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ICTimesJune07

ICTimesJune07

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Published by api-3805821
Indo-Caribbean Times June 2007
Indo-Caribbean Times June 2007

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Baked products: currants roll, sweet bread

Vol 1. No 4 June2007
Indo-Caribbean
TIMES
TIMES
Trinidad & Guyana
shaken by arrests of
anti-US terrorists
FBI: They planned to blow up JFK fuel tanks
ident John F. Kennedy.

\u201cAnytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States,\u201d he said in one of dozens of conversations secretly recorded during the 18-month investiga- tion. \u201cTo hit John F. Kennedy, wow.... They love John F. Kennedy like he\u2019s the man ... If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It\u2019s like you can kill the man twice.\u201d

The officials said that Mr. Kadir, on the other hand, emphasized the goal of causing economic damage, and seemed to seek to minimize the killing of innocent men and women.

But a spokesman for Buckeye Partners, the company that operates the pipeline, said that an explosion at a fuel-tank farm at the airport would not ignite the pipeline.

\u201cIt\u2019s not like the pipeline is a stick of dy- namite and the whole thing would blow up,\u201d said Roy Haase, the Buckeye spokesman. \u201cPipelines don\u2019t blow up.\u201d

The secretly recorded conversations were described in an indictment unsealed in Fed- eral District Court in Brooklyn charging Mr. Defreitas, Mr. Kadir and the two other men, Kareem Ibrahim and Abdel Nur, with conspiring to blow up the airport, charges for which they could face life in prison if convicted.

News of the arrests came as an unwel- come surprise to Trinidadians and Guyanese living in North America, who now fear that the publicity could have a negative effect on their security in the United States and Canada.

SEE MORE STORIES ON PAGES 3, 5, 8
AND 19)

Gentle nani Vindra
Naipaul is dead, trial
of 11 accused to begin

LAST December, while most Trinidadians were busy preparing for Christmas, eleven young black men made their plan to kidnap a 53 year old grandmothe, Chaguanas busi- ness woman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.

It was the typical Trinidad kidnapping, one of hundreds seen over the last five years. Young black men would snatch a middle aged Indian business person, extract a few hun- dred thousand dollars in ransom, easily elude the clumsy police and escape scot free. But this one went wrong.

Five months later police have confirmed that Vindra is dead. Eleven kidnappers have
been arrested, and the most sensational trial in recent history is set to begin shortly.

Details of the gruesome kidnap, shooting, ransoming and death of Vindra Naipaul have already been revealed in the local media, when three alleged members of the kidnap gang tried to gain amnesty two months ago.

Naipaul-Coolman, 52, was snatched from her Lange Park, Chaguanas, home on De- cember 19 last year while pulling into her driveway. Kidnappers had demanded a $3 mil- lion ransom for her safe release. Part of the ransom was paid, but she was not free

Prosecutors are expected to show that the men assigned to kidnap Naipaul botched the job and accidentally shot her in the chest during the snatch. She was attended by a doctor so she could assist in the payment of a part of the ransom, but declined in health soon later and died. At least one of the men is said to have raped Vindra as she lay dying. Her body was buriedin a grave in Diego Martin, and later dug up again and taken to another gravesite.

At present, 11 men are before Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls in the Port of Spain
Eighth Magistrate's Court, charged with murdering Naipaul-Coolman.

They are Allan "Scanny" Martin, Lyndon "Iron" James, Shervon "Buffy" Peters, Keida "Keida" Garcia, brothers Marlon "Mad Man Marlon" Trimmingham and Earl "Bobo" Trimmingham, Ronald "22" Armstrong, Antonio "Hedges" Charles, Joey "Joey Ogiste", Akeil Keron Gloster, aka "Crime B", and Joel "Ninja" Fraser.

FEDERAL prosecutors in Brooklyn yes- terday charged that a retired cargo worker at Kennedy International Airport plotted with a former member of the Guyanese Parlia- ment and two other men to blow up termi- nal buildings, fuel tanks and the network of fuel pipelines that run beneath the airport complex.

All four men, including the former airport worker and the former Parliament member, have been arrested by agents from the Fed- eral Bureau of Investigation and police de- tectives in Trinidad.. Officials said additional people may face charges.

The airport worker, Russell Defreitas, 63, through the assistance of the member of Parliament, Abdul Kadir, was in the process of seeking the financial backing and bless- ing of a Trinidadian terrorist group, Jamaat Al Muslimeen. The group was behind a failed 1990 coup attempt in that country.

Several law enforcement officials said that there had been no direct threat to the airport, which handles an average of 1,000 flights a day and 45 million passengers a year, and that Mr. Defreitas, a United States citizen who was born in Guyana, and his coconspirators had yet to obtain financing or explosives.

But the officials said Mr. Defreitas, who had long worked at the 4,930-acre airport, developing a thorough knowledge of its layout and its vulnerabilities, sought an at- tack that he said, according to secretly recorded conversations, would result in \u201cthe destruction of the whole of Kennedy,\u201d an attack that only a few people would survive.

In addition to a huge loss of life \u2014 \u201ceven the twin towers can\u2019t touch it,\u201d he said of the plot \u2014 the attack would devastate the United States economy and strike a deep symbolic blow against a national icon, Pres-

Indian Inheritance
Museum in TT
P. 6
Guyana economy not
about to collapse
P. 7
Stories of Indo-
Caribbean Arrival P. 10
Achiever Pandita
Jasodra Persaud P. 11
Making sada roti P. 16

Brampton Masters
Cricket Club in the
Premier Division P. 22

Poet\u2019s corner: Talking
mannish
P. 20
Time to try a little
Caribbean golf
P. 23
Vindra Naipaul (centre) and ten of the 11 accused
FROM THE EDITOR\u2019S DESK
Indo-Caribbean Times
JUNE 2007
Page 2

OVER the years we have heard a tremendous quan- tity of bad news from the Caribbean , news that was painful but

irrelevant. They never had much im- pact on those of us living in North America. The re-

cent news of arrests of terrorists from
Guyana and Trinidad is different.

Here in Canada and the United States , the way people see us Trinidadians and Guyanese is changing as we speak. Inter- national media are talking about our part of the Caribbean as a hotbed of terrorism. Not just any old terrorism, but anti-Ameri- can terrorism aimed at destroying lives and property in the United States . The people arrested were planning to blow up fuel tanks at JFK Airport in New York and un- leash something worse than 9-11.

You don\u2019t need to be a CIA analyst to guess where this is leading. If Trinidad and Guyana are creating dangerous terrorists, then how will Americans and Canadians be thinking about Trinidadians and Guyanese living around them? Possible terrorists or supporters of terrorists is the answer. Our old image as happy but harmless dark skinned Caribbean people with sing song accents can get shredded in an amazingly short time.

Those idiots who were planning the at- tacks on JFK have struck a tremendous blow to one of our dearest treasures, our se- curity here in North America . We really love to say that here we feel nobody will in-

terfere with us, or target us because of our ethnicity or nationality. We think that we are safe from harassment and suspicion, safe from \u201cguilt by association\u201d.

We only have to look at the experience of the Pakistanis, Saudi Arabians, Iranians and Iraqis in the United States to see how a people's security can go down the drain. Immediately after 9-11 most of the America based Pakistanis, Saudis, Iranians and Iraqis found themselves under suspicion. Neighbours stopped talking to them. Cus- tomers refused to patronize their busi- nesses. The FBI started checking up on them.

Travelling on an airplane was torture, as they were seen as flight risks. Immigration officers saw a red flag whenever a passport said born in Pakistan. Relatives from the home countries who wanted visitor or stu- dent visas discovered they couldn't get any. This hasn't stopped in the US, but only qui- eted down after no more attacks were launched after 9-11.

Some of this happened in Canada too. Brown skinned, Middle Eastern looking people were taken off airplanes because of their appearance. CSIS targeted certain Canadian residents or citizens, and several were arrested and jailed only because they were associated with other \u201csuspicious\u201d people. One man was detained because he knew a radical imam who was being inves- tigated by CSIS. A Hindu temple in Hamil- ton was burned down. Canadian travellers with names like Mohammed, Ali and Khan found themselves getting extra attention

from our security forces that was very close to what the paranoid Americans were dish- ing out.

So don't tell me it can't happen to us Caribbeans. It has already happened to us in a small way after 9-11.

The arrests of the Brampton jihadis who wanted to chop off the prime minister's head and blow up buildings in Toronto have put the security forces on alert for danger from \u2013 you guessed it- brown skinned, mid- dle eastern looking men. Don't believe for an instant that it has escaped the authorities that one of the Brampton jihadis was a Canadian born son of a Trinidad doctor. A well known Trinidadian living in Brampton recently told me he's been hearing that po- lice are paying special attention to people they pick up who have Brampton ad- dresses.

Now the world is reading about Trinis and Guyanese making serious plans to bomb and kill in America. They are hearing that the notorious Jamaat al Muslimeen is in- volved, and remembering that the Mus- limeen attempted a violent coup to bring down the Trinidad government in 1990 and create a radical Islamic state. They are hear- ing that one of the arrested men is a promi- nent member of the Trinidad opposition party Congress of the People, and another is a former opposition Member of Parlia- ment in Guyana and mayor of the town of Linden.

We know that these alleged terrorists are extremists who don't represent the majority of Trinidadians and Guyanese, and cer-

tainly don't represent the views of most Muslims in the Caribbean. But don't try telling that to the world, because they won't believe you.

The good news is that our reputation is not completely wrecked but just damaged. These are still only charges that have to be proved in court. There is some way to go before Trinidad and Guyana are fixed in the North American public's mind as ter- rorist producing, corrupt, failed states that should be put on the international watch list together with Pakistan and Iran. But be warned. One more plot with terrorists con- nected to Guyana or Trinidad will sink our reputation like a stone.

To avoid further damage we Caribbeans in Canada have to distance our communi- ties from these lunatic terrorist wannabees, just as our cousins in New York have al- ready done.

We have to let the Canadian authorities and the Canadian public know that we do not share the views of the Trinis and Guyanese who have been arrested. We can't stay quiet and hope this blows over. The image shattering public experience of the British when they discovered their home grown terrorists should be enough lesson enough for us.

Our sense of security in Trinidad and Guyana is long gone; that is why most of us choose to live in North America. Now we have to look to our threatened security right here. Nobody is \u201ccrying wolf\u201d on this issue. Wolfie is really at the door this time.

Caribbean terrorists spoiling our good name
Ram Jagessar

BRAMPTON - Emerging ethnic business organizations are helping this province strengthen its economic advantage over the competition, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty told the local Caribbean busi- ness community..

"By pulling together members of the Caribbean diasporas, you are helping to strengthen the economic advantage pro- vided by our diversity," McGuinty told members of the Canada Caribbean Busi- ness Council at a dinner held at the Holi- day Inn Select on Peel Centre Drive in Brampton. "By working with other people and organizations the CCBC is doing much to build opportunities for your com- munity and indeed for all Ontarians. And that means you are positioning Ontario to build stronger ties including a stronger re- lationship with the Caribbean."

About 200 people attended the event, hosted by the CCBC in conjunction with the Brampton Board of Trade.

Among those present were numerous local and foreign dignitaries, including con- sular generals representing St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

In his address, McGuinty said it is vital for governments and business leaders work together in order to generate success.

In the case of Ontario's various ethnic communities, it is essential for those who have found success to help pave the way for others by giving back, and by acting as role models.

"As business leaders you can show our young people the way as role models be- cause when young people see someone who looks like them in a position like yours, they can start to see themselves there too," McGuinty said. "All of us who come here are obligated to bring honesty and a solid

work ethic. And all of us who are already
here are obligated to build opportunity for
those who are arriving. That's the deal."

The CCBC was launched nearly a year ago with the intension of acting as a venue where business people of Caribbean origin can network and find support.

The aim of the group is also to spearhead change within their own community, in part by providing a means by which young peo- ple and women can find employment and gain business experience.

Prior to McGuinty's speech, a number of
speakers addressed the crowd.

Bali Singh, CCBC chair, told the audience flat out the purpose of the event was to at- tract financial support for the organization.

He used the opportunity to ask for help and lay out exactly what the group intends to achieve.

"Many of best and brightest people im- migrate to Ontario with their families, un- able to find friendly business organizations in their community. These people end up getting lost in menial jobs," Singh told the

crowd. "This is where the CCBC can help, by be- coming that bridge that links those in- dividuals with others to find mean- ingful jobs, to start

their own business, to give them the opportu- nity to sup- port

their families and to

become
contributors to this great province."

Singh said the CCBC is geared to creating mentorship and sponsorship programs for youth, initiatives to increase the profile of Caribbean women and advocating on be- half of the community.

"There are three main things we want to see happen for our community. We want to see a sense of pride being reinstalled in our youth. By bringing our business people to- gether, we believe that we can be that bridge between mentorship and job place- ment for them," Singh said. "We can set the example for our youth to emulate and sur- pass."

"Tonight you all have the opportunity to form pathways and make connections that will help you help each other and grow to- gether," McGuinty added. "And I wish you every success because your success is On- tario's success."

(BRAMPTON GUARDIAN )
McGuinty praises Caribbean Business Council
Selywn Baboolal, vice chair of the Canada Caribbean Business Council
thanked Premier Dalton McGuinty for speaking at the group's meeting.

No Trinidad
pension after 5
years abroad

SENIOR citizens who spend five years outside of T&T will not be eligible for pen- sion.

The Senior Citizens Grant, also referred to as Old Age Pension, will be revoked if an individual 65 and over, eligible for the as- sistance,accumulates five years residence out of the country.

Barbara Richards-Nelson, a Social Wel- fare officer attached to the Barataria Wel- fare office, made the announcement during a public Open Forum for Older Persons held at the St Augustine Regional Complex, St John Road in St Augustine.

It was part of the second cycle of open fo- rums for the elderly hosted by the Ministry of Social Development. The first cycle kicked off in 2006 and thus far has been held in Tobago, Diego Martin, San Fer- nando and Sangre Grande.

Richards-Nelson explained to the packed auditorium that vacationing or spending time out of the country was not prohibited but if the time away added up to five years, pension money would be discontinued.

It pays to
advertise in the
Indo-Caribbean
Times
COMMUNITY NEWS
Indo-Caribbean Times
JUNE 2007
Page 3
Still time to sign up for
major educational
conference in July

We need to see more Caribbean people signing up for Shades of Brown, a major education conference that focuses on the experiences of South Asians in the school system in Canada, says Krishna Nankissor. a member of the executive committee.

The conference runs from July 8-12 at York University, with a theme of Chal- lenges, Myths and Promises. It features a series of workshops, panels, films, papers and displays on South Asians in Education. Partners include the South Asian Teachers Organization, All Indian Association of Educational Researchers, Ontario Gurud- wara Committe, Peel Multicultural Council and the South Asian Gallery of Art.

Nankissoor wants to make sure that the
opinions and experiences of

Indo- Caribbeans are well represented in the con- ference. That would mean more Indo-Caribbeans registereding for opening day Sunday July 8 at just $10 a person or $20 for a family of five. Registration for the full five day conference including a cruise on Lake Ontario and tours of Toronto and Niagara on the Lake is $300. To register go to www.shadesof brown.org.They were

THEY were talking up an ocean of memories when they celebrated the 99th anniversary of the arrival of Indo-Caribbeans in Canada on May 27. Ruby Maharaj related how she almost had her feet frozen when walked off the airplane in Toronto Airport in winter 1964, wearing a sari and slippers. Her children were called \u201cchocolate face\u201d when they went to school, as they were the only coloured children in the school at the time.

Ram Maharaj said he bought his first house off Highway 5 in the year 1964 with $25 down on the total price of $16,690. Albion Road was a gravel track at the time, surrounded by abandoned farms.

Rudy Lochan, who arrived in Canada in 1988, found that Canada was not ready for Caribbean immigrants and would probably never be ready. He said that the community had to help its members with the kind of support he received when he landed.

Krishna Nankissoor remembered that 20 years ago the community had no name, and was not considered part of either the Indian or Caribbean communities. Groups like the Ontario Society for Services to Indo-Caribbean Canadians (OSSICC) waged a long battle to get the name Indo-Caribbean accepted.

Broadcasting pioneer Jai Ojah-Maharaj said he was told he could not get on the radio because he had an accent. He faced much opposition when he started broadcasting chut- ney on his radio program.

Roop Misir commented that when he came to Winnipeg in 1973 the cost of a postage stamp was 6 cents, a pint of beer was 10 cents and an all your can eat buffet would set you back 99 cents. An entire apartment building would sell for $100,000.

This was all part of a fascinating trip down memory lane during a May 27 celebration of 99 Years of Indo-Caribbean Arrival organized by the Indo-Caribbean Times newspaper and the IndoCaribbeanHeritage.com community web site at BJ's Family Restaurant in Etobicoke.

Five speakers related their \u201carrival\u201d experiences in Canada years ago many years ago, revealing many little known details of what it was like to be one of the few Indo- Caribbeans in this country. Today Indo-Caribbeans number over 200,000 and are a marked presence in Canada.

Baboolal leads Naparima Alumni executive

Prominent lawyer and community activist Selwyn Baboolal has been chosen to lead the executive of the Naparima Alumni Association of Canada (NAAC) for another year. The seven person executive was elected at the NAAC\u2019s Annual General Meeting on Saturday May 26. NAAC is one of the oldest Caribbean community organizations in Canada, with an unbroken record going back to 1978. Its regular membership consists of past students and staff of seven institutions established by Canadian Presbyterian missionaries in Trinidad since 1868. These institutions are Hillview College, Iere High School, Naparima College, Naparima Girls\u2019 High School, Naparima Teachers\u2019 Training College, St. An- drew\u2019s Theological College and St. Augustine Girls\u2019 High School.

The NAAC executive pictured above are, from the left, Ian Ramdial, Sharlene Seemun- gal, Merle Ramdial, Darise Crevelle, Selwyn Baboolal, Vitra Mungal, and Norma Ram- sahai.

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Dancing up a storm at Indo-
Caribbean Arrival show

The event was also the for- mal launch of the Indo- CaribbeanHeritage.com web site, which provides free on- line information on the Indo- Caribbean

presence

in Canada and the history and heritage of Indo-Caribbeans.

Spirited entertainment was provided by young musicians Randy and Racquel Ma- hadeo, tabla player Ramona Sylvan, and dancers Terry Ann Khemrajsingh and Sara Sylvan.

The stories of Canada long ago were well received by the young people who could not conceive of a time when Indo-Caribbeans were seldon seen on the streets, when there were no Caribbean gro- ceries, restaurants, Hindu temples or Muslim mosques, and when you could buy a four bedroom split level sem detached house with a down payment of just $25.

Terry Ann Khemrajsingh (left) and Sara Sylvan showing how it\u2019s done
A Trinidad Hindu school 1914

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