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Guyana remembers Cheddi Jagan

A series of memorial activities will commemorate the illustrious political career of Jagan.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 11:57 IST

The ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) of Guyana is observing a series of memorial activities this month to commemorate its legendary founder and former president Cheddi Jagan. Born to indentured plantation workers from Uttar Pradesh, India, on March 22, 1918, at Port Mourant, Jagan had an illustrious political career in this Caribbean country, spanning six decades.

The events, being held under the theme 'Remembering Cheddi, the Architect of Guyana's Independence', started with a 'Night of Reflection' at Freedom House here March 1, according to a report in the Mirror newspaper.

On March 5, a remembrance service was held at the Babu John cremation site, Port Mourant. The month-long activities will be concluded with a Cheddi Jagan Fitness Walk at the National Park March 26.

Jagan founded the People's Progressive Party (PPP), a leading political party of Guyana, in 1950 and became the minister of agriculture in the government under the leadership of Forbes Burnham. Later he served as head of two consecutive elected governments of the PPP - from 1957 to 1961 and then from 1961 to 1964. It was during this period, in 1966, that Guyana attained independence from the British. He was again leader of the opposition from 1976 to 1992.

In October 1992, a new National Assembly was elected in the first Guyanese election since 1964 to be internationally recognised as free and fair. Cheddi Jagan was elected president and held this position till 1997 when he died.

People of Indian origin, known as Indo-Guyanese, comprise 50 percent of Guyana's population of over 765,000.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 11:57 IST