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This 57th year of Guyana’s Independence finds a people torn by grief and deep reflection about our ability to hold it together and build a nation that would be great and for all to see. This anniversary finds people weeping the loss of 19 of their children, the injuries suffered by many, and the trauma inflicted on a community, the result of a fire that gutted the female dormitory of Mahdia Secondary School.
We question, not without merit, what have we done to deserve a government that cares not about all the people and would rather seek to divide than unite us.
57 years after severing the yoke of colonial domination, committed at the beginning to chart the path of political, social, cultural and economic self-determination, there is the desire by some to return us to a path our forebears tread, fought against, and delivered us from.
Our resources no longer seem ours to make the determination, for those entrusted with the power and authority to protect and defend these, and ensure they are exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people, are colluding with others to deprive and deny us.
Lest it be misconstrued, the Guyana Trades Union Congress is not opposed to foreign investments. What the Congress is opposed to is the government abrogating its foremost responsibility to the people in ensuring our resources are exploited in a manner where the interests of both the investors and Guyanese are secured.
57 years later, the dreams of our forebears to establish a country of “One People One Nation One Destiny” not only seem elusive but some are beginning to question if such aspiration is still possible. Fundamental rights that would ensure social, economic and political justice, as prescribed in the Constitution and Laws of Guyana, are denied many by a few, who though entrusted the people’s power to manage their affairs, continue to trample the people in various forms.
We mourn this year and fittingly so. We mourn for our children that a government let down, we mourn for lives and dreams cut short by the reckless decisions of policy makers and the executors (pun intended). We mourn for a nation in the throes of agony and despair, and wonder if we’ll ever, in our lifetime and our children be able to say, “Yes, we have come this far, and in spite of the external challenges, internally we are a united people charting our own destiny.’
The Bharrat Jagdeo/Irfaan Ali regime cannot ignore their discriminatory, bullying, avaricious and divisive policies and programmes that have brought this nation to its nadir. They have aptly dedicated this year’s Flag Raising and Independence events to remembrance and prayer.
We pray for those 19 souls to Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory, for God to give their loved ones, community and all the people the strength to pull through, and our leaders the wisdom to make decisions that put the people, not themselves, first. We pray God save Guyana and exorcise the demons of hate, greed, intolerance and discrimination, and give her people the strength to fight against these forces.
May our 58th Anniversary be better than our 57th