Former President remembered on 31st death Anniversary
President David Granger, this morning, paid tribute to Guyana’s first Executive President and founder of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, O.E., S.C, on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of his death.
The wreath laying ceremony was held at the Mausoleum at the Seven Ponds in the Botanical Gardens, where the former President was laid to rest.
President Granger in his remarks said that the late Forbes Burnham was the author of social cohesion and architect of national unity.
“He established order out of chaos and conciliation out of conflict…he fought against the marginalisation and segregation of the colonial regime into which he was born and sought to create a society of equality and inclusivity for posterity. It was through his visionary leadership and wise stewardship that the foundation of a just and cohesive society was laid,” he said.
He added that it is his government’s duty to protect the interests of all Guyanese.
“The people cannot be imprisoned in ethnic enclaves. The people are not the property of one or other political party. Forbes Burnham’s ideas were for all time and for all Guyanese… We recall Forbes Burnham’s wise counsel of cohesion today, whenever the voices of divisiveness are raised; wherever the hand of hostility tries to hit and hurt our vulnerable citizens and by whosoever peddles the propaganda of separateness among our people,” the President said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, who, in a brief comment said a good example of Burnham’s policy on inclusivity is the coalition he forged between the PNC and the United Force.
The Minister said through her ministry, citizens have begun to see the importance of working together.
She informed that her Ministry is currently engaged in a number of projects such as training programmes in the various regions. The Ministry is also working closely with religious organisations, youths and non-governmental organisations all with the aim of fostering a more cohesive Guyanese society.
Dakarai Griffith a member of the Guyana Youth and Student Movement said that growing up he heard a lot about Forbes Burnham’s ideologies and strict method of leadership.
“He the foundation for Guyana and made Guyana what it is today and I believe that this Government will make Guyana the breadbasket of the Caribbean, which was Burnham’s vision,” he said.
Griffith said that the in a country with so many different ethnic groups, Guyana cannot afford to be divided.
He said that he is currently in the process of setting up a non-governmental organisation to educate the young generation on Forbes Burnham’s ideologies and legacy.
Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham served Prime Minister of Guyana from 1964 and as President from 1980 until the time of his death in 1985 at the age of 62.