President reiterates rich ethnic diversity is national asset

Stabroek News
May 5, 2003

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President Bharrat Jagdeo in extending greetings on Indian Arrival Day reiterated his government's position that Guyana's rich ethnic diversity is an asset, and underscored the need for all Guyanese to live together in peace and unity.

In a message on the occasion of the 165th anniversary of the arrival of East Indians to Guyana, President Jagdeo said: "We are a diverse nation, our nation has been peopled by various ethnic groups who over the course of our history came from different lands and who transposed their cultures to this land, in the process diversifying and enriching the cultural mosaic of Guyana."

The President noted that the arrival of the vessel bringing the first East Indians to Guyana was indeed a watershed event in the country's history.

He hailed "the indomitable spirit of these early immigrants (who) came with a pioneering spirit to a land of which they knew very little (about) but to which they were prepared to dedicate their energies in order to make a good life for themselves and family."

Pointing out that life was not easy for these immigrants and their descendants, Jagdeo said theirs was a spirit that would not succumb to disillusionment. "They continued to carve out a place for themselves in this land and have distinguished themselves in all aspects of our national life."

"Despite occasional problems," the President said, "East Indians have generally co-existed harmoniously with the other ethnic groups in Guyana, and therefore on this auspicious occasion I reiterate the need for all our people to live together in peace and harmony."

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