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Day of Peace in Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana - From as early as 3:00 pm, participants started to gather at the cenotaph situated at the northern face of the Bank of Guyana. At 4:05 the police escort arrived, and the walk began as the marchers chanted "Peace, Shalom, Om Shanti shanti, Assalaam-o-Alikum."

Some wore Ambassador for Peace T-shirts,which carried the inscription, "Peace in my heart, peace in our country and peace on our planet." The artwork consisted of a heart in the middle of the Guyana map and a circle representing the earth surrounding the map.

Over 150 persons marched, while others followed in their vehicles. Some of the major organizations that took part were the Guyana Chapter of Ambassadors for Peace; the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Association of Guyana; the Association of Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths; the Georgetown City Constabulary (Cycle Squad and New Recruits); the Chairman, a Commissioner, and the staff of the Ethnic Relations Commission; the Women's Federation for World Peace; the Guyana Islamic Forum; the Guyana Harjan Sansad, Science and Spirituality Representatives of the Baha'i Community; members of the Pure Love Club; and students and head teachers of several private schools.

The marching and chanting lasted for about half an hour and culminated at the Seawall Bandstand, where a rally was held. At 4:30 Ronald McGarrell, the Master of Ceremonies, welcomed everyone. Then the National Pledge was recited by all, followed by prayers offered by representatives of four religions: Christianity, Baha'i, Hinduism, and Islam. An update was given about the Universal Peace Federation, and flyers were distributed.

Hon. Kieri Liman-Tinguiri, the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to Guyana, delivered the UN Secretary-General's speech "We Must Disarm." This was followed by Charmin Blackman's stirring rendition of Michael Jackson's "The Earth Song." Hon. Justice Donald Trotman, the Chairman of the UN Association of Guyana, spoke about world peace. An Indian Katack Dance by Ambassador for Peace Mrs. Nazia Khan dazzled the audience and set the mood for three poems on peace written by authors and poets Phil and Cheryl Wynter.

Mr. Abbas Mancey then gave a Baha'i perspective on peace. He was followed by a soloist performing a piece calling attention to world poverty. Ms. Rosheena Khan, representing the Guyana Islamic Forum, expounded about the meaning of peace in Islam and the wrongs that extremists have done in the name of Islam.

Three more poems on peace, written by the Wynters and presented by senior students, were followed by "The Cry of the Soul," a poem delivered by Science and Spirituality Member Mr. Kenneth Daniels and written by Sant Darshan Singh. Refreshments were served, and the program concluded with everyone singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin with Me."

To read UPF's Declaration on the International Day of Peace 2009, click here.

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