Cheddi Jagan commemorative stamps launched

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The Cheddi Jagan commemorative stamps were launched Wednesday at the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP), two months after the Government hijacked the initiative which was initiated by the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC).

Though President David Granger emphasised that this event should be a national one, neither he nor any senior government official was present at this landmark event.

The Director of Protocol, Francis Abraham was perhaps the most senior official who was present and delivered remarks on behalf of the State.

Abraham, who once served as Aide-de-Camp to the late president, said the setbacks experienced does not make the event today any less significant.

Francis Abraham

The Research Centre made an arrangement with the Post Office and the stamps were to be released on March 22, to coincide with the former president’s one hundredth birth anniversary.

But in a statement issued by the MotP on March 23, the President said that “the Cabinet has taken a decision that commemorative stamps, which are national symbols, must adhere to national criteria.  He added that such symbols must not be used for private, partisan or political messages, but ought to be used for national purposes.”

The Research Centre had organised a grand fanfare for this activity at Red House – Dr Jagan’s former home – and his daughter, Nadira Jagan Brancier had even travelled to Guyana to partake in the celebrations.

Hydar Ally

But the launch, organised by the Ministry, was nothing but mundane. It was held in a cramped room at the Ministry of the Presidency, with a photo of former President, Forbes Burnham in the background.

Hydar Ally, Chairman of the Research Centre, told reporters during the launch, that his greatest discomfort is the way the situation was handled.

Ally, who is a Central Committee Member of the PPP, explained that the CJRC really looked forward to the event it had organised, especially since Dr Jagan’s daughter was going to be present.

Nonetheless, he expressed gratitude that the stamps were finally launched.

A section of the gathering at the launch

Bharrat Jagdeo, the General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party, which was founded by Dr Jagan, reportedly said the PPP was not invited to the launch.

Chairman of the Post Office, Raphael Massiah announced that the limited edition stamps will be available for purchase locally and internationally from May 3, 2018.

Relatives of the late Dr Jagan were present during the launch.

Dr Jagan, the son of a sugar worker, is regarded by many as the Father of the Nation because of the instrumental role he played and the personal sacrifices he made to free his people from the yoke of colonialism and poverty.

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