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UN Secretary-General Ban mourns the death of Barbados PM Thompson

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UN Secretary-General Ban mourns the death of Barbados PM Thompson

2010-10-24 11:52:44 GMT+7 (ICT)

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday hailed Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson for his commitment to democratic values, a day after he died, his spokesman said.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the Secretary-General learned with sadness of Thompson's untimely death. He passed away on early Saturday morning at his home in Saint Philips with his family by his side. He was 48.

"[ban] acknowledges Prime Minister Thompson's long-standing commitment to democratic values, as well as his contribution to advance the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as demonstrated by his important role as a member of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability," Nesirky added. "The Secretary-General wishes to extend his sincere condolences and respect to the family of the late Prime Minister and to the Government and people of Barbados."

Thompson had been suffering from severe stomach pain since March, but it was not until September that doctors formally diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer.

The Prime Minister had flown several times to the United States to undergo chemotherapy at New York's Presbyterian Hospital in order to shrink the tumor in his pancreas so it could eventually be removed. He died before the tumor could be removed.

Late last month, Thompson addressed the island nation with its roughly 285,000 citizens in a special audio address in which he, among other things, announced a reshuffle of his Cabinet and appointed Freundel Stuart as Acting Prime Minister.

In the address, Thompson said he chose to do it solely via audio and not on camera because he wanted people to focus on his message, and not on how he looked. This as a result of the chemotherapy he was receiving, causing him to rapidly lose weight.

Thompson, of the Democratic Labour Party, was elected the nation's prime minister after an election in January 2008. It was not immediately clear when new elections would be held.

Thompson is survived by his wife Marie-Josephine Mara and their three children, Misha, Oya and Osa-Marie.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2010-10-24

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