`We are going to persevere'
-- President Jagdeo

Guyana Chronicle
February 4, 2003

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GUYANESE, especially those in religious bodies, have a critical role to play in the building of Guyana and to this end President Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on all citizens to execute their responsibility.

Delivering the remarks at a six-day Yaag (service) held at the recently opened Blankenburg Dharmic Mandir, West Coast Demerara, Region Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), the Head of State urged those in attendance to participate in changing the society.

"Here is home and whatever we make of it, we have to live with it. In spite of the hardships and problems and when things may seem to go dark, I have an obligation to this country and we are going to persevere...It is not going to be easy, but through perseverance we will overcome," he said.

The Guyanese leader noted that a holy book of the Hindus - the Bhagavat Gita - teaches a lesson for all in life and should it be taken literally, then not only will citizens be better Hindus, but also better Guyanese.

President Jagdeo made special mention of the dogma of two sacred scriptures Mahabharata and the Raymayan, which teach about overcoming evil forces, noting that many Hindus in Guyana have strayed from principles therein.

He said a time for reconciliation has come so that the Hindus can play an active role in changing the Guyanese society.

The President urged that citizens take strength in the many blessings bestowed on them as Guyanese and be guided by the teachings, the perseverance of their ancestors and their conscience.

"We must be prepared to make sacrifices. In life there are decisions that have to be made and while you will be given advice from time to time, whatever you do will never be able to please anyone. But if you are guided by your conscience, you can hardly go wrong. Your decision may not be popular but will have a clear conscience at the end," he said.

According to the President, there have been some rough times in Guyana recently, but he remains optimistic that the society has the calibre to sustain itself.

"When those forces that have narrow self-interest try to dominate, there is a time when they seem to be gaining ascendancy, but ultimately, we will overcome," he said.

He also called on all Guyanese to foster positive minds in their children and the young generation at large, all with the aim of creating a better Guyana.

"Keep your families away from the dirt that goes on television, poisoning their minds. Keep them from gossip and the street corners. Make their lives positive and meaningful. Talk to them, especially you mothers, so that in difficult times they can reflect on your teachings.

"That is how they will succeed. Teach them to be guided by their hearts and be honest, if not for the good of this country, then in keeping with the doctrine of Hinduism," the President said.

Blankenburg is a small plantation village some six miles from Vreed-en-Hoop. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY - GINA)

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