CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO THE NATION BY MR. ROBERT H. O. CORBIN, M.P. LEADER OF THE PEOPLE'S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM LEADER OF THE PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION Friday, DECEMBER 22, 2005



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

Christmas is a season of peace and goodwill centered on the Divine Birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed his life to bring hope and salvation to mankind everywhere. This is a good time for all Guyanese to reflect on the true meaning of this season.

Let not the commercialism that has dominated this season over the years cause us to forget its true significance.

As we celebrate this season with our families in true Guyanese tradition I hope that we find time to think of those who are less fortunate in our society: the many families who suffered great loss and were dislocated as a result of the unprecedented flood disaster in January of this year and who no doubt have not yet been able to recover from their losses and rebuild their lives; the rising number of homeless and destitute who now roam our streets; the senior citizens who find it difficult to live on their meager pensions; the orphans and other needy children; the disadvantaged and the sick, especially those who are afflicted with the deadly HIV/AIDS disease and suffer from the daily stigma and discrimination associated with it. I hope too that we find time to think of the many victims of crime who have lost their lives this year and the many others who will endure this Christmas without their loved ones. It is my sincere wish that, as we reflect on these things, we endeavour to bring happiness to the less fortunate. In so doing, we will be demonstrating that we understand the true meaning of Christmas.

During this season our Party with our limited resources and with the help of some caring citizens spread Christmas Cheer to many children, senior citizens and other needy persons. We held parties and shared gifts to children all over the country including Bartica, Linden, Georgetown, villages in the Upper Mazaruni, West Coast Berbice and East Berbice. We also held Christmas luncheons for senior citizens in many parts of Guyana. We wished that we could have done more. We were, however pleased that several other caring citizens and organisations did likewise. There are still many others who need our help and support.

Christmas is indeed a time for giving, for sharing and for expressing good will to our fellow men. Even though this season is of Christian origin, its message is universal and can be embraced by people of all faiths. Consequently, it is my wish that all Guyanese use this period to rekindle and strengthen the foundation of the Guyanese family and that as a people we demonstrate, in practical ways, goodwill towards each other and resolve to make Guyana a land of which we can be proud

I wish therefore to extend special Christmas greetings to the Christian Community for whom the Christmas festival has special significance. I hope the commemoration of the Birth of our Saviour will renew our faith and strengthen our determination to spread its true meaning among all Guyanese.

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

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 collectively and individually commit ourselves to strengthen the foundation of our society, the family.

On behalf of my Party and my family I extend best wishes for a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season to all Guyanese at home and abroad. May God richly bless you all with good health and happiness.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!