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The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) joins with all Guyanese in observing Arrival Day. Arrival Day means different things to different ethnic groups given the experiences of their ancestors. For some arrival to Guyana is associated with painful and subhuman experiences; others, the promise of better opportunities and whether they were fulfilled; and yet for others, the trauma they endured with the subsequent arrival of other groups. These various experiences the GTUC acknowledges and expresses its deference for all.
GTUC further recognises that whereas Arrival Day on the national calendar is timed to coincide with the first arrival of East Indians to Guyana as indentured labourers, on May 5, 1838, to work on the sugar plantations, that the Day is meant to acknowledge the arrival of the ancestors of all Guyanese to these shores, however they came, or from whence they came.
GTUC reiterates its call for the creation of a fair society, where notwithstanding the historical experiences of our forebears arrival, all Guyanese are made to feel Guyana equally belongs to them and the contributions of their forebears are not sidelined but honoured. We, the descendants of braves, must as a matter of urgency work to realise laws that would give meaning to the national motto, “One People, One Nation, One Destiny,” by forging the political system of “inclusionary democracy” as mandated in Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana.
The Protection of each individual and ethnic group’s Rights and Freedoms, and their involvement is the management and decision-making processes of the State are vital to shifting Guyana away from a divisive political system that exploited our various arrival, to that of an inclusive system that respects and values our arrival, our right to be treated as human beings, and equally benefit from the resources of this nation we all helped to build. Today as Guyanese observe Arrival Day it is important that we, whose ancestors have survived the journey, work harder to make Guyana a home worthy of appreciation.