popular among the farming community.
NAREI believes that the application of Science in agriculture is critical to its ongoing evolution. The institute encourages persons to get involved in agriculture and experience true independence.
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