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We are all one people
President Anthony Carmona is urging citizens to join together to provide relief to Caricom countries still reeling from the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
In his Republic Day address to the nation yesterday, Carmona noted that many citizens were descended from people from the territories devastated by the recent hurricanes.
“As such, we must marshal our resources, as limited as they might be, to provide humanitarian assistance to our Caricom neighbours, in true solidarity and in the Caricom spirit, because Calypsonian Merchant also reminds us that there is a Caribbean Connection, ‘For we are one people, one destination,’” Carmona said.
His comments come as debate continues over relief efforts proposed by Government, including a call from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for citizens to open their homes to nationals of Dominica, many of whom lost their homes during Maria’s passage.
Rowley’s appeal was met with racist, political and xenophobic remarks on social media which have been since been denounced in several quarters.
Carmona yesterday also called on citizens to work together to eliminate discrimination in T&T.
“It is my sincere hope, it is my prayer that you accept that everybody is indeed somebody and eradicate all forms of prejudice. To build a model nation, to construct a strong and better nation, we must bring all into the fold,” Carmona said.
He added: “Now is not the time to engage in recitation of pious platitudes, or negativity or pass the buck, or step aside. Instead, I urge you to adopt the approach of the Good Samaritan, who did not turn away, or passed by on the other side, when he saw a stranger in distress.”
He also urged citizens to put aside their political differences to work together to raise the country from ongoing economic woes.
Carmona also sought to address his decision to shift the annual National Awards ceremony from Independence Day to Republic Day for the first time in the country’s history.
“To reiterate, such an awards ceremony on Republic Day, would raise the national consciousness of our people, deepen our sense of patriotism, give added credence to the Republican Constitution and also bring greater awareness of the true meaning of Republic Day,” he said.