No matter what our politics, no matter what our standing in society, no matter our ethnicity, none of us can deny that Janet deserves our unreserved salute.
This is according to Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy in his tribute to the late Janet Jagan.
“We pay her in solidarity, as a Nation, the respect that she deserves. We will grieve. And in our grieving and for years to come we will celebrate her life. For her life is one that Guyanese today and tomorrow can truly be proud of.”
According to the Health Minister, she was a giant among us, yet she walked with us as a simple, ordinary sister.
“I personally have lost a great mentor and supporter….Janet never hesitated to let me know when she perceived I had erred and never hesitated to let me know when she perceived I had done well…I always expected to hear from Janet whenever there was an article or a news story on TV…She would call me to congratulate me or offer advice. She was never too busy for anyone or me. I have lost a true friend. I feel I have lost a mother. I believe we have lost the Mother of Our Nation.”
“I believe that in death, Janet may experience her greatest triumph – I believe her life will inspire present and future generations to build this Great Nation.”
Private Sector Commission
The Privates Sector Commission, in its tribute to the late former President, notes that over the past 66 years, Mrs. Jagan contributed immensely to the fabric of Guyana’s political and social infrastructure.
The Private Sector body noted that along with her late husband, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Mrs. Jagan was one of the giants that enriched national consciousness and dignity by relentlessly opposing a world order that entrenched colonizers in their unequal relationship with the colonised
“Her unwavering commitment to the ideals of a just world energized her life as a political and social missionary and the nation should eternally honour her memory,” the PSC stated.
Construction giant BK International in a statement to the media yesterday expressed sadness at the passing of Mrs. Jagan.
The company said she was a champion of the working class and would be remembered for her struggles for independence and democracy in Guyana.
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) hailed Mrs. Jagan as an indomitable but charming champion of the working class.
The Union in its statement yesterday said recall “Comrade Janet’s” heroic struggles on behalf of the working-class for their industrial, labour rights, even as that battle was part and parcel of the larger anti-colonial struggle.
Mrs. Jagan toiled alongside the Father of Guyanese Trade Unionism, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow and joined Dr J. P. Lachmansingh and Jane Phillips-Gay among others during the Enmore Martyrs strike and its aftermath.
“From the pre-massacre Soup Kitchen to the boycott of the first post-shooting Commission of Enquiry, then the positive recommendations of the later Venn Commission, Janet Jagan was tireless in her struggle for sugar-worker and working-class rights and welfare,” GAWU stated.
“She was a simple citizen, robust trade unionist, politician, law-maker, Minister, First Lady, Prime Minister and President,” GAWU noted in its tribute.
Her special attention to sugar-workers was inspiring to GAWU during its struggle for recognition; the various strikes made necessary and generally, as counsellor to those women and wives whose other halves suffered in various ways as sugar producers.
GAWU said its Women’s Forum would soon convene to consider what form of work the Union can establish, “in the spirit and tradition of our first heroine Kowsilla, to perpetuate the memory, life and work of this working –class champion.”
The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha hailed former President Mrs. Janet Jagan as a woman of great courage and resilience “which was demonstrated throughout her life in all her endeavours.”
The Hindu organisation said Mrs. Jagan was never one to succumb and fought valiantly for whatever cause she espoused and believed and supported the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed and at all times identified with the ordinary folk in their pursuits for a better life.
According to the Sabha, Mrs. Jagan showed a keen interest in the development of women and was settled on the principle that women were entitled to equal status as men and ought to be so treated.
She formed the Women’s Progressive Organisation through which she worked assiduously for the upliftment of women, affording them the exposure and opportunities for self-improvement thereby making a contribution to their communities and country, the Sabha noted.
It also added that the causes of children were also close to her heart, and evidence of this is seen in the fact that she wrote many children’s books.
As a journalist, the Sabha said, Mrs. Jagan was disciplined and for more than 40 years edited the Thunder and Mirror newspaper and unequivocally subscribed to freedom of the press.
“Mrs. Jagan will always be remembered for her selfless dedication and struggle for the betterment of Guyana, a country which she adopted as her own.”
The Regional Administration of Demerara/Mahaica hailed Mrs. Jagan as an illustrious leader, an outstanding woman, and a wonderful human being who worked tirelessly with great commitment towards the building of her adopted home, Guyana.
The Administration stated that Mrs. Jagan had demonstrated the ability to be an effective force in her own rights and she was an important partner of her late husband and President Dr Cheddi Jagan.
The Region Four administrators added also that Mrs. Jagan’s contribution to Guyana’s development is tremendous.
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