The death of a true Guyanese patriot, Dr Joshua Ramsammy, should be the time to reflect a little about our past. This son of the soil with the capacity to succeed anywhere in the world due to high academic achievement, chose instead to stay here in Guyana and struggle against all forms of oppression, discrimination and poverty. His leadership qualities in the early 1970s saw him as a leading member of Ratoon, a new and vibrant group dedicated to uniting Guyanese for change from the PNC-run government. Later, with the formation of the WPA, Dr Ramsammy became one of its leading figures and dedicated his political life to the success of the WPA, while always teaching at UG. President Cheddi, I remember, always had good things to say about Dr Ramsammy and on more than one occasion he reminded me (and the public) of the time when Dr Ramsammy was gunned down in broad daylight, in the centre of Georgetown, for his political beliefs. President Cheddi always admired ‘Josh’ for his courage and fortitude and his determination to stay the course, even after that horrible incident. He always remained a true fighter for democracy in this country.
Dr Ramsammy became a patient of mine quite a few years back and I will always remember when he first came to my dental office on Charlotte Street. That day I told my staff who he was and to treat him with great reverence, because he was indeed someone to look up to − a person who gave his all for our dear country.
Many times when he visited my office, we would have conversations about the current political situation in the country, and I can tell the Guyanese people that Dr ‘Josh’ to the end of his life still cared deeply about the welfare of the Guyanese people and was proud of his service to this country. I would humbly ask the President to give the highest award Guyana can offer to this outstanding patriot.
All Guyanese should mourn the loss of this dedicated Guyanese fighter who was willing to give his life for all of us. God bless his soul.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)