The following is the Christmas message of Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar:
“Christmas is a time of joy, of fellowship, and of love. For members of the Christian community, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and a time to reflect on the central messages of his teachings – love, compassion and peace.
Christmas is a special time here in Trinidad and Tobago, as it is in many parts of the world. It is a time for joy; it is a time when people come together to celebrate and share with family, friends and loved ones.
During this festive season, we see the wonderful blending of cultures and religions, and an outpouring of love, compassion and generosity as so many persons participate in gift giving, helping those less fortunate, bringing cheer to those in need. For me, I look forward to the smiles and laughter of children, and the opportunity to spend time with my family.
I wish all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago a blessed Christmas, and it is my hope that 2017 was filled with opportunities, with many more to come in the New Year.
As we mark this period of merriment, however; I say a special prayer, and I ask that you keep in your hearts and minds those in our country who may be experiencing loss, grief, or pain, and those who may be struggling at this time.
However challenging our circumstances may be, let us remind ourselves of the spirit of Christmas with its message of hope and love.
I believe in the strength and resilience of the people of our country, and in their ability to come together, especially in times of crisis. We recently saw the demonstration of this compassion and generosity during the nationwide flooding disaster, when many stepped forward and provided relief to victims of the natural disaster.
It was truly heartwarming to witness the unity, selflessness and care that so many people have shown. Now, more than ever, we need to continue in this spirit, and I have every confidence that each of us has the will and capacity to do what we can to build our nation, and move our country forward.
I am sure that even as citizens celebrate Christmas 2017, this spirit of goodwill towards those in need will continue, and you will make every effort to bring some cheer to them. In this uncertain and difficult environment, let us promise to do what we can to look out for each other, and be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
It is my wish that the people of Trinidad and Tobago enjoy a peaceful and joyful Christmas. I hope, and pledge to work even harder, towards a better and brighter future for our country, and I call on each of you to join with me in building that future.
May God continue to bless each of you and may God continue to bless our great nation, Trinidad and Tobago.