Veteran trade unionist Komal Chand cremated

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Veteran Trade Unionist and PPP/C stalwart Komal Chand was finally laid to rest today – almost four months after he died in Cuba while receiving medical attention.

He was hailed as a champion for workers’ rights in the many tributes that were paid to celebrate his legacy during the funeral service prior to this cremation.

Chand served as President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) up until his death on April 8, 2020 in Cuba.

GAWU’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine, in paying his respects, noted that Chand was an exemplary leader and a staunch disciplinarian.

“He truly believed in GAWU and the workers…He was outstanding on many fronts and served him well during his lifetime…He believed that everyone could make a contribution,” Narine noted.

Seepaul Narine, GAWU’s General Secretary

Chand was also an Executive Member of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).

PPP/C Executive Clement Rohee noted that Chand was an outspoken voice in the party who was never afraid to make his opinions known. He remembered Chand for his expert negotiating skills and the ability to connect on various levels with every person he encountered.

Clemenr Rohee, PPP/C’s Executive Member

Rohee explained that Chand was known to the villager as the PPP man and that he was one of the stronger links that helped keep the PPP connected at the grassroots level.

According to Rohee, Chand distinguished himself from others and played an exemplary role as a young trade unionist.

Former President Donald Ramotar who was also a close friend of Chand also paid his tribute.

Former President Donald Ramotar

Chand also served as a Parliamentarian for the PPP/C for over 25 years and honouring his contributions to the House was Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.

“No other politician had ever treated me so kindly…His disposition changed my view of politicians, and that is, they can be nice people,” Issacs said, noting that Chand was an “outstanding person”.

Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs

Chand passed away on April 8 in Cuba, where he was receiving medical attention.

Initial requests by his family to the National COVID-19 Task Force for his body to be allowed to return to Guyana amid the pandemic were denied.

However, after much media attention on the issue, the Task Force approved the request and Chand’s body returned on July 24.

His funeral service was held today with COVID-19 guidelines in effect.

Chand leaves to mourn his wife and three children.