Guyana indebted to Sir Lester for unflinching support on int’l stage – President Ali
…his death a huge blow to Caribbean – VP
Former Prime Minister of Antigua, Sir Lester Bryant Bird died on Monday morning at the age of 83.
He was the Caribbean island’s second Prime Minister.
As condolences poured out throughout the region and beyond, President Dr Irfaan Ali described the former leader as a “good friend of Guyana” and the Guyanese people.
In his message of condolence, President Ali said that Bird stood firmly and consistently with Guyana in defence of sovereignty and territorial integrity, raising his considerable voice in the UN, the Commonwealth and other hemispheric fora.
“Sir Lester opened the doors of Antigua and Barbuda to many thousands of Guyanese at a time of economic decline… and in so doing, cemented his legacy as a true integrationist, which will forever be marked in the annals of history,” President Ali said, adding that Guyana is in indebted to Sir Lester and Antigua and Barbuda, not only for the generosity towards Guyanese at a time of need, but for the unflinching support of Guyana on the international stage.
“The records show that he was highly regarded by all of Guyana’s Executive Presidents with whom he served… On behalf of the people of Guyana and on my own behalf, I extend sincere condolences to Sir Lester’s family, friends and the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time,” President Ali said in his condolence message.
Meanwhile, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo also extended condolences to Sir Lester’s family, friends, and the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“I was greeted with the sad news of the passing of former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Lester Bryant Bird…His passing is a huge blow to Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean,” the Vice President posted on social media.
Meanwhile, Antigua Observer reported on Monday that a release from the Office of the Prime Minister indicated that Sir Lester died at about 06:00h on Monday.
Sir Lester, the newspaper reported, has had a long battle with health complications.