After the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead – a colourful, beautiful symbol of Guyana’s nationhood – forty-six (46) years ago; after the anthem and the new Coat of Arms; the acceptance of the Independence Constitutional Instruments from the British Queen’s representative, how independent could an ex-colony be? In a world of obvious economic inter-dependence, however, lopsided?
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) wishes to use the above reflections to provoke deep consideration amongst this weekend’s observances of our Guyana’s forty-sixth (46th) year of political/constitutional independence from Britain.
Those old enough to be adult enough on May 26, 1966 would recall the social-economic status of British Guiana then. GAWU likes to remind that proceeding to independence, though the journey and process presented challenges of tactics amongst our political representatives, attracted national consensus. Our leaders and our people, by an overwhelming majority, welcomed independence. Our expectations then were also sky-high. Forty-six (46) years ago we could be excused from not contemplating how the cards were stacked against us; how our own leaders would betray certain trusts; then exploit and mis-manage our resources; and our will.
Post-Independence Achievements – and Challenges
From Independence to Republicanism to economic and political struggles, Guyana’s independent citizens were caught up in the crucible of change, some achievement and dashed hopes. Too many migrated with their skills, talents – and love.
GAWU battled for recognition and more political freedom and economic progress from the seventies to the nineties. Many of our Heroes of Independence have passed on. Today, their inheritors face challenges similar and others much newer. This week-end’s forty-sixth (46th) anniversary demands that this generation exact urgent united leadership from those recently elected to guide the destiny of the forty-six (46) year old nation.
Against the backdrop and enabling environment of two recent decades of worker-friendly legislation; of world-wide recognition and support for our Low Carbon/Climate Change national strategy; of interest still being shown by overseas investors who probably admired that we as a small challenged economy was able to withstand recent global financial crises, what could prevent our national leaders from using the positives to effect harmonious approaches to national development.
GAWU urges both leaders and nation to use this 46th Anniversary observance to stop the bickering and horse-trading brokering; to substitute swift negotiation on the electors’ behalf. Put heads and hearts together to make sugar resurgent and to collaborate for all-round cohesive programmes as we near half a century of independence. Let us make independence truly meaningful
Happy 46th Independence Anniversary to all Guyana.