[www.inewsguyana.com] – The priceless contributions of Sir Shridath Ramphal to development both locally and internationally during the early period of independence were lauded by President Donald Ramotar during the launch of Sir Shridath’s memoir ‘Glimpses of a Global life” this evening.
Present at the event which was held at the Georgetown Club were, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
This memoir provides a look into the Ramphal’s early life as a leader in Guyana, and tells the story of the Commonwealth’s role in ending the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Southern Rhodesia by a minority white regime and bringing Zimbabwe to independence; of aiding the struggle against apartheid and securing its end, and the release of Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s freedom; of the obduracy of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher against sanctions and the heroic stand against her by other Commonwealth leaders .
While commending Ramphal on his initiative to publish such a valuable and informative book, President Ramotar said that he is always pleased to see books on Guyana’s early period of independence.
“So many people who played significant role in our national life have left us without recording their memoirs, for us and for our future generations to have an appreciation of what took place and some of the experiences that they have encountered,” the President noted while addressing those gathered at the event hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Georgetown Club.
He explained that the book is not just about foreign affairs, but the Indian revolt and included a fairly concise history of Guyana. This shows that the country would have produced internationalists at a very early period of its development.
Sir Shridath is one such person who had a very intellectual orientation at a very young age where he developed a national, regional and international coconsciousness. “That goes to show the many persons in Guyana who came from various background and positions and show the advantage of coming from a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society,” President Ramotar pointed out.
The book also provides information about his ancestry, and how his ancestors came, and President Ramotar added that this is a very important part of Guyana’s history.
“This is part of a series of books that adds to particularly our foreign affairs, our foreign policy … it gives us an insight of some of the main players and their thinking which to me is invaluable. It is a valuable book and I hope that all of us should try to get a copy and appreciate the period of the origin of the issue with Venezuela,” the President reiterated.
Meanwhile, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said that her ministry is very pleased to be associated with this launch and sees it as part of its (the ministry) work, promoting the writings of those who led the ministry for the benefit of this generation and those to come.
In her fleeting moments with Ramphal several critical issues regarding foreign affairs were discussed and strategised. This book is therefore welcomed and appreciated she said, noting that personally it has provided several answers, from his perspective on issues of those early days, for example dealing with border matters.
“These 675 pages provide all of us with glimpses of the life, service and dedication during Guyana’s infancy and early childhood,” the Minister said.
Ramphal’s book is also a remarkable account of the Caribbean’s ambivalence about integration. As an insider from the formation of the West Indies Federation; its collapse; the creation of CARIFTA and CARICOM in the effort to pool the individual sovereignty of each country into a beneficial whole; and the seminal work of the West Indian Commission in charting the course for the Region’s holistic development, Ramphal recounts the opportunities, the failures to act on them, and the triumphs when regional governments acted together.
While giving a brief summary of what the book entails, Ramphal, explained that it speaks to his early life, where he came from and his contributions locally and internationally. It also gives a breakdown of major challenges that dominated the Caribbean, the Commonwealth and the World in the 20th century.
Shridath “Sonny” Ramphal, is a renowned Guyanese-born international diplomat who served as the Foreign Minister of Guyana, during the period 1972 to 1975, and thereafter as the second Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975 to 1990. Leaders from every continent engaged with him as he worked alongside them on issues such as ending apartheid in South Africa; laying the foundations for global concerns about the environment; the reform of global governance; and the resolution of conflicts.
The memoir was published by Hansib Publications Ltd, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and is available at Austin’s Book Store.
Recently, the Ministry was also a part of the launching of former Foreign Minister, Dr Rudy Insanally’s book ‘Dancing between the Raindrops’. (GINA)