Opposition Leader David Granger is to move a motion on Friday for the setting up of a National Heritage Commission which would promote national appreciation for the “diverse cultural strains which enrich society”.
The recital to the motion adverts to the preamble to the Constitution and Article 35 of the Constitution which deal with the celebrating of the cultural and racial diversity of the country.
The recital refers to the indigenous peoples’ observation of Amerindian Heritage Day on September 10 of each year. It also refers to the risings by enslaved Africans in 1763 and 1823 and their subsequent freeing in 1838. Note is also made in the recital of the arrival of indentured labourers from Madeira in 1835, indentured labourers from India in 1838, liberated captive Africans in 1841 and indentured Chinese labourers in 1853.
Noting that the state may from time to time, “consider the erection of monuments, the observance of events, the publication of educational and historical texts, films, broadcasts and other educational materials in order to satisfy the various cultural needs of the people of Guyana” and that due recognition should be made of the cultural needs of all Guyanese, Granger’s motion will call for a National Heritage Commission.
The resolve clause of his motion urges:
“That the National Assembly calls for the immediate establishment of a National Heritage Commission to be charged, inter alia, with responsibilities for:
“(i) The promulgation of a National Cultural Policy which `honours and respects the diverse cultural strains which enrich the society and will seek constantly to promote national appreciation of them at all levels’ (Article 35); and
“(ii) The commemoration of events and the establishment of memorials which `Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination’ (Preamble to the Constitution).