Guyanese at International Indentured Conference for Fiji Girmit Day celebrations

Dear Editor,
A global Indentureship (Girmitiya) Conference will be held on May 12 and 13, and a number of other activities are planned to commemorate Girmitiya Day, or Indian Arrival in Fiji. This year will be the first national public holiday for Indian Arrival, or Girmitiya Day. Indian activists lobbied the Government for a national holiday. The Prime Minister campaigned in last year’s election on a promise to make it a holiday, and has now delivered.
Indians first arrived in Fiji on May 14. The Girmit Day celebration and holiday is on May 15th, and will be held at various locations throughout the country. The main attraction will be at Albert Park in Suva, the capital city. The Government has allocated funds for national celebrations.
Deputy Prime Minister Professor Dr Biman Prasad has said that four days of events are being planned to mark Girmit Day celebration.
Girmit Conference Chair Dr Ganesh Chand has said that around 150 scholars locally and from abroad are also expected to arrive in the country to participate in the two-day international conference on Girmit Day.
This writer, Clem Seecharan, Baytoram Ramharack and a few other Guyanese are participants. The Fiji Government is hosting us. Some Trinis and Surinamese are also presenting papers.
The conference will be at USP, or University of South Pacific, with participants coming from the Caribbean, North America, India, Australia, UK, New Zealand and other countries.
Several Guyanese studied at USP. Some Guyanese also taught there. This writer delivered guest lectures in multiple trips to Fiji over the last three decades.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram