Late Ashton Chase, a ‘pillar of democracy’ – President Ali

As Guyana mourns the loss of Ashton Chase, OE, SC, one of its key players in the nation’s road to freedom, President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali urged Guyanese not to forget the pillars of democracy, even as the country continues to move forward.

President Ali made the charge Friday morning during the funeral service for the former Member of Parliament at Parliament Buildings, Stabroek, Georgetown.

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali attending the funeral of the late Ashton Chase at Parliament Buildings on Friday morning

Delivering his tribute, the president described the late Chase as a simple and humble man who selflessly dedicated his life to Guyana.

“We are celebrating a man who had all the attributes of integrity, a man who constituted the social, political, and economic development of our country… who has shaped the lives of many Guyanese, but more importantly, has shaped the course of the history of our country, and has shaped it in a form in which today, we enjoy a free and democratic society,” he expressed.

President Ali described Chase as a legend, one who shied away from attention despite the many lives he impacted, as well as one who stood up for justice and offered his services whenever he felt there was an injustice.

“At the time when he would have led the movement for workers and for political freedom and democracy, it is important for us to understand that that was the era of ideological positioning, and we cannot divorce the ideological debate and discussions that characterised that era.

“That is what positioned the thinking and work of people like Comrade Chase in the global context. Because they were part of a global conversation in which philosophical and ideological positions were debated in the interest of service to humanity and we must not forget that,” President Ali stated.

The head of state said the intellectual work that characterised the lives of Guyana’s founding members, including Chase, showed the brilliance of their thinking in speech and writing, and therefore, it must not be forgotten that their work is an important part of Guyana’s history.

His account of Chase painted the picture of a man who sought to ensure a fair system of governance.

“Much has occurred over the years, and we have seen improvement and electoral reform. Today, we celebrate free and fair elections. We celebrate democracy. But we must never, ever forget the pallbearers of democracy, and Comrade Chase was one of those,” President Ali said.