The People’s National Congress Reform extends its warmest congratulations to the officers, soldiers, reservists and veterans of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) on the occasion of the 45th Anniversary of the founding of the Force on 1st November 1965.

The GDF was established less than a year after the People’s National Congress-United Force coalition entered office, even before the achievement of Independence.

Internally, at that time, the population was fearful, in the aftermath of the most destructive communal violence ever witnessed in this country, caused by the unlawful strike in the sugar industry, by the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU). Externally, at the same time, Venezuela and Suriname launched false claims on Guyana and threatened military action to seize its territory.

The Party recalls that, from the very start, the young Guyana Defence Force was obliged to confront challenges both inside the country and on its borders.

The first Minister of Defence of Guyana, Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, was totally committed to national defence and public security. He devised defence policies which have endured for four and a half decades.

The founder and leader of the PNC, Mr. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, explained that, from the outset, it was the intention of his Administration that, in addition to its defence duties, the Defence Force should be involved in economic and community projects, such as agricultural production and road construction. He, therefore, designated the Defence Force “a people's army that is part of the people.”

The GDF has always been loyal to the Government of the day and has stood on the side of the people even though political administrations have changed.

The People’s National Congress Reform joins with patriotic Guyanese in congratulating the men and women who work day and night to keep our country safe. The GDF has served the nation well and we have every confidence that they will continue to do so.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 5 November 2010

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