|Some of the Saints Students who attended the Inauguration|
Inauguration of President Granger
Remarks by Sir Shridath Ramphal
Your Excellencies President Granger and Mrs Granger,
CARICOM Heads of Government and delegations,
Honourable Prime Minister and Ministers,
Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps,
49 years ago this very day I was at another inauguration.
It was not the beginning of a new government; but the beginning of a new nation - our Guyana, whose flag was raised this morning and whose founding fathers were remembered with honour, as they should be, regardless of Party or of race.
This is a time for healing in Guyana, and I commend the spirit of unity that permeates these commemorations.
At Independence, we aspired to Guyana’s worthy destiny through being one nation and one people.
We were one people then and have been ever since - save in our politics through which we deceive ourselves into believing that our motto of ‘one people’ is false.
It is not false; and we must not let the vicissitudes of politics and the discord inherent in the democratic process diminish our ‘oneness’.
At moments of transition like this it is the duty of all to work hard at destroying the myth of otherness and at cultivating by conscious effort the reality of oneness that is our historical birthright .
Guyana is on the cusp of a great future.
El Dorado may have been a City of the mind; but our country of one people is poised for greatness.
The quality of our human resources match the richness of our natural resources and in their fusion is our future.
But there are great challenges ahead; both internal and external.
Which is why ‘national unity’ must not be an empty slogan but a living credo – an ethic of governance.
I congratulate the coalition of parties that has taken a courageous first step in this direction, and I praise our people who have answered the question: ‘do you want us together, or apart’, in a definitive way.
For ’national unity’, this is, of course, not the end of the journey; but let it be the beginning of a journey that never ends.
And our aspirations must not end nationally.
We are part of a larger family of the Caribbean Community which we had a major hand in bringing to creation and to which all within the Community need to be vibrant and faithful in fulfillment of its integration goals.
We cannot be a model of good governance at home if we do not acknowledge that wider Caribbean homeland, and give leadership in occupying it together.
All that, I believe is within the compass of the vision that marks this time of transition.
This Inauguration is symbolic of great ambitions for Guyana.
Guyana’s eighth Executive President, His Excellency Brigadier David Arthur Granger MSS, whose Inauguration as President we are gathered to witness and acclaim, has already in these earliest days of his presidency brought a touch of healing and its concomitant quest for unity to our country.
It is our solemn duty to support his administration towards fulfillment of the trust the people of Guyana have reposed in him and his coalition colleagues.
May divine blessings crown these efforts and bring forth Guyana’s renewal, through the effort and cohesion of all its people.
The task is not impossible; indeed, it is within our grasp – particularly the grasp of our young people – who want to build a future, not look backwards to the past.
Let this nation now run swiftly the race that is set before it. Let Guyana arise as a model of good governance in a framework of tolerance, respect and shared ambition.