Trinidadian PM Rowley said “he is a proud black man….that Africa lives in Him. That begs the question…are Indian leaders Proud to be Indian ?. I am listing Ali’s emancipation day and Indian arrival day messages for 2021. Please pay close attention to the bold and underline words, they have significant undertones. Ali used the term “brothers and sisters” five times in his ED message…..and not even once in his IAD message. Notice how he used the term “They and us”. Notice how he calledl for “justice” for the slave trade…and never mention “justice” for the atrocities Indians faced in Guyana, including those killed trying to help him into power only last year.
Ali”s Indian Arrival Day message May 05, 2021.
Today, 5th May, also marks Indian Arrival Day. This year we are commemorating the 183rd anniversary of the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured immigrants to our shores. The contributions of Indians to national development are indelible and undisputable. Indians have excelled in all aspects of national life. They have also passed on a precious legacy, one which should be preserved for and transmitted to future generations.
The Indians who came to Guyana, beginning in 1838, demonstrated steadfast resilience in the face of great adversity. They persevered in the face of hardships, deprivations, oppression, and back-breaking exertions. Today we can all be inspired by their sacrifices and resilience.
Today we are faced with challenges. But if we work together in unity and love, regardless of ethnicity, lineage, or political affiliation, we are bound to overcome these challenges. Let us, therefore, pool our ideas and resources and work towards eliminating some of the ills – such as suicide, domestic abuse, poverty, ignorance, substance abuse and the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these have the potential to inflict disaffection, discomfort, and distress in our society. Let us also reject hate-filled, rancorous rhetoric aimed at dividing our people.
On this Arrival Day, let us all commit to pooling our efforts to build a stronger, united, freer, and more prosperous nation, one in which we can exult in the vitality of our various peoples and their cultures.
Today as we celebrate the arrival day, let us remember that we are stronger together.
Let us remember that every group that came did so for improvement, did so to have improved living conditions, did so so that successive generation will be better off.
We have an enormous opportunity today to leave a Guyana that will be incredibly better for the generation that will follow. We can only do this if we understand that collectively, in our collective strength, in our collective wisdom and the pooling together of our energies, it is only then that we can be the best and become one Guyanese people.
All of us face various degrees of adversities. But, at the end of it all, our ancestors taught us that with perseverance, patience, kindness, love, unity, and purpose, how much can be achieved.
Today, we are blessed with tremendous natural resources. We have to go back to that inner strength of our ancestors to overcome all that will be thrown at us. That inner strength is what we need to build a unified coalition to improve the lives of each other and bring freedom to this land. That inner strength with our capacity and the opportunities that lie ahead when blended indeed can leave for this generation and generations to come enough that we can all say in a unified voice, we are proud to be part of this land.
We are proud to be Guyanese, we are proud of our ancestors, and we are proud of all that they did to make our lives better.
Ali’s Happy Emancipation Day to Afro Guyanese. God bless you. Aug. 2021.
I am gratified to belong to a country that honours and celebrates its ethnic diversity and which on this occasion gladly embraces, in unity, our African-Guyanese heritage. I am especially pleased to be joining all Guyanese in commemorating Emancipation Day.
My upbringing and my political career have been moulded by the bonds of friendship cultivated over the years. I have benefited from the advice and support of a number of outstanding and dedicated professionals of African descent whom I am proud to call friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters. These relationships, however, are not defined by distinctions of race, class or religion. This, to me, is the essence of being Guyanese.
While we take the time to pay homage to our African- Guyanese brothers and sisters on the occasion of Emancipation, we must seize this opportunity to acknowledge, to value, and to celebrate their tremendous achievements and contributions to national development.
Undoubtedly, African-Guyanese have distinguished themselves in all spheres of human endeavour. Among the many achievements have been the laying of the foundation of Guyana’s economic infrastructure, establishing the Village Movement, pioneering undertakings of the peasantry, developing local government systems, promoting co-operative institutions and other social organisations and being in the forefront of the emergence of local trade unionism.
You, our African-Guyanese brothers and sisters, remain integral to national development and continue to excel and contribute to our nation’s progress. African-Guyanese doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are among those on the frontlines providing life-saving care and treatment to our sick and infirmed. They are securing our borders, policing our territorial waters and safeguarding our towns, villages and communities. You are among Guyana’s dedicated teachers who are molding the minds and values of our children – Guyana’s future leaders. As sportsmen and women, you are making our country and region proud by your amazing accomplishments and performance.
African-Guyanese occupy senior positions in the State’s administration. You are working assiduously to improve the quality of public services to our citizens. African-Guyanese farmers, fishers, loggers and miners are generating wealth; professionals and entrepreneurs are helping to propel industry and commerce.
Whilst we look to the future with hope and optimism, on this occasion, we are called to reflect on our past. The abolition of slavery was a defining moment in our country’s history. It ended the abhorrent, inhumane system of human enslavement, which had seen millions of innocent Africans being transported across the Atlantic Ocean only to be sold into chattel slavery and forced into unmitigated toil and suppression.
Emancipation Day recalls the heroic courage and sacrifices of our African ancestors in their epic struggle for freedom and human dignity. Today, and every Emancipation Day, we salute the indomitable will of those who rebelled against the indignities of slavery. Guyana’s history is punctuated by uprisings – courageous acts by enslaved Africans, including the decisive blows for freedom that took place in 1763 and 1823.
Freedom, however, was not accompanied by recompense for the atrocities committed against those enslaved. Emancipation Day remains a constant reminder of the debt that is still owed to Africans and their descendants.
It is therefore fitting that on this day, we as Guyanese recommit to the goal of gaining international reparations for the crime of African enslavement. Reparative justice must include a full and unconditional apology from those responsible and/or who benefitted from the transatlantic trade in captive Africans and their consequent enslavement.
Reparative justice, however, cannot be confined to such an apology. It but must go further. Guyana will continue to support the efforts being made within the Caribbean Community to press for the convening of an international summit to demand reparative justice for the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, African enslavement, and its enduring effects.
As we look to the future on this anniversary of Emancipation, I assure you, our African-Guyanese brothers and sisters, that you will not be excluded from or left behind in Guyana’s national development. Every citizen will benefit from the opportunities which are being unlocked. We want every Guyanese to be part of this development, sharing in its transformation and in its resultant benefits.
As I said during my inaugural address to the 12th Parliament earlier this year and as I have repeated on many occasions after, an essential part of my Government is inclusion. As Guyanese, we should be defined by our nationality and by our common love for our country. The establishment of the ‘One Guyana Commission” will give life to our vision of oneness.
On the occasion of Emancipation, we recall our African ancestors struggle for freedom. Let us, the heirs of their struggles and sacrifices, safeguard that freedom we now enjoy and use it as a springboard for national development.
An exciting and glorious future lies ahead. Let us all work together as brothers and sisters to realise the aspirations that were birthed on the very first Emancipation Day.