Michael L. Van Cooten
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Wednesday, February 24, 2021) — “Four years after attaining its political independence, our country declared itself as a republic and assumed the title of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana,” President Irfaan Ali, reminded the nation, yesterday, as it celebrated the 51st anniversary of becoming a republic.
“These two historical milestones – Independence and Republic status – form an unbroken continuum of our people’s struggles, to lift themselves out of the state of want and deprivation, to exist as free men and women in an indivisible state and by working for the development of all.”
“Our country’s national motto, ‘One people, One nation, One destiny’, is the tripod, upon which our independent and republican statehood rests,” he continued, adding that the elements of the country’s national motto, commit its citizens to the pursuit of unity, affirms their sovereignty and shapes their ambitions.
“‘One people’ acknowledges the different strands, which constitute our country’s ethnic diversity, and celebrates our rich and vibrant multiculturalism, while promoting our common citizenship.
“‘One nation’ signals the indivisibility of our state, and commits us to defend, vigorously, our God-given patrimony, to zealously guard our sovereignty and prudently manage our resources for the benefit of all.
“‘One destiny’ asserts our shared aspiration to live in a society, in which our children are provided with opportunities; where the exertions of our workmen and women are fairly remunerated; where our elderly can enjoy their golden years in comfort and good health; and where our vulnerable are provided with protection and support,” President Ali declared.
US President, Joseph Biden, in a public statement to President Ali, said, “It is my pleasure to send congratulations to the people of Guyana, as you celebrate 51 years as a republic on February 23.”
“Guyana is a strong democracy, and I look forward to strengthening our bilateral relationship, based on shared principles of good governance, prosperity, and security. The challenges of COVID-19 affect all of us and make clear that we must advance our partnership to face the global pandemic, together,” President Biden stated.
“In the year ahead, I look forward to our teams addressing the issues and security concerns that threaten our shared interests, while building on Guyana’s economic growth and development. I wish you, and all the people of Guyana a joyous and safe Mashramani,” he concluded.
India also extended “warm greetings and felicitations to the government and people of Guyana, on the occasion of your Republic Day”.
In a letter to President Ali, the burgeoning super-power wrote, “India attaches immense importance to its ties with Guyana. Our two countries share warm and friendly relations, with growing engagements in the political, economic, commercial and cultural fields; adding that it was “confident that our partnership would be strengthened in the years to come”.
“India’s gesture of solidarity, by way of extending medical supplies and protective gear, last year, to assist the government and friendly people of Guyana in their fight against (the) COVID-19 pandemic, is symbolic of our close relations; and India will continue to be a reliable partner of Guyana in the collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter continued.
President Ali recently launched the ‘One Guyana’ project, which, celebrates the oneness, as enunciated in its national motto; is aimed at excising the vices of ethnic rancour, hatred and divisiveness; breaks down barriers of mistrust, suspicion, and stereotypes; and fosters greater tolerance and understanding.
The Project is also expected to encourage respect for the immeasurable worth of every citizen, regardless of race, religious belief or class.
Mashramani, the annual festival of celebration, normally held on Republic Day, had its observances this year, including the flag-raising ceremony, cut back, significantly, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But, “rest assured that the pall of this pandemic will disappear, and with it will come the return to the radiance, colour and liveliness of our Republic celebrations. In the meantime, let us continue to celebrate our Republican anniversary in the best possible way – by working and living together in peace and harmony,” President Ali advised.