Georgetown : Sir Shridath Ramphal, a former Guyana Government Minister and Secretary General of the Commonwealth, during an address to Guyanese at the inauguration ceremony for Guyana’s eighth President, His Excellency David Granger, said this is a time for healing in Guyana as he commended the spirit of unity that permeated the Independence Anniversary commemoration.
Sir Ramphal at the Guyana National Stadium, noted that at Independence all Guyanese aspired to Guyana’s worthy destiny to being one nation and one people, and this has been the case ever since.
“We were one people then, and we have been ever since, save in our politics through which we sometimes deceive ourselves into believing that our motto of one people was false, it was not false and we must not let the vicissitudes of politics and the discord inherent in the democratic process diminish our oneness.”
In the moment of transition, Sir Shridath said, it is the duty of all to work hard at destroying the myth of ‘otherness’ and cultivating by conscious effort a reality of oneness, which is Guyana’s historical birthright. Guyana, he said is now on the cusp of a great future, even though Eldorado may have been a city of the mind, but the nation of one people is poised for greatness.
“The quality of our human resources matches the richness of our natural resources, and in their fusion is our future.”
However, he noted that in moving forward there are great challenges ahead, both internal and external which is why national unity must not be an empty slogan, but a living credo -an ethic of governance.
“I congratulate the coalition of parties that has taken a courageous first step in this direction, and I praise our people who have answered the question, ‘do you want us together or apart?’ in a definitive way.”
Sir Shridath added that for national unity, this is not the end of the journey, but the beginning of a journey that never ends as the nation’s aspirations must not end nationally as Guyana is part of a larger family of the Caribbean Community.
“We in Guyana are a major hand in bringing to creation and to which all within the community need to be vibrant and faithful in fulfillment of its integration goal.”
He however lamented the fact that Guyana cannot be a model of good governance at home if it does not acknowledge that vibrant Caribbean homeland and give leadership in occupying it together.
He believes that all that is needed for national unity is within the compass of the vision that marks this time of transition.
With regards to the President’s inauguration, Sir Shridath said already the earliest days of President Granger’s presidency has brought a path of healing and its concomitant quest of unity to Guyana.
Hence he noted that it is each citizen’s solemn duty to support the new administration towards fulfillment of the trust the people of Guyana has reposed in him and his coalition colleagues.
“May divine blessing hound these efforts and bring forth Guyana’s renewal through the efforts and cohesion of its people, the past is not impossible, indeed it is within our grasp particularly in the grasp of our young people who want to build a future that looks forward and not backward to the past.”