CHRISTMAS MESSAGE BY Mr. Robert H.O. Corbin, M.P. Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform & Leader of the Opposition-- Friday 24 December 2010




FELLOW GUYANESE AND ALL OUR FRIENDS WHO ARE VISITING GUYANA DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON,

Once again we are in the Season of Christmas. A Season of Peace and Goodwill centred on the Divine Birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who brought hope to mankind everywhere. Christmas is indeed a time for giving, for sharing and for expressing goodwill to our fellow man. Even though this season is of Christian origin, its message is universal and may be embraced by people of all faiths.

Consequently, I wish, on behalf of the Central Executive Committee and membership of the People’s National Congress Reform, my family and myself, to extend sincere greetings and good wishes to all Guyanese for a Peaceful and Happy Christmas.

I am, however, deeply conscious of the fact that many Guyanese will not enjoy the bright and beautiful Christmas that we all dream about. For many it promises to be one of unfulfilled expectations: their happiness being limited by the obvious harsh economic and social conditions that exist today in our country.

We are aware that this year has been another difficult one for many of our citizens. The difficulties faced by most of our workers who continue to receive paltry wages and salaries, subjected to unconscionable taxes, that are completely unrelated to the high cost of living are well known. The unlawfully dismissed workers of RUSAL at Kwakwani will face another bleak Christmas without any pay to take care of their families and without any resolve on the part of the Administration to enforce our labour laws. The discriminatory treatment of workers has again been highlighted by the Government’s approach to the plight of sugar workers, making a mockery of our Constitutional provisions that demand equal treatment under the law. The arbitrarily announced 5% increase in wages and salaries of public servants will also have little impact on their real incomes.

I am deeply conscious of the words of Martin Luther King who emphasised that true peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice. Guyanese who daily experience the injustice meted out to citizens in our country can easily relate to these words.

Even in the face of these challenging circumstances, however, I hope that you can still take comfort in the true meaning of Christmas and come together as families.

It is in this context that I urge all of my fellow citizens to remember the true meaning of Christmas and the message of hope and deliverance it brings. It is my sincere wish that, as we celebrate this season with our families in true Guyanese tradition, eating our pepper-pot and drinking our ginger beer, we find time to think of those who are less fortunate in our society: The homeless and destitute, the senior citizens; the orphans and other needy children; the disadvantaged and the sick. Let each of us pledge in some small way that we will do something to bring happiness to them at this time and throughout the coming year. In so doing, we will be demonstrating that we understand the true meaning of this season.

As we also reflect on the absence of justice in our country, let us resolve to work vigorously to have true peace in the coming year.

May I also take this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate the festival of Kwanza, a HAPPY KWANZA. May we remember the seven principles of this observance: Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Co-operative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. In doing so, let us pledge to work continuously to strengthen the family.

I also wish to bid a special welcome to all Guyanese and friends of Guyana who have come home at this time to experience a true Guyanese Christmas and to reunite with your families and friends. May you enjoy this season and leave with renewed hope for the future of our dear beloved country.

Once more, on behalf of my Family, my Party, the People’s National Congress Reform, and on my own behalf, I extend best wishes to all of you for a very Merry Christmas. May you also enjoy continuous health and happiness throughout the New Year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY KWANZA!

Robert H. O. Corbin, M.P.
Leader of the PNCR &
Leader of the Opposition
24 December 2010