“I will spend every ounce of my energy in effort to unite Guyana” – Pres. Ali
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says he will spend every ounce of his energy to unite Guyana.
The President affirmed this during a ceremony held Sunday to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada at the Hare Krishna Study Centre, Cummings Lodge.
“I can tell you today that I will spend every ounce of my energy in leading the effort to unite this country. But all of us in this room, all of us across this country must also commit to spending every ounce of our energy to achieve the same outcome.”
During his address, Dr. Ali drew inspiration from the late Prabhupada. He was an Indian guru who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York City in 1966, a little over a decade before his passing.
The Hare Krishna Study Centre serves as the ISKCON Guyana chapter. Devotees to Prabhupada’s teachings often espouse the need for unity in diversity.
Dr. Ali said the effort to unite Guyana has to be a collective one, explaining that the Constitution sets out the guiding principles for Guyanese to abide by to achieve national unity.
“Every Guyanese citizen must first of all fundamentally understand that we must govern ourselves by certain principles and values that make up the society. That is the first thing.
We must all subscribe to freedom. We must all subscribe to fundamental rights. We must all subscribe to democracy. We must all subscribe to the rule of law. We must all subscribe to equitable treatment. We must all subscribe to fair opportunity in our country.”
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, also honoured Srila Prabhupada. He said the guru has been one of the most outstanding human beings of the last century, and congratulated the chapter in Guyana which has sustained his traditions.
The Attorney General also re-affirmed the PPP/C Government’s commitment to working for national unity. He found it notable that the Hare Krishna Study Centre is accepting of persons of all faiths. He reminded that in some parts of the world, wars are still being fought and people are still dying for basic freedoms, such as the right to worship.
“In Guyana, we have religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution as a fundamental right, and we must not take that freedom for granted.
“We have that in Guyana and we must cherish that. When one right is threatened, the rights of all are threatened.
“We just came out of a very important period in our history, where our rights were being threatened,” the AG said, referring to the protracted 2020 electoral saga.
“Fortunately, we were able to prevail,” he said.
Other Speakers espoused the principle of mutual respect between all Guyanese, and wished the President strength and good will as he seeks to unite the country. These included the Study Centre’s Temple President, His Grace Prabhupadadeva Dasa; Chairman of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), Reverend Dr. Ronald McGarrell; Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Paloma Mohamed PhD; Chief Executive Officer of Demerara Bank Ltd., Pravinchandra Dave; and Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. K. J. Srinivasa.
Former President, Mr. Donald Ramotar along with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr.; Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar; and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy also attended the ceremony.