… says Guyanese need to work together for true prosperity
as Guyana and Guyanese here and abroad celebrate the country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence from British rule, Opposition Leader and former President Bharrat Jagdeo believes that Guyanese need to work together in order for the country to truly prosper.
He was at the time addressing the National Assembly late Tuesday evening. The Opposition Leader took the opportunity to extend Independence greetings to Guyanese, while wishing Government parliamentarians, a year filled with productive service in favour of development in the country.
“We believe that we have to work together regardless of our political affiliation to move our country forward. We too share a vision for this country – a vision that is similar, at least in its ideals, to those and that of the President (David Granger). We’d like to see our country prosper, we’d like our people to progressively have a better life,” he stated.
Jagdeo added that he too envisioned a green economy and national patrimony which could be passed on to future generations. He said that the Party wanted the country’s people to live together in harmony and not be divided by history and by current circumstances.
“We believe that as Guyanese we have more in common than those things that divide us…Regardless of the robust debates that we have; regardless of the numerous encounters we have wherever we go in the streets or on television or in the debates, we are all children of this soil. We all share its history,” he posited.
The former Head of State recalled Guyana’s history and the struggle the country’s fore-parents had to endure in their fight for Independence. He said as the country celebrates its jubilee milestone, persons must take account of the struggles of all of those who fought for freedom.
“Here in Guyana, we must disabuse our minds that somehow the British handed this (freedom) to us. From the very first fight for freedom from slavery and from organised trade union movement to the Political Affairs Committee 1946, when the first sort of political action was brought together in an organised way… and then in 1950 when Burnham and Cheddi Jagan formed the first political party in Guyana – the People’s Progressive Party,” he recounted.
According to Jagdeo, these were all important milestones in the march to freedom and it was progressive policies in 1950 that paved the way for what came after. He went on to say that the PPP and its then leaders started to enact those policies because they wanted to change Guyanese lives for better.
However, he pointed out that this journey was not without struggle as external pressure and interference mounted in the early 60s, mainly because some did not want freedom to be extended to Guyana or they wanted freedom but on their own conditions.
The Opposition Leader noted that those situations have negatively impacted Guyanese as they promoted division among them, something which still lives in the lives of that generation and has even poisoned the minds of this new generation.
“So when we talk about social cohesion today, the primary task, I think, is to go back and remove the (divisiveness) from that period. Yes, we did have (division) from local leaders who might have been used, but the plot was external to divide our people, purely external and we have had to live with the consequences,” he stated.
On this note, Jagdeo outlined that they had to ensure collectively that whatever policies were enacted today, that Guyanese perceive them to be for the entire country. He further remarked that after the Independence celebrations, he hopes the whole year would be spent on achieving the lofty vision of bringing Guyanese together, noting that this was something his party was willing to be part of.
“The PPP and its members will always work in the nation’s interest. Our patriotism must never be questioned. We and our members love this country as much as anyone else do… We will work as hard for this country as anyone else. We are looking forward to 50 years in the future when we can look back at this celebration and say our country have moved forward,” he said.