Guyana Prime Minister and delegation gets warm welcome at Shri Surya narayan Mandir in New York
The Prime Minister Ret’d Brigadier Mark Phillips and Ministers Gail Texeira and Collin Croal were given a very warm welcome in New York at the Shri Surya Narayan Mandir led by Pandit Ram Hardowar and at several other places of worship — Christian and Hindu.
The entourage first visited a Guyanese Church on 175th Street off Hillside Ave in Jamaica, followed by a visit at the nearby Shri Surya Narayan Mandir on 172nd Street off Jamaica Ave, thence to Tulsi mandir on 111th Street off Liberty Ave in Little Guyana and thence to the Christian Ministries services at 130th Street on 101 Ave in Richmond Hill. The delegation’s day was capped off with an interaction with the diaspora at a reception at the Villa Russo catering hall on 101 Ave and Lefferts Blvd in Little Guyana. Separately, Minister Gail Texeira engaged Guyanese just before noon for worshipping at the Arya Samaj Gurukula on 150th Street off Jamaica Ave officiated by Dr. Satish Prakash.
Pandit Ram Hardowar, spiritual leader of Surya Narayan Mandir and President of Federation of Mandirs, gave a special welcome to the PM and the Ministers and to Joe Yussuf of the New York Consulate and the rest of the entourage. They were garlanded in traditional Hindu custom. Pandit Ram, an engineer who worked over fifteen years in Guyana, and has been working in New York as a geo engineer for over 30 years, told the entourage that the mandir and its members are committed to working with the government of the day for the upliftment of the nation. He lamented the attempt to rig the election last year. He applauded the positive steps being taken by the government but he expressed concerns about social issues and crime like the beating death of the pandit in Skeldon a couple months ago.
The PM complimented Pandit Ram for his beautiful mandir. He said that as someone with a Christian upbringing “it is a great experience for him to visit a Hindu temple in New York. He urged everyone to respect all faiths. The PM outlined steps being undertaken to address social issues and public safety. He also talked about the attempts over five months to rig the election and the steps being taken by the PPP/C to protect democracy. He also thanked the diaspora for its contributions to protect democracy in Guyana last year. He said the PPP is building a better society for all. .The PM said it is very exciting times for Guyana with the discovery of oil. Right now, Guyana is producing 120K barrels of oil daily and by the end of the first quarter of 2022, Guyana would be producing some 300K BPD. The PM noted that the GDP grew 14.5% for first half of 2021 and 4.5% in non-oil sector despite the floods and Covid. It is one of the highest growth rates in recent times. He urged Guyanese to invest in their former homeland and to continue to make contributions as they have done for decades since they migrated.
Minister Texeira also expanded on steps being taken to consolidate democratic gains and educational opportunities for all. She said the Amerindians have been the most deprived community and government has been taking steps to provide them with educational opportunities. Minister Texeira said there are equal opportunities for all.
Minister Croal implored Guyanese to have a positive attitude and to be loving, caring, passionate. He praised the work of Guyanese to help protect democracy during the five months to rig the election. “We must have tolerance and respect for all and treat all equally. We must celebrate our diversity”.
The gathering was given an opportunity to interact and ask questions and for photography with the delegation. They were served parsad. Similar remarks were delivered at the other places of worship and at the reception hosted with the PPP/C New York group.
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