Former President Janet Jagan, who died early Saturday morning at the age of 88, will be cremated at Babu John, Corentyne tomorrow following a state funeral at Parlia-ment Building at 8:30 am.
According to a press release from the Office of the President, Mrs Jagan, who succumbed to an abdominal aneurysm at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), wished for a “simple send-off” and as a result there would be no viewing of the body.
Thousands are expected to turn out to pay their last respects to the woman who is credited with dedicating her life towards the struggles for independence and democracy in a country she made her own after she left her native America in 1943 upon marrying Dr Cheddi Jagan.
The release disclosed that the hearse accompanied by her family will leave from Mrs Jagan’s New Haven, Bel Air residence at 8 am proceeding west then north onto the Railway Embankment Road thence into Sheriff Street, turning into Campbell Avenue/Sandy Babb Street and then turning south onto Vlissengen Road.
The cortege will stop on Vlissengen Road directly in front of the Office of the President and Castellani House where the military procession will commence. The procession will then proceed south and turn west into Brickdam and onwards to Parliament Building, arriving at 8:30 am for the state ceremony.
“The Cortege departs Parliament Building at 10:00 hrs and will stop briefly in front of the headquarters of the People’s Progressive Party, Freedom House, Robb Street, for a ceremonial farewell,” the release said.
The procession will then leave for Babu John where speeches will be delivered and the final military honours performed. It is anticipated that the final ceremony and the cremation will commence at 2 pm.
Meanwhile President Bharrat Jagdeo, who cut short his Middle East trip following the passing of the former president, arrived in the country early yesterday morning and told reporters at the airport that he had travelled continuously for 24 hours soon after he was informed of the death of Mrs Jagan by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
Jagdeo, who was in the Middle East on a series of official visits, said he had met with the family of Mrs Jagan including her children, Joey and Nadira, and they decided on funeral arrangements that will pay a fitting tribute.
According to a release from the Government Infor-mation Agency (GINA) the president said while they have to respect the wishes of the family “At the same time Comrade Janet belongs to the whole country so we have to balance the two interests.”
In remembering the late President, Jagdeo described her death as a sad day for the country adding that she while she lived a full life her passing “makes us poor, our country poor.” He said that she was involved in every major cause to enhance the lives of Guyanese as far back as the 1940’s.
“She will long be remembered not just as Janet Jagan the person, but for what she stood for, for the ideas that she had, the strength of character that she displayed and her commitment and love for this country,” GINA quoted the president as saying.
The president paid tribute to the contributions Mrs. Jagan made to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) noting that alongside her late husband, Dr Cheddi Jagan, she played a significant role in imbuing the PPP with their philosophies and ideas.
“Our party remains strong today and that was her life’s work; to ensure that the party remains strong so that it can continue to serve the people of this country, our party’s ideals will always be evergreen because they believe in countries that cater for all of its people, regardless of the race or religion. This was the core value of the PPP largely because these were the core values of Janet and Cheddi Jagan,” the President said. He added that any party that works for the good of the people of the country will always be relevant and the character and nature of the PPP is owed to Dr and Mrs Jagan.
And the president said all Guyanese in remembering Mrs Jagan should try to learn more about the things that she stood for and struggled for because these are things that they enjoy today, freedoms that are taken for granted.
After migrating to Guyana Mrs Jagan helped to found the Women’s Political and Eco-nomic Organisation and co-founded the Political Affairs Committee in 1946, and later along with her husband and others formed the PPP in 1950.
She served as Prime Minister of Guyana from March 17, 1997 to December 19, 1997 in addition to holding several other elected offices. After her husband’s death in 1997, Mrs. Jagan ran as the Presidential candidate for the PPP/C in the December 1997 election. She assumed the Presidency of Guyana following the PPP/C victory in that election. She served for 20 months before resigning for health reasons.