Why shouldn't the President like all other Guyanese be proud of his ancestry?
Guyana Chronicle
January 24, 2004

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Mr. Claude V. Chang in his letter in Stabroek News (22-10-04) feels as expressed in the caption "Head of State must be careful with ethnic identity remarks."

He refers to a part of the President's speech made in India on his recent visit to attend the second Pravasi Bharativa Divas organized by the Government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Chang quotes: "Love of one's country of origin is natural. Pride in one's ancestry is wholesome and essential," from the President's speech but claims that "Mr. Jagdeo's proclamation was to seek to distinguish himself from the other ethnic/racial groups in Guyana, to identify with and win acceptance by the gathering of ethnic Indians in India."

I think this is a very far-fetched conclusion by Mr. Chang. Guyana is known as a land of six races.

I wish to continue the quote of the President's speech: "There ought not to be, therefore, a conflict between national identity and ancestry pride. However, one must always be careful to distinguish between ancestral pride and natural loyalties.

"As President of Guyana, a land of six races, I represent all of the people and I am duty bound to govern in their interests. At the same time I am very proud of my Indian ancestry and I experience no conflict in my determination to work towards forging greater national cohesion."

Why shouldn't the President like all other Guyanese be proud of his ancestry?

Today, there is a viewpoint published in the Chronicle by Mr. Charles Woon-A-Tai in honour of the 151st Anniversary of the arrival of the Chinese in Guyana.

Would any of us be offended by the marking of this day by our Chinese brothers and sisters including Mr. Chang and the tremendous contribution they have made to our development and to the richness of our racial, cultural and ethnic diversity?
Surely not!
Davanand Seepersaud