As TT marks 175 years of East Indian arrival, UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the country must not forget the struggles of the nation’s ancestors.
In her Indian Arrival Day message, she noted the contributions of all which made TT a uniquely diverse, multicultural, multi-religious nation.
Persad-Bissessar said, “Those who came from India, China, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and other regions – their hard work, courage, and strength of spirit continue to inspire us today.
“History would show us that we all came on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now.”
She added that the current challenges only reinforces that point that unity is needed to propel TT forward and to be wary of people who may seek division for their own gain.
“Our forefathers believed, and I also believe, that by working together, we can build a stronger, more prosperous TT, and overcome the challenges that currently face our country.”
Persad-Bissessar added that while Indian Arrival Day celebrates the accomplishments of the ancestors of East Indians, people should learn from the past and continue to work towards addressing the challenges faced today.
She also noted that the contribution of the First People should not be disregarded, as they too, for centuries endures adversities, but have successfully sustained their culture and traditions.
“The mammoth hurdles faced by all groups in establishing themselves must be commended, for it was no easy task.
“We are all descendants of strong, brave people who were not only able to survive but also thrive and we should take pride in that,” she noted.
Persad-Bissessar said while the indentured labourers faced harsh and inhumane working and poor living conditions on the plantations and barracks, they held onto hope for a brighter future.