Aug 02, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – To mark the August 1, Emancipation celebration yesterday, President Irfaan Ali announced that under his leadership Guyana has recommitted to working with the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to continue efforts for compensation and other forms of justice for the enslavement of Africans
The President noted that: “Guyana will continue to support the efforts being made within the Caribbean Community to press for the convening of an international summit to demand reparative justice for the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, African enslavement, and its enduring effects.”
The President also called for “a full and unconditional apology” from those responsible and/or who benefitted from the transatlantic trade in captive Africans and their consequent enslavement, but he said that would not be sufficient.
“Reparative justice, however, cannot be confined to such an apology. It must go further,” he said.
Ali also paid tribute to the indomitable will of those who rebelled against the indignities of slavery. The President noted, that Guyana’s history is punctuated by uprisings – courageous acts by enslaved Africans, including the decisive blows for freedom that took place in 1763 Berbice slave rebellion and 1823 Demerara rebellion.
“As we look to the future on this anniversary of Emancipation, I assure you, our African-Guyanese brothers and sisters, that you will not be excluded from or left behind in Guyana’s national development. Every citizen will benefit from the opportunities which are being unlocked. We want every Guyanese to be part of this development, sharing in its transformation and in its resultant benefits.”
“As I said during my inaugural address to the 12th Parliament earlier this year, and as I have repeated on many occasions after, an essential part of my Government is inclusion. As Guyanese, we should be defined by our nationality and by our common love for our country. The establishment of the One Guyana Commission will give life to our vision of oneness,” Ali said, reiterating his call for togetherness and brotherhood.
As he sought to assure African Guyanese that that they would not be excluded or left behind in Guyana’s national development, credited African Guyanese for historically laying the groundwork for Guyana’s economy and their contributions today in a vast array of sectors and national life.
“You, our African-Guyanese brothers and sisters, remain integral to national development and continue to excel and contribute to our nation’s progress. African-Guyanese doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are among those on the frontlines providing life-saving care and treatment to our sick and infirmed,” Ali said adding, that African Guyanese have distinguished themselves in all spheres of human endeavour.
The President also noted that achievements include laying of the foundation of Guyana’s economic infrastructure, establishing the village movement, pioneering undertakings of the peasantry, developing Local Government systems, promoting co-operative institutions and other social organisations, and being in the forefront of the emergence of local trade unionism.
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