Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar

On August31st, we join with our national community to celebrate the 49thyear of our Independence, and commemorate an auspicious event in which we signalledto the global village our resolve and determination to chart our own course, bothfor ourselves and our posterity.

On thisday, we also join with our Muslim brothers and sisters in celebratingEid-ul-Fitr, an event that represents the culmination of a month of abstinenceand prayer. In so doing, we recognise the expressed resolve of our Muslimbrothers and sisters to not only submit to the command of God Almighty, butalso to undertake the necessary physical and moral sacrifices that promises toyield great reward in this life and the hereafter.

We mustexamine the past to understand the present and plan for the future. Thecelebration of Eid should be one in which the Muslim community, much like the entirenation at this time of Independence, reflect on the past sacrifices, and in sodoing savour those benefits that we enjoy today as a nation, even as we seek toinculcate those models of behaviour that would help us to be a stronger andmore resilient nation in the future.

While we dothis we can appreciate, as our Muslim brothers and sisters have no doubtexperienced in this past month, the compassion for others who may be lessfortunate than us, and the joys of extending a helping hand to those in need,simply for the sake of loving for our brothers and sisters what we love forourselves.

As westruggle in our quest for individual and national development, let us resolveto never forget those who are less fortunate than ourselves – those victims ofcrime, poverty and neglect, so that we can stand together as one people, justas our Muslim brothers and sisters do in the mosques throughout our land, andknow that the sacrifices that have passed us create a present which we can beproud of, and holds the promise of a better future for ourselves and ourchildren.

On behalf of my family and I, and on behalf of thePeoples’ Partnership Government, I wish the Muslim community a very Joyous EidMubarak