Group wants Indian Arrival Day to be national holiday
April 21, 2003
The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) says it has written to President Bharrat Jagdeo calling on him and the Guyana Government to declare Indian Arrival Day, May 5, a national holiday.
The IAC says also that it has sent letters to PPP General Secretary Donald Ramotar, PNCR Leader Robert Corbin, Manzoor Nadir of the TUF, Sheila Holder of GAP/WPA, Ravi Dev of ROAR and Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran requesting their support of the call for the day to be declared a national holiday.
According to a copy of the letter to the President, the IAC noted that May 5, 2003 will mark the 165th anniversary of the arrival of Bharatiyas (Indians) in Guyana, and there is great significance attached to the date for Indo-Guyanese.
"Over the past 165 years, people originating from pre-Independence India and their descendents have brought about enduring economic, demographic and cultural changes in Guyana," the IAC stated.
The committee also argued that Guyana is a pluralistic society and therefore "the need exists constantly for members of each group to learn about, understand and, in doing so, not diminish the contributions of others in the quest for national unity."
"It follows, therefore," the IAC contended, "that raising Indian Arrival Day to the status of a national holiday must serve to heighten the awareness of the contribution of Indians to Guyana's rich cultural mosaic."
The IAC also pointed out in the letter that almost three years ago President Jagdeo had tasked Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Reepu Daman Persaud to establish a special committee of the National Assembly to examine the calendar of national holidays with a view of incorporating Indian Arrival Day. "The IAC strongly feels that enough time has been given for this special committee to have come to a decision regarding the declaration of Indian Arrival Day as a public holiday.