Group reflecting on Guyana’s 50th Independence applauded

Dear Editor,
Guyana celebrates her independence anniversary on May 26; an achievement that took place 50 years ago. This Friday in New York, a group comprising of members from several organisations have come together to reflect on the 50 years of independence and to honour deserving individuals who played a role in the independence movement and the restoration of democracy. The complimentary event (dinner and cultural presentation) is a simple but very important, ceremony that recognises the wholeness of our Guyanese society, paying tribute to people of all backgrounds for their contributions for a better Guyana and for improving life in the Diaspora.
I applaud the work of the Year 50 Independence Committee and its Chair, Dr Tara Singh for putting together such a historic remembrance event to honour forgotten (or unsung) heroes who fought for the nation’s freedom and restoration of democratic rule after our freedom was taken away by the People’s National Congress (PNC). Dr Singh has been the motivating and driving force behind this Committee, and his active involvement along with the rest of the Committee in seeing it through to its end – is itself an achievement worthy of honour. It has taken many weeks of dedicated service, a lot of personal funds, sacrifice of social and family life, and an abiding commitment to organise this momentous event. Members calling themselves the ‘Y50 Independence Group’ have been passionately committed to this cause and to their community and Guyana, as evidenced by their attendance at meetings, sacrifice, financial contribution, and hard work. They deserve much credit and support from the public; especially that they see the need to honour people who were never recognised for their contribution to the nation.
The (New York based) Committee members through this historic 50th independence anniversary reflection are rendering yeoman service to the Guyanese Diaspora. It is unprecedented for individuals from several organisations to come together and for seeing the need to pay tribute to individuals who successive Governments in Guyana have failed to recognise for their work in helping to liberate the Guyanese nation. Such liberation took place during the struggle for independence and against the establishment of the PNC dictatorship. Recognition is also being done for those, through their varied activities, who have contributed to the development of communities in the Diaspora and for contributing to their new societies. The honour (medal or award or citation) being bestowed on the unsung heroes (some who have passed on) is given in recognition for as well as an acknowledgement and appreciation of their many years of voluntary services and contributions to our nation and our community. They are worthy examples that serve as inspiration for others to follow. They have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of honour. They gave unwavering support to independence and free and fair elections. It is this quality of giving to humanity and serving people above self that make them worthy of these awards. They have acted for Guyana based on love.
The Y50 Independence Committee notes that “the event is a reflection into the struggle and challenges that lie ahead for the Guyanese nation”. It notes there is nothing to celebrate about when thousands of workers have been fired. It points out there is spiralling crime and a declining economy. And the country is more racially divided than ever. Hence, the Committee is engaged in a reflection and not a celebration of the 50th anniversary.
I applaud the work of the Committee’s members, encouraging them to continue their stellar service to the Diaspora and the nation.
And I express the deepest appreciation and admiration for the service that each honouree rendered to our country, our people, our community, our society and our Diaspora. I hope the honourees will continue to play an important role in our country’s development so that every Guyanese can live in comfort and peace and in racial harmony. It is also hoped that one day the Guyanese Government will recognise the work of these fine characters (honourees and organisers) who have been ignored by successive Governments.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram