Plans in place for Seaga's body to be flown back to Jamaica for State funeral

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgPrime MInister Andrew Holness informed the House of Representatives on Tuesday that State protocol was already engaged, and arrangements are in place for Seaga's body to be flown back to Kingston, from Miami where he died, at the earliest possible time.

"We expect that he will be accompanied by his wife and other family members, and he will be received by the Government, with the appropriate honour guard in place," he said.

He also noted that Seaga's body will lie in state to be viewed over a period of time prior to his state funeral, and there will be a special sitting of Parliament to allow members to pay tribute to him and his achievements prior to the funeral.

Also expressing regret in the House of Representatives yesterday were the Leader of Government Business Karl Samuda; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange; and MP Ronald Thwaites, who spoke on behalf of the Opposition.

Thwaites said that he grew to admire Seaga's "graciousness, thoughtfulness, and his willingness to go beyond the normal hurly burly of partisan politics" after his retirement from active politics.

"And he displayed to me the true undeniably national spirit which had caused him to dedicate his life to Jamaica," Thwaites added.

"Today is to commend his soul to the one who made him, saved him, and sustained him for us to gather to give thanks for his life," he addd.

Grange recalled her close association with Seaga in Kingston Western where she grew up, and described him as the "kindest, most caring, most brilliant" man that she had ever known.

"I loved him dearly ...Jamaica and the world have lost a great leader. Mr Seaga loved Jamaica. He loved the Jamaican people. He understood the value of our culture and our way of life," she added.