PM: ‘A true Guyanese is not allowed to hold split loyalty towards Guyana’

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Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Monday said a true Guyanese is not allowed to hold “split loyalty” as he referenced the December 21 No Confidence motion.

The vote of Charrandass Persaud, from Nagamotoo’s AFC in the Coalition government, defected and voted with the opposition.

The High Court, in a judgement later confirmed by the Court of Appeal, ruled that persons with dual citizenship – like Charrandass Persaud and four key government ministers – were not eligible to be elected to the National Assembly.

The constitution bars persons who hold allegiance to a foreign power from sitting in the National Assembly.

“Since December 21, 2018, it may appear that our social cohesion was threatened by disruption and so I know this matter is engaged in court,” Nagamootoo told a gathering at the National Cultural Centre to mark the fourth annual National Social Cohesion Day.

“It is suffice to say that a true-blood Guyanese is allowed to be different, one from the other and to recognize the differences around him or her.

Attendees of the ‘Fourth National Cohesion Day Observances’ at the National Cultural Centre. [DPI photo]
“But a true Guyanese is not allowed to hold split loyalty towards Guyana, towards our motherland,” the Prime Minister said.

National Social Cohesion Day 2019 is being held under the theme, ‘Fostering Harmonious Relationships and Building a Unified Country.’

The Prime Minister, delivering the feature address, said that diversity is a precious asset – one in which the Guyanese society was formed.

The Prime Minister said nations that do not have a social cohesion platform like Guyana currently faces nationality conflicts, social disruptions, dislocation of people on the basis of their ethnicity and religious extremism and acts of terrorism.

“We are observing the Nation’s fourth Social Cohesion Day because Guyanese have shown willingness to accept each other’s values, each other’s belief’s and each other’s differences,” the Prime Minister said.

A cultural item during the event [DPI photo]
He said that the laws of Guyana have encouraged mutual respect for each other. Article 7 of the Constitution states: “It is the duty of every citizen of Guyana wherever he or she may and of every person in Guyana to respect the National Flag, the Coat-of-Arms, the National Anthem, the National pledge and the Constitution of Guyana, and to treat them with due and proper solemnity on all occasions.”

“We are bound together by the sentiments, the emotional lyrics of our National Anthem. Our National Anthem sings about our common heritage,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the National Pledge commands loyalty to the country and to love fellow citizens.

The promotion of inclusive society is being addressed on a global level through the Sustainable Development Goal, No. 17, to practice peaceful and inclusive society.

Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion said he hopes that this year’s Social Cohesion Day will inspire persons to join in unity and play their roles in pushing the nation to prosperity.

Ms. Ingrid De Vair, resident of Orealla Village and broadcaster on Radio Orealla, Region 6, is the recipient of the Social Cohesion’s recognition award – for her contributions towards community development. She is also the winner of Orealla’s first Amerindian Heritage Pageant and represented Region 6 at the national events. [DPI photo]
“Where unity is concerned this administration is not only talking the talk, but we are also walking the walk. I want to remind you that your diversity is our greatest strength and we must open our minds and hearts to embracing and respecting it,” Dr. Norton said.

First Lady Sandra Granger, British High Commissioner Greg Quinn, Ministers of the Government, other Members of Parliament, teachers, students and other youths attended the event at the Cultural Centre Monday.

Orealla’s school teacher, village councillor and youth leader, Ingrid DeVere was the recipient of the Social Cohesion Award.

The event saw a dance performance showcasing the six races of the country by the National Dance Company, while the National Drama Company portrayed the appreciation for the different religions through a short skit.

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