Report of the Select Committee on Holidays (revised version)
May 5, 2004
1.2 Out of respect for all races in Guyana, "Arrival Day" will now be called just "Day."
This follows a submission by Ivor John of Kaikushikabra Creek, Berbice, who in his submission noted that Amerindians have been in Guyana for over 7000 years and that having a day called "Arrival Day" is therefore exclusionary and not in keeping with creating harmonious race relations.
However, another submission noted that for many of those years the contiguous boundary of Guyana was not in place and it was not until colonisation did the idea of a nation state, albeit ruled by Western imperial powers, become a reality.
A suggestion was therefore made that the day could be called "Arrival and those who have been here Donkey's Years Day" but this title was seen as too cumbersome and may also be offensive to donkeys.
So after much deliberation the day will simply be called "Day."
1.3 In relation to Independence Day there was much debate over the idea of independence and it was observed that Guyana despite attaining its independence on May 26 was never in the true sense of the word independent. And even today multilateral financial organisations basically tell the government how to spend its money. As such the committee has decided that the day will now be known as "Co-dependence Day" in the spirit of bringing nations closer together. After all no country is an island. So "Co-dependence Day" will now be observed on May 26 once the committee gets the permission of the IMF, the World Bank and the IDB.
1.4 Similarly for Emancipation Day we received a submission from the House of Nyabinghi which indicated that in fact Emancipation was, and we quote, "nutten but a tool, bredren, of de Babylonian system to enslave I and I even more. The evildoers are to this day still bringing hardshiperation upon we people." They are calling for it to be called "Free yourselves from Mental Slavery Day."
The committee has therefore arrived at a compromise position of "Partial Emancipation Day."
2.1 As for the elimination of Boxing Day as a national holiday the committee has examined the issue closely. A Mr James Smith from North Ruimveldt told the committee in his detailed submission that if the committee were to make such a move they would get a sound boxing from he and his family whom he usually visits on this day. Other persons told the committee "Try nah and see what GONNA HAPPEN!" and "You must be completely out of your minds."
2.2 In the case of Phagwah, recent events have led the committee to make additions to the title given that a man was shot for throwing water on an East Coast resident. It will now be called "Phagwah at your own Peril Day."
May Day Rally 2006
Solidarity in the union movement remains elusive with all the leaders continuing to refuse to speak to each other.
Yesterday the unions held 12 different May Day marches and rallies where they all preached the need for more unity. TUC general secretary, Lincoln Lewis who has stopped talking completely, since 2004 wrote on a piece of board for the crowd of three to see, "You can all go to hell for all I care." TUC President Carvil Duncan speaking at a rally at the National Park involving himself and no one else called for long needed reforms and received rapturous applause. He said the bickering and backbiting must stop and roundly criticised Vice-President Norris Witter who held his own "Rally for Unity" from a podium at the National Cultural Centre to an audience of five ushers.
Meanwhile the GAWU Grand Mela was deemed a huge success with President Komal Chand performing a sublime Kathak dance, perfectly in step with the government.