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An inspiring legislator, a good friend

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It was with a deep sense of sadness and some trauma that I awoke last Sunday morning to the depressing news that Dana Seetahal had died at the hands of unknown assailants in the Woodbrook area. Interestingly the last person about whom my thoughts were cast, and about whom I spoke just about the time of her death and before I retired to bed on that fateful Saturday night, was Dana Seetahal. 


It was just after Saturday midnight that environmental circumstances led me to comment to two business associates while overseas about Dana Seetahal adding that she would recognise me even from behind my back or when she heard my voice, wherever this was, and she would call out to me by name. What a sad state and great loss for our rainbow country. 


Dana Seetahal and I served in the Senate together.  She was an Independent Senator at a time, during the period November 2006 to May 2010, when I also served in the Senate as a Government Senator appointed by the People’s National Movement (PNM), which was then the Government in Office. 


Dana and I maintained a professional Parliamentary relationship within the Senate Chamber and for me it was always like a breath of fresh air to converse very easily with her in the corridors as she took a “smoke break” or in the tea room, on many issues of national importance, not the least of which was her interest in our initiatives for the revitalisation of cocoa estates. 


But more strikingly for me was her meticulous obsession with getting the details and specificity of language in the legislation correct when Bills were being debated in the Senate. In this regard, she was sure to be always very alert especially during the Committee stage of the Senate, ensuring correctness of any suggested amendments in the proposed law coming from any quarter. Dana Seetahal’s death has certainly sent shock waves locally, regionally and internationally. 


Some of the people who communicated with me from near and far have expressed tearful disbelief on the manner of her death and are mourning her passing. The stain of the blood of this modest, measured and trustworthy professional will remain etched on the conscience(s) of the people who masterminded that plot for her demise. As a former Senate colleague, I take this opportunity to convey my condolences to the family of Dana Seetahal.


I join with the national community in mourning Dana’s passing and pray to God that her soul will find eternal rest. 



Arnold Piggott


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