Guyana’s PM calls on nationals to contribute to nation’s transformation

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NYS Senator Roxanne Persaud, Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier General Ret. and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar after a Resolution and Proclamation were handed over.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier General, Ret. Mark Phillip invited nationals in the New York Diaspora, to become a part of, and to contribute to the historic and transformative process that is taking place in their homeland.

He pledged his government’s unwavering commitment to making ‘you the Diaspora, a key pillar in our national development priorities,’ stating that he was proud of the expatriates.

Addressing a Feb. 22 Evening of Cultural at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Queens, to usher-in the 52nd Anniversary of the Republic, with COVID protocol in place, and live streamed on the Department of Information platform, PM Phillips said his government continues to work on intensifying “efforts and embarking on aggressive strategies and policies to revitalize, deepen and sustain Diaspora engagement in order to leverage the expertise, talent and investment potentials that reside within your population.”

“It is our desire for every Guyanese to benefit from the exponential developments that are currently happening and the many other planned projects in our country. Importantly, His Excellency Irfaan Ali, is committed to ensuring the Guyanese community living abroad are involved and included in his vision and plans to transform and modernize Guyana,” said Phillips.

“I wish to reiterate the PPP/C’s support and commitment to you, members of our Diaspora. We are cognizant of the sacrifices you have made, and accomplishments achieved. We are proud of you,” said the parliamentarian.

The politician who recently arrived in the United States with a delegation of elected officials to address forums in New York and New Jersey, and presented with a Proclamation from Assemblywoman, Jenifer Rajkumar, and a Resolution from NY State Senator, Roxanne Persaud, lauded his government, saying. “On this momentous occasion, let us continue to work towards overcoming divisions and rally and unite communities here in New York around commonly accepted developmental goals and patriotism.”

Quoting late Guyanese composer, William ‘Bill’ Pilgrim, PM Phillips said, “Let us cooperate for Guyana, let us resolve to fight together, see we do it right together — can we do it? Yes, we can, as he reaffirmed the government’s mantra — One Guyana, and wished Guyanese a Happy 52nd Anniversary of Republic.”

A Guyana delegation waving Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead flag at a 52nd Anniversary of Republic Evening of Culture at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JAPAC) Queens. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Mayor of the City of New York, Eric Adams, acknowledged Guyana’s 52nd Republic Anniversary with a congratulatory letter, read, and handed over by Rohan Narine, senior community liaison at the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.

Fazal (Joe) Yussuff, MPA, head of Investment & Diaspora Affairs, Guyana Consulate New York, who organized the Evening of Culture, with a committee, thanked the diaspora for their yearly celebration of Republic Day, just like fellow Guyanese at home do, noting the colorful costumes, dancing and rhythm they bring to the festival that symbolizes “our rich Guyanese heritage and culture, however, we must never forget the struggle that our people endured in the past.”

“It is events such as this where we as Guyanese come together and join forces hand in hand to celebrate our national events. But it should not only be events like this that brings us together — this should be the norm for all Guyanese in the Diaspora – that is the One Guyana, that His excellency President Irfaan Ali wants for all of Guyana. We should all live in harmony at all times, as one,” urged Yussuff.

Blessed by clergy of the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim faiths, the explosion of culture, with African and Tassa drumming, dancers, singers, flautist, and the waving of the Golden Arrowhead flag, commemorated Guyana that became a Republic on Feb. 23, 1970.

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parang, said in true Guyana fashion, the country is overcoming the challenges from the deadly coronavirus and devastating floods, a reminder of the strength, “we possess as Guyanese.”

“We must be proud as Guyanese, as countries are now embarking on what we have achieved 52 years ago. Over this period, our people have demonstrated determination, resilience, commitment, and a passion to build Guyana, after enduring indentureship and slavery, and the fight to attain independence status,” said Robert Persaud, foreign secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“We never give up. We are always steadfast in building a better and stronger and prosperous Guyana, as we celebrate our country, on the cusp of greatness, and greater prosperity.”

“We are determined that all Guyanese will have a place to enjoy and participate in building this country and be proud of it. The hope is in our motto” one people, one nation, one destiny. Happy Republic Anniversary from all of us,” said Narine.

A Tassa and African drum circle entertain an audience at Guyana’s 52nd Anniversary of Republic Evening of Culture at the Jamaica Arts Performing Center in Queens.  Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Burkett-Rodrigues said, “as a Republic we are responsible for our own destiny, repeating John F. Kennedy, who coined – ‘Ask not, what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,’ while acknowledging that Guyanese in the diaspora have done very well abroad and have a lot to offer at home.”

“Guyana is not just for the people who live there, but for Guyanese who live here as well, and you have a lot to contribute to the development of our country. You are welcome to contribute to this next phase, that’s inclusive, and equitable, we would not have a rich country with poor people, but one, where everyone benefits.”

“I am enthusiastic about the ‘One Guyana’ we’re building. Let us all go for it together. Happy 52nd Republic Anniversary,” expressed the diplomat.

Ambassador to the United States, Samuel Hinds, reiterating the great contributions the Diaspora has made to their native land, and urged them to share their expertise in nation building, so Guyana can grow in propensity. He then wished expatriates a Happy 52nd Republic Anniversary.

Set against the backdrop of the words — “We Are One Guyana” Hon. Andrea S. Ogle, Hon. Shahabudeen Ally, District Leader Richard David, Rosalinda Rasul, head of the Diaspora Unit, and others witnessed a colorful spectacle on display.

The production included a rousing waving of flags as Soca singer Adrian Dunchin performed his hit song “I am a Guyanese.”

Other performers included Sasha Blackman, Ashley Reid, Terry Gajraj, Gavin Mendonca, Menes de Groit, Akayow Rudder, Winston Jeggea Hoppie, Akash Singh.

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