Satyadeow Sawh will be remembered for sterling efforts in struggle for democratic freedoms – President
President Irfaan Ali has hailed former Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh for his sterling efforts in the struggle for democratic freedoms.
Sawh, fondly called “Sash” or “Sat”, a Minister of the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, was horrifically killed on April 22, 2006 when gunmen attacked his Earl’s Court, La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara (ECD) home. His sister Phulmattie Persaud and brother Rajpat Rai Sawh, along with security guard Curtis Robertson, were also killed in the shooting, which sparked widespread public anger, fear and mourning by not only Guyanese here, but abroad as well.
On his 15th death anniversary on Thursday, President Ali said the former PPP/C member is being remembered with affection and appreciation of his political and public service. The Head of State said “Sash” lit up every occasion.
“His effusive and energetic presence was matched by a dedicated work ethic and a hands-on approach to the work of his Ministry. He was a people’s person who served his country unselfishly,” Ali noted.
The President went on to say that, “Mr Satyadeow Sawh will be remembered for his sterling efforts in the struggle for democratic freedoms. While he lived in Canada, he was a tireless political livewire, organising and agitating for the restoration of democracy in Guyana.”
Ali recalled that when democracy was restored on the 5th of October 1992, Sawh was asked to serve as Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela. In that post, he rendered distinguished service.
“His efforts were so impressive that he was invited home to assume ministerial responsibilities. Satyadeow Sawh helped to transform the agriculture sector during his tenure. His untimely and tragic death fifteen years ago robbed Guyana of a committed patriot whose service to country and to the cause of freedom and democracy is worthy of emulation,” the President posited.
He further hailed the contributions of Sawh to the country, and saluted his memory on behalf of the Government and people of Guyana.
The attack on Sawh occurred in the wee hours, when masked gunmen in military clothing stormed the then Minister’s home. At the time, Sawh and his wife and siblings – who were visiting from Canada – were hanging out in the verandah of the one-storey house.
The Police had reported that the gunmen opened fire on at least two security, injuring one of them, before scaling the fence and entering the yard. They then fatally shot Robertson along with the Minister’s dog.
The gunmen then confronted the Sawh family members, killing him and two of his siblings, and injuring another, Omprakash Sawh. The Minister’s wife was also in the house at the time, but hid in the toilet during the ordeal.
The Sawh family, in a letter last year on the anniversary of the shooting, had reiterated calls for an inquiry into the “despicable tragedy of the Sawh killings.”
At the time, Guyana was embroiled in a political and electoral deadlock after the previous administration had attempted to derail democracy to hold on to power. The family had said, “The electoral brouhaha post-March 2, 2020 has been a sad reminder of the sorts of events Sash Sawh dedicated his life to fighting against. Once this calamity subsides, it will be high time to reckon with his murder in order to bring badly needed closure and healing to his family – and to Guyana.”