As Guyana celebrates 48 years as a Republic, President David Granger has reiterated his government’s intention to take the Venezuelan border controversy to the World Court and declared each citizen a protector of the nation’s sovereignty.
In his message for last night’s flag raising at D’Urban Park, Granger noted in the exercise of their sovereignty Guyanese are defending the Republic.
“We are protecting our patrimony. We are ensuring that future generations will be able to inherit this beautiful country, to live in peace and to enjoy the good life and prosperity which this bountiful country has to offer,” he stressed.
The president reminded that in severing vestigial constitutional bonds with the United Kingdom 48 years ago Guyana became fully sovereign, no longer subject to external authority and assumed the title ‘Cooperative Republic’.
This Republic vested sovereignty in the Guyanese people charging them with exercising this sovereignty by assuming responsibility for defending their motherland and developing the economy.
The president argued that efforts to defend the homeland have not been in vain though Guyanese have lived under the shadow of territorial threats since Independence in 1966.
With the United Nations Secretary General in January indicating his choice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the means to resolve the Venezuelan controversy, Guyana is now closer to a juridical settlement.
Granger said that the nation’s case before the ICJ will in the coming months be pursued with the same determination with which the unwarranted claim to Guyanese territory has been rejected in past years.
“We are confident that our cause is just and our case is sound. We are committed to defending our motherland,” he said of his government.
The head of state also committed his government to the improvement of citizens’ safety.
Quoting Guyana’s constitution he reminded that “the State’s defence and security policy shall be to defend national independence, preserve the country’s sovereignty and integrity and guarantee the normal functioning of institutions and the security of citizens against any armed aggression.”
“Citizens’ safety is the State’s paramount objective,” he stressed adding that “people must be safe in their homes, villages and places of work. Their property, must be protected against crime.”
In pursuit of this objection Granger noted that Guyana’s Government is enhancing the delivery of services to its most distant communities, both on the coastland and in the hinterland, in good times and bad.
Government, he said, is augmenting its resources to render assistance to regional administrations and villages in times of flood, drought, threats to public order and other emergencies.
“We, Guyanese, are proud of our country. Guyana’s green grandeur must be protected. Its grasslands, highlands, islands, wetlands, lakes, coastal mudflats, rainforests, rivers and waterfalls are wonderful – not a mere figment of its citizens’ imagination,” the president maintained.
He further noted that Guyana looks forward to the intensification of cooperation with friendly, foreign states, especially in building capacity for the Defence Force’s technical corps to improve the national infrastructure in every part of the country, to defend the country’s territorial integrity, its citizens and to respond to emergencies.
“International cooperation is essential to preserving this continent as a zone of peace; to preventing and interdicting transnational threats such as drug-, gun- and human-trafficking, the spread of contagious diseases, terrorism and to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and natural hazards,” Granger told the nation.