Thousands Say Goodbye To Slain Guyana Minister

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr 26, 2006 – An estimated 5,000 people showed up on the lawns on Castellani House yesterday to say final goodbye to the country’s fisheries, other crops and livestock and agriculture minister, who was gunned down on April 22 along with two siblings and a security guard.

President Bharrat Jagedo, who addressed the many high profile mourners, vowed his government would find the killers of minister Satyadeo Sawh and the three others victims.

“We will track them down and find them, wherever their trail leads,” Jagdeo said. He called Sawh a modern day martyr adding, “Our hearts are filled with grief at the blatant assassination of someone whose service to public life went beyond the call of duty.”

While Donald Ramotar, general secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party, called the killings, “an act of terrorism designed to create fear in our country.” His comments come as party members have hinted in recent days that the assassinations may have been politically motivated.

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Bruno Picard, was among those paying tribute to the Sawh, who was also a naturalized citizen of Canada. Picard called on all leaders to unite for the good of the country, calling the killing not only a Guyanese tragedy but also a Canadian one.

Sawh’s body was taken from Castellani House to the home where he was murdered for a service. It was then escorted to Good Hope, East Coast Demerara where his remains were cremated.

Guyana police now claimed the assassination may have been “… intended to eliminate all possible eyewitnesses and execute the minister and his family.” Sawh is survived by his wife, three sons, a UK-based brother who survived the shooting by playing dead and several other relatives.

He had returned to Guyana from Canada to serve under the PPP government, which was ushered back into power in 1992. (