Arrival Day 2023: Work together to break shackles of divisiveness – President Ali urges

– reiterates no ethnic group is superior under ‘One Guyana’ banner

While acknowledging that our ancestors have arrived from different parts of the world, President Irfaan Ali has called on Guyanese to work together to “unshackle” themselves from divisiveness.
“Arrival Day reminds us that while our ancestors may have come in different ships, today we are all in the same vessel – this beautiful country called Guyana, blessed with warm, friendly and hospitable people and abundant resources. It is for us to work together, unshackled from divisiveness, so as to create the conditions that would yield a better life for ourselves and progeny,” the Head of State said in his Arrival Day message.
Arrival Day, celebrated annually on May 5, coincides with the date when the first batch of Indian indentured servants arrived in British Guiana to work on sugar plantations. However, Arrival Day is observed to celebrate the arrival and honour the contributions of other indentured immigrants – Chinese and Portuguese – as well.
“Arrival Day also coincides with the celebration of Indian Arrival Day, the anniversary of the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured immigrants to our country. One hundred and eighty-five (185) years ago, Indians set foot on this soil, and in the ensuing years, almost a quarter of a million indentured immigrants would arrive, the majority of whom stayed and made this country their permanent homeland.
“These indentured immigrants and their descendants have made an undeniable and unmistakable contribution to our country’s development and its struggles for national liberation and human dignity. Indians have been integral to our country’s quest for freedom, economic empowerment, and its political, economic, and social development. They have enriched and added to Guyana’s multicultural diversity,” the Head of State noted.
President Ali, in his message, said Arrival Day is a celebration of the multicultural character of our nation. He added that the observance is also used to pay homage to Guyana’s African, Asian, European and West Indian ancestors who, together with Indigenous Peoples, laid the foundation of the country’s ethnic diversity, with each group contributing in no small measure to the country’s attainment of freedom and its development.
Ali further stated that the arrival of various groups of people to Guyana has created a diverse and multicultural society that now distinguishes the country from the rest of the world.
“Guyana’s multiculturalism brings together the cultural traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe and the West Indies, and in this process helps to forge a sense of oneness. These distinct and varied strands are being weaved into a singular, strong and unified national fabric, where differences are acknowledged, recognized and respected”, he said.
Since taking office in 2020, President Ali has been pushing a “One Guyana” agenda aimed at unifying the country. In his message, Ali said the One Guyana agenda esteems the diversity from which oneness springs.
“Under the One Guyana banner, none are more equal to any other, and none will be treated as superior to the other. One Guyana is about fashioning a more inclusive and equal Guyana, where our people are bonded by shared values and common aspirations.
“Diversity must not become a spear of division. On this Arrival Day 2023, I beseech the people of Guyana to reject attempts from whichever quarter, that are aimed to fostering prejudice, hatred, strife and division. I urge all Guyanese, regardless of race, religion or class, to continue to work together to build a One Guyana,” he stressed.