Sympathy on the Death of Dr. Moti Lall3097 14 Jun, 2012
Prime Minister and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs [Mr. Hinds]: Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members, I rise to move the motion standing in my name that we, the Tenth Parliament of Guyana, at this sitting of the Assembly, record our deep regret at the death of Dr. Moti Lall on 10th January, 2012, mere days away from his 70th birthday, and pay tribute to his dedicated service as a Member of Parliament and to the people of Guyana.
Dr. Moti Lall was a man who wore many caps: husband, father, friend, comrade, doctor and politician; and he excelled in all of those roles. He was a God-fearing man who lived by the teachings of Swami Dayanand and tenets of the Arya Samaj movement. He leaves to mourn not only this nation, hundreds of former patients and his party the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) but, more so, his family who quietly supported him in his bids to serve his country.
Born on 14th January, 1942 to Suraj and Betty Lall, Moti was the eldest of five siblings. He grew up in the village of Buxton, East Coast Demerara, with his family, and from a tender age developed a strong sense of our village life camaraderie and fraternity with little notice of race. He, like a number of us at that age - myself, the Leader of the Opposition and Hon. Member Dr. Rupert Roopnarine - spent his formative years at Queen’s College, at a time when Mr. Vivian Joseph (VJ) Sanger-Davies, T.D., M.A., the last of the old British imperialist schoolmasters, as we used to describe him, held office there. He seemed to be fully committed to his students’ welfare and in retrospect, we may say that he may have been clairvoyant, because he saw great potential in Moti and urged him to venture into a medical career.
Subsequent to completing his ‘A’ Levels at Queen’s College, young Moti was the beneficiary of a scholarship to pursue medical studies in Havana, Cuba. At his request, in his fourth year of medical studies, he was allowed to transfer and complete his medical studies at the University of Rostock in Germany where he gained extensive understanding of tuberculosis, the treatment of which would have come to be one of his life’s passions.
With the aid of the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, upon whose recommendations a grant had been secured, Dr. Moti Lall, thereafter, completed postgraduate studies in Pulmonary Care at the very institution. Subsequent to completing his studies, Dr. Moti Lall returned to these shores in 1968, but was denied a job and may have been under surveillance because he had studied in what was then communist East Germany. He migrated to Canada where he spent several years before returning in 1974. By that time, he was a pulmonary disease specialist and assumed the post of Medical Superintendent at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) where he served until attaining the age of retirement in 2001.
One of Dr. Moti Lall’s legacies will forever be his invaluable contributions towards the development and sustenance of a proper tuberculosis programme in Guyana. He was a catalyst in the opening of the Chest Clinic and at the time of his death he was President of the Guyana Chest Society. Throughout his medical career, Dr. Moti Lall had, at a national level, led Guyana’s fight to eradicate tuberculosis and other pulmonary ailments. He was also instrumental in the establishment and advancement of the Hansen’s disease programme in Guyana, at the West Demerara Regional Hospital.
This great son of our soil, this messiah to those who suffered from the scourge of tuberculosis, was, in 1983, awarded the Silver Medal by the Ministry of Health for the indefatigable pursuits in the fight against tuberculosis and other pulmonary ailments. That was crowned by the subsequent bestowing upon him our country’s third highest national award, the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH), in 1998, for his long, indisputably selfless and dedicated service in the field of medicine.
Dr. Moti Lall’s practice, over the span of his entire medical career, was always characterised by his care and compassion, his personable nature and his dedication to his art. Even after going into retirement, and even when ill health started to creep in, he unwaveringly continued in the selfless dispensation of his gift. During his retirement, he continued to serve his nation as a consultant with the Ministry of Health.
In addition to being a medical man, Dr. Moti Lall was a selfless politician who, as a member of the People’s Progressive Party, actively fought, from the 1960s, alongside the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, for a bright future for Guyana. He served as a Member of Parliament in the Sixth and Seventh Parliaments of Guyana, from 24th November, 1992 to 15th February, 2001 and then, again, in 2005, when a seat became vacant. He served his party without reservation, both as an ordinary member and, also, as a central committee member.
Dr. Moti Lall also served as Chairman of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) for a number of years. Upon hearing the sad news of his death, the Authority issued a statement, saluting his contributions to the development and regularisation of the housing sector in Guyana. Wherein it stated:
“During his tenure as Chairman, Dr. Lall’s leadership was invaluable, as the Board played a significant role in making policy and planning decisions that impacted positively on the advancement of the housing and urban development sector of the country which, by extension, contributed to the success of the housing programme.”
As leader of this honourable House, I wish to sincerely express our heartfelt condolences to his widow, Sister Chritrarakha Lall, his son Moti Pravin Lall and his daughters Aruna and Renuka Lall.
On a more personal note, my wife and I publicly express our appreciation to Dr. Moti Lall’s family for the welcome refuge presented to us as we travelled, under advice, to Georgetown from Linden, on elections’ day, 1992, and went to the house of Dr. Moti Lall and stayed there for the next couple of unsettled and unsettling days.
I, herein, move that this Tenth Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, at this sitting, does approve this motion which stands in my name and I look for support from all sides of the House.
I thank you. [Applause]
Mr. Hinds (replying): Mr. Speaker, I want to extend appreciation to all those who spoke on all sides of this House. There is no doubt that the memory of Dr. Moti Lall will long be with us. I now move that the motion be put.
Mr. Speaker: Hon. Members, the motion has been moved, by the Hon. Prime Minister, to be put. Before I formally ask you to support it, let me just say that, as Speaker, I wish, on my own behalf and on behalf of the staff of the National Assembly, to be associated with all of the sentiments that were expressed this afternoon.
I heard, this afternoon, one Member say that never did she hear the Hon. Member raise his voice and if there is one thing I can remember, he never immersed himself into the fiery debates. He was always the gentleman Parliamentarian and professional doctor to the end. And so we remember that of him and I know that all of the staff of the Parliament Office also share the good sentiments and will honour his memory.
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