Today, all of Guyana celebrates 47 years as a Republic. We at Kaieteur News extend warmest greetings and pray that our Mashramani celebration this year will mark another memorable occasion in the history of our existence.
A number of individuals and organizations have also extended good wishes.
PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, MOSES NAGAMOOTOO
February 23 marks 47 years since Guyana attained Republican status. It was on that day that we severed all vestiges of foreign rule.
This year’s celebration coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the abolition of Indian Indentureship. It was on March 10, 1917, that the end came to a system under which Indians were shipped here to the colonial sugar plantations, and cruelly exploited as bonded labourers. Our Indian ancestors lived and worked under oppressive conditions, yet they helped to lay the foundations for economic growth and imbued their off-springs with passion and purpose to fight for the independence of our country. Today, I pay tribute to the memory of our Indian ancestors, and celebrate the end to indentureship as a victory of their early struggles for freedom.
Today, we reflect also on another February 23, more than 250 years ago, in 1763, when African slaves revolted in Berbice. Their dreams like those of former indentured servants, were to be free from bondage. Their aspirations were for them to be treated with dignity and respect.
When Guyana became a Republic in 1970, we realized these dreams. We celebrate this year with “dignity, liberty and greater unity” – the theme of Mashramani 2017.
Our Republican status has given us an identity, a national personality. As Guyanese republicans we became equal with all other nationalities in the world.
Today, we are proud Guyanese of different ethnicities, living side by side, in a stable democracy. We enjoy, more than any time before, freedom of speech and the right to open dissent. We are not aliens, refugees or illegal migrants. We are free, independent and proud Guyanese citizens! We no longer owe allegiance to any Monarchs or foreign Flags. Our country, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is our common home, our Motherland.
Today, I say confidently: a bright new, horizon lies ahead. So, as we celebrate, we must not lose sight of our golden future as a united, Guyanese people.
Happy Republic Day, Guyana! Happy Mashramani!
PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
The People’s National Congress Reform is pleased to extend greetings and good wishes to all Guyanese as we celebrate the 47thAnniversary of our Republican status.
The national celebration of Mashramani is an occasion for reflection and assessment of the state of our nation, 47 years after Guyana was declared a Republic. This year Mashramani is being held under the theme, “Celebration with dignity, liberty and greater unity”. In this regard, it must be evident to all that we, as Guyanese, need to redouble our efforts to banish crime, disease, ignorance and poverty. We must strengthen national unity, expand national infrastructure, fortify national institutions, ensure national security and extend public services.
Accordingly, the PNCR wishes all of the Guyanese people a Happy Republic holiday, and a joyous celebration of Mashramani, as we pray that the spirit of peace, love and unity will dwell among us on the 47th anniversary of our Republic.
PEOPLES’ PROGRESSIVE PARTY
The Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) extends greetings and best wishes to all Guyanese on our 47th Republic anniversary.
It is common knowledge that the People’s Progressive Party was the main architect of the struggle to free our nation and its people from colonial rule and servitude. The dream then was to build a free, united and democratic society governed by the rule of law under a system which guarantees equal opportunity, so that all of our people can realise their full potential and aspirations. That dream was short lived. We moved to independence as a fractured society. By the time we attained republican status, we were already drifting into political dictatorship. The 1968 elections were already rigged. The 1970 Constitution was born in suspicion. The Privy Council was abolished as our final court and the process had begun to emasculate the judiciary. Discrimination had become rampant and we were quickly moving into the direction of party paramountcy.
Forty-seven years later, there is an abundance of evidence which would establish that we are in a strikingly similar position, poised once again to travel the road to political dictatorship.
The political, economic and social gains made during the period that the PPP was in government (1992-2015) are rapidly being reversed. The sugar, rice, forestry, mining, construction and other productive sectors are either under-performing or in chaos. After more than three hundred (300) years Sugar is on the brink of closure. Thousands of workers have lost their jobs. No new investments are on the horizon. The economy is shrinking. The US dollar is at it highest. While at the same time, our people are being taxed to the hilt.
Politically, authoritarianism is on the rise. Independent Constitutional institutions and office holders are undermined. The judiciary is being attacked and badly needed appointments of judges are not being made. There is political censorship and a lack of freedom of speech in our Parliament. Constitutional violations are committed with impunity. The appointment of the Chairman of GECOM has been reduced to a game of political football. Discrimination by and corruption in Government have become institutionalized.
Therefore, as we celebrate this significant national event, it is important that we take stock of, from where we have come and where we are, so that we can be focused on the direction in which we would like to move forward. The choice is becoming clearer: we either sit idly as passengers along the highway to political dictatorship or, we can stand firm in resistance against those who are threatening our democracy, our freedoms and our social and economic well-being.
As we have always done, the PPP will continue that relentless struggle to improve the lives of our people and to create a better and unified Guyana for all.
Happy 47th Republic Anniversary.
GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION (GAWU)
As we continue to build and consolidate as a nation, historical landmarks and signposts acquire great significance. Apart from inspiring patriotism, they also serve as reminders of the path we have travelled to arrive at this point in our development.
Guyana’s Republic Anniversary in February with the high point on Republic Day, 23rd February is one such institutionalized and national event. That we have survived 50 years as an independent nation and 47 as a republic this month is something to celebrate. In our rich political history, our Republican Status represents an important milestone.
With such sentiments in mind, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) joins all Guyana in the observance of the country’s forty-seventh year as a Co-operative Republic. In passing, it should be noted that we have remained within the Commonwealth of Nations and, naturally, the United Nations Organisation. Since Republican Status we have joined or maintained membership in other vital regional and international organisations, important indicators that we are proud to be associated with organisations that uphold humanitarian values even as we celebrate our national achievements.
GAWU at this time of celebration and reflection is mindful of various negative realities in our midst. The economy is currently floundering despite hopeful predictions from some quarters. Social ills like domestic violence, suicide, lack of good parenting, road traffic mayhem and criminal violence of all types are mounting and holding our citizens in a state of anxiety, if not despair. Workers in the sugar industry today feel especially oppressed as they face one kind of pressure or another.
In these trying times and deteriorating conditions, GAWU sees the need for our citizens to be involved in the decision-making and the governmental processes. The government, one political group or one local democratic organ cannot confront and solve the current numerous quality of life challenges facing all of us. Whether it is GuySuCo, GPL, parking meters or the generation of employment, the Opposition, Civil Society including trade unions must be consulted and be involved meaningfully.
The working people are restive and in need of relief. The Government must listen and must respond positively.
Challenging are the times though, GAWU wishes the nation an enjoyable celebration of our 47th Republic Anniversary.
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF GEORGETOWN
Citizens of this dear land of Guyana, we have come to a time in our History when we celebrate our coming of age as sovereign nation, 47 years ago. Our Republican status bestows us the rights and responsibilities to charter our own course and pursue our destiny.
Today, our national symbols remind us of the struggles and sacrifices of our patriots, who worked committedly and diligently to ensure Guyana the right to advance its own destiny with hope and success.
Our national symbols: our national Anthem, our flag- The Golden Arrow Head, our national songs and other symbols are they evidence of the struggles and sacrifices of our national heroes, who worked tirelessly to ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of liberty.
The status of nationhood has the rights and responsibilities .We could not attempt to divorce the two – rights and responsibilities without consequential implications to the general pace of progress and development. In any case there can be no real development in the absence of unity.
The truism is rights and responsibilities are so inextricably linked, that they depend on each other. Hence, our responsibility of nationhood is to secure and maintain the wellbeing of all our citizens of Guyana. This must and would only be facilitated by an environment of peace and harmony, which is exceptionally necessary in our current circumstances.
Therefore, in respective of our ethnicity, religious persuasion or other affiliation, we must seek to advance the cause of unity. We must never concede ground to division in none of it forms and facets. It is important that we do everything to ensure, unity, harmony and peace in our society. As we celebrate with dignity, unity and great liberty we must reflect on the colonial past and the great advancements and achievements wrought by our predecessors through unity of purpose.
As celebrate Mashramani 2017, lets us reflects on the hard work and sacrifices of those have gone before us and commit ,to working to together to advance the interest of this nation.
Let release ourselves to the advancement of the City of Georgetown and to all our local communities. We believe that the City of Georgetown can be advanced to status that is comparable to great cities of the world but this vision would only become a reality when every man, woman, boy and girl work together to make this great vision a reality.
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