Reflecting on the positive bilateral relationship which Guyana has secured with India over several decades, Prime Minister Mark Phillips has positioned that Government is committed to building on this partnership for the benefit of both nations.
He was delivering the chief address at the celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day, executed by the Indian High Commission on Saturday evening at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC).
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the pace of growth of India-Guyana relations and wished to further strengthen the bilateral relations. He lauded the country for its generosity, especially during the current pandemic where the health sector has benefitted from vaccines to immunise Guyanese.
“As we celebrate with India today, Guyana proudly reflects on its warm and friendly relationship with this nation…most recently, the benefits of this positive bilateral relationship peeked, when India showcased enormous generosity through a donation of 80,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Guyana in March… these and other shows of good relations with India serve as testimony to Guyana’s commitment for continued strong friendship built on mutual respect, benefits and understanding,” Phillips outlined.
Indian High Commission, Dr K.J Srinivasa was also joined by former President Donald Ramotar; Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony; Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud; and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Hugh Todd.
The High Commissioner to Guyana added that the two countries will continue to build on their long-established relationship and that India would continue to be a multi-sectoral partner in Guyana’s development.
“India and Guyana have shared a lot and I believe that in the coming years we will be partners in progress… I believe that the time for Guyana has come and I want to re-emphasise that Guyana should count India as one of its stable friends…we are very happy to share our expertise to upgrade skills, expand capacity and at the same time to see that Guyana gets the best of what it deserves,” said the diplomat.
Along with cultural items, the event sought to highlight the concept of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” – a series of events organised by the Government of India to celebrate this milestone and regarded as a peoples’ movement across the country.
Then on Sunday, the High Commission organised a flag hoisting ceremony in the morning at the SVCC. Dr Srinivasa hoisted the national flag of India, iterating the message to the nation by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind as he stated, “When India won Independence 75 years ago, many sceptics thought democracy would not survive in India. Little did they know that roots of democracy were nurtured in this soil in ancient times, and even in modern times India was ahead of many western nations in offering franchise to all adults, regardless of any distinctions. The founding fathers had reposed their faith in the wisdom of the people, and ‘we, the people of India’ have made India a strong democracy.”
He went on to say that along with equality, there must be action to effectuate justice, equality and fraternity.
“We must strive for more equality in an unequal world, more justice in unjust circumstances. Justice has come to encompass a larger range of connotations, including economic and environmental justice. The road ahead is not easy. We will have to negotiate many twists and turns, but we have the benefit of incomparable guidance. It comes to us from diverse sources, from the venerable seers of millennia ago, down to the sages and leaders of more recent times. In the spirit of “unity in diversity,” we as a nation are following the right course.”