UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar – SUREASH CHOLAI
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Indian Arrival Day is an occasion to celebrate the resilience and unity of East Indian indenturers.
It is also an occasion to celebrate the role they played in building Trinidad and Tobago, when they arrived here 177 years ago, she added.
In her Indian Arrival Day message to the nation, Persad-Bissessar said, “They faced decades of uncertainty, unfairness, unkindness and inhumane treatment by those who told them this was a better way of life.”
But they persisted with hope and developed a vision and a plan to better themselves. She said, “This hope gave them the strength to toil through the hardships they faced. They stood strong through the injustice that was often meted out against them and dedicated themselves to gaining success for themselves and for the country they now called home.”
Two centuries later, the impact of the East Indian indentured labours on TT’s national identity is clear to see.
“One of the greatest gifts this nation has received has been the unity of our East Indian ancestors and our African brothers and sisters along with all others who travelled to this nation to call it home” Persad-Bissessar said, “It was this unity that has created this nation into a beautiful cosmopolitan nation where every creed and race find an equal place.”
She was confident that the people of TT can overcome any challenges once they are united, show resilience and appreciation for each other.