At a time when the country’s democracy is under threat, Guyana observed the 23rd death anniversary of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan, one of the nation’s founding fathers, who is widely remembered for his fight against undemocratic rule.
Tribute was paid to Dr Jagan during a simple, yet significant wreath-laying ceremony on Friday at the Cheddi Jagan Play Park, Anna Regina, in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
Among those in attendance were the President of the of Essequibo Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ramesh Ramotar as well as Regional Chairman, Devanand Ramdatt.
During his remarks, Ramotar – who is also a member of Change Guyana (one of the smaller political parties) – endorsed the current fight for democracy being led by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
According to Ramotar, Dr Jagan’s legacy should not be allowed to be trampled upon, since he worked tirelessly to fight many battles to have democracy restored in Guyana.
Similarly, Ramdatt said all Guyanese should use this period to honour Dr Jagan, who stood up to a “dictatorship Government”.
Referring to the current developments unfolding at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Ramdatt argued that the APNU/AFC coalition is refusing to accept defeat, and as such, they are violating the laws of the country and trampling upon the rights of the people.
Meanwhile, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) – which was founded by Dr Jagan – also recognised his contributions during his death anniversary.
In a press release, the party said Dr Jagan’s fearless struggles for free elections and the restoration of democracy remain a source of inspiration to all Guyanese.
“Ironically, his death anniversary at this time comes when the will of the Guyanese people to choose their Government through the ballot box, is being subverted by the illegal and undemocratic APNU/AFC regime led by David Granger,” the PPP/C said.
“With support from some officials of the GECOM, fraudulent results were released in an effort to steal the recently held March 2 elections for the APNU/AFC coalition. Such were some of the same electoral malpractices which took Guyana down the path to dictatorial rule and destruction which Dr Jagan fought against to ensure the return of free and fair elections in 1992 and democracy.”
Additionally, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) also paid tribute to the late PPP/C Founder.
In a statement, the Workers’ Union noted that “his contribution to our country and our people is undeniable and outstanding. During his lifetime, he was a staunch ally of the working class. He used several fora to champion their call, to speak on their behalf and to highlight their plight.”
The GAWU pointed out that Dr Jagan had served in many trade unions and was the Honorary President of their Union for many years.
“In his years of association, he brought to bear his considerable experience and wide knowledge to the struggles of the sugar workers…Dr Jagan will also be remembered as one of the fiercest supporters of the restoration of democracy and consolidation of our nation’s democratic practices. His consistent call for the return of free and fair elections stands out as one of his most sterling contributions to our nation.”