Bishop Francis Alleyne of Georgetown said that efforts towards promoting harmony are always important since humanity is celebrated in a “fuller” way when citizens are in good relations, have good understanding of and respect for one another and live in community with collaboration and mutual life-giving interactions.
The Bishop’s comments were in response to the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) launch of their 2019 Harmony Campaign on January 11 at the Pegasus Hotel, Guyana.
The ERC is mandated by the Government of Guyana to promote unity across the various ethnic groups and look into the necessary complaints of discrimination. Its goal is to guide Guyana closer to achieving national harmony and good relations.
Government officials, members of the Opposition, Georgetown’s mayor, religious leaders and members of the international community were among those in attendance.
Adding that good relations of any kind are important, Bishop Alleyne told Catholic Standard that good relations across the divides—ethnic, religious, geographic, cultural, generational—are especially important.
“While there may be elements that tend to divide, we must always strive for the harmony. My observation, coming out of so many situations that I have encountered, is that Guyanese naturally default to harmony. It is important to register this and continue building on it,” he said.
According to the diocesan weekly, the ERC revealed posters with the themes Tolerance, Legacy, Working together, the 24 functions of the ERC, along with a harmony passport, all displaying inspiring messages. There was also a new billboard and television show titled I am Us.
The Commission also released its unity song ‘Let Harmony come in’ along with its new website www.erc.org.gy which persons can access to report any racial discrimination.
The Chairman of the ERC Rev Dr John Smith CCH encouraged all present to spread the message of peace and unity. Also delivering remarks were ERC Commissioner; former ERC Chairman; and the Minister of Social Cohesion, on behalf of President David Granger, endorsed the campaign.