‘We must lift each other up’
President, Dr Irfaan Ali addressing those gathered at the observance of the National Day of Fasting and Prayers at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday (Delano Williams photo)
President, Dr Irfaan Ali addressing those gathered at the observance of the National Day of Fasting and Prayers at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday (Delano Williams photo)

— President Ali urges religious community to become integral part of the ‘One Guyana’ platform

GUYANA on Friday observed the National Day of Fasting and Prayer and with the three major religions in the country observing fasting periods all at the same time, President, Dr Irfaan Ali called on the religious community to play an integral part in supporting his ‘One Guyana’ platform.

A number of persons including Christians, Muslims and Hindus filled the compound of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre for the official observance of the day of fasting and prayer.
President, Dr Irfaan Ali, addressing those gathered, said Guyanese must uplift each other.
“I greet you with strong conviction based on spiritual teachings and underpinnings, that we have really no other choice but to embrace each other, we have no other choice than to lift each other up rather than tear each other down, we have no other choice than to celebrate each other rather than destroy each other,” the President said.

The Head of State then revealed that it was almost a week ago that he realised that having a national day of fasting and prayers would be good for Guyana as the people of the three major religions are current on fast and in prayers with respect to their holy observances.

The President related that he took some time to go through the foundation of various religious teachings surrounding fasting and recognise that the foundation of these teachings can also set the foundation for the ‘One Guyana’ initiative.
“I realised that for us to establish the foundation of principles that the ‘One Guyana’ must stand on, the church, the mosque, the temples and the religious bodies must be an integral part of that foundation because fundamentally the principles that govern a society that is just, are the principles that govern religious undertaking,” he told the Arthur Chung Conference Centre gathering.

A section of the gathering at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday (Delano Williams photo)

The President also contended that if all of Guyana can understand the principles and values that they must stand for based on the religious underpinnings, society will be better and the country will achieve its ‘One Guyana’ goal.
With that the President said that in this period of fasting, persons should take time to reflect and do introspection and better position themselves to serve humanity with dignity and humility.

“I am convinced that if our religious institutions ensure that the value system through which they operate, uphold always the rule of law, uphold democratic principles, uphold tolerance, uphold peace, uphold patience and compassion and that we do not waiver on these values but we ensure that these values are fundamental to the foundation of what we share in our congregation, of what we share with the people under our charge then our country will be stronger,” he said.

Dr Ali went on to say that if one is to look at the three major holy books, there are six different life lessons spoken about in all the texts and these include unity, truth, equality and forgiveness.
He said that based on these lessons there is no space for division based on race or any other negatively impacting issue for that matter.

The period of fasting, he said, gives all the opportunity to seek each other out, engage with each other, support each other and pray for each other.
“I only ask for all of us including myself to strive to be better than we are today, better in service to humanity, let us all work to be more beneficial citizens, more beneficial humans and you don’t need to be rich to be beneficial,” the President professed.
He is hoping that the observance awakens and reopens in citizens a new desire to see and strive for a Guyana that is happier and more united and a country where citizens have greater respect for each other.


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