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Sunday December 23 , 2012

By Dr. Sewnauth Punalall AFC Executive Member The Christmas celebration is just a few days away and the AFC extends joyous Christmas greetings to all Guyanese as well as all foreign nationals who are presently holidaying in our beautiful land. When we think of Christmas two priceless things automatically come to mind - peace and joy. The angelic message at the birth of Jesus Christ was “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:10, 12). Therefore the expectation of Almighty God is for all mankind to live in peace and joy. Regardless of our nature, culture, standards, interests, or aspirations we should strive to live in harmony between and among ourselves so that our communities can be friendly and pleasant. The Merriman-Webster dictionary defines peace as “Freedom from civil disturbance” or “A state of security or order within a country provided for by law or custom”. However these simple definitions should not lead us to conclude that peace is merely the absence of hostility, or just newly healed interpersonal or international relationships. Peace involves much more than this. Peace means prosperity in matters of social and economic welfare. For example, a state of tranquility is necessary for one to be in a good state of health. Studies also reveal conclusively that lack of peace breeds crime, for whenever a society enjoys a high level of peace crime is greatly reduced. Further it has been found that peace leads to economic growth and stability. While investor climate, consumer confidence and other factors are important to attract investors it must be recognized that investors prefer to invest in peaceful nations. Lack of peace also leads to governmental incoherence. Decades of political power play in Guyana, rather than harmony amongst our politicians, have finally brought our parliament to a state of gridlock. In order for our nation to leave this state of political deadness behind, the AFC has been

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focusing on the type of leadership committed to execute the role of peace builders, leaders who are determined to promote equal political, economic, social and civil rights for all Guyanese. The time has come for our nation to be led by men and women who are known for their compassion, integrity and courage. Stiffness, impatience and anger must give way to flexibility, patience and forgiveness. Finally we want to point out the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on happenings. When things are happening we are happy, for example a village day here, or a fair there, or a big lime in the city. When these short-term events are over the happiness ends. However joy is of a more enduring nature. The AFC, unlike the present administration prefers our hard working people to experience joy rather than the fleeting pleasures which are of short duration. We are interested in imparting into our people that which is enduring. House lot distribution is a typical case in point. When one is allocated a house lot that person is happy. However joy only comes when that person is able to move into a properly constructed home on the lot. For the minimum wage earner this is impossible. For the family of four or five with two or three children to educate and whose net pay is around $100,000 this new home is a lifetime away. Another typical case is casual employment in this country. When an unemployed individual receives a probationary or temporary employment that person is happy. Joy comes when that person is confirmed in that position. In order to keep employees under subjugation here, the present administration uses the weapon of casual employment, even of senior government employees. And so the happiness, rather than maturing into joy, turns into sorrow. In the birth of Jesus Christ Almighty God reached down to man to save him from his sins. If God can reach down to us we should not think twice to reach out to each other. The AFC would like to see a Guyanese nation rich in peace and joy. We call upon all of our Guyanese brothers and sisters to join hearts and hands with us, so that we can together tread this path of national development. Merry Christmas and we pray that 2013 be filled with Peace and Joy.

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