May 05, 2021 News
Arrival Day 2021 Message of His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Kaieteur News – I greet all Guyanese on the occasion of Arrival Day 2021. This special day is commemorated as a public holiday on May 5 each year. It celebrates the contributions to the national development of our African, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and European ancestors and their descendants.
The declaration of May 5 as Arrival Day followed the passage on April 14, 2003, in our National Assembly, of Resolution No. 12 of 2003.
Arrival Day is a day of recognition and appreciation of our nation’s multicultural character. Arrival Day challenges us to appreciate our diverse peoples and their cultures and encourages us to strive for a society in which the contributions of every ethnic group are recognised, respected and rewarded.
It is towards that objective that I have committed to launching a One Guyana Commission. The Commission will become an instrument for valuing and respecting one another. As I indicated in my inaugural address to the National Assembly, the Commission’s work will be national in scope. It would involve engaging our citizenry about how every Guyanese can honour his or her ancestral heritage while fashioning our blended Guyanese civilisation. I urge you all to be part of this important undertaking.
Today, May 5, also marks Indian Arrival Day. This year, we are commemorating the 183rd anniversary of the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured immigrants to our shores. The contributions of Indians to national development are indelible and undisputable. Indians have excelled in all aspects of national life. They have also passed on a precious legacy, one which should be preserved for and transmitted to future generations.
The Indians who came to Guyana, beginning in 1838, demonstrated steadfast resilience in the face of great adversity. They persevered in the face of hardships, deprivations, oppression and back-breaking exertions. Today we can all be inspired by their sacrifices and resilience.
Today, we are faced with challenges. But if we work together in unity and love, regardless of ethnicity, lineage or political affiliation, we are bound to overcome these challenges. Let us, therefore, pool our ideas and resources and work towards eliminating some of the ills – such as suicide, domestic abuse, poverty, ignorance, substance abuse and the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these have the potential to inflict disaffection, discomfort and distress in our society. Let us also reject hate-filled, rancorous rhetoric aimed at dividing our people.
On this Arrival Day, let us all commit to pooling our efforts to build a stronger, united, freer and more prosperous nation, one in which we can exult in the vitality of our various peoples and their cultures.
Today as we celebrate the Arrival Day, let us remember that we are stronger together.
Let us remember that every group that came did so for improvement, did so to have improved living conditions, did so that successive generations will be better off.
We have an enormous opportunity today to leave a Guyana that will be incredibly better for the generation that will follow. We can only do this if we understand that collectively, in our collective strength, in our collective wisdom and the pooling together of our energies, it is only then that we can be the best and become one Guyanese people.
All of us face various degrees of adversities. But, at the end of it all, our ancestors taught us that with perseverance, patience, kindness, love, unity, and purpose, how much can be achieved.
Today, we are blessed with tremendous natural resources. We have to go back to that inner strength of our ancestors to overcome all that will be thrown at us. That inner strength is what we need to build a unified coalition to improve the lives of each other and bring freedom to this land. That inner strength with our capacity and the opportunities that lie ahead when blended indeed can leave for this generation and generations to come enough that we can all say in a unified voice, we are proud to be part of this land.
We are proud to be Guyanese, we are proud of our ancestors, and we are proud of all that they did to make our lives better.
Thank you very much.
God bless you, and please continue to stay safe.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PPP ON THE OCCASION OF ARRIVAL DAY 2021
Arrival Day, designated a National Holiday on May 5, is of tremendous significance to our country and all of its people. It’s a day that brings into focus the invaluable contributions of our ancestors who came to the shores of our dear land from various parts of the world. It is also a day to commemorate their arrival and monumental achievements.
Once again, as we observe this occasion, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) takes this opportunity to extend greetings to all Guyanese, home and abroad.
As we commemorate this day, all Guyanese are urged to reflect on the many sacrifices our foreparents made to advance our country and better our lives. We are urged to recognise that the sacrifices of all our ancestors will be in vain, if those who would divide us are allowed to succeed.
After their grueling journeys at various points in our history to arrive here and in spite of the hardships they faced, they were selfless in their efforts to not just build for our betterment, but remained steadfast in ensuring the preservation of the various cultural traditions, which continue to instill values, enrich and shape our lives.
Those deliberate efforts have led to the creation of this multi-cultural and multi-religious society of ours in where there is immense pride in diversity imbuing us all with strength as we share and participate in the various festivals that have come to identify us as a people. Over time, those events have served to strengthened bonds of togetherness among our people. The sacrifices and achievements of our foreparents will remain a source of inspiration for our collective efforts to build a prosperous and unified nation that is home to all of us.
Over the decades, activities to commemorate Arrival Day were held across the country providing opportunities for Guyanese and visitors to interact and experience our rich and diverse cultural traditions. At this juncture, those customary vibrant and colourful celebrations associated with this day, have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all reminded to observe the related protocols, to be safe and for those eligible, to get vaccinated.
Happy Arrival Day to All!
People’s Progressive Party
People’s National Congress
The People’s National Congress extends greetings to all Guyanese, especially those of East Indian origin, on the occasion of Arrival Day as our nation observes the 183rd Anniversary of the arrival of the first East Indian immigrants.
Arrival Day, observed as a National Holiday annually on 5th May, celebrates one of the most significant events in Guyana’s history. Our nation’s multi-cultural diversity which was shaped by the ‘arrivals’ who came during the colonial era, is an asset that enriched our common experience.
Arrival Day not only gives persons of Indian origin an opportunity to reflect on the journey of their ancestors but also, it provides an opportunity for people of other origins to reflect on the journey and history of their own ancestors. It is important for us to examine our origins so that we could understand better the impact of our collective efforts in building our nation and appreciate the need to respect each other.
Arrival Day reminds us that our nation is richer today because of the invaluable contributions which the descendants of all immigrants have made to our national development and to shaping our Guyaneseness – the unique tapestry of beliefs, cultures and traditions.
The People’s National Congress wishes everyone a Happy Arrival Day.
Ethnic Relations Commission
The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) extends best wishes to all Guyanese on the observance of Arrival Day 2021. A day which commemorates the historical arrival of numerous indentured servants of diverse ethnic heritages to Guyana, to replace slave labour on the sugar plantations after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
On this occasion, the ERC wishes to take the opportunity to reiterate the need for all Guyanese to build together upon their gains and to continue robustly the process of fostering unity and harmony.
Today, we celebrate the enrichment of diversity that Arrival Day embodies in the shaping of modern Guyana. Arrival Day is most significant for what it represents in the context of the multi-faceted mosaic it created and for which our country is known.
Our hodgepodge of multiculturalism was as a result of the untold sacrifices, desires and steadfastness of our ancestors, to practice and preserve their rich and colourful cultural traditions, having come to this land from different parts of the world at different times in our history.
In doing so individually through the various ethnic groups, sharing and participation in each other’s traditions forged our dear nation to become multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural. That is evident as all participate meaningfully in each other’s festivities which have transcended religious and ethnic boundaries to become truly national observances.
Over time, that rich, beautiful and vibrant diversity has become our strength and the common bond in the process of becoming one people, working towards a common destiny. While there have been challenges along the way, our Guyanese brothers and sisters have always found ways to foster togetherness through tolerance and respect. Herein lies the desire of all of our people for harmony and unity to be strengthened and for it to continue to prevail across this land that is home to all.
This is imperative in the interest of our nation and all its peoples so that our diversity must never be made a tool for division but one that will continue to reflect our strength and bonds of togetherness. May 5 also marks the Anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors who reached these shores on that day in 1838 while on May 3, the arrival of the Portuguese was observed.
The colourful commemorative events across the country will once again serve to bring our people together, allowing opportunities to not only participate, but for the continuation of that important process of educating for a better understanding and appreciation of our cultural traditions. This builds tolerance which is the bedrock of harmony and unity as we strive for one people out of many cultures.
As Guyanese record another milestone amidst the difficult and threatening COVID-19 crisis, the ERC nevertheless emphasises the importance of continuing to observe all the necessary precautions and regulations.
Happy Arrival Day to all Guyanese here and in the Diaspora from the Management and Staff of the Ethnic Relations Commission!
Indian Action Committee
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) wishes all Guyanese a Happy Arrival Day and especially calls upon all citizens to remember the 183rdAnniversary of the arrival of East Indians in Guyana.
The IAC, an organisation which promotes and preserves Indian culture and deals with the issues and concerns of persons of Indo-Guyanese origin, over the years has provided Guyanese with historical information regarding the arrival of just over 239,000 Indian immigrants who came to this country aboard 245 Coolie Ships which made a total of 534 voyages across the Kaalaa Paanii between 1838 and 1917.
The IAC also has clarified and corrected statistical errors pertaining to the arrival of the first two Coolie Ships, the WHITBY and the HESPERUS which, between them landed a total of 423 persons including 382 indentured males, 14 indentured females, 21 children and 6 Christian Anglo-Indian interpreters/superintendents.
The IAC, as the organisation has done over the years, continues to recognise the endeavours by these Indian immigrants and their descendants, the persons of Indo-Guyanese origin, to develop this country.
The IAC, which has recognised important contributions by giving awards to persons from Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo, is aware that tens of thousands of East Indians have made valuable efforts in all fields of human activity in this country including business and commerce; banking and finance; the sugar and rice industries; coconuts and other crops; fishery and livestock; mining and quarrying; forestry and sawmilling; education and academia; medicine and law; journalism and communications; accounting and insurance; private and national security; the hospitality and aviation sectors; the alcohol and beverage industries; sport and entertainment; culture and religion; and politics and governance.
The IAC recognises the extreme danger posed by COVID-19 to the entire population of Guyana including those of Indo-Guyanese origin and urges all Guyanese to practice the concept of social distancing and to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this lethal disease.
The IAC wishes to remind all Guyanese that the Indian immigrants who arrived in this country almost empty handed, essentially poverty stricken and with a high degree of illiteracy, have bequeathed to this country, descendants who did not remain in that original state but became literate, educated, industrious, wealthy and patriotic.
A Happy Arrival Day to all.
Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union
As our country once again observes Arrival Day, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) takes the opportunity to extend greetings and best wishes to the people of Guyana. The observances always serve to remind us of the rich diversity and the unique multi-cultural composition of our nation. Indeed, it adds to the specialness of Guyana that people of different backgrounds can co-exist in harmony and unity as they all seek to improve their lives, a goal linked to building our country which will surely augur well for the future generations.
While Arrival Day – May 05 – though largely associated with the arrival of East Indians, the day reminds us of all indentured immigrants brought to our land. Our research advises us that outside of the East Indians, the Madeiran Portuguese came in May 1835, the Chinese in 1853, as well as a few other ethnicities during that phase of colonialism. We are aware that the colonialists brought also labourers from Malta, Ireland, Germany and England.
Arrival Day also reminds us of the reasons for the indentureship system. The then immigrants who replaced the emancipated slaves were made to toil in the fields of the sugar plantations to enrich the foreign owners of the plantations. Indentured labourers and their families were forced to exist in inhumane and atrocious conditions. And, like their compatriots, they were forced to engage in several struggles, which gave us several martyrs, to bring about small improvements and meagre benefits in their lives and work conditions.
Today as we celebrate Arrival Day, GAWU cannot fail to observe that the industry that occasioned our diversity is being revitalised. Our Union recognises that the industry remains critical to the sustenance and wellbeing of thousands of Guyanese. The efforts to push the industry into obscurity by the past regime are well documented and the hardship it created is well known. We are encouraged by the actions and utterances of the new Government which has demonstrated its commitment. Sugar, we reiterate, has all possibilities of success but, among other things, requires the active and material support and confidence of the powers-that-be.
As we celebrate Arrival Day, GAWU urges all Guyanese to spare a moment to reflect on how far as a people we have come, the challenges we overcame and the successes we have recorded. At this time, when we ought to look to be reaching new and higher plateaus, we see concerted efforts that will very likely reverse much of the progress we have made and rightly can take pride in. Let us resist such efforts and get back on the development track.
GAWU joins with all Guyana to celebrate Arrival Day.
High Commissioner of India, Dr. K. J. Srinivasa
On behalf of the Government of India and the High Commission of India in Guyana, I wish to extend my best wishes to all Guyanese brothers and sisters on the occasion of the Indian Arrival Day on May 5. Starting from Port of Calcutta in India, on 13 January, 1838 by the ship ‘Whitby’ and after traveling for 114 days arrived in Guyana, it was on this day in 1838, the first group of Indian Immigrants, set foot on this beautiful land of Guyana at Highbury on Berbice River.
It is very heartwarming to note that the Indo-Guyanese still retain their Indian traditions and culture despite settling down in a far-off country. The most striking aspect of the Indo-Guyanese in Guyana is their strength of resilience and adaptation. Indian culture has a big influence on the overall culture of Guyana be it music, food, language, art, religion, tradition, rituals, costumes, etc.
The Indian Diaspora in Guyana has and is playing a crucial role in the economic, political and social development of the country. They have excelled in almost all areas. India is very proud of the achievements by the Indo-Guyanese Diaspora and their role in the development of Guyana. The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas held in India has honoured such Guyanese achievers with the Pravasi Bhartiya Award.
I consider it indeed a matter of honour and privilege for me to serve as the Indian High Commissioner to this Girmitiya land. The priority of the current Government of India led by Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, is to build everlasting links with the Indian Diaspora the world over.
On this occasion I would like to commend major Indo-Guyanese socio-cultural-religious organisations which have been the torch bearers of preserving Indianness – Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha under Honourable Minister, Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persaud, Indian Commemorative Trust led by Dr. Yesu Persaud, HSS – Hindus for Selfless Service, Indian Action Committee, Cove & John Ashram, Saraswati Vidya Niketan, etc.
The Government of India has been closely working with Government of Guyana in several sectors and has delivered on various projects so far. Now we are working on over US$100 million worth of Indian Grants and Lines of Credit for building Roads, Hospitals and a Ferry, Solar panels, collaborations in agriculture, rice, sugar, etc., while oil and gas, education scholarships will be the future.
Availing this opportunity, I would like to reassure you that the High Commission would be happy to work closely with the Government and people of Guyana and extend its hand of collaboration in more areas of benefit to the people of Guyana. It is our aim and endeavours to see that the expertise and capacities available with India is shared with our friendly country, Guyana. I fondly hope that we continue to build upon this sacred relationship between India and Guyana. The massive projected transformation of Guyana in the next decade will surely have India as a strategic partner and we wish to strengthen our partnership. We wish and pray for Guyana’s success. I call upon all brothers and sisters of Guyana to take an oath to join hands and work for the growth and progress of this rainbow nation of Guyana.
On a parting note, India will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day Anniversary on 15th August, 2022. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Government of India is organising several events in India and across the globe. High Commission of India in Georgetown is also planning a series of events on this historic occasion in Guyana. We urge all Guyanese to join us in this series of events which will be publicised in due course.
Long live India-Guyana Friendship.
May 13, 2021– Legendary English Squash Coach loses battle with Cancer By Sean Devers The Squash fraternity was thrown into mourning last week Monday at the passing of legendary English Squash Coach Malcolm...
May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021
May 12, 2021
Kaieteur News – The sociological fact is that there are numbers in the US that could cause Trump to win again in 2024.... more
Kaieteur News – Those who were complicit in or defended the diabolical plot to rig the 2020 elections have no moral... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]