Religious bodies have a key role to play in achieving ‘One Guyana’ vision – President Ali
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said religious organisations have a fundamental role to play in building the foundation of the principles on which the ‘One Guyana’ vision must stand.
The President was speaking at an event held in observance of the National Day of Fasting and Prayers at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Friday. The event was observed under the theme ‘Fast Together, Pray Together, Stay Together.’
The event brought together persons from all religious backgrounds at a time when the three main religious observances are overlapping this month – the Muslims are observing Ramadan, the Hindus, Chaitra Navratri, and Christians, Lent.
“For us to establish the foundation of principles that the ‘One Guyana’ must stand on, the church, the mosque and temples, religious bodies must be an integral part of that foundation because fundamentally, the principles that govern a society that is just, are the principles that govern religious undertakings,” President Ali said.
The Head of State noted that if the nation follows the principles and values of the Hindu, Christian and Muslim faiths, the society will be better, and the country will be able to achieve ‘One Guyana.’
“If we are to share the true nature of the scriptures we are to teach, then I have no hesitation or doubt in my heart that the right things will be taught, the right principles will be taught, the right elements will be taught.”
The president further stated that the people must first understand that they are all part of a singular family, humanity, and then, they will be able to understand that their purpose is to uplift each other.
“Under no banner of religious belief, can you hate, under no banner can you discriminate, under no banner can you not be tolerant to each other… I am convinced that if our religious institutions ensure that the value system which operates uphold always the rule of law, uphold democratic principles, uphold principles, uphold tolerance, uphold peace, patience and compassion, we will be able to achieve oneness.”
While identifying as the chief servant of the country, the President urged the citizens to use the period of fasting to reflect on their sense of purpose, and do self-evaluation and introspection, and use the opportunity to uplift and pray for each other. Further, he said the people must also use the time to identify their weaknesses and seek counsel so that they can be in a better position to serve humanity.
Similar sentiments were shared by Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P, and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, M.P, who did the welcoming and closing remarks respectively.
Also present at the Event were Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips, other ministers of government and members of the diplomatic community.
On Monday, President Ali declared April 8, National Day of Fasting and Prayers under the ‘One Guyana’ banner. The event saw government agencies and institutions, and the private sector, as well as citizens across the country participating in activities in observance of the day.