Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is urging the country to hold on to a mindset of “oneness, with boundless faith in our destiny” on the occasion of Indian Arrival Day today, even as the country is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release yesterday which recapped the historical origins of East Indians’ arrival to T&T 175 years ago and the community’s contributions to the nation, Rowley said, “Our ancestors have come from different places, at different times. Our diversity should always be seen as an advantage, always uniting us, never dividing us. We must ask ourselves: What are the alternatives? Look around the world, observe the daily racial tensions where a political ethnocracy exists.”

He cited the country’s recent success in battling the pandemic, which has to date claimed some 400,000 lives globally, as evidence of what could be accomplished through unity.

“Looking back over the past several months, we have accomplished much in dealing with COVID-19 — as one people. We can accomplish everything, as a united people, a united nation. We have sacrificed too much to embrace failure,” he said.

Acknowledging that the usual staging of a re-enactment of the arrival of the Fatel Razack at various beaches will not be carried out because of COVID-19 restrictions, he urged citizens not to let this hamper the day’s commemoration.

“I suggest that we do not allow this to diminish today’s celebration of what is a great story of initial marginalisation, dogged resistance and widespread accomplishment. We should never forget that, in our collective history, the colonial experiences of all races have been one of suffering and sacrifices. Now, we have to overcome those measures that sought to divide us.”

He added, “As the prime minister of our beloved country, I ask that even after the COVID-19 pandemic, we hold to the mindset of Oneness, with boundless faith in our destiny, because only as a united people we can achieve a brighter future. May God continue to bless our nation.”