Bas Lives On in his Work – Moonilal

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By Prior Beharry

BASDEO PANDAY will be remembered in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean for his more than 60 years of work.

Trinidad and Tobago’s fifth prime minister, was 90 years old.

In a statement following Panday’s passing on Monday, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said, “By his far-reaching and intense life’s work, Basdeo Panday will live on among us in Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean.

“Mr Panday’s body of work of more than 60 years is unrivalled for its powerful and positive impact on society, and he would, therefore, continue to directly influence our lives for generations.

“His people-centred crusade was unique, extensive and timeless.

Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, left, at the Hilton Trinidad with his Minister of Information Technology and Communications Dr Roodal Moonilal in 2001

“While his prime ministership was the zenith of his stellar public career, Mr Panday spent tireless decades in the trenches, representing exploited sugar workers and clamouring for unity among the labouring masses.

“His dynamism and selfless commitment served as a lightning rod for empowering workers, and he was at the forefront of the most sustained working class struggles since the epic Butler protests of 1937.”

Dr Moonilal said, Panday took his campaign for an egalitarian society to the office of prime minister, where he courageously introduced modern and advanced legislations and policies to boost the economy and unifying the society.

He added, “His life’s focus was a modern, equitable country, with knowledgeable and skilled workers, and harmony and respect among the diverse people.

“He envisioned and pioneered a Trinidad and Tobago of equal opportunities for all and a common pursuit of a prosperous and progressive land.

“As prime minister, he envisaged a Singapore-type development for Trinidad and Tobago.

Roodal Moonilal, left, the youth officer of the UNC in 1989 with the party’s political leader Basdeo Panday. Moonilal was presenting a report to Panday.

“He had rare wisdom and wit, courage and charisma, spunk and spirit.

“Mr Panday’s training as an attorney and his abundant oratory talents made him one of the most skilled and vigorous public speakers in the country’s history.

“With his strong will and the objective of his resolute mission, he was not only singular among leaders but also highly admired.

“Through his advocacy for justice and his gallant struggle for a better country for all, Basdeo Panday will live on among the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.”

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