Last update: 19-Dec-2013 7:24 am
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PM: Thatcher inspires me (with CNC3 video)
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says her former British counterpart, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, continues to inspire her. Persad-Bissessar issued a statement hours after news broke of the 87-year-old Thatcher’s death from a stroke. “The United Kingdom and indeed the world have lost a woman who throughout her life has been a valuable contributor to local and global efforts to improve the well-being of those whom she served,” Persad-Bissessar said in her condolence message.
Thatcher made history, she said, by serving three terms as PM. She was the first woman elected as head of government in the United Kingdom. Persad-Bissessar, the first female Prime Minister of T&T, said Thatcher’s “decisiveness and ingenuity serves as (a) continuing inspiration to me personally on a daily basis.”
She said Thatcher, popularly called the “Iron Lady”, would always be remembered for her “personal and political fortitude.” “No one will forget Mrs Thatcher’s determination to take on the most challenging battles with a steady hand,” she added. She said Thatcher’s bravery, which was displayed during an attempt on her life in 1984, “attests to the strength and perseverance of a great leader.”
Persad-Bissessar said Thatcher’s two books—The Downing Street Years (1993) and The Path to Power (1995)—would serve as unofficial guides to all world leaders, particularly women, who chose lifelong careers in politics. In extending condolences to the Government and the citizens of the United Kingdom, Persad-Bissessar said the people of T&T were “consoled by the fact that this great woman lived a life worth of emulation by all.”
Meanwhile, the British High Commission will open a condolence book from today at 19 St Clair Avenue from 9 am-3 pm. It said all were welcome to sign the book. British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Foreign Secretary William Hague have expressed their condolences on the death of the former prime minister. Cameron said: “ We have lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton.”
He said Thatcher as prime minister “succeeded against all the odds and she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country. I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister. He said her legacy would be that “she served her country so well and that she saved our country and that she showed immense courage in doing so and people will be learning about what she did and her achievements in decades, probably centuries to come.”
Hague said Thatcher “changed our country forever and all of us owe so much to her. A legacy few will ever equal.”
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