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Indo-Caribbean Times December 2007

Indo-Caribbean Times December 2007



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A daring


Kitty woman and child
rescued from international
gang headed for Colombia

other country and destruction of property by soldiers, unless the complainer is con- sidered to be weak or insignificant. The ex- planation by Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolas Maduro that he was out of the country and would handle the matter when he returned, was not accept- able.

After two weeks without a response or a visit by a Venezuelan delegation, Guyanese Foreign Minister Rudy Insanally said pointedly the government would \u201cnot wait much longer\u201d for a response and would re- view the situation. That\u2019s diplomatic lan- guage for saying it was time to make some noise. In the end, the Venezuelan response to the Guyanese diplomatic note was de- livered by a delegation in the second week of December. Venezuela is still claiming the incident happened in their territory.

Venezuela plays the bully after
November 15 invasion of Guyana
Venezuela has finally given an explana-

tion for its November 15 invasion of Guyana territory in the Cuyuni river area, nearly a month after the event. But it is still claiming the attack took place in Venezue- lan territory. Two Venezuelan helicopters flew into Guyana and the venezuelan mili- tary blew up two dredges.

Normally, armed invasions of another country can lead to severe tension, and even declarations of war. And the Guyana gov- ernment immediately sent a stiff protest note to the Venezuelan authorities, de- manding an explanation and compensation.

In what can only be described as a de- liberate diplomatic insult, the Venezuelans ignored the Guyana protest note for over three weeks. No country would ignore a se- rious matter like an armed invasion of an-

Heroic TT cop to
expose corruption
TT judge orders govt. to hand
over lands to Caroni workers
Four year wait an abuse of process
Richard Aziz
Aconfrontation between Guyana police

and an international kidnap gang ended with the death of a Colombian kid- napper and the dramatic rescue of a preg- nant Kitty mother and her three year old daughter. The country has never seen any- thing like this before.

Shelly Khan, 26, and her young daugh- ter were snatched from her Kitty, George- town business place last Saturday by four armed men. They by vehicle to Parika Stelling and left from Pomeroon River in a small speedboat via the Atlantic Ocean, heading for Colombia.

The kidnappers stopped at a business place at Grant Stelling Hope in Lower Pomeroon River, and three went looking for larger boat and engine to make a quicker es- cape. That\u2019s where the police came upon the businesswoman and the Columbian bandit who was guarding her with a gun. He was shot dead by police after he opened fire.

The other bandits rushed back on hear- ing the shots, and one, apaparently a Venezuelan, was shot and captured. Two others, at least one of whom is believed to be Guyanese, escaped. The womand child miraculously escaped unhurt during the shoot-out.

Police have been combing the backlands of the Lower Pomeroon River for the two other bandits. Investigations are also in progress as to why the businesswoman and her daughter were kidnapped.

Government has dragged its feet on its

promise to lease land to former cane workers and must now deliver the land within six months, a Trinidad High Court judge has declared.,

So serious was the breach of promise that Justice Lennox Deyalsingh termed it an abuse of power.

The stinging criticism-a consolation to the almost 8,000 former workersof Caroni (1975) Ltd-came from Justice Lennox Deyalsingh, as he noted that the promise to lease the land had been made since 2003 and not a single lease had been granted, at least up to mid 2007.

"This matter required a real sense of ur- gency (from the government). People lost their means of livelihood. They were wait- ing on the promised lands... to get on with their lives," Justice Deyalsingh wrote in a judgment he delivered at the Port of Spain High Court.

"Government's attitude seems to me to

have been 'business as usual', not really being concerned about the frustration that delay in meeting its promise was causing. Up to the present time, there is no credible evidence as to when these former sugar workers will get their leases without which they are disadvantaged in a substantial way.

"Government's lack of the sense of ur- gency (which) this matter warranted is in my view, tantamount to an abuse of power," he wrote.

The commitment to lease land to the sugar workers was a condition of voluntary separation packages the workers accepted when the government shut down Caroni's sugar manufacturing operations mid-2003.

Despite assurances from government that sugar workers would be given priority, sev- eral deadlines for the land distribution went by without results.

Deyalsingh\u2019s judgement came as a result of a lawsuit by Trinidad and Tobago Civil Rights Association for the former workers.

Aheroic, one of a kind Trinidad police-

man has defied the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of National Secu- rity. He has refused promotion, risked his job and probably his life to expose corrup- tion in the Trinidad Police Service to an im- partial foreign investigator - and won against all the odds.

Police Superintendent Chandrabhan Ma- haraj said earlier this year that he knew of the corruption among Southern Division police officers and was ready to blow the whistle. But he would not talk to any in- vestigator from the Trinidad Police, since he didn\u2019t trust any of them. He would talk only to a foreigner with no ties to the local police.

The top brass didn\u2019t like it. They offered him a big promotion to shut him up, but Chandrabhan refused. They asked him to talk to Superintendent Woodley but he said he didn\u2019t trust Woodley, who had failed to clear up other glaring examples of police corruption. He took Anand Ramlogan to fight his case. He went into court with a T shirt saying \u201cThe only solution for corrup- tion is execution\u201d, to the horror of police brass.

This week the Trinidad police gave in and agreed to appoint a foreign investigator to hear Chandrabhan\u2019s corruption evidence. (SEE STORIES ON PAGE 4 & 6)

King Rooplal G
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Vol 1. No 10 December2007
For info call:
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Canada's three largest cities are strug-

gling to cope with a flood of newcom- ers primarily from China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan as immigration ap- proaches levels not seen since the end of the "Great Migration" a century ago.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that 69 per cent of recent immigrants to Canada resided in the "magnet" or "gateway" cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver - dubbed MTV - in 2006. That's down from 73 per cent in 2001 and 74 per cent in 1996.

Still, 97 per cent of all immigrants in the last five years ended up in large urban areas.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the fed- eral government floated the idea of direct- ing new arrivals to the hinterland to address the issues of stressed urban services, immi- grant concentration and rural depopulation.

The idea died a quiet death and has since been replaced by federal and provincial ef- forts to "encourage" immigrants to settle in less-trafficked centres.

In 2006, only five per cent of the immi- grant population lived in a rural area, Sta- tistics Canada reported. Setting aside constitutional concerns, experts say forcing immigrants to settle outside large urban centres simply doesn't work.

Amy Casipullai, policy co-ordinator of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Im- migrants, said immigration is no panacea for rural depopulation.

"If Canada doesn't deal with the problem of flight from small towns for the Cana- dian-born population, then how are you going to convinceimmigrants that this is ac- tually a worthwhile move for them?" Casip- ullai said.

Big cities complain they are left on the

hook for providing the vital services that help immigrants feel at home - social hous- ing; libraries; community, recreation and public-health programs and schools.

"We don't get a nickel from the federal government to support the kind of services that actually help people settle successfully in this city," said Toronto Mayor David Miller, where 46 per cent of the city's pop- ulation was foreign-born in 2006.

"(But) if we don't properly support new-
comers . . . there can well be problems."

Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the province, which gets half the country's immigrants, spent about $160 million on services for newcomers last year although he complains that Ottawa has shortchanged the province in promised sup- port.

Where in the province immigrants go is
a "personal" choice, Chan said.

The census shows 69 per cent of On- tario's foreign-born chose the Toronto area, with suburbs such as Brampton, Missis- sauga picking up an increasing amount of immigrants.

Experts say the bright lights of the me- tropolis are an irresistible lure for newcom- ers for two main reasons: economic diversity and social networks.

Editor\u2019s note:

Interestingly, Indo-Caribbean immigrants come mostly from rural areas in their homes countries like Trinidad and Guyana, but few choose to live in rural areas when they come to Canada. Most head for the cities where jobs and housing are plentiful, as well as many other Indo-Caribbeans re- ligious and cultural groups, groceries, restaurants and other businesses. Recently some have been moving into semi-rural areas around the GTA in Ontario.

Immigrants still head for MTV -
Toronto, Montreal Vancouver,
but not for empty rural areas

Indo-Caribbean Times
Page 3
The Canadian Council of Imams has con-
demned the death of Aqsa Parvez as inhu-
mane and un-Islamic.

The recent tragedy that has befallen the blossoming young life of an innocent Mus- lim girl in Mississauga, ON, where her fa- ther allegedly strangled her, is humanly and Islamically condemnable. This action does- n\u2019t bespeak anything resembling the moral upbringing Islam purports. Aqsa Parvez\u2019s suffering is simply atrocious and has no place in Canadian parenting. The alleged reason is she did not stick to wearing the hijab stringently and instead, left her par- ent\u2019s home, so as not to be coerced into something she had not decided on wearing.

Islam came to save girls from being mur- dered; it gave life to humanity. The Quran has dedicated famous verses against this heinous sin- When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned \u202681:8

Parents are encouraged to reason with their children when they reach the age of marriage and seek mutual understanding. However, as people of good Faith, this rec- onciliatory approach to discipline and train- ing is no license for our sons and daughters to be permissive and disrespectful.

The Charter of Rights allows freedom of religion, and rightly so, since our Quranic Constitution proclaims this freedom of con- science as a God given right of every human being. Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error\u20262:256

While the freedoms the youths enjoy may not always be to the liking of parents and while the cultures children are engaged in may not necessarily be the traditions of the country of origin, the right thing to do is en- gage all in a dialogue. The correct approach is to get generational-appropriate coun- selors and respect the level of Faith prac-

ticed by all- for the Sharia allows hijab of variant styles as much as it allows flexibil- ity in different circumstances.

Neither a parent nor the siblings can take the law in their hands, believing this is a Godly-duty. Once we have shown our dis- like for an act that is considered reprehen- sible, given our circumstances, we have absolved ourselves of that responsibility and hence not sinful. No matter what they what they choose in life, to do the opposite makes us both criminally indictable and cursed with a major sin. Beating children leads to brutalization and is therefore ille- gal and sinful.

We call upon all agencies to support the transient Muslim community, through their various generational crises, by providing fi- nancial and logistical auxiliaries, so we may be the colorful petal in this multicultural flower and not a thorn on this flowery tree. We call on all parents to solicit the legal means readily available to ensure proper discipline.

Commenting on parent\u2019s challenges\u2019, Kahlil Gibran aptly said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

Yours humbly,
Imam Habeeb
Brampton girl
killed for refusing
to wear hijab

An Ontario father charged with killing his 16-year-old daughter who had turned away from traditional Muslim garb was led away in handcuffs Wednesday after a judge denied him bail.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, Muhammad Parvez, a 57-year-old cab driver, appeared unemotional during his brief appearance at a Brampton court.

He was also ordered not to communicate with his 26-year-old son Waqas, who was charged with obstructing police in connec- tion with the girl's death.

When asked if he understood the order, the senior Parvez stood quietly in the pris- oner's area of the court and mumbled "yes."

Parvez was charged after his daughter Aqsa Parvez, 16, died after being rushed to hospital on Monday. Earlier in the night, a man called 911 to say he killed his daugh- ter.Police have not commented on any mo-

tive in the case. The girl's friends have said Parvez frequently clashed with her family about her reluctance to wear a hijab, the tra- ditional Muslim headscarf.

Outside the courtroom, the man's son Sean Muhammed Parvez told reporters he wasn't sure what exactly led to his sister's death.

"We don't know so far, we are upset," he said, adding that his mother was "sick" be- cause of the ordeal.

A publication ban was imposed on the court proceedings, but Parvez's lawyer Joseph Ciraco told reporters outside court that the family is distraught.

"It's clearly a tragedy," he said.
"You've got a sister that's gone and a fa-
ther and brother in jail."

Ciraco added that Parvez has a heart con- dition and will have to see a doctor before his next court date, which will be on Jan. 29 via video link.

Until then, Parvez will remain in police custody, Ciraco said. CANADIAN COUN- CIL OF IMAMS

TT Seniors celebrate the season
It was Christmas Trinidad style, complete with parang and black cake and spicy danc-

ing, when the Trinidad and Tobago 50 Plus and Seniors Association held its 12th An- nual Xmas banquet on November 17th at the Elite Banquet Hall. President Farook Hydal informed guests that some of the activities which the Association did in the past year in- cluded trips, picnics, bots cruise, All Fours games, Fathers, Mothers and Valentines day celebrations. The Association also has a Ladies Section and he invited the women to par- ticipate. Entertainment was provided by the Five Star Dancers and Los Amigos Parang group as well as a DJ. A great time was had by all. Special greetings and best wishes were given by members of the head table. Seated from L to R are Nazi Mohammed, represent- ing Caribbean Airlines, Bas Balkissoon, MPP, Rouge Valley, Michael Lashley, Council General of T & T and Ms. Margo Harris, distinguish member of the Caribbean Commu- nity.

Imams condemn
slaying of Aqsa

Kash Heed is first
police chief

By Balwant Sanghera

The appointment of Kash Heed as West Vancouver\u2019s police chief is a great news for the Indo-Canadian community. Kash is not only a very competent police officer but also an extremely dedicated member of the Indo-Canadian community. As a member of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) since 1979 he has added a new dimension to policing.

It has been a great privilege for this writer and many others in our community to work with Kash in addressing the issue of gangs and youth violence in the Indo-Canadian community. Since early 1990\u2019s our com- munity has lost close to one hundred ten young men to gangs, drugs and violence. This has resulted in a lot of anxiety and frustration for all of us. The whole commu- nity has been devastated by these tragedies. For quite sometime, the community was blaming the police for not doing enough and the police was blaming the community for lack of co-operation. Finally, having gone through denial and blaming, the com- munity accepted the challenge and decided to do something about it.

He has been serving as a great role model not only for the Indo-Canadian youth but also youth in other communities. VPD\u2019s various innovative programs including in- terdiction, encouraging more Indo-Cana- dian youth to join the police force and act as a great motivator are a credit to him. He has been playing a major role in keeping and helping our young people stay out of trou- ble.

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