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The official launch of the United Nations Interfaith Harmony Week 2023 (Guyana) was held Wednesday at the National Cultural Centre. The World Interfaith Harmony Week 2023, is organised by the Inter Religious Organisation of Guyana (IROG), is being held under the theme: “Love of God and love of the neighbour.”
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips in his address to the audience said that interfaith dialogue creates a platform for cohesiveness and forms the foundation for the creation of positive social and cultural development.
He also spoke of the role religious organisations could play in nation-building.
Religion, he said, plays key roles in faith and guided structure and that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue also constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.
“Peace and harmony ultimately promote prosperity, a commitment that our Government has also made to the people of Guyana. So we recognise the need to ensure that all stakeholders are included so that we can receive their contributions on how to continue to build a harmonious nation.”
Peace and harmony, he explained, ultimately promote prosperity, a commitment that the Government has also made to the people of Guyana.
Harmony Week, he added, is a welcomed and timely occasion as it aligns perfectly with the Government’s vision for its people.
The prime minister told the gathering the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government “is committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation in our society. We have committed to fostering diversity and inclusiveness by sensitising our people about their importance.”
The government’s claim is not borne out by evidence as there are many cases of victimisation and discrimination.
The main opposition, A Partnership of National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC); the leaders in the regional and local democratic councils and municipalities the PPP/C does not control are excluded from meaningful political involvement and representative of their constituents in the management of the constituencies and allocation of resources.
In communities or streets dominated by supporters perceived to be of the Opposition are ignored.
Last September Minister of Public Works, Mr. Juan Edghill, in a Facebook post, stated “Georgetown residents should vote PPP/C so we can fix [the roads] and do more for City Hall.”
There continues to be the violation of workers’ right to collective bargaining. The Guyana Public Service Union last year took the government to court requesting the court to direct the government to respect collective bargaining as outlined in Article 147 of the Constitution of Guyana.
Last year the Government withdrew the state grants (subventions) from the Critchlow Labour College and the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G). IDPADA-G has since taken the government to court requesting the court direct the government to release the grant since it was passed into law via passage of the 2022 Budget.