Chairman of the United National Congress and Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Pointe a Pierre I would like to wish the East Indian Community and all of Trinidad and Tobago a Happy Arrival Day 2017. As our nation celebrates this very significant and defining day it is important that our citizens rekindle the quality of determination which has been one of the major aspects that is demonstrated and displayed by the East Indian Community in their 172 year presence in Trinidad and Tobago.
Arrival Day is not only the celebration of the arrival of a group of people, but rather it is a day on which we commemorate and mark the arrival of a way of life and beginning of a journey which was not absent of turbulent situations but in the end it has resulted in great success and benefit to all those who call Trinidad and Tobago home. On this special day it is critical we honor and revere those qualities which have been passed down from generation to generation by our first East Indian Brothers and sisters. The qualities of discipline, respect for all, value of hard-work, the need of education and the importance of the family unit are the values which have ensured that the East Indian Community propelled itself from Indentureship to individuals who have become successful in the fields of education, sport, art, medicine, law and politics within Trinidad and Tobago.
Today’s celebration centers around highlighting the values, showcasing the activities and rekindling the principles which have allowed the East Indian Community to become an equal and well respected pillar within Trinidad and Tobago’s framework. Without the contribution of culture, art, religion and even food by those early settlers who arrived on the Fatel Razzack our national identity would not be as profound and world renowned as it is today.
Like other communities they have faced hardship, but like every other group of people who sought to find a new home in Trinidad and Tobago they displayed determination and will power to achieve a better way of life not only for their future generations but for the future of Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore as a nation faced with a very dire and grim national state of affairs we are similarly called upon to have determination as a people to ensure the welfare, benefit and sustenance of our fellowman regardless of race, religion, political difference and social standing.
Presently many of our citizens have a heavy heart and mind as they are troubled by the high crime, burdened by the rising cost of living and even traumatized by Government’s plan to implement Property Tax. I ask our citizens to be brave and determined to work towards a better nation like was done by all fore fathers who came to this nation and more so I call on our Leaders to have determination to do what is right and what is just for all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. It is critical that those in authority do all in their power to serve the people which they are bounded to do by our Republican Constitution as the number of reported grievances faced by our citizens suggest that those in power have neglected and lacked the determination to undertake their responsibilities in recent times.
As a nation let us join hands and celebrate each other on this Indian Arrival day ; celebrate the contributions and accomplishments that have been made by each group that arrived on our shores, but more so let us seek to pass on the qualities of nation building and unity to our younger generation.
Dr. David Lee,
Chairman, United National Congress & Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre.