‘Work towards unity, togetherness’
-Minister McCoy tells NCN, DPI gathering at Diwali celebrations
‘This is a time for everyone to put their backs to the wheel and put the One Guyana mantra first. We have to become one. Our goal is towards unity while forging togetherness amongst all people”.
These were the sentiments expressed by Minister with the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy as he addressed the Department of Public Information (DPI) and National Communications Network (NCN) for the pre-Diwali celebrations on Friday.
“The importance of us being together at every occasion, religious or otherwise, mingling and celebrating together as a people is an excellent thing. It provides us with the opportunity of being able to better understand and appreciate each other,” he said.
The minister noted that the coming together of different ethnicities in cohesive observance of this holiday is indicative of the One Guyana concept.
Minister McCoy said it is this sense of unity that will forge a resistance against, as well as the ability to overcome those who may strive to instigate and create mischief among us.
“It is something that is becoming more and more popular, where we all get together and embrace each other’s holidays and culture and develop that greater understanding, that tolerance, gaining greater knowledge, and respect for the culture. I think that is very important, and should not be taken lightly because it is part of what will make us grow as a society.”
The minister reiterated the PPP/C Administration’s philosophy of ensuring that all citizens, regardless of race, creed or political affiliation benefit from the host of opportunities being made available, and are able to be a part of the country’s development.
Minister McCoy pointed out that “We believe that as a society, we need to have a common objective of building our country and moving it to another level, making sure that we can create conditions for all our people to benefit, for every single person to be part of the grand Guyana dream, to be part of the wealth distribution. That is what we have been doing.”
The minister once again disputed any allegations of race discrimination, dubbing these claims offensive.
“As an afro-Guyanese being part of the PPP/C administration, I have never participated, initiated or executed any policy that borders on racism. We must therefore confront this issue frontally, because it is, for us, very damaging.”
He said that these claims seek to undermine and sabotage any efforts to unify Guyana, and emphasised the importance of preserving each other’s culture, as well as maintaining respect and tolerance. These practices, he relayed, will foster countrywide development and cement lasting bonds among Guyanese people.
“For us to preserve liberty, we must be able to preserve and strengthen our democracy. Because, it is through democracy that we have the liberty to practice our religion, to be able to practice our culture in the way we desire without offending the law or bordering on any criminality.”
Director of the Department of Public Information, Edward Layne, in delivering brief remarks, commended the spirit of harmony that encompassed the day’s festivities.
“This togetherness speaks to the One Guyana initiative that our president has been pushing. The oneness with which the people of NCN and DPI, regardless of their religious beliefs, work together goes to the very heart of that initiative of wanting to bring Guyana together,” he said.
He also urged all in attendance to extend and maintain this demonstration of unity so that it forms part of their livelihoods.
CEO of the National Communications Network, Neaz Subhan, explained that Guyana’s diverse society allows for a general understanding and appreciation for different cultures.
He expressed, “I believe that understanding leads to appreciation and that in itself educates us, and as long as we are better enlightened about our diversity and the beauty of it, I think that together we can be able to deliver on the One Guyana initiative.”
The Ambassador of China to Guyana, Guo Haiyan was also in attendance at the event.
The staff participated in the Diwali celebrations, with Rangoli designs and displays of their cultural wear.