The Indian Action Committee (IAC) has noted the announcement by H.E. President David Granger declaring January 12 as Chinese Arrival Day and March 13 as Rose Hall Martyrs’ Day.
While the IAC welcomes these designated days, it believes that one aspect of the process is incomplete leaving much ambiguity with regards to May 5; Arrival Day.
The current understanding is that May 5th declaration as a National Holiday was intended to recognize the arrival of all fore-parents from various parts of the world.
The IAC, which fought for Indian Arrival Day in 2003 to be a National Holiday (Arrival Day was subsequently decided by the authorities), including through a picketing exercise in front of Parliament, seeks clarification from President Granger regarding the current status of May 5 following his declaration of January 12 as Chinese Arrival Day in recognition of the arrival of Chinese indentured labourers who came to British Guiana in 1853.
The IAC is of the opinion that the declared Chinese Arrival Day (January 12), deservedly given their significant contributions to Guyana’s development, is not a national holiday.
Given that Arrival Day, a National holiday, coincides with Indian Arrival Day and the President’s designation of January 12 as Chinese Arrival Day, the IAC is confused as to what designation May 5 will now have.
The IAC wishes to remind that descendants of East Indian immigrants, like others, have and continue to make substantial contributions to the development of this nation which cannot go unrecognized officially.
The IAC is calling upon President Granger to clarify this issue for the benefit of all Guyanese in the context of social cohesion.