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 Obituary: President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara
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Posted - 27 Aug 2019 :  16:15:18  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The former president of the first republic Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara passed away today (1924 - 2019).
A very sad news but death is inevitable and we must all taste it one day. May Allah (SWT) grant him the best place in Jannah. My sincere condolences to his entire extended families and the whole of The Gambia.


A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


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Posted - 27 Aug 2019 :  18:48:25  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The State Funeral for the Former President, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara will take place on Thursday, 29th August 4:00 pm, at the Nationa Assembly.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  11:56:25  Show Profile Send kiwi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He deserves a State Funeral. Rest in peace.

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Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  19:34:09  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Grandfather of Gambia has left .May he Rest in Perfect Peace,after a very full life. we shall see his like no more.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 28 Aug 2019 19:34:40
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Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  21:05:02  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
President Barrow Declares Seven Days of National Mourning

The public is hereby informed that His Excellency, Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia has declared a seven-day national mourning period from Tuesday 27th August to Monday 2nd September 2019, in respect of the passing of former president, His Excellency Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Similarly, he has also ordered that during this period the national flag of The Gambia at all State Institutions be lowered at half-mast.

A state funeral will be held where the remains of the former president will be laid-in-state at the National Assembly building on Thursday 29th August 2019, at 4:00 PM. A condolence book will be opened at the same place until Monday, 2nd September 2019.

President Barrow calls on all Gambians to use these trying moments to reflect and emulate the virtues Sir Dawda left as his legacy: peace-loving, tolerant, and democratic.

Once again, the president kindly urges all and sundry to pray to God to grant the departed soul eternal peace.

Source: State House FB page

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Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  21:09:44  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Culled from Eyeafrica TV

DK Jawara’s remains to be buried at Assembly Building

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia’s National Assembly Wednesday evening released a burial itinerary that indicates that the country’s first president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara will be buried at the Assembly building in the capital, Banjul on Thursday.

Opinions indicate that the former President’s final resting place will be decorated in the form of a monument where students and other Gambians and the international community could visit anytime.

Mr. Jawara died on Tuesday at his home in Fajara, in the country’s coastal town of Bakau, at age 95. His remains will be laid in State on Thursday where he will be accorded a state funeral and lay to rest at the Assembly building at 16: 40 GMT.

The former statesman who led the tiny West African state from independence in 1965 to 1994, was ousted in July 1994, in a coup led by then army captain Yahya Jammeh.

He had served the country as Prime Minister from 1962 to 1970 under British colonial rule, before becoming president. He is expected to be accorded a state burial.

President Adama Barrow has announced a seven-day national mourning from Tuesday to show respect to the fallen former leader, who is described as Gambia’s founding father. He also ordered for the lowering of the national flag at half-mast.

Tuesday afternoon, President Barrow send condolences to the former statesman’s family, calling him a peaceful man which earned him the name “Kairaba Jawara” – meaning “Peaceful Jawara.”

Born May 16, 1924 in Central River Region village of Barajally, Sir Dawda Jawara was a son of a trader. He went to Methodist Boys’ School in Banjul, studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1953. Returning to The Gambia, he became Principal Veterinary Officer in 1957.

Under him, Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965 and he remained as Prime Minister while Queen Elizabeth II remained as head of state.

In 1970, the country became a republic, with no monarchy, and Jawara was elected as first President but the greatest challenge to his power came in 1981 when an attempted coup d’état ensued the country and soldiers from neighboring Senegal were forced to intervene, with 400 to 800 deaths reported by the end of the coup attempt.

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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  14:40:45  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tribute by Madi Jobarteh

To Honour and Celebrate Dawda Kairaba Jawara is to Uphold and Live by his Principles in Practice!

“It is only when people are at peace with themselves that they can share it with their neighbours. One can certainly not give what one doesn’t have. One has to have peace to be able to give peace. One has to have a democratic spirit in order to live democracy”

This is what Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara believed. In reflecting on the Second Imperialist War aka WWII, the first president of the Gambia Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara said in his autobiography, Kairaba,

“I can never claim it was easy to sow democracy. People criticised me for having been too democratic, too soft and too ready to listen to the other side and to weigh their stories and their concerns. They castigated me, saying that a leader ought to be decisive. The chief has the last say. I insisted that power must be guided by law and society must be governed by conscience. Democracy is a culture that has to be learnt.”

He noted that this lesson will come handy in many of his political encounters in the course of his political life. Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara GCMG was the quintessential statesman, a true democrat and an unshakable believer in human rights. He said it and he practised it. Therefore, if the Gambia is to honour and celebrate Kairaba, it is not just to hold a state funeral and lower flags and run radio and television programs and display social media posts about him. That is not enough.

What should be done is to live, in practice the ideals and ideas that Kairaba believed and practiced. The life of this man has great lessons for not only our leaders in and outside of Government but also for each and every ordinary citizen of the Gambia. Jawara was a man of peace and freedom and he cherished these values until death. Do you believe in peace and freedom? Gambians need to ask themselves that question and honestly answer where we stand.

Jawara could have declared the Gambia a one-party state from the very beginning of the nation very simply because he had people around him who told him that he could and should. But the man resisted when he could have easily succumbed and turn the Gambia into a police state as was the case in many African countries in the 1970s and 80s until today. He rather chose to be tolerant and to allow dissenting opinion to prevail even if he felt offended. For example, he noted that in 1962,

“Even when I moved into the Prime Minister’s Residence at Number 1 Marina Parade, I could hear slander directed at us through the loudspeakers screaming through the night from three hundred metres away at Sam Jack Terrace or a little further away at Albion Place. Most of it was fallacious diatribe about my being of the lineage of leather smiths and too low in social rank to run government. It was also the irrational cause of arrogance among certain elements within the PPP who saw their chiefly lineage as their right to office and leadership in the party, no matter how crude their vision and unlearned methods.”

If it was some other leader Jawara could have clamped down on those people and dump them in prison. Very easily. But not only did Jawara strongly believed in democracy but in practice he also upheld the independence of the judiciary, respect for the rule of law and sanctity of life.

Another example; after the 1981 insurgency many Gambians were arrested and detained suspected of being conspirators with Kukoie Samba Sanyang and his band of insurgents. Among those arrested was the late NCP Leader Sheriff Mustapha Dibba who was the leading opposition figure against Jawara. While in Mile 2 the courts declared that Sheriff Dibba could still contest the 1982 presidential elections even in jail and this was how Jawara received that news.

“Indeed, we considered it of great credit to our government that Sheriff Dibba was able to contest the 1982 presidential election while he was still in detention. We were in effect grooming a civilised culture of governance and jurisprudence that allowed Dibba to walk out of prison a free man, after the public prosecutors failed to connect him beyond all reasonable doubt to aiding and abetting the coup leaders”

Most leaders would have rather concocted charges against Dibba and make the courts sentence him to life imprisonment or even death. In fact, Jawara himself acknowledged in his book that many people at home and abroad had thought that he would deviate from his traditional stance on human rights in dealing the alleged conspirations. But he did not. He allowed conscience and his believe in democracy to prevail.

In fact, following that 1981 insurgency Jawara noted that many of his party officials blamed the incident on too much political freedoms and argued that the incident was the opportune moment to introduce a one-party system of governance. But he said, fortunately most of them believed in democracy and vowed not have dictatorship in the Gambia. Jawara had a vision of democracy and was committed to ensure that democracy prevailed in the Gambia. He demonstrated this belief while campaigning for a Republican status in 1970,

“In my Kombo constituency I drove the message home to the people that a one-party state was the antithesis of democracy, and to establish such a thing would be courting the sort of troubles that existed in certain other states. I told them: ‘In this country, democracy is the watchword!”

In the draft 1970 constitution that he promoted he ensured that fundamental rights and freedoms were guaranteed, the judiciary is independent and there is clear separation of powers and adequate checks and balances such that the Executive is answerable to the Parliament and to the Courts and the decisions and actions of the Parliament could be challenged in the Courts.

Furthermore, it was because of his strong belief in human rights that Jawara accepted to host a meeting to review and approve the draft African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights in 1980. It was for this reason that this regional human rights instrument is nicknamed the Banjul Charter after it was adopted by the OAU (now AU) summit in Nairobi, Kenya in 1981 and then came into force on 21 October 1986. Without doubt Jawara again went ahead to offer the Gambia as the host of the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights hence making the Gambia the human rights capital of Africa.

This is the vision of Jawara over the decades. What do we believe as Gambians of today?

In the first place our Government led by Adama Barrow does not believe in democracy and human rights unreservedly as they speak with two tongues when they speak about democracy and human rights. In one tongue they acknowledge fundamental rights and freedoms but, in another tongue, they do not only threaten citizens, but they also deny citizens their rights.

For example, not only does the police deny citizens the right to freedom of assembly but they also subject citizens to arbitrary arrest and impose on them trumped up charges before the courts. Not long ago not only were 15 Gambians unlawfully arrested and imposed with frivolous charges, but they were also subjected to harassment by making them report daily to a police station for weeks before dropping the charges. Why would a government that claims commitment to democracy unlawfully arrest citizens in the first place?

Today we also see the Government of Adama Barrow arrest and charge 36 people with the same multiple charges as if all of those people committed the same crimes. How can 36 people be charged for unlawful assembly when hundreds of others also took part in that same so-called unlawful assembly? Why not arrest the rest also? How could a person be charged with arson when he was not present at the scene of the arson?

If this Government, through its President and Minster of Information and Spokesman truly believes in Jawara and they are honest in their utterances to that effect then how come this same Government is threatening and ridiculing Gambians when they criticize them. Not long ago this Government issued a directive to its embassies around the world complaining about diaspora Gambians’ influence at home. Are diaspora Gambians not citizens who have the same right to express their opinions about issues at home? Why should any Government be concerned about that if that Government truly believes in democracy?

Above all why has this Government refused to repeal and reform all draconian laws such as the Public Order Act and multiple anti-democratic provisions in the Newspaper Act, Criminal Code, the Information and Communications Act, the Official Secrets Act as well as the NIA and Police acts? Until today this Government has failed to create new laws to further expand human rights such as a freedom of information law, whistleblowing law as well as anti-corruption law. How democratic is a government that fails to do these?

What about the political parties and their leaders? Do they truly believe in democracy when they refuse to build and enhance internal party democracy? It is not enough to hold congresses, rallies and create youth and women wings and hold press conferences incessantly when in fact their leadership remains unchanged while internal processes are controlled and limited thus stifling popular participation within the party. If our parties and their leaders wish to honour and celebrate Jawara then they must begin modernising and democratising their party instruments to introduce democratic processes and practices that will enhance internal governance.

What about you and me, the citizen? Do we truly believe in the vision and ideals of Jawara? If we do why insult fellow citizens just because you hold divergent and dissenting views? Why aid and abet poor leadership, bad governance and political patronage just because it is for or against the Government or your party or its leader? Why do we fail to hold our political parties and leaders accountable as we hold the Government accountable?

Jawara believed in democracy and human rights. When he speaks, he speaks with humility and dignity. He does not insult, nor does he threaten. He does not hold that he was infallible and the only person to have the final say. He considers the ideas and concerns of others and seeks to accommodate them. Do you practice these democratic norms and standards?

I beg, do not use the demise of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara to legitimise yourself when you do not believe in the vision and ideals of the Kairaba! Let’s be honest to ourselves!

For the Gambia Our Homeland

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  14:05:10  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  17:32:42  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Awa B. Bah August 30, 2019

Thousands of mourners and sympathisers on Thursday 29th August 2019, occupied the National Assembly of the Gambia in Banjul to pay their last respects and bid farewell to the first president of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara as he was laid to rest.

His body was escorted from the mortuary, to the King Fahad Mosque and finally to the National Assembly where he was finally laid to rest at 19:00 hrs. The first president of the Gambia who was in power for thirty years was finally brought down in 1994 in a coup d’état.

The speaker of the National Assembly, Mariam Jack Denton, in her statement said that The Gambians have gathered to pay their last respects to “an icon who was not only a leader, but someone who many can reflect on during difficult times”. The day, she noted, is a sad day because the country has lost an irreplaceable soul and a noble servant of their time. She expressed her gratitude particularly to him for the years he spent devoted to the lives of the Gambian people both at national, regional and continental levels. She called on the widow Lady Chillel to continue her devotion as she is a clear example to all women in the country because she had played a big role in the life of late Jawara.

Dr. Lamin Marenah, a family friend of the late Sir Dawda Jawara hailed Jawara for his achievements, noting that Jawara did not enrich himself as we have seen around the world but devoted his entire life in liberating Gambians. He thanked the Gambian people for standing with them throughout this moment.

Dawda Jawara junior on behalf of the Jawara family reflected on the examples his father lived. He said that Jawara was very neutral and fair on issues under his purview without taking sides, but being able to see all sides. He noted that Jawara faced lots of challenges in both his public and personal lives.

Omar Jallow commonly called OJ, a onetime minister under Jawara on behalf of the former cabinet ministers noted that Jawara played a key role in liberating The Gambia both at the national and international levels in economic, social, cultural and many areas; against tyranny and suppression. Jawara he said, encompasses everyone without regard to race, sex, tribe, gender and so on, adding that Jawara never undermines the constitution and legal instruments of The Gambia. OJ also used the day to encourage widow Lady Chillel for her duty to the nation through her late husband Jawara. He also thanked the Senegalese Niassen delegation for their attendance, Jawara being a close friend to Baye Niasse.

Sidia Jatta National Assembly member for Wuli West on behalf of the NAMs said the day is a reality as death is the only reality of our existence. “What most marked me about Jawara was his tolerance, Jawara never arrested, detained or humiliated , or violated any of his working mates as we have seen around the world”, said Sidia Jatta. Jawara he said, was a true democrat and that lessons must be drawn from him. He called on the younger generation to see the late Jawara as a life lesson.

Chief justice Hassan B. Jallow a onetime Chief Justice and Attorney General under Jawara for ten years delivered a statement on the struggles and achievements of Jawara both at national and international levels. He said that Africa has lost an icon while the Gambia has lost a great son. Jawara he said, has maintained sovereignty of The Gambia despite being faced with challenges.

The president, Adama Barrow in his statement extended his condolences to the family and the Gambian people. He affirmed the young people to carefully reflect on the routes Jawara passed through. He consented that the day is a sad and sorrowful one as The Gambia finally laid the most devoted person and the father of the nation who led the struggle for the Gambia “we are calling for today”. Jawara he said, will not be only mourned but will he heavily celebrated and strongly recommended as the most prominent African leader in these generations. He extended his condolences to the family and the entire Gambian population, urging all to take responsibility and safeguard what Jawara has left behind.
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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  17:34:57  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Friday, August 30, 2019

Former Gambian president and independence hero, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was finally laid to rest after a befitting, emotional state funeral service at the National Assembly Chamber on Thursday, 29 August 2019. He was 95.

He was buried at the National Assembly Complex in respect of his distinguished service for an improbable nation he led to independence in 1965. Following a funeral service at the Assembly Sir Dawda’s body was transported to King Fahd Mosque in Banjul for Muslim prayers after a 21-gun salute mounted by The Gambia Armed Forces.

The funeral service was a spectacle of grief; in attendance were the former first family members, diplomats, venerable religious leaders, senior government officials and other dignitaries.

Former First Lady, Ajaratou Lady Chilel Jawara, Njaimeh Jawara, his second wife and also The Gambia’s current First Lady, Fatoumatta Bah Barrow were all in attendance.

The nation’s founding father has finally departed forever having ruled The Gambia for 30 years with respect for rule of law and freedom of speech.

President Adama Barrow speaking at the funeral service described Sir Dawda as the founding father as he was the man who led the country from independence to a sovereign nation.

“He was a champion of human rights that respect everyone and the laws of the country. He was the founder of the OMVG and ECOWAS and he was a true Pan African and a democratic,” he said.

The president assured the deceased family that the nation will always stand by them.

He said that Sir Dawda that had been a true leader who stood for the rights of his people and “built a peaceful environment for all.”

Sir Dawda Jawara was born on 16 May 1924 at Barajally village in the Central River Region (then MacCarthy Island Division). He was a son of a trader Almami Jawara. He was educated at the Methodist Boys’ School in Bathurst and then attended Achimota College in Ghana.

After leading The Gambia to independence in 1965, he first served as Gambian Prime Minister between 1965 and 1970 before he was democratically elected as President, with The Gambia moving from monarchy.

He was ousted in 1994 in a bloodless coup led by then 29-year-old Lt. Yahya Jammeh. He finally returned to The Gambia from exile in 2002.

Speaker Mariam Jack-Denton, said The Gambia has indeed lost a patriot and humble servant. “He was also a continental symbol,” she said, adding that Sir Dawda was one of founding fathers of the Organisation of African Union (OAU), now African Union. “He was a fervent advocate of fundamental human rights and rule of law.”

“During his time, he ruled The Gambia with dignity where the rule of law was upheld. Under his leadership, she said, Gambians enjoyed freedom of speech and other fundamental human rights.

The portrait of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, perhaps in his early days of presidency was displayed next to his coffin, while two Gambian flags were draped around the corpse.

Dr. Lamin J. Marena, family friend, described Sir Dawda as one of the greatest citizens. What he had started can be revitalized for national benefit, he said, adding that Jawara was a calm, industrious and honest man.

Dawda Jawara, Jnr. said his father used his life to inspire and worked for the service of the people, adding that he had good integrity and honesty.

“He dedicated his life to serve his country and respect for human rights.”

He said his father was very much interested in the views and ideas of other people especially when they were different from his. He said Jawara would be the very one to give them words of comfort when they were in difficult times.

Omar A. Jallow, who is widely known as O.J., said the Gambia would continue to celebrate Jawara’s successes and achievements, adding that he saved Gambia from colonialism and tyranny.

“He is the champion of the independence and became the first prime minister, he never agreed to something that would compromise the laws of the country. He was someone who built the strong relationship between The Gambia and Senegal and signed agreements in the fields of education, health and more for mutual benefit of both countries.”
Author: Pa Modou Cham
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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  17:40:01  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Omar Bah August 30, 2019

Thousands of people gathered at the National Assembly and the King Fahd Mosque while others watched and followed—in towns and villages across the country—as former president Dawda Jawara received a befitting funeral last night.

At an elaborate ceremony at the national assembly, senior military officers carried Jawara’s coffin to the assembly where numerous speakers paid tribute to his impressive record in office.

President Barrow told the gathering that the country has lost its first leader whose greatness has transformed the country from a colonial state to an independent state and subsequently to a republic.

He further described the late former President as not just the father of the nation but a distinguished statesman who was a true champion of human rights in Africa.

“Jawara was a unifying figure who brought the country together as a champion of peace and unity in Africa,” he said.

Omar Jallow, one of his most devoted disciples, described him as a true muslim and a champion of human rights.
“His everyday thinking and wish was how Gambians can live a respectable and dignified life. He was a humble person who did not tolerate tribalism. You are gone but we will continue to emulate your good values,” OJ said of the man he adored as a political godfather.

The National Assembly Member for Wuli West, Sidia Jatta described the deceased as an immortal who left an indelible footprint in the sands of times.

“Jawara is immortal. This is not an ungodly language.

This means if you live in this world and you don’t want to die you have to leave behind something.

There are people who have died centuries ago but they are living today more than those of us who are living now,” he added.

He continued: “One thing we should learn from this man is tolerance.

This man will be at a meeting and someone will insult him but he had never ordered for anybody’s arrest because you have said anything to him…He would say, always leave him to say whatever he wants to say…That is tolerance.

That is what is called leadership. People must be free to express themselves, of course with respect but you cannot teach people to be respectful if you don’t respect them”.

The Chief Justice Assan Jallow described former President Jawara as someone who respected the law and ensured that everyone who worked under him did the same.

“Jawara was always polite but firm with the dictates of the constitution.

He was a good Muslim who is non-tribalist.

In these difficult times of transformation, we should embrace some of his principles of respect of the rule of law and respect for human rights,” he added.

The funeral was attended by Jawara’s family, with one of his sons, Dawda Junior paying a glowing tribute to his father.
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