Guyana: President of Guyana Dr. Irfaan Ali met with executive members of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) at State House this afternoon.
At the meeting, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Bishop Juan Edghill.
President Ali applauded the group and agreed that it has a vital role to play in promoting peace and unity in Guyana.
He also urged its members to call out persons who promote hate, particularly on social media, and be part of the solution to healing the country.
IRO was formed in 2003, after which it adopted a constitution. In 2004, the organization was officially launched to promote inter-religious tolerance.
Today some 40-member organizations that came out of the traditional religions of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and the Baháʼí Faith are a part of the group.
Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, is determined by its dense rainforest. English-speaking, with cricket and calypso music, it’s culturally connected to the Caribbean region. Its capital, Georgetown, is known for British colonial architecture, including tall, painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. A giant clock marks the facade of Stabroek Market, a source of local produce.
Guyana’s people is mainly of colonial origin, although Indians are scattered throughout the forested interior. The more numerous coastal peoples are chiefly descendants of slaves from Africa and indentured workers from India, who were originally transported to work the coastal sugarcane plantations. Ethnic problems among the last two groups have played a disruptive role in Guyanese society.
Guyana has been a member of the Commonwealth (an international group made up of the United Kingdom and many of its former dependencies) since 1970. Politically, however, Guyana moved on a steady course toward communism from the time of independence until the death of the first prime minister, Forbes Burnham, in 1985, after which ties with Western powers were strengthened. By the 1990s, privatization had begun.