‘Darkness’ must be removed from development efforts – Pres. Ali

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Guyana, like many other countries across the globe, is grappling with a series of global crises that threaten domestic development but President Dr. Irfaan Ali believes that sacrifice and hard work stand to ensure that the “darkness” which hinders development will be removed.

President Irfaan Ali, First Lady Arya Ali and First Son Zayd. (Photo: Office of the President/ October 23, 2022)

The Guyanese Head of State, while addressing a mammoth crowd at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) community centre ground on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) on Sunday, reminded that Guyana is just recovering from a difficult period where people’s fundamental rights were threatened.

“We went through some of our greatest injustices and I want to thank all Guyanese who stood up like a lamp with brilliance in ensuring that justice, rule of law and freedom were protected,” the President said.

With those rights protected, Dr. Ali posited that all Guyanese must now work together to guarantee that the country does not come under threat again and that meaningful efforts toward development are fostered.

The Head of State was referring to the 2020 protracted electoral cycle which was marred by rigging attempts engineered by top officials in the APNU+AFC Coalition in concert with the former Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield and other election officials. They attempted to change the outcome of the elections for which a recount confirmed Dr. Ali and his PPP/C party were the victors.

Issues such as violence against women and children are among matters that must be addressed as well, Dr. Ali emphasised.

Even beyond these issues and concerns, it was noted that Guyana is grappling with several crises including food and energy security woes, a rising cost of living and climate change.

Each of these, President Ali said, can constrain developmental efforts. Yet, he was certain that Guyana will be able to surmount the challenges presented. His hope mirrors the story that embodies the Festival of Lights – Diwali – on which occasion the President’s utterances were made.

“We now have to make the sacrifices, we now have to do the hard work to ensure that every single aspect of darkness is removed along the path of development and prosperity,” he underscored.

The Head of State was addressing those gathered at LBI for the 2022 Diwali motorcade organised by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha. This motorcade, he acknowledged, was created by the late Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud and is Guyana’s signature Diwali celebration.

Diwali itself is the Hindu festival of lights that signifies the triumph of good over evil. And each of the floats that were part of the motorcade strived to depict just that.

Earlier that night, when President Ali spoke to the News Room along the motorcade’s route to LBI, said that this activity is ingrained in Guyana’s culture and it is beloved by people from all walks of life.

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