Indian Inheritance Museum in TT P.
Guyana economy not about to collapse P. 7 Stories of IndoCaribbean Arrival P. 10 Achiever Pandita Jasodra Persaud P. 11
I ndo- Caribb ean
Vol 1. No 4 June 2007 Tel: 416-289-3898 Fax: 416-289-0528 email@example.com
Gentle nani Vindra Trinidad & Guyana Naipaul is dead, trial shaken by arrests of of 11 accused to begin anti-US terrorists
FEDERAL prosecutors in Brooklyn yesterday charged that a retired cargo worker at Kennedy International Airport plotted with a former member of the Guyanese Parliament and two other men to blow up terminal 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and police detectives 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 blessing 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 attack that he said, according to secretly recorded conversations, would result in “the destruction of the whole of Kennedy,” an attack that only a few people would survive. In addition to a huge loss of life — “even the twin towers can’t touch it,” he said of the plot — the attack would devastate the United States economy and strike a deep symbolic blow against a national icon, Pres-
Making sada roti
Brampton Masters Cricket Club in the Premier Division P. 22 Poet’s corner: Talking mannish P. 20 Time to try a little Caribbean golf P. 23
FBI: They planned to blow up JFK fuel tanks
Vindra Naipaul (centre) and ten of the 11 accused 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 business 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 hundred 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 December 19 last year while pulling into her driveway. Kidnappers had demanded a $3 million 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.
ident John F. Kennedy. “Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States,” he said in one of dozens of conversations secretly recorded during the 18-month investigation. “To hit John F. Kennedy, wow .... They love John F. Kennedy like he’s the man ... If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice.” 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. “It’s not like the pipeline is a stick of dynamite and the whole thing would blow up,” said Roy Haase, the Buckeye spokesman. “Pipelines don’t blow up.” The secretly recorded conversations were described in an indictment unsealed in Federal 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 unwelcome 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)
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Caribbean terrorists spoiling our good name
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
OVER the years we have heard a tremendous quantity of bad news from the Caribbean , news that was painful but irrelevant. They never had much imRam Jagessar pact on those of us living in North America. The recent 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. International media are talking about our part of the Caribbean as a hotbed of terrorism. Not just any old terrorism, but anti-American 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 unleash something worse than 9-11. You don’t 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 attacks on JFK have struck a tremendous blow to one of our dearest treasures, our security here in North America . We really love to say that here we feel nobody will interfere with us, or target us because of our ethnicity or nationality. We think that we are safe from harassment and suspicion, safe from “guilt by association”. 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. Customers refused to patronize their businesses. 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 student visas discovered they couldn't get any. This hasn't stopped in the US, but only quieted 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 “suspicious” people. One man was detained because he knew a radical imam who was being investigated by CSIS. A Hindu temple in Hamilton 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 dishing 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 – you guessed it- brown skinned, middle 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 police are paying special attention to people they pick up who have Brampton addresses. 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 involved, and remembering that the Muslimeen attempted a violent coup to bring down the Trinidad government in 1990 and create a radical Islamic state. They are hearing that one of the arrested men is a prominent member of the Trinidad opposition party Congress of the People, and another is a former opposition Member of Parliament 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-
BRAMPTON - Emerging ethnic business organizations are helping this province strengthen its economic advantage over the competition, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty told the local Caribbean business community.. "By pulling together members of the Caribbean diasporas, you are helping to strengthen the economic advantage provided by our diversity," McGuinty told members of the Canada Caribbean Business Council at a dinner held at the Holiday 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 community and indeed for all Ontarians. And that means you are positioning Ontario to build stronger ties including a stronger relationship 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 consular 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 because 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
McGuinty praises Caribbean Business Council
crowd. "This is where the CCBC can help, by becoming that bridge that links those individuals with others to find meaningful jobs, to start their own business, to give them the opportunity to suptheir Selywn Baboolal, vice chair of the Canada Caribbean Business Council port families and thanked Premier Dalton McGuinty for speaking at the group's meeting. to become work ethic. And all of us who are already contributors to this great province." here are obligated to build opportunity for Singh said the CCBC is geared to creating those who are arriving. That's the deal." mentorship and sponsorship programs for The CCBC was launched nearly a year youth, initiatives to increase the profile of ago with the intension of acting as a venue Caribbean women and advocating on bewhere business people of Caribbean origin half of the community. can network and find support. "There are three main things we want to The aim of the group is also to spearhead see happen for our community. We want to change within their own community, in part see a sense of pride being reinstalled in our by providing a means by which young peo- youth. By bringing our business people tople and women can find employment and gether, we believe that we can be that gain business experience. bridge between mentorship and job placePrior to McGuinty's speech, a number of ment for them," Singh said. "We can set the speakers addressed the crowd. example for our youth to emulate and surBali Singh, CCBC chair, told the audience pass." flat out the purpose of the event was to at"Tonight you all have the opportunity to tract financial support for the organization. form pathways and make connections that He used the opportunity to ask for help will help you help each other and grow toand lay out exactly what the group intends gether," McGuinty added. "And I wish you to achieve. every success because your success is On"Many of best and brightest people im- tario's success." migrate to Ontario with their families, unable to find friendly business organizations (BRAMPTON GUARDIAN ) in their community. These people end up getting lost in menial jobs," Singh told the
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 terrorist 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 connected to Guyana or Trinidad will sink our reputation like a stone. To avoid further damage we Caribbeans in Canada have to distance our communities from these lunatic terrorist wannabees, just as our cousins in New York have already 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 “crying wolf” on this issue. Wolfie is really at the door this time.
No Trinidad pension after 5 years abroad
SENIOR citizens who spend five years outside of T&T will not be eligible for pension. The Senior Citizens Grant, also referred to as Old Age Pension, will be revoked if an individual 65 and over, eligible for the assistance,accumulates five years residence out of the country. Barbara Richards-Nelson, a Social Welfare officer attached to the Barataria Welfare 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 forums 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 Fernando 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
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’s 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’ High School, Naparima Teachers’ Training College, St. Andrew’s Theological College and St. Augustine Girls’ High School. The NAAC executive pictured above are, from the left, Ian Ramdial, Sharlene Seemungal, Merle Ramdial, Darise Crevelle, Selwyn Baboolal, Vitra Mungal, and Norma Ramsahai.
Baboolal leads Naparima Alumni executive
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 Challenges, 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 Gurudwara Committe, Peel Multicultural Council and the South Asian Gallery of Art. Nankissoor wants to make sure that the opinions and experiences of IndoCaribbeans are well represented in the conference. 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
Still time to sign up for major educational conference in July
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 “chocolate face” 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 chutney 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 “arrival” experiences in Canada years ago many years ago, revealing many little known details of what it was like to be one of the few IndoCaribbeans in this country. Today Indo-Caribbeans number over 200,000 and are a marked presence in Canada. The event was also the formal launch of the IndoCaribbeanHeritage.com web site, which provides free online information on the IndoCaribbean presence in Canada and the history and heritage of Indo-Caribbeans. Spirited entertainment was provided by young musicians Randy and Racquel Mahadeo, 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 groceries, 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.
Dancing up a storm at IndoCaribbean Arrival show
Terry Ann Khemrajsingh (left) and Sara Sylvan showing how it’s done
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Indo-Caribbean Times is published monthly in Toronto by Indo-Caribbean Times Ltd. Editor/Publisher: Ram Jagessar Editorial Committee: Reynold Ramdial, Gulcharan Mohabir, Lloyd Harradan, Sandy Kissoonsingh, Roop Misir, Deoraj Narine, Jiantee Jagessar,Krishna Nankissoor, Rudy Lochan Ofﬁce: 17 Gaiety Drive, Toronto ON Canada M1H 1B9 Tel: 416-289-3898 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions given in this newspaper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reﬂect the views of the Indo-Caribbean Times.
TT radio host vs “United Nasty Coolies”
In support of judges
By Anand Ramlogan Mr George ‘Umballa’ Joseph (a radio talk show host with Louis Lee Sing’s radio i95.5FM) recently lost a libel case before Justice Peter Jamadar. He had sued UNC’s Harry Partap and the Newsday over a letter to the editor, which the former wrote in response to his (Joseph’s) claim that “UNC MPs were all malicious.’ During the course of the trial, it emerged that Joseph had used remarks “which, in the context of the history and sociology of Trinidad and Tobago, were clearly derogatory and demeaning.” Such terms included “damn United Nasty Canesuckers”, “United Nasty Canecutters” and “United Nasty Coolies.” Since then, Joseph has boldly repeated these obscene, not-so-veiled insulting references to the Indo-Trinidadian community. Apparently, it never dawned on him, that were Indians to respond by using like derogatory words to describe the PNM, our country could just descend into a nasty racial abyss. In the meantime, the Telecommunications Authority stands idly by, afraid to touch Joseph, presumably because of the station’s close ties to theGovernment. The day after he lost the case, Joseph and Lee Sing launched a scathing attack on the judiciary that suggested that it was not possible for “poor black people” to get justice in this country. The message was clear: Black people could only get justice from Afro-Trinidadian judges. Joseph went further, hinting that there was a Presbyterian mafia in operation, making snide references to that fact that it was the same Jamadar who ruled that the Trinity Cross was discriminatory. No mention was made of the fact that Justice Jamadar openly declared to the lawyers and litigants that he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church (as was Partap), and would gladly disqualify himself from hearing the case if either party so desired, and that no objection was taken. The facts were distorted by Joseph to imply that the judge was biased, because he was an Indian Presbyterian and that he did not disclose this. His judgment in the Trinity Cross case is prejudicially referred to as evidence of some deep-seated undisclosed political/racial/religious bias that affected ‘oseph?s case. No mention is made of the fact that this was the same judge who decided the Ken Gordon “pseudo-racist” case against Panday and ordered him to pay $600,000, plus interest. Instead, he is part of some hitherto unknown “Presbyterian mafia” that has been secretly operating in this country. Attacking the judiciary is a favourite hobby of politicians. Panday is the chief culprit, having constantly attacked the system, claiming he cannot get a fair trial of genuine justice here. This, notwithstanding the fact of the historic ruling by three non-Indian judges in the Court of Appeal in his favour. Ramesh, his AG, wasn’t exactly backward either, having suggested that Justice Archie would have been biased in hearing the Gypsy and Chaitan election petition cases, because he had been denied a housing allowance. Manning almost toppled the judiciary by going for the jugular in his thus far failed
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Reader gets lucky at Ducky’s
As a Trinidadian who recently moved to Toronto from another province, I did not expect much of the comforts of home. We didn’t have much in Nova Scotia. The doubles and roti shops in Toronto were pleasant but nothing special. One Saturday recently I happened to be passing along Lakeshore Boulevard and just by chance passed into a Caribbean place called Ducky’s, Now that was a treat for the tastebuds and the memories. Ducky’s breakfast special had hot sada roti made on the spot, with bigan chokha, ochro, tomato shokha, bodi, pumpkin and even salt fish buljol Trinidad style. You could pick up a good selection for under $5. Well, you can bet I picked them up. It brought back fabulous memories of my mother making these same food on the old chulha a long time ago. Ducky even had some serious currants roll and sweet bread for dessert. You know where my feet are dragging me most Saturday mornings these days. I’ve learned that there are several other places like Ducky’s and all of them are worth a visit, even if you don’t want curry duck. Ralph Singh via e-mail. Dear Editor,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE frequency with which men have been murdering their wives and partners is frightening. In one sense, it might be argued that these horrible murders are the products of personal psychopathy and little could be done by society to prevent them. On the other hand, the crimes occur in so many different communities and circumstances that only the state has the resources to study the problem and introduce solutions. Wife murders are not freak occurrences. Although some of the time the crimes might be concentrated in a few places, most of the time the causes are varied, the brutality is intense and the scale is widespread. They raise the questions of why wife murders are so prevalent, how they persist and what can be done to prevent them or to protect likely victims from that fate. In this regard, the selective and sanctimonious statements by the usually wellmeaning Help and Shelter NGO on the recent murders in Linden have been uncharacteristically unhelpful. Expressing outrage at the killings, the NGO called on "the Linden authorities, especially the Linden Police Force, to redouble their efforts to ensure that women and their children are given the very best of protection and security at all times. It should be clear, however, that wife murders are not a local Linden problem alone and hasty generalisations should be avoided. Help and Shelter, no doubt, might
Administration too slow to prevent many wife murders in Guyana
have been referring to the murders of Mona Lisa Rigby who was found in a creek near to her home at Kara Kara; of Melissa Anthony who was found dead at her home in Retrieve; and of Nasleen Mohamed, a Georgetowner, whose partly decomposed body was found in a coal pit behind the Wisroc Housing Scheme in Linden. But several other areas - East Coast and East Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara and WestCoast Berbice - have been the scenes of many bloody and beastly murders. Eileen Lall, a mother of five, was stabbed to death by her partner Chetram Singh in February at Herstelling after she refused to return to their home. Savitri Samaroo also was recently stabbed to death after she had ended an 18-year relationship with her partner in Annandale and was living with another man at Cotton Tree village in Berbice. Nyron Jameer of Tempe Village was charged with murdering his partner Indranie Bridgelall at their home in the Abary River. On the West Coast, Farida Ishmael was murdered when a flammable liquid was thrown on her and she was set alight; her partner Shilendra Peters, of Uitvlugt, has been charged with her murder. Nandkumar Singh was recently sentenced to 36 years in prison for killing both his partner Feiona Persaud, 14, who had ended a relationship with him, and her new boyfriend Surujpaul Stanley, 19 at Enterprise. In pass-
attempt to remove the CJ. Political manipulation by PNM spin doctors has led to the portrayal of CJ Sharma as a Hindu Indian extremist who is a diehard UNC. The latest salvo came on Friday, when Minister Ken Valley sought to defend his political leader who lost a case regarding an attempt to transfer foreign affairs officer Feroza Ramjohn, because he deemed her a threat to national security. Valley accused trial judge Justice Amrika Tiwary of being biased. Mr Valley actually described her as “a UNC,” and pledged that the Government would appeal the case all the way to the Privy Council. Our country is small, politically and racially-divided. It is not that judges are above criticism. No one and no system is perfect. The tentacles and influence of politics reach into every institution in every country. Responsible and justifiable criticism improves the administration of justice by highlighting unwanted negatives, but unjustified attacks by unsuccessful litigants bring the administration of justice into disrepute. By and large, our judiciary is intelligent, well-qualified, independent and fair. Even where there may be grounds for perceptions of bias (such as previous political affiliations or family members who are actively involved in politics), these individual judges oftentimes try doubly hard to be fair because they are aware of these perceptions. Judges are at a great disadvantage, because they cannot speak out on matters that affect them. It is our duty as a society to protect them from unjustified and malicious criticism by those who should know better.
ing sentence, the judge bemoaned the facts that not only were Singh's victims so young but that Persaud was allowed to enter a common law relationship with Singh when she was just 12 years old. Death sentences were also passed on Doodnauth Ramsaywack for killing his partner Ahilla Kuar at their home in Mon Repos; on Lloyd Anthony McCleoud for the murder of his wife Beverley Mc Cleoud at Mocha, and on Royston Alfred for killing his partner Cathedra Parris at her Werk-enRust apartment. There have been many more. Domestic abuse that leads to murder is seldom sudden or spontaneous; it is usually cold-blooded and calculated and comes as the climax of a long series of abusive incidents. The question is, and has always been, why has the administration been so slow to recognise the pattern of abuse and do something to prevent the murders, many of which are predictable. The uncomfortable silence and apparent administrative paralysis on the issue of wife murders must be replaced by better understanding and effective policies. The ministries of Human Services and Social Security, Home Affairs, and Legal Affairs must acknowledge the ubiquity and gravity of the problem and together provide better protection for possible victims. L
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO NEWS
Supporters protest arrest of 85 yr swami on sex charges
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007 Page 5
An 85-year-old religious leader from India was detained by San Fernando police yesterdayg questioned by officers into allegations of sexual assault. The spiritual teacher, or swami, who is said to have hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world, arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday and was expected to conduct Satsangh (religious discourses) across the country throughout the month. The guru, also an author of dozens of religious books and and a composer of religious songs, along with other devotees from Trinidad and a contingent of other spiritual aspirants from India, was staying at the home of devotees on the outskirts of San Fernando. Police reports indicated that a 22-year-old Guyanese woman who came to Trinidad at the weekend visited the religious leader.. This is when the incident was alleged to have happened. Police reports stated that the woman visited the guru and was alone with him in a room when she was sprayed with a liquid. She alleged she was then assaulted. The woman was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) for treatment. Police said a medical examination was done and showed the woman had sexual intercourse. Attorney-at-law Prakash Ramadhar is representing the religious leader. He asked for the hearing to begin immediately, but police declined and have allowed bail. However, the swami’s passport has been seized and he has to remain in Trinidad until the ,matter is heard in court. Attorney Ramadhar has said that he brought witnesses who were present in the room at the time, and would show that n assault had taken place. Supporters of Swami Tripathy have pointed out inconsistencies in the statement given by the young woman, such as her allegation that the swami sprayed some liquid on her and then sprayed some on himsel, after which he turned into a young man and assaulted her. News of the arrest has been carried around the world and have stirred a lively debate on whether the crime was possible.
Swami Don’t pay charged with ransom, say Columbian rape
“BELIEVE in the police service and do not pay a ransom. " This is the advice given by two experts from the Specialised Anti-Kidnapping Unit in Colombia, at a press conference held recently at Police Administration, Sackville Street, Port of Spain headquarters. Captains Adolfo Romero Camargo and Jaime Hernan Guzman Cicedo are from the Colombia military and police Specialised Anti-Kidnapping Unit. Their presence in Trinidad and Tobago falls within the framework of an agreement signed between Minister of National Security Martin Joseph and the then Minister of National Defence of Colombia, Camilo Ospina Bernal on March 22, 2006. The senior officers came to Trinidad in a bid to review the operations of the Anti Kidnapping Unit and to assist in implementing effective mechanisms to solve and address kidnapping in T&T. For the year thus far there have been six reported cases of kidnappings for ransom in T&T. The senior officers said, despite corruption being rampant in their country, things are under control. "In any place there is corruption, however, there is a special unit which deals with corrupt people. "From the national police to government officials, we have established a unit to deal with these things. The unit functions in a way which will restore confidence in the police system." Colombia has one of the highest kidnapping rates worldwide. Although the numbers are on a decrease, approximately 369 political and financial kidnappings were reported to authorities in 2005. Police intelligence in Colombia indicates that up to 28 professional kidnapping gangs are in existence. Foreigners remain lucrative targets. An estimated $57 million in ransom money was paid out between 1996 and 2003. The majority of victims spent an average of one month in captivity and their release was secured with a $20,000 ransom.
THE Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) president Michael Legerton has raised the issue of the declining attendance of Indo-Trinidadians at calypso tents during the Carnival season. Legerton, speaking during the first day’s review of Carnival 2007 in St Mary’s Centenary Hall, Pembroke Street, Port-ofSpain, said efforts were made to get Indo-Trinidadians back into the tents. “Kaiso House started a pilot project to bring back these people into the calypso tent. Invitations were sent. Buses were sent if they did not have transport. “About six buses came back filled with people on the first night. On other nights, they came back with new faces. 'We wanted to show these people they would not be insulted,” he said. Asked by participant Richard Law to explain the term “these people,”Legerton fell silent. Law said there was no proper groundwork in place to woo Indo-Trinidadians back to the tents. “There should be some real policy in place, since this impacts on patriotism and nationalism. It is disrespectful”? he said. At the end of the session, Legerton said: “We are working on it. We are taking the time to embrace everybody.” Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams, who also spoke during the session, said there was “no room for discrimination.” She pointed to the Ana culture tents and the assistance given to the chutney tents as examples of the Culture Ministry’s commitment to inclusion. ' Right now, Massive Gosein has an Indian Arrival Day tent going around the country. There have been ten Ana concerts for Indian Arrival Day. ' We have given prizes of dholaks and hantals. We have honoured outstanding people in sports and culture in the communities,” she said. Yuille-Williams also boasted that the ministry provided funding for William Munro’s Soca Monarch competition. “”We will be paying the $1.5 million on June 8,” she said. Meanwhile, conveyor of San Fernando Carnival, Junia Regrello, admitted to some “grey areas” in the staging of Panorama at Skinner Park, San Fernando. Should Panorama finals be held in South again, major improvements in its infrastructure would happen, she promised. In recent years there has been a pronounuced departure of Indians from calypso tents, due largely to the songs from supporters of the ruling PNM attacking Indians, who generally support the United National Congress of former prime minister Basdeo Panday. Several tents have complainted of hard times at the box office.
Trying to bring back insulted Indians to calypso tents
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TRINIDADIAN Kareem Ibrahim, 56, who is one of four men arrested for allegedly being involved in a terrorist plot to blow up JFK International Airport in New York, is an executive member of the Congress of the People’s (COP) Arouca/Bon Air West constituency. This was confirmed at a press conference of the party in Chaguanas, conducted by Captain Gary Griffith, the COP’s national security advisor. COP Political Leader Winston Dookeran is out of the country. The plot to blow up fuel depots was uncovered by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and resulted in the arrest of three men, one in Brooklyn and two in Trinidad by local policemen. One of the men is Shia Imam Ibrahim of Cane Farm Road, Tacarigua who was arrested while at his mosque. In a media briefing at the COP’s Gaston Court, Chaguanas head office, Griffith stated Ibrahim was a registered member of the COP opposition party who joined during the party’s membership drive last year. He said while Ibrahim was still a party member, the party’s membership committee was yet to decide on an appropriate course of action saying they are still awaiting additional information on the matter. He said the party did not have the resources available to perform a comprehensive background check on its over 50,000 members and pointed out that Ibrahim’s association with the other conspirators was not uncovered by any of the TT Government’s anti-spy units including the blimp and the eye-in-the-sky. “No political party can do a comprehensive test on all of its members,” he said adding that during the party’s open membership drive, no background checks had been carried out on persons seeking membership. Adding that unlike other political parties with known “criminal associations” , the COP would not fall into the trap of allowing criminal elements within the party’s hierarchy to allow “bartering” to take place after the party was elected into government. COP chairman Roy Augustus said the party would now be looking at associates of Ibrahim in an effort to weed out those elements which sought to infiltrate political, social and other organisations.
Terror suspect is COP executive
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Indian Inheritance Museum is launched
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Basdeo Panday, Mrs Oma Panday and Kelvin Ramnath (centre) launch the Museum. LEADER of the UNC, Basdeo Panday has warned that if someone wants to destroy you they must first destroy your identity, and the easiest way to destroy your identity is to destroy the culture of a people.* He said,"A person's identity is extremely important and culture gives people an identity. We must preserve and defend our culture." He further warned that those who ignore the mistakes of history are condemned to repeat them. Panday made the comments at the opening of Indian Arrival Day celebrations and the launch of a museum dedicated in his honour " The Basdeo Panday Indian Inheritance Museum" last Saturday. The Museum is located at the Member of Parliament for Couva South, Kelvin Ramnath's office grounds. Panday recalled the struggles to get the public holiday and its name "Indian Arrival Day" which he said was initially started with a young Indian activist named Ramdath Jagessar. Panday told his audience that it was important for them to remember the history and the identity of their ancestors. Panday was accompanied by his wife,Oma and other members of the United National Congress including MPs Roodilal Moonilal and Wade Mark. The key figure behind the museum is Kemal Manickchand. Manickchand said that acquiring, preserving and showcasing rare Indian artifacts have become his life's passion. He collects any kind of East Indian or West Indian memorabilia or artifacts like coins, jewelry, publications, photos, musical instruments, kitchen utensils, weapons and so on.
In reply, Oppostion Leader Kamla PersadBissessar has vowed to ensure that Indian Arrival Day and Emancipation Day are kept as separate special public holidays. Amidst calls that the celebrations of both days be incorporated into one public holiday, the Opposition Leader told the South Caribbean Conference (SCC) of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Fifth Annual Indian Arrival Day celebrations, that Trinidad and Tobago was a diverse society with different cultures. The Opposition Leader observed that several persons and groups, particularly the Winston Dookeran-led Congress of the People, were advocating for a removal of the separate holidays. She said they wanted it replaced with a Heritage Day, to celebrate all cultures and ethnic backgrounds which make up Trinidad and Tobago society. Stating that it had been a long struggle to have both public holidays, Persad-Bissessar said, “I will fight with every breath, as long as I live, to ensure we keep these special days. We are a diverse society, we worship differently, we do things differently, but at the end of the day, we are one people.”
OPPOSITION Parliamentarian Gillian Lucky has suggested that revision of Trinidad and Tobago’s public holidays is one way of dealing with the problem of discrimination. “Forget about Indian Arrival, Emancipation Day and other national celebrations that focus on only one ethnic group, she advises. Instead, introduce TT Day as an occasion when all ethnic groups can have their celebrations and displays,” she said. .
More assaults on Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad
MORE than 25 people were robbed by pi rates at Scotland Bay in Chaguaramas. Police said around 6 pm, the passengers of a chartered boat were organising their personal items on the boat when they were approached by four men in another boat. Three of the men got out of the boat. One had a firearm and the other a cutlass. The thieves took charge of the chartered MY Pard vessel and made off with the passengers? personal belongings on board the boat. One of the victims managed to alert the Coast Guard who spotted the vessel not far away at Staubles Bay and challenged them. The robbers threw the peoples’ belongings overboard. After a chase, Coast Guard officers seized the boat and held the men, five miles off Gasparee Island. The three suspects between the ages of 17 and 23, of Carenage, are were expected to appear in a Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court charged with robbery.
Mass robbery of 25 people by sea pirates
SHE’S just a wisp of a woman, but foreign service executive Feroza Ramjohn believes that her decision to go to court to settle an office feud was vindicated by Jus’ice Amrika Tiwary-Reddy’s judgment. Ramjohn clashed with her boss back in the 90s while both were posted in the New York office of T&T’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. The animosity came to the fore again when the boss got a two-and-a-half week acting appointment just as Ramjohn, a career public servant, was about to dash off to fulfil a dream of working at the T&T High Commission in London. That boss is former Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary, Yvonne GittensJoseph, who is now T&T Ambassador to Jamaica. Justice Tiwary-Reddy ruled in favour of Ramjohn and her attorney Anand Ramlogan on May 3 in the judicial review suit they had brought against Gittens-Joseph and Prime Minister Patrick Manning for revoking an appointment she had gotten in writing to take up a post of accountant at T&T’s High Commission in London. Costs and damages are to be assessed for Ramlogan and Ramjohn, who this year will be 57. The appointment was revoked on June 7, 2004 . In affidavits filed by the respondent Gittens-Joseph, it was indicated that Ramjohn was debarred because she was considered a national security risk. The judgment delivered by Justice Tiwary-Reddy cited Gittens-Joseph as the party who introduced Special Branch intelligence reports into Ramjohn’s personal file that indicated she was a national security risk. It was these intelligence reports, which spoke of the probability that Ramjohn had been involved in a major conspiracy to steal blank T&T passports, that caused Manning to revoke her London appointment. According to the judgment these passports, with US or Canadian visas inserted, were sold on the black market for between US$5,000 and $10,000. That report proved to be the only blot on Ramjohn’s file, who joined the Public Service in October 1971 and joined Foreign Affairs in 1984. Ramjohn?s tour of duty had been approved by the substantive Foreign Affairs PS, Patrick Edwards, in May, 2004. At the end of May, Edwards went to South Africa to help set up a diplomatic mission there; Gittens-Joseph began a two-and-ahalf week acting stint for him. Ramjohn had already sold her car, gave up rental of her Fyzabad apartment and sold off household items in preparation for the London sojourn, which would have been six months in the first instance. In the judgment, Justice Tiwary-Reddy noted that Foreign Affairs Minister Knowlson Gift instructed Gittens-Joseph on Friday, June 4, 2004 to notify Ramjohn immediately that her appointment was rescinded but Gittens-Joseph waited until 4.30pm the following Monday to do so. She handed Ramjohn the letter in a sealed envelope, telling her the transfer had been revoked and refusing to give an explana-
The (racial) torture of Feroza Ramjohn
NATIONAL Security Minister Martin Joseph is being forced to lower the minimum height for candidates interested in joining the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, following discussions with members of theOpposition. Joseph said that among the concerns raised on the Police Service Regulations Act (2007) was the height requirement as a criterion for appointment as a trainee. "One of the concerns, as advanced, was the need to lower the requirement in the regulations that males be at least 167 cm in height and females be at least 150 cm in height. It was argued that this criterion has a high probability of eliminating a lot of competent applicants," Joseph said at a special sitting of the House of Representatives. He added that a recommendation was made that an analysis be done to determine the average height of a Trinidadian male and female. "Such an appreciation may serve a more useful purpose in arriving at a suitable height. At this time, Mr Speaker, the recommendation cannot be effectively treated with due to present time constraints. It has, however, been duly noted and consideration will be given in the future."
Govt. lowers minimum height for police recruits
tion. Ramjohn testified that Gittens-Joseph was “hostile” in their meeting that afternoon. This was denied by the current Jamaican ambassador but the judge stated that Ramjohn’s account of the meeting was “more credible.” The judgment criticised Gittens-Joseph, stating that while her affidavit mentioned that there were intelligence and other reports against Ramjohn, she ?strenuously resisted? disclosing the contents on thegrounds of national security. Eventually the reports with names excised were put into evidence, through the agreement of attorney Russel Martineau, SC. The court said it was unfair to Ramjohn to debar her from London, yet not tell her on what grounds so she could offer a defence. “The State has produced no cogent, evidence that any issue of national security arose in the transfer of the applicant to London. “Accordingly I find that the applicant was treated unfairly and contrary to the principles of natural justice,? the judge ruled. It was noted, too, that other Foreign Affairs Ministry staffers had been in charge of the registry, like Ramjohn in 1995, when passports went missing but they had not been deemed national security risks. Ramjohn, in an interview, took the liberty “f deeming Gittens-Joseph to be “vindictive” and asserted that in another country she would have been recalled from her diplomatic posting after such criticism by the judge. “I have endured mental torture over the three years of the case, people were looking at me as some kind of criminal,” Ramjohn said.
Guyana’s economy not about to collapse
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007 Page 7
By Lloyd Harradan ACCORDING to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the Guyana economy grew by nearly five per cent last year after experiencing a two per cent decline in 2005. The IMF attributes the turn around to "strong aggregate demand, driven by a recovery in private sector credit, strong private remittances, and foreign direct investment". Inflation fell to below four per cent, following a decline in international fuel prices and a stable exchange rate. The IMF said foreign international reserves increased to US$278 million, or three months of imports of goods and services by end of December last year "as the widening of the current account deficit was more than covered by official disbursements, foreign direct investment, and debt relief in the context of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. "The latter, together with the improved growth performance, led to a significant improvement in the public debt sustainability outlook." The IMF said despite the continuation of a "very ambitious" public expenditure programme, the public sector deficit declined from 13.6 per cent of GDP in 2005 to 11.2 per cent last year, primarily as a result of the improved performance of the public enterprises and an increase in grants. The Washington-based financial institution said there has been "significant progress" with structural reforms, the most notable being the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT) on January 1, 2007. It said Guyana has also made progress with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), notably the attainment of two indicators - eradicate extreme hunger and achieving universal primary education. But while the IMF commended the Bharrat Jagdeo administration for implementing "sound" macroeconomic policies, resulting in a better growth and inflation performance and an improved debt sustainability outlook, it noted that domestic and external imbalances remain large, and that the economy continues to be vulnerable to shocks. When Guyana gained independence in 1966, it was one of the least developed areas in the Western Hemisphere. The Burnham government, which took office in 1964, saw continued foreign domination of the economy as an obstacle to progress Third World radicals and some economists at the time thought that foreign ownership was the root cause of local economic difficulties. Politicians, always anxious to maximize their power, began to nationalize industries. The Guyana government moved vigorously to take control of the economy. In 1970 Burnham proclaimed Guyana as the world's first "cooperative republic." He said that the country would continue to welcome foreign investors but that the government would own at least 51 percent of any enterprise operating in Guyana. The major foreign companies were not interested in shared ownership, and the Burnham government took complete control of the economy, eliminating both foreign ownership and foreign management. During the 1970s, Guyana nationalized the major companies operating in the country, including the bauxite and sugar companies. By the late 1970s, the government controlled over 80 percent of the economy. Nationalization of large foreign companies was but one aspect of pervasive government control of economic activity. By the early 1980s, the government had also taken over the bulk of the retailing and distribution systems. It controlled the marketing of all exports, even those few products, such as rice, which were still produced privately. It owned all but two financial institutions and tightly regulated currency exchange. The government controlled prices and even attempted to dictate patterns of consumption by banning a wide range of consumer imports. All Guyanese will recall that they could not buy ice apples, potatoes or flour. During the early 1970s, world prices of both sugar and bauxite rose, allowing the newly nationalized enterprises to reap sizable profits. Increased government spending helped stimulate the economy, and GDP grew at about 4 percent per year from 1970 to 1975. regulated all transactions requiring foreign exchange and severely restricted imports. This was the usual strategy in the Caribbean at that time. But Guyana was already in a worst off position than the rest of the Caribbean. Tight government control encouraged the growth of a large parallel market. Smugglers brought in illegal imports, and currency traders circumvented government controls on foreign exchange. Although many citizens began working and trading in the parallel economy, many others were leaving the country. An estimated 72,000 Guyanese, almost one-tenth of the population, including many of the most skilled managers and entrepreneurs emigrated between 1976 and 1981. The crisis finally came to a head in the late 1980s because of Guyana's unsustainable foreign debt. By then Linden Sampson Forbes Burnham, the man who had created the debacle, was dead, and so was “cooperative socialism.” As export revenues fell, the government began borrowing abroad to finance the purchase of essential imports. External debt ballooned to US$1.7 billion by 1988, almost six times as large as Guyana's official GDP. Because the government funneled the borrowed money into consumption rather than productive investment, Guyana's economy did not grow out of debt. Instead, the government became increasingly unable to meet its debt obligations. Overdue payments, or arrears, reached a staggering US$1 billion in 1988. Rather than risk a curtailment of all foreign credit (even short-term loans for imported machinery and merchandise), the Hoyte government embarked on an IMF-backed austerity and recovery program. The Economic Reform Program (ERP) introduced in 1988 amounted to a reversal of the statist policies that had dominated Guyana's economy for two decades. By the early 1990s, there were signs that twenty years of stagnation and decline could be ending. In 1992 Hoyte was given another ultimatum – free and fair elections or else. Rumour has it that Jimmy Carter threatened to ask President Bush to send in the Marines if Hoyte refused. As all the world knows the PPP won the ensuing election and has been in power ever since. Under the PPP government in the 1990s the Guyana economy began to experience growth. The parallel market (the black market), the size of which has been variously estimated at between 33% and 100% of the legal economy, was legalized. A large group of entrepreneurs suddenly found that they could operate legally and freely. The lack of consumer goods under the PNC administration had been a disincentive to production. People had been unwilling to make money which they could not spend. The aura of depression, incompetence, corruption and racism associated with the PNC was gone. People both at home and abroad felt that there was hope for Guyana again. After the 1997 elections the PNC realized that they had no hope of winning power by way of free and fair elections. When they had control of the electoral process, they got horses and dead people to vote for them. That was not going to happen again. Violence and crime, allegedly orchestrated by the PNC, increased after 1998. This has had a negative effect on the economy. But as the IMF has said the economy is growing, and Guyana is making progress in spite of the many obstacles. AFTER two weeks of being inundated, residents of the eastern bank of the Mahaicony Creek have lost all of their produce and say they are "punishing a lot and are fed up with the situation." They said that because of the rising level of water they have few dry places to keep their livestock and a few of their goats have already died. They also said caimans and snakes have been attacking their poultry. Further, they said their children have become sick and are unable to attend school. A medical team from the army visited and administered treatment to them. Nalini Seetaram, 38, of Pine Hill said even though her children's condition has improved they are unable to attend classes since sections of the school dam are flooded. The woman who has six children with the youngest being six years old said her eldest daughter is still not well and she cannot afford to take her to a doctor. She said she was depending on the money from her cash crop farm but everything boulanger, ochro, pumpkin have been washed away.
Floods ravage Mahaicony Creek farmers
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, the world commodity prices that had favored Guyana declined, reversing the earlier gains. Economic output dropped as demand for sugar and bauxite fell. Nonetheless, government spending continued at a high rate, and Guyana was forced to begin borrowing abroad. This pattern of declining GDP, continued high levels of government spending, and foreign borrowing was common throughout Latin America in the 1980s. Guyana's economic decline grew more acute during the 1980s. Unfavorable world prices were only part of the problem. There were two more basic difficulties: the lack of local managers capable of running the large agricultural and mining enterprises, and the lack of investment in those enterprises as government resources were depleted. Bauxite production, which had dropped from 3 million tons per year in the 1960s to 2 million tons in 1971, fell to 1.3 million tons by 1988 . Similarly, sugar production declined from 330,000 tons in 1976 to about 245,000 tons in the mid-1980s, and had declined to 168,000 tons by 1988. Rice production never again reached its 1977 peak of 210,000 tons. By 1988, national output of rice was almost 40 percent lower than in 1977. The decline in productivity was a serious problem, and the Burnham government's reaction to the downturn aggravated the situation. As export revenues fell, foreign exchange became scarce. Rather than attacking the root of the problem, low domestic output, the government attempted to ration foreign exchange. The government
Sugar cane harvest in Guyana
"This is real punishment. When ah want to use me toilet in de yard ah does frighten because snakes does be in de water. Me nah able wid this, is every year this place ah flood." Gupta Pooranlall's farm close to his home at Pine Ground was covered with more than three and a half feet of water and he has lost all of his peppers, boulanger, cassava, seame, ochro and cassava plants. Pooranlall, 30, who has four children, ages four to eight years, said his foodstuff is "running out and we trying wid de lil bit we gat leff." He said his family was getting some vegetables from the farm to eat but he has lost that too and jokingly remarked that "we might gat to eat the leaf now." Harrychandra, 24, said he works as a labourer with rice farmers to support himself and his pregnant wife and now he cannot get any work since the rice land is also flooded. He also plants a little kitchen garden and rears eight cows, 15 goats and a few fowls. He said three of his goats have died and "bats sucking me cows and they getting worms. Me carry them to high spot but a little water still getting them." Rakha and Bibi Singh were in their yard looking at the uprooted pepper and tomato plants.Rakha remarked, "Ah don't know how people can survive in this. Two times a year we getting flood. Something gat to be done, if not everybody gon leave here and go away."
Gupta Pooranlall holds up a cassava plant from his flooded farm
It is being alleged by the US government that former PNCR MP Abdul Kadir began meeting in New York in February 2007 with those plotting the fire-bombing of JFK Airport and the prime informant is a drug convict who allowed security officials to record four surveillance visits to the airport and a string of incriminating conversations. On Saturday, the United States District Court Eastern District of New York laid charges against former Linden Mayor Kadir, two other Guyanese: Russell Defreitas and Abdel Nur and Trinidadian Kareem Ibrahim also known as Amir Kareem. Defreitas, who appeared to be the linchpin of the plan, appeared in a New York court on Saturday while Kadir and Ibrahim were held in Trinidad and an application for them to be deported to the US is to be heard soon in Port-of-Spain. Up to press time Nur was still said to be at large and is believed to be in Trinidad and Tobago.
CHILLING details of the JFK airport terror plan have been revealed by the US government and the FBI, showing clearly that Guyanese were the main figures from the very beginning. This is what we know about the plot.
Three Guyanese are main figures in JFK terror plot
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
property at the airport. They are further accused of plotting to place a destructive device in such a way as to make aircraft in a special aircraft jurisdiction and civil aircraft utilized in interstate and overseas air com began and Defreitas was alleged to have said that a cell of six or seven people would be involved and the plan involved JFK Airport. Defreitas travelled to Guyana on August 17, 2006 and from New York the Source spoke with him and Individual A several times on the phone. In a recorded conversation on September 10, 2006 Individual A asked "Can I ask you a question. Would you like to die as a martyr? The complaint said that to get himself in with the plotters the Source replied that this was the greatest way to die in Islam. The Source then travelled to Guyana for Ramadan on September 20, 2006 and stayed until October 27. During this period the Source had meetings with Defreitas, Individual A and another person, Individual C about the JFK plan. On September 26, Individuals A and C told the Source that the three would go to Trinidad to discuss the plan with a fourth person, Individual D. On September 29, the Source was introduced to another Guyanese, Individual E. On October 7, 2006, the complaint said that Individual E, Individual A and the Source met at E's business in Georgetown. Individual A then told E he had arranged the meeting to talk about Jihad. According to the complaint Individual E told A that he should be careful about who he approached about Jihad and mentioned the case of the blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Abdel Rahman and his attorney Lynne Stewart. Several more meetings were held among the three and at one, Individual E described an occasion when he had seen US helicopters parked at a Guyanese airport and "considered blowing them up". The complaint said it was during this meeting that Individual E mentioned that he had good ties with the Jamaat al-Muslimeen of Trinidad. At that meeting on October 10 Individual A told E about the details of the planned attack and E agreed to take part but according to the complaint he cautioned them about speaking about it on the telephone and provided code names for the plan and JFK. In the ensuing weeks, Defreitas and Individuals A, C and E discussed with the Source in Guyana and by phone in New York what the next steps would be. The two major points were that Defreitas would meet the Source in New York for pre-operational surveillance of JFK and that Abdel Nur would journey to Trinidad for a meeting with Individual D through the Muslimeen. This trip was delayed as Nur's passport had expired. On New Year's day 2007, Defreitas returned to New York and started to discuss with the Source plans for photographs of the airport. On January 2, 2007 in a recorded conversation Defreitas told the Source what had motivated him to want to strike at JFK. The complaint said "that while working at JFK airport, he saw military parts being shipped to Israel, including missiles, that he felt would be used to kill Muslims. According to Defreitas, as a result, he "wanted to do something to get those bastards." Surveillance was done at JFK four times: January 3, 4, 10 and 11 and unknown to Defreitas US law enforcement officers spied on him and the Source and on each trip had audio and video equipment installed in the Source's vehicle so that the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) could record what happened. Surveillance
merce unworkable and unusable. Defreitas, Kadir and others are also accused of surveilling, photographing and collecting information - including satellite photos - on the terminal with the purpose of furthering their plot against the airport. The US is alleging that the plot had its beginnings in or about January 2006. According to the complaint, it began tapping directly into the plan in July that year when its informant or the `Source' met with Defreitas at the Gertz Plaza Mall in Queens, New York on July 13. The complaint characterized the `Source' as follows: "The (US) government has been working with the Source since 2004. "The Source was convicted on federal drug trafficking and RICO charges in the Southern District of New York in 1996. The Source was also convicted on drug trafficking charges in New York Supreme Court in 2003. His sentence in that case is pending as part of his cooperation agreement with the government. In addition to the expectation of a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation, the Source also receives financial assistance. The Source has provided extremely credible information that has been corroborated by consensual recordings, e-mails, financial documents, surveillance and other records and information." After the Gertz Plaza Mall meeting, the complaint said that there were several others including one on August 1, 2006 when Defreitas is alleged to have told the source that he had a vision that would make to World Trade Center attack seem "small". The following day at another meeting, Defreitas told the Source that someone had vouched for him (Defreitas). A call was then placed to Guyana in which Defreitas spoke to another person known as Individual A. The Source was allowed to speak with Individual A and Defreitas later told the Source that Individual A was "very knowledgeable". It was on August 7, 2006 while driving around New York that the complaint says that Defreitas told the Source there were `brothers' from Trinidad and Guyana who wanted to do something bigger than the World Trade Center. The Source was asked if he was interested and replied in the affirmative. On August 8, the first of the recorded calls Recorded The plan
Former Parliamentarian Abdul Kadir
Fuel tanks, security outposts and planes were pointed out during the visit and on the return drive on January 3, in another recorded conversation, Defreitas said that Individual E "really wants to get this thing going" and that Nur was being sent to Trinidad as he was the only one who knew the relevant Muslimeen official. Reports were provided to Individual E and the surveillance continued with Defreitas showing the Source escape routes. During a return drive on January 4 Defreitas allegedly uttered his Kennedy quotation which has dominated US airwaves since the thwarting of the plot was announced. According to the complaint, Defreitas said: "Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow.  They love John F.Kennedy like he's the man [ ]. If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice." After the surveillance, the Source provided the JTTF with copies of the videos he and Defreitas had made on two of the trips.
According to a copy of the unsealed complaint seen by Stabroek News in Guyana, Defreitas, a former JFK Airport worker was the progenitor of the plan and signalled his intentions to others which eventually led to the plotters travelling to Guyana on several occasions and hatching elaborate plans including an intention to draft the radical Trinidadian group Jamaat al-Muslimeen into the plan. Just days prior to the alleged plotters being arrested, several of them had travelled to Trinidad where the US is alleging that they held a meeting with Muslimeen officials. The Muslimeen had been behind the abortive coup in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990. Several other Guyanese were referred to in the complaint but not named and it is presumed that the US is still interested in pursuing them. In a complaint sworn to by detective/investigator Robert Addonizio the US is alleging that the quartet and others conspired to detonate an explosive device at JFK Airport, New York and at fuel tanks and pipelines there "with the intent to cause death and serious bodily injury and the intent to cause extensive destruction of such system and facility, where such destruction would result in and would be likely to result in major economic loss." They are also accused of conspiring to destroy by means of fire or explosive a building and other property used in interstate and foreign commerce, to wit buildings and The complaint
Mastermind Russel de Freitas
Abdel Nur- surrendered in Trinidad Defreitas and the Source then returned to Guyana carrying the JFK videos with them and played them for Individuals E and A. Nur was later shown the video and plans were discussed for a trip to Trinidad. On January 22, the Source met Individual E and discussed how E could obtain explosives for the plot. In the following days, Individuals A and E became suspicious that Individual C was a spy and A then said he would not travel to Trinidad because of these suspicions. On February 13, the complaint said that Individual E, Defreitas and the Source quarrelled because the Source had removed the JFK video from Individual E's computer. Individual E then said he wanted to delay the plot for a few months so he could focus on his business and later said he wanted to cut off involvement all together. Defreitas told the Source that he was determined to go to Trinidad to present the plan to the Muslimeen. Defreitas contacted another Guyanese, Individual F and along with the Source they went to an internet café to view the JFK video. It was Individual F, according to the complaint, who identified Kadir as someone who might be interested in the plot and who had connections with militants in the Middle East and South America. On February 19 Defreitas, Individual F and the Source travelled to Linden where they met Kadir. (CONTINUED Explosives
ON PAGE 21)
SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH
THE VEDIC Cultural Centre successfully hosted its 9th Annual South Asian Heritage month celebration on May 5th at its 14th Avenue building. The program consisted of an exhibition of artifacts from the immigration experience, an authentic ethnic food bar and a cultural stage show. In keeping with the theme of Scientific and Technological contributions of the Indian Diaspora, guest speakers, popular Cardiologist, Dr Vivian Rambihar, UNDP Scientist Dr Naresh Singh and retired U of T professor Dr Rashmi Desai all took great pride in highlighting the significant contributions of the Indian Diaspora to Science and Technology and to the world at large. Among other things, Dr Rambihar spoke of the positive influence of Dr Rudranath Capildeo on his own life and the significant contributions he made to Science and Technology. Dr Capildeo who was from Trinidad was hailed as a mathematics genius was a proud member of the Indo Caribbean community. Dr Rambihar also commented that there are enormous, pioneering and fundamental contributions to science and technology from across the Indian Diaspora which can be used to improve the lives of everyone and every community. He further added that the new science of complexity provides new and creative opportunities to extend this even further, with an invitation to add novel ideas for change to the traditional and the usual. He said that this approach invites the community and each one of us to use science and technology to improve our health and to make a New Heart Healthy Diaspora. Dr Naresh Singh took the opportunity to highlight the contributions of Indo Caribbeans to the improvement of agriculture in the region. He concluded by looking ahead in the future and expressed the opinion that the area which will become the new frontier of human thought and research with profound implications for our understanding of the world around us, including in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and environment as well as the social sciences, will derive from the convergence between spirituality and science. Dr Desai presented a slide show of all the scientists of Indian origin who won Nobel Prizes in the field of Science and Technology and also featured some of the current work that some scientists are involved in. He also showed the relationship between Vedic thought and Science referencing material from the Vedas to support scientific experience. The event was well attended by over 300 persons from a wide cross section of the community. Among the dignitaries present were the Mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpati, MP John McCallum and Minister of Revenue, Michael Chan. Abhijit Chattopadhyay represented the Indian Consulate. Danny Doobay, Consulate General of Guyana also sent in congratulatory greetings for the occasion. The stage program, which featured the guest speakers, and also included a cultural presentation of songs, music and dance was hosted by Vinita Singh and Adit Kumar who is also the Chairman of the VCC South Asian Heritage Organization.
VCC program looks at Indians in Science
Dancers perform at the South Asian Heritage Month held at the Vedic Cultural Centre
NEW DELHI: Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi inaugurated the celebrations in India to mark the arrival of the first batch of Indians in Trinidad & Tobago in 1845. Speaking at a banquet here hosted by Trinidad & Tobago High Commissioner Pundit Maniedeo Persad, Ravi said he was looking forward to his visit to the Caribbean nation and participation in the Indian Arrival Day celebrations May 30. 'My trip to the Caribbean has been long overdue. My visit is aimed at strengthening ties between our two countries,' said Ravi, who will be leaving for Port of Spain Monday night. Indian Arrival Day is a national holiday in Trinidad & Tobago. The first batch of workers, most of who hailed from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, went to work in the sugarcane plantations in that country. Between 1845 and 1917, the year when the system of indentured labour was discontinued, 145,000 Indians left for the Caribbean country. Their descendants, now numbering around 520,000, constitute over 40 percent of that two-island nation's population. A delegation from the Caribbean nation is currently on a tour of India for the Indian Arrival day celebrations. The group will visit Lucknow, Kanpur and Basti - places where people of Indian origin in Trinidad & Tobago trace their ancestry. Persad said there had been a 300 percent increase in travel from India to Trinidad & Tobago in the last three years. 'Over the last three years, under my tenure, the mission (of T&T in Delhi) has established a theme 'Strengthening Relations: Trinidad & Tobago and India',' he said. 'A number of firsts have been recorded including the first ever carnival, first ever Indian Arrival Day celebrations and a host of activities and business promotions that have resulted in over 300 percent increase in travel from India to Trinidad & Tobago,' the high commissioner said. 'The Bank of Baroda has been given approval to begin business in Trinidad & Tobago and even as I speak, the first ever Bollywood film 'Dulha Mil Gaya' by Vivek Vaswani is being shot on location in Trinidad & Tobago,' he noted. Interactions between India and Trinidad & Tobago have been on the rise in recent years. In November 2006, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat visited the Caribbean nation.
India celebrates Fiji celebrates Indian Arrival in Girmit Divas Trinidad May 14
One such case was Munna's grandfather who had served in South Africa and Guyana. As we in the Caribbean & Canada celebrate Indian Arrival Day in May, we join Indo Fijians throughout the world in celebration of the 128 Anniversary of the Arrival of Indians in Fiji. Many Fijians have moved to the west coast of the United States and Canada because of political and economic discrimination at home.
GIRMIT DIVAS - May 14, 2007128 Anniversary of FIJI INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY The International Jahajee Journal, the JahajeeDesi Newsgroup, and http://www.JahajeeDesi.com extend Congratulations and Best Wishes to the FIJIAN INDIAN DIASPORA on the observance of the 128th Anniversary of FIJI INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY on May 14, 2007.. We extend warm wishes and fondest greetings for HAPPY FIJIAN INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY to Munna Prasad and the rest of our Indo-Fijian brothers and sisters and friends in Vancouver, BC, CANADA, who are celebrating The Girmit Divas Celebrations on May 13th, 2007. On May 14, 1879, 128 years ago, the Indians arrived from India in Fiji to work as indentured labourers, after they had proven to be extremely successful in other parts of the British Empire, particularly in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, and West Indian islands. There is a common bond, as Dr. Brij V. Lal has pointed out in this his work "CHALO JAHAI", amongst the Jahajees throughout the Indian Diaspora, particularly between the Indo Fijians, Indo Trinidadians, Indo-Guyanese, and our Jahajees in Natal in South Africa. Though we may not look alike, our Food, Traditions, Culture, Curries, Chautals, and Nautanki naaches are the same. Some of the Girimiteers were also moved from one country to another, sometimes voluntarily so, taking up other contracts for they they had truly become adventurous in their own right. Their names could be found on the Immigration Passes or Ships' Register with spelling variations.
THOUSANDS of Essequibians, mostly of East Indian decent turned up at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground to participate in the Indian Arrival Committee's (IAC) 5th Grand Cultural Mela to mark the 169th year of the arrival of East Indians to Guyana. Regarded as the biggest and brightest mela on the coast, the event featured a number of Indian dishes, clothing, jewellery and beverages. Several large booths were set up where patrons shopped a variety of items; most displaying the rich culture and tradition of our foreparents. Artistes were backed by the popular Shakti Strings live band with the main feature being the Surangama Bhojpuri Dance Troupe from India . The Apex Academy of Education and Reena Dance Troupes, along with a host of other local artistes also participated with songs, dances, poems and skits. A variety of games for the kids and the entire family were also available. Evan Radhay Persaud delivered a pertinent message on behalf of the IAC as did Regional Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo. Samaroo told the 8,000-plus gathering that the event was a time for reflection of from whence their foreparents came from 169 years ago and the rich history and culture they brought to these shores. Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud who attended the occasion noted that every year the event is receiving even greater support.
Essequibo Indian Arrival Mela attracts thousands
For the first time, Grenada has joined the list of countries that celebrate the arrival of Indians in the 19th century. A group of young Indo-Grenadians got together this year and staged their own celelbration to mark the coming of the Indian community and to celebrate the Indian heritage and culture. Many of the original Indian emigrants later moved to the larger island of Trinidad, which lies just south of Grenada and also to Guyana on the South American mainland.
Grenada makes historic move
Stories of Indo-Caribbean arrival
SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
From the May 27 celebration of 99 years of Indo-Carribean Arrival in Canada
. My husband Ram had come to Canada in 1964, and I and the five children came six months later. It was February 24, 1965 in the dead of winter. We had no idea how cold it was in Toronto. When I was in Trinidad I ask somebody how cold it was in winter, and if it was cold like the night in crop time in Trinidad. That tell you how much I know about winter. So I come up in sari and slippers, no coat, no hat, no scarf, no boots. I nearly get frostbite walking from the plane to the immigration place. Lucky for me Mrs Russell from my husband workplace come and put on scarf and coat for me and the children. We rent a place and send the children to school with warm coats. They were the only Indian children in the school. The other children start calling them chocolate face and pie face and Eskimo because the coats had a little fur on them. One of my boys come home one day and say he want to take a bath. I ask him why and he say the children tell him his skin dirty so he should take a bath. One day one of the boys get lost coming back from school. He miss the street and went wandering all over, wearing the terylene shirt we bring from Trinidad. He couldn't find anybody to ask for directions because all the doors were closed in winter. Ram had to go out and look for him before he freeze up. My next door neighbour had never seen a dark person before. So one day she come up and ask me, Are you a negro? In those days you couldn't see your people anywhere in Toronto. I never see a Indian until 6 months after I come here. We got friendly with a black man and his wife who had come from California. One day the wife ask me if I want to meet some Indian people from Trinidad, and that's how I meet some people from back home. In the beginning I didn't want to stay in Canada. I used to cry every night to go back home and the children used to cry to go back home too . My husband had told me we didn't have Indian things here, so I bring up dhal, masala, geera, googul to do puja , one pound of sindoor, and my religious pictures. We didn't have any temple to go to. They didn't have one single Hindu temple in Toronto. Later on we joined up with some Indians from India and start having Hindu temple services in Don Mills United Church. That was the start for the Hindu Prarthana Samaj in Fern Street. I open up my roti shop in 1967 I used to cook for some people who set up a little business on Dupont Street. Three teachers. I used to cook the roti at home and they would come and pick it up. The three
Ruby Maharaj arrived 1965
Pioneers Ram and Ruby Maharaj enjoy one more dance for the memories.
people start fighting. They ask me to buy it and I bought the place and that was how it started. I used to live in 3346 Selmore Drive in Cooksville and I don't know for what reason I decide to open a roti shop. I never went to college. I didn't have much education and I couldn't work in the office. So I told my husband I want to open a roti shop. He ask me who going to buy it. I say I don't know. Try it. One day I paid $2.50 by cab from Cooksville to Highway 5. Then I paid 75 cents by Grey Coach to go down to Bloor and I spend 25 cents again to go to Dupont Street. And from 11 o'clock in the morning to seven o'clock in the night I sold one roti for 85 cents. Lots of children used to come to my shop and cry for their mother. I help a lot of people and treat them like my children and I married a few people in my basement. My house was like a open house.
It was September 1964 when I came. When I got to the airport they gave me three nights at the Ford Hotel on Dundas and Bay for $5. That hotel does not exist now. I got a job on the third day and my driver's license the fourth day. The owner of the garage where I worked sold me a car for $5 down and $5 a week. Insurance and gas was on the house. Now I was learning the rules how to drive a car and I have to go to Highway 10 in Mississauga where my job was. How do you sit in a car and drive from Avenue Road and Bloor five days after you come to Toronto from Trinidad? I can't make a mistake and go to the other side of the road because here we were driving on the wrong side.
Ram Maharaj, arrived 1964
TODAY’S celebration is to reflect on our long journey since our fore parents left India over 150 years ago. I was asked to share with you my Canadian experience. I arrived in Canada on Jan. 1, 1988. I had visited Canada on many occasion and thought that this was a great country to live in. I was advised that I can apply and immigrate as a professional. I did exactly that. At the time that I applied I was teaching at technical college on Jamaica. On arriving on Canada I stayed by a most wonderful and supportive Guyanese family in Scarborough. I immediately started looking for a job in my field. I am an engineer. I quickly realized that that was not going to happen in a rush. With the help of a Guyanese friend I found a night job in a factory. Every day I would religiously hit the companies in Toronto with my resume.
Rudy Lochan, arrived 1988
As I got in the car I start talking to myself. Stay on this side. Stay on this side. Well, I came through that and then my family came six months later and life changed. Let me tell you how I got my first house. I went to road test a car and I saw the subdivision sign on Highway 5 in Erindale Woodland, saying sod turning. So I turn in and went to the sales office. This might sound ridiculous, but the sign said you can put $25 down and reserve that as a downpayment on a house. I look at the guy and give him the $25 and say give me my receipt please. I couldn't trust the guy. I couldn't believe. The price for the house at the time was $16,690 for a four bedroom semi-detached backsplit. Six weeks after my family came we moved into the house. I move from job to job and had some very nice work experience. I had one guy, a Scotsman. He sat on a tire of one of those big Louisville heavy truck that run from Toronto to Windsor and he was calling out to a guy on the other end of the garage. He say never ever did I think that this day would come in my life. I listen to it and say hey, what you talking about? He say yes, boss. I never thought the day would come when I have to take instruction from somebody who is not white. We have had massive changes in this country. Albion Road was a gravel road and all this was abandoned farms and people used to go around and pick apples from the farms. We used to play host to several young families who came to settle in this country. They were home sick. We used to welcome them. And now some of them they bring their grandchildren and their teenagers and say such nice things about the family.
I finally gave up hope and called the col lege in Jamaica asking back for my old job. They said anytime. I bought a ticket back to Jamaica.. The day after I bought the ticket, Bell Canada called in for an interview and offered me a job as a design engineer in London Ontario. I started out at Bell in May of 1988. I was very happy and enthusiastic. However, it slowly dawned upon me that most of the old Bell boys weren’t too happy to have a non white work in their midst. After one year, I was told that I didn’t make the grade and I’ll have to leave. I was kinda happy because I wasn’t really fond of London and the work environment. I was back in Toronto job hunting after a year. I got a job as an operations engineer with that then CNCP Telecommunicaion which later turned into AT&T Canada. After being in operations management for 3 years, I moved to Project Management in AT&T. Again, the white Canadian boys made it clear that this was an exclusive area. I got fed up of the attitude and took a job in Europe for a year. In 1995 I returned to Canada and took a Consulting gig with MCI consulting group flying non stop around the USA doing engagements. I got tired of that since I was always away from my wife and young daughter Nalini. I looked around Toronto and found a job with IBM as Project Manager where I did some major domestic and international projects. Over the years I became convinced that no company can offer Rudy what Rudy wants; that is recognition and reward for my work and creativity. That was my frustration. As a visibility minority we live the illusion that Canada is ready for us, in reality Canada is not. Mainstream Canada sees us immigrants as a source of labour for the factories and unskilled jobs. That is why so many professionals arrived here and experience broken dreams that sometimes lead to broken homes and shattered lives. I decided to go on my own. I left IBM in February this year to start up my own Mortgage Broker Company. I am the happiest man in Toronto today. I am finally free. What I have learnt over the past 19 years being in Canada is that the greatest help came to me from my community. Just as the original jahajis stuck together in Guyana and Trinidad we ought to help each other. In my case I did get tremendous emotional and material support from friends and family. My advice to every other immigrant is that in as much as possible go to the selfemployment route. The system is programmed to keep us down. Only by achieving the highest education level and self employment can we live out our Canadian dream. It is possible!!
The Exemplary Pandita The journey of the widow Rani Singh to Trinidad Jasodra Prasad
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
You would not guess it from looking at her, but Pandita Jasodra Prasad carries with her a record of more than 60 years of service to Hindus in Guyana and Canada. She also has the distinction since 1986 of being the first Indo-Caribbean woman to become a Hindu priest in Canada. Today you can find her providing religious services as a Pandita at the Vedic Cultural Centre or in private homes, serving as a dedicated volunteer in supporting patients at the Hospital near where she lives in Toronto. She makes care-giving part of her daily routine, consistently giving personal attention to others in need of consolation or encouragement. It started when she was a young girl in Uitvlugt on West Coast Demerara, where she was born on April 14, 1933. Her father
By Janet A. Naidu
Komal Persaud, worked in the nearby sugar factory, curing sugar at the laboratory, and her mother Rukmin Ramchitar, originally from Windsor Forest, helped bring up the children, Jasodra and sister Sumintra. Her father Komal was a Hindu with a thirst for knowledge of the Vedic principles, and a follower of the teachings of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement founded in India. He passed this interest on to Jasodra as a child, and also taught her that the highest goal was a life of service to others. Around this time, Arya Samaj missionaries from India were spreading the word in Guyana, and after Professor Baskarananda built the Arya Samaj movement in the late thirties and early forties, he had Komal as a
Pandita Jasodra Pradad
strong supporter. Komal became the first President of the Arya Samaj in Uitvlugt, teaching Hindi in the school, writing letters for illiterate villagers and giving constant service. This was the atmosphere in which Jasodra grew up, learning from an early age to read the Vedic scruiptures, perform religious functions like the havan, sing bhajans and recite mantras even before she was a teenager. She continued after she was married at 16 to 21 year old Harry Prasad , Secretary of the Arya Samaj in Uitvlugt. Harry soon became a pandit whose home was described as a mandir and a school, as well as an ashram or institution of learning that inspired charity, morality and Sev Dharma (service). While bringing up four children Rudrasen Aditya, Priya Darshni, Indira Sarojini and Ugrasen Mahipal, Jasodra would often accompany her husband to many homes in the villages to do havan, or recital of mantras of the Vedas. She helped him build the Uitvlugt Arya Samaj Mandir. When the family moved to Georgetown in the 1960s, Jasodra and Pandit Harry made their home an informal school for training young aspiring pandits, and a printery for Arya Samaj education. When they immigrated to Canada in 1986, Jasodra and Harry continued their dedicated service to the Toronto Arya Samaj. After Pandit Harry passed away that same year, the Toronto Arya Samaj applied for Jasodra to become an official “Pandita”. She was accepted as a Hindu priest, and for the last 21 years has been unfailing in her service to members of the Toronto Arya Samaj as well as numerous other community members. Pandita Jasodra is a pioneer in her role as she is the first woman of Guyana to become an official Pandita. In 1993, Pandita Jasodra was recognized for her many years of outstanding service and commitment towards the propagation and dissemination of Vedic teachings and philosophy. She has continued to be one in service, regularly providing spiritual readings and social services, whether in pubic forums or in the homes of families. In 2005, the Vedic Cultural Center in Markham, Canada gave her a Recognition Award for her selfless service to the Arya Samaj Mission and the general community. Without doubt, Pandita Jasodra Prasad is a courageous woman who shows the perseverance to accomplish her goals regardless of the seemingly busy times of looking after her family and helping to organize events in her home, be it weekly havans or preparing for visiting swamis and missionaries. She displays a confident calmness and embodies a caring nature, a trait that was passed on to her from her parents, her late husband and other family members. Pandita Jasodra is well respected in the community in Toronto. In her quiet and unassuming way, when she is not volunteering at the hospital nearby or performing religious services in someone’s home or the community, she is also creating beautiful needlepoint art work, many composed of landscape in intricate details. More importantly, she is always ready to provide support to her family, her children and seven great grandchildren, friends and others in the community in need. She dedicates her life to the philosophy and culture of the Vedas.
IN 2006 Francisca Seebaran journeyed later she became a domestic servant in the from her home in Dallas, Texas in the main house. Mrs. Fabian, the childless esUnited States to India hoping to get some tate manager's wife, grew fond of Rani and insight into the life of Rani, her maternal Parbatia and treated Parbatia as her own. grandmother. Fabian christened Parbatia a Roman Seebaran hopes to one day produce a motion picture on Rani's life and the role Rani played in turning her life around at a time when women in India were faced with little choices after becoming widows. After a year of constant coaxing, Seebaran decided to tell Rani's story to the Guardian. Rani was born in India in 1889 to a financially c o m f o r t a b l e Thakoor/Thakur caste family of land owners. At 22 years Rani married Debi Singh, a high-ranking Indian army officer, and on April 1912, gave birth to a daughter Parbatia. Soon afterwards Singh died and Rani's in-laws started ill-treating her. Rani Singh right) and her daughter Maida Rani and Parbatia soon left the home because she would not Catholic, but to Rani and Parbatia, this was take any of the three traditional choices of- only for outward conformity, as they mainfered to Hindu widows, which were to com- tained their Hindu faith for the rest of their mit Suttee, by burning herself on her lives. husband's funeral pyre, spend the rest of her Seebaran said it was during the lonely life in a temple, or marry her husband's years that Parbatia remembers seeing her youngest brother. Rani decided instead to mother, sitting on the floor in a corner of leave India. the barrack room, with her ohrni (female In July 1912, Rani was approached by a head scarf) covering her head, and thick Kangani (a recruiter for the indentured silver bracelets on her hands and feet, workers). Seebaran said "The recruiter told smoking a chulum pipe and crying unconher Trinidad was by far a much better place trollably. Parbatia later understood that her and the streets were paved in gold; she was mother was grieving for Baba, her younger further enticed by the fifteen shillings a brother left behind in India. week offered to Coolies going to Trinidad.” Parbatia's early memories included the All she had to do was chiney chalay (sift second marriage of her mother Rani to sugar) and food and all living accommoda- Abdul Ghany, a Muslim who gave Parbatia tions would be provided. Rani agreed and the Muslim name, Hapijan. On December at the sub-depôt of Kanpur on July 6, 1912, 19, 1914, Rani gave birth to Karim, Rani told the magistrate she would consent Ghany's son. Rani called the child Baba, to migrate to Trinidad. She travelled by in memory of her brother. train to the main Immigration Depot in CalIn 1917, Ghany and Rani Ghany concutta, where she and Parbatia stayed for 15 cluded their indentureship contract at Non days, were checked by a doctor and issued Pariel cocoa estate and headed for the a health clearance certificate on July 9, Golden Grove coconut estate at Arouca. 1912. The couple had six other children. Ghany On July 22, 1912, Rani, her two month loved his new country and never considered baby and 404 other immigrants were taken returning to India. He bought several pieces out to sea to board the SS Indus. They of real estate at bargain prices, and soon beshared a cabin with several other single fe- came a successful landowner, businessman male passengers and their young children, and landlord of rented houses despite his and slept on bags on the floor. Bhaat (rice) lack of education. and dhal (split peas) soon became Rani's In 1947, after a long, painful battle with staple meal for the voyage. cancer, Rani died at age 58 in Garden VilAfter sixty-two days the ship docked at lage, Arouca. During her illness, her eightthe Immigration Depot at Nelson Island, on een-year-old daughter Maida ( Seebaran's September 12, 1912. Following a three mother) kept a close bedside vigil and cared day quarantine, Rani and Parbatia travelled for Rani with much love and attention. by small boat to the Port-of Spain jetty, and Abdul eventually re-married an East Indian were later transported by mule carts to the woman named Bhagwanti, and ran his proNon-Pariel cocoa estate in Sangre Grande. vision shop on the Eastern Main Road in They moved into a tiny, 10 foot room with Laventille, as well as his rental properties a clay stove and bags for sleeping on the until his death to cancer in 1960, at the Port floor. Ten families lived in the 100 foot bar- of Spain General Hospital. rack house in similar rooms. At first Rani tended the flower and veg- (Trinidad Guardian) etable gardens around the estate home, but
SAY IT IN PICTURES
A Section of the audience obviously enjoying the show at the 99th Indo-Caribbean Arrival show staged May 27 at BJ’s Family restaurant in Malton.
Young singer-musician Randy Mahadeo and super tabla player Ramona Sylvan delivered quality entertainment on May 27
Two very attentive young ladies relax at the Indo-Caribbean Arrival show
Sis the first ever Hindu to be Miss United Kingdom
Valene Maharaj, the new Miss World TT, is hoping to take the world title this year.
Krishna Nankissoor talks about the struggles of 20 years ago to get acceptance for the name Indo=Caribbean
New Yorkers try a little street tassa during the Phagwa Parade in February this year.
In Venezuela today the retail price of gasoline at the pump is three cents Canadian per litre. This is not a misprint. The web site http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/ says that Venezuelan gas prices are the lowest in the world at 12 cent US per gallon or 13 cents Canadian per gallon. That amounts to 3.4 cents Canadian per litre, and makes the Ontario weekend price of $1.10 per litre over 32 times the price in Venezuela . Consumers must remember this when the talk comes up on whether the oil companies and gas stations are gouging us on gas prices, and whether it is possible to regulate gas prices. We must also remember that PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick already regulate gas prices, and that their drivers do not see prices jumping ten cents per litre just before the long weekends. These crazy gas prices in the rest of Canada are just killing us. The oil companies make record profits and go laughing to the bank while giving us confusing bafflegab about low gasoline stocks, refinery breakdowns, market pricing, Katrina effect and failure of price regulation. Consumers have to protect ourselves with information about what is happening with gas prices, and make enough noise to force the politicians to do something meaningful to end the robbery. The first thing to understand is that when the gas station raises the prices from $1.06 per litre on Friday morning to $1.10 on Friday evening, rising crude oil prices on the world market cannot be the reason. Low gas stocks, supply and demand, refinery problems and other industry excuses won’t do it either. It is simply “charging what the market will bear”, or charging what they can get. The cost of producing gasolene does not go up or down in hours or even days, because of the way it is bought, refined and transported. Oil refineries usually buy their oil in advance on the long term contract market, for delivery several months in the future. That gasoline you are pumping into your car today could have been made from crude oil bought for $55 a barrel in May 2006, delivered in November 2006, refined in February 2007, and transported to the gas station last week. The basic cost prices of your gas was therefore set last year, and the other costs like refinery processing costs, marketing and distribution costs, the retail station costs and taxes are also fixed and stable.
Why does our gas cost 32 times more than Venezuela’s 3c a litre?
They don’t jump up and down by five percent over a few hours. We don’t have a problem with the gas station making a profit on gas. But we know that the sale price should be the cost price (including buying crude oil, refining , distribution, taxes etc), plus something for a profit margin. So if the total cost price of your May 2006 gas to the gas station was 85 cents a litre and 4 cents a litre was added as a profit margin that would give an acceptable sale price of 89 cents a litre. What we should have a problem with is the gas station changing its profit margin by the day or the hour or the long weekend. That is called profiteering and it is a crime. If companies are caught in “price fixing” they can be prosecuted. If we wonder how Venezuela can sell gas at the pumps for 3 cents a litre, the answer is that they use their own oil and sell the gas very close to cost of production and distribution. Why can’t we do that in Canada too? We have our own oil and refineries and should set aside some of our oil for local consumption. We don’t need to have the New York Mercantile Exchange set the daily benchmark prices for gasoline. If Iraq holds back its oil, or refineries break down in Louisiana , those things should be allowed to affect prices of our vital gasoline supplies. Nova Scotia ’s current system of allowing a 6 cent per litre wholesale margin, plus a transportation allowance of 0.3 to 2 cents per litre, and a retail margin of 4 to 5.5 cents per litre sounds reasonable and it should work in Ontario and other provinces. We don’t need to load up all those federal and provincial taxes on our gasoline. So what’s the way to get a fair deal on gasoline? It’s nothing less than serious public pressure on the oil companies and more pressure on the politicians who have the power to regulate gasoline sales. High gasoline prices are damaging the economy and sending up the cost of living for everybody. It’s a serious national issue that is more important than the profits of a few oil companies and some gas stations. The politicians will only move when their own positions are in danger, so we have to let them know we are voting with our gas bills. That will get us some action and cut back on the pain when we sit down in our vehicles and look at that gas gauge.
Home prices likely to double over the next 20 years
HOME prices in Canada will likely double in the next 20 years despite predictions that population pressures will limit their growth, says CIBC World Markets. A projected decline of 167,000 in the number of first- time buyers between 2007 and 2026 is "marginal, at best," CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said. "Despite downward pressure from demographic forces, on average, we expect house prices in Canada to double in the next 20 years," said Tal. "Fears of a decline resulting from the downsizing and increased liquidations of houses by seniors and the falling number of first-time buyers are highly exaggerated." In a report released earlier, the bank compared population growth between two cycles of housing prices, from 1987 to 2006 and from 2007 to 2026, with mediumgrowth, medium-immigration projections from Statistics Canada as a benchmark. A decline of 2.5 million buyers is projected for the 45 to 54 age group, as baby boomers move to the next age bracket, but that will not severely affect prices, Tal said, as the group accounts for only 12 per cent of total housing demand.
"We estimate that in the coming 20 years, the Canadian housing market will face extra supply of roughly 250,000 houses," Tal said. "While at first glance this appears to be a large number, it means an average extra supply of only 12,500 homes a year during that period." The housing market is expected to fluctuate in the next 20 years, but the bank predicts average real house prices will mirror the performance of the past two decades. "Assuming a two per cent annual inflation rate, this means that house prices in Canada are expected to double by 2026," said Tal. "This increase, of course, will not be symmetrical - with large cities seeing even larger increases in home valuations." Higher home prices generally mean higher financial gains by banks and other lenders who provide financing to homeowners. "We estimate that in the coming 20 years, the Canadian housing market will face extra supply of roughly 250,000 houses," Tal said.
A F T E R
B E F O R E
TORONTO Arya Samaj will be holding its 10 th Annual Multi Kunda Havan Yajna on Sunday, June 10, 2007 on the lawns adjacent to the mandir on 4345-14th Avenue, Markham. What started as a father's day program in 1998 as has grown to an annual event that is looked forward to by the community with pride. Dr Satish Prakash will officiate on this year's program as he did ten years ago when the first of such yajnas was held. Please bring along your friends and family for a day of communal prayer under the big tents. For further information please contact Dave Ramotar at 416-663-4037 or Pandita Jasodra Prasad at 416-287- 0330
410). Featured artistes include Rajmini, Romena Ali, Jaya and Devarti from India, Bebe, Shanti Jackree, Shalindra, Sherry, and Bobby Armoogam. Music by Sound Sensations led by Bobby Armoogam. Admission is $30 and dress code is formal. For info and tickets call Bobby at 905-4508420, Shalindra at 905-812-1887 or Shanti at 416-588-7827.
BHAGVAD GITA FOR EACH HOME Bulk distribution centres. The Gita can be available in bulk at the following contacts: Donations are expected to fund further copies; any individual or organization wishing to assist in this project can contact us.
SOUND SENSATIONS present a Gala Dinner Concert on the Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday June 16 at 7 pm. Venue is the Royal Banquet Hall, 185 Statesman Drive, Brampton (North of Derry, off Edwards Blvd. East of Hwy 10 and West of Hwy
VREED-EN -HOOP annual picnic takes place on Saturday June 30 from 12 pm at Milliken Park, Area A, in Toronto. Location is on South East corner of McCowan Rd. and Steeles Avenue, in Scarborough. Bring the entire family. Special children’s programme and games from 2-4 pm. For info Roti Palace Restaurant at 416-630-0825, King at 905-276-8942 or Kaysho Singh at 905-278-8917.
ONLY about ten per cent of the Guyanese seeking refugee status in Canada since the PPP/C took office have been successful in their bid, though high numbers continue to apply, claiming persecution without the protection of the state. This represents a significant drop compared to the early '90s when some 40% of such claimants were granted refugee status, Guyana-born immigration lawyer Kaishree Chatarpaul said. Chatarpaul of Toronto, who has been practising immigration law in Canada since the 1980s, said in a telephone interview that during the PNC administration, there had been a high rate of refugee claimants, particularly Indo-Guyanese. While the number decreased after the PPP/C took office in 1992, he said, it had once again increased with Indo-Guyanese leading the way. Chatarpaul said the majority of IndoGuyanese claim they are persecuted at home and are not afforded protection by the state. At present, Chatarpaul has 11 cases pending and three cases on appeal. He said that while the success rate for his office representing Guyanese seeking refugee or landed immigrant status to Canada was "pretty good" the general success rate of applicants "is extremely low and it is not as easy to get into Canada to live as some people believe." He said many Guyanese fail the screening test and others fail to get the nod of the Immigration Refugee Board before which their cases are placed. Many who fail to get the nod appeal the board's decision and some might get favourable results. Many Indo-Guyanese, who claim to be
Only 10% success rate for Guyanese refugee claimants
supporters of the PPP/C, say they are victims of physical violence, threats and harassment. He said many of them claim that "their homes [have been] broken into and robbed by Black bandits, they were chased from their homes, and when they made reports to the police station no action was taken. Some claim they write to the head of state who is also the head of government and get no response," Chatarpaul said. However, he said, one basis for rejection by the Canadian authorities was that the country has reverted to a democratic state; the Guyana government is doing its best to resolve the problems of race; and they have found no evidence that the government was favouring any one raceabove another. The authorities also contend that the government's cabinet comprises mostly Guyanese of East Indian origin and it was not likely that such a government would discriminate against East Indians, who are its main supporters. Chatarpaul said one of the criteria for the granting refugee status was that there must be some form of complicity in the lack of protection on the part of the government and the Guyana government is not seen as an active accomplice in this regard. Going 'backtrack' In an interview in November 2006, Canadian High Commissioner Charles Court told the Stabroek News that 1,300 Guyanese were awaiting deportation from Canada. He did not say when and how they were to be deported. Those awaiting deportation include persons who would have overstayed their visits or were in the country via the 'backtrack' route. Some 95% of
LITERARY EVENING June 15 You are invited to a Literary Evening celebrating “Migration to Guyana” on Friday, June 15, 2007 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Main Floor Reception Hall, 7805 Bayview Avenue, Thornhill (Bayview Ave. & John St.), held under the auspices of the Consulate General of Guyana. The evening features performances by master story teller Ken Corsbie, Januet Naidu, Peter Jailall, Aunty Come-See, Bernard Heydorn, Ol’ Higue (Pat Moore), Caldwell Taylor (A Taste of Guyana’s History)and more. Books by Caribbean authors will be on sale. Admission is $25.00. For info contact Janet Naidu 905-780-8866, Nancy Rickford 416449-4453, Jennifer Singh 416-291-9848, or the Guyana Consulate 416-494-6040 X22
June 1-3, INDO-CARIBBEAN CULTURAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA holds a Three Day Yagna at the Vedic Cultural Society, Ram Krishna Mandir, 8200 #5 Road, Richmond BC. Pundit Prakash Gossai will conduct the yagna.
CANADA Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton RamnarineSahadeo 905 671 9233 e-mail email@example.com, Omesh Sharma Omesh@flexomark.com, Chandan Persaud at 416-754-2382, Gulcharan at 416 481-5777 firstname.lastname@example.org, Ram Jagessar at 416 289 9088 or email@example.com RICHMOND HILL Omo Persaud at firstname.lastname@example.org 905-886-1724 WINNIPEG: Ajodhya Mahadeo 204-661-6643
BRITISH COLUMBIA Chameli Seegobin 604-945-9510, e-mail address email@example.com, and Naraine Mohabir at 604-274-8938 GUYANA Saraswati Vidya Niketan ph. 2760013/14 Swami_aksharananda@hotmail.com TRINIDAD Hindu Students firstname.lastname@example.org
the Guyanese subject to deportation from Canada have overstayed their visits or arrived there illegally. A relatively small number of those awaiting deportation had criminal convictions in Canada. He said that only 67 out of the 386 Guyanese who had applied for refugee status and whose cases had been heard during the 2005/2006 year, had been successful. Canada accepted 35,768 refugees and other protected persons from around the world during the same 2005/2006 period and almost 7,000 people were granted permanent residency status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The majority travel there on visitors' visas, while a significant number also go via the 'backtrack' route. Many on visitors' visa seek refugee status while on 'holiday' or having overstayed their visit. He recalled that last year he successfully represented a family of four - a father, mother and two children - who travelled to Canada on six-month visitors' visas. During their six-month stay they approached his office to make a refugee claim to the Canadian immigration authorities. That case, he said was fraught with emotion because the claimants from the Essequibo Coast felt they were politically victimised and were offered no protection from the state. The father, he said, had changed his political allegiance from the PPP/C to ROAR after becoming disenchanted with the performance of the government which had been in office for more than one term. He claimed he was visited by members of Political victimisation
the PPP and told that he was trying to divide the East Indians. As a businessman, he had supplied the regional administration of Region Three (Pomeroon/Supenaam) which has strong PPP/C backing with a number of supplies but as a result of switching his allegiance his contract was threatened. He was visited by party officials who reminded him that he had two daughters and there was something called "kidnapping." On one occasion, he claimed, persons stating that they were from the Guyana Police Force intelligence branch had visited his home and took him for "a walk" to question him. They roughed him up and asked him a number of questions. He went to the police to complain about the problems he had been experiencing and "they took him for a ride" asking him instead "whose house would be the next to be burnt down." The processing of their application began with a screening process to see whether the family members were convicted of a crime and if they were eligible to be heard by the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB). The board, which has the powers of a court, is manned by lawyers and representatives of the federal government. In the case of the family the board heard the case and they spent long hours going through, over a period of time, documentation including a number of newspaper articles - mainly from the Stabroek News - on the situation in Guyana. Articles published by Ravi Dev and e-mails were also used to gather evidence on the situation that forced the family to resort "to seek surrogate protection" out of the country of their birth. Based on the frank manner in which the father responded to questions, Chatarpaul said, the board believed his story. "The sworn testimony was credible, straightforward and not lacking in detail," he said. The family's claim for Canadian citizenship is now being processed. Chatarpaul said his office had argued that the state had an obligation to protect each and every individual regardless of their political affiliation and the police did nothing to assist, according to international law, when they were in fear and felt they were being persecuted. No distinction Generally speaking, he said, some Guyanese who are caught at the airport with someone else's passport or false documentation and others entering via the 'backtrack' route are either deported or are released on bond without status while they apply for surrogate protection. When cases are taken before the IRB, he said, there is no distinction between the visitors arriving in the country legally or those arriving without status. If there are reasonable explanations those arriving without status would eventually be granted refugee status but the process was not an easy one since investigations are carried out and evidence gathered over a period of time and in the meantime persons are without any status in the country. Many who travel 'backtrack' would have sought visas and been denied. Before the board they would explain the dangers, risks and expense they took to get to Canada to escape the situation they perceive to be bad at home. Those with visitors' visas generally explain that they accepted the six-month visas without explaining that they have would have been experiencing problems at home because they feared they would not be granted the visas. "They lie to get the visas or they would not be given them," he said.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
By Rudy Lochan
Low rate mortgage First step: calculating era is finally done your net worth
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
The posted five-year mortgage rate at the big banks hit 7.14 per cent last week, the highest since the summer of 2001. That's far from the last word on five-year rates, however. A couple of major banks offered discounted five-year mortgages at 6.08 per cent yesterday, and some credit unions and alternative banks were as low as 5.3 to 5.5 per cent. Now, compare these rates to a variable-rate mortgage, which is currently priced off a 6per-cent prime rate at all lenders. Discounts on this type of mortgage range from 0.75 to 0.9 of a percentage point, so your true rate would be as low as 5.1 per cent. Advantage, variable-rate mortgage. For now, that is. Economists at RBC Dominion Securities said they expect rate increases this year and next that would push up the prime to 7 per cent. At TD Economics, they see increases that would increase the prime to 6.5 per cent. Not everyone agrees rates will rise, but if they do, it could drive up the discounted cost of a variablerate mortgage above 6 per cent. The benefit of going with a variable-rate mortgage is that you're poised to benefit should rates decline after whatever increases lie ahead. The question is, what are the prospects for rates to decline any time soon? Many economists would say they're minimal because of the need to keep inflation under control. Mr. Tal believes there's a case to be made for the rate that influences the prime to be half a percentage point higher than it is now for the next few years. After that, he said, it's possible that inflation could become a greater challenge than it is now and thus trigger more interest rate increases. Then again, there could be a major terrorist attack, or the Chinese economy could stumble and send a shockwave around the world. Global interest rates would fall and people with variable-rate mortgages would benefit. Today, inflation is a serious issue for the first time in years and interest rate increases are widely expected. Sounds like a good time to pay what could very well be a nominal extra amount for the protection of a five-year, fixed-rate mortgage. -------------------Data researched by Rudy Lochan from the Globe and Mail. Rudy is our Community Mortgage Broker and President and founder of Anava Financing Inc. He can be contacted at 416-410-7501 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Low-rate ride is finished, so lock in your mortgage The golden age of variable-rate mortgages is over. They're still a defensible choice if you're buying a home or renewing your mortgage, but the variable-rate option isn't the nobrainer choice it was a few years ago. In fact, fixed-rate, five-year mortgages look like the better choice right now. Blasphemy, you say? Fair enough, given that the benefits of variable-rate mortgages have been talked up a lot in this column over the years. Priced off the prime rate used by banks for their best customers, variable-rate mortgages allow you to ride interest rates ups and downs over the years. In doing so, history has shown that you would have almost certainly paid less than if you locked into a five-year mortgage (that's the term chosen by almost everyone who goes with a fixed rate). Benjamin Tal, a senior economist at CIBC World Markets and consumer credit expert, believes you'll continue to save on interest costs if you go with a variable-rate mortgage today instead of a fixed-rate loan. But the amount of the savings will be negligible, so much so that the worry-free comfort of the fixed-rate mortgage becomes a good value. "Locking in now would not be a mistake," Mr. Tal said. "In fact, it could be a good thing." It's not just home buyers and people renewing mortgages who face the question of whether to go with a variable rate or a fixed rate. Large numbers of people are now working their way through variable-rate mortgages they set up a few years ago, and they're wondering about whether to use an escape clause that lets them jump into a fixed-rate mortgage. To understand the appeal of the fixed-rate option, you have to look at how rates vary for short through long terms. Rates traditionally move higher and higher for longer terms, but today short rates are the loftiest. The net result for borrowers is near parity for short-term rates and longerterm rates. Variable-rate mortgages soared in popularity earlier this decade because short-term rates were much cheaper than long-term rates, and they were falling. Choosing a five-year mortgage back then was almost like buying a useless insurance policy against interest rate shocks where the premiums were in the form of much higher interest costs. Today, you can get that insurance at a much lower cost.
WHAT is your NET WORTH? I want to thank everyone for the response that I received from my last column. I am always very happy to answer any questions that you may have and I encourage you to keep those questions coming. As I speak to people everyday I try to listen to the concerns that may arise. I love looking and listening to advertisements and one that stands out is the two children, armed with flashlights searching through the house looking for the “equity”. Another is Scotia Bank “you’re richer than you think” series. These ads bring us back to a question that’s asked a lot- “What is your net worth”? Before I go into the calculations, let me explain why this is important. Your net worth is the measure of how rich you are. It is the value of all assets, including cash, less total liabilities. It is often used as an underwriting guideline to indicate an individual’s creditworthiness and financial strength. Knowing the difference between what you own (assets) and what you owe (liabilities) can help you plan for the future. A net worth statement provides you with: A snapshot of your financial worth at one point in time A quick reference for all of your assets and liabilities A review of where your liabilities are, which can help identify areas for improvement A review of where your assets are, which can help identify where to invest money Complete the following three steps to get your net worth statement. Step 1: enter all of your assets Step 2: enter all of your liabilities Step 3: review your net worth statement Assets (what you own) 1)Home : If you own a home use it’s esti-
By Ijaz Hosein
Liabilities – (What you owe) 1)Mortgage principle - If you have a mortgage, enter the amount of principle you owe here. You can determine the principle value by calling the bank that holds the mortgage or looking at your amortization schedule. 2)Car Loans - Enter the amount owed on any car loans you have. 3)College Loans - Enter the amount owed on any educational financing 4)Other Loans - Enter the amount owed on any other loans you might have - boats, furniture, etc. 5)Credit card debt - Enter the balance due on all of your credit cards here. Assets – liabilities = Net Worth Your Net Worth - A positive number indicates that you own more than you owe, and that is a good thing. So the ad that says “you’re richer than you think” might just be talking to you. Ijaz Hosein is a Financial Advisor with Boosterlink Financial Inc. He can be reached at 647-401-1608 0r firstname.lastname@example.org
mated market value, Don’t worry about any mortgages owing 2)Cars: - Enter the sum of the blue book values of all of the cars that you own. Again, do not worry about any car loans you have. Just enter the blue book values 3)Other vehicles - If you own a boat, motor home, motorcycle, etc., enter the retain value for these items. 4)Jewellery - If you own jewellery of value (perhaps an engagement ring), enter the estimated value. 5)Special items - Cameras, computers, etc. Enter the amount you could get if you sold the items today. 6)Checking and savings accounts - Add up the current balance of your regular checking and savings accounts. 7)Furniture and household items 8)Mutual funds - If you own any mutual funds, enter the total value of the funds 9)Stocks - If you own any stock, enter its value. 10)Retirement accounts - Add up the value of all RRSP’s and Pension Plans 11)Life insurance - If you have a life insurance policy with a cash value, enter it. 12)Other - Enter here anything else you can think of that has value if you were to sell it.
HEALTH AND FASHION
SEVERAL years ago, legwarmers surfaced back on the style radar. This season, the reborn ‘80s fad of choice is footless tights or leggings. Not only have they shown up all over the runways, but they have become favorite fare of young leading ladies. Mini
Leggings are already a favourite in 2007
Trend Alert : Leggings for
Girls Back in Style crazy over leggings. They are so much more fun than socks, and infinitely more comfortable than tights. What leggings are hot for Back to School? How should she wear them? What shoes should she wear? I'll give you the complete low-down on leggings, this minute's hottest fashion must have. What kind of leggings are in demand? Especially popular right now are capri length leggings. These cropped leggings are the ones that most girls will be asking for this season; lengthwise, they should stop either just below the knee or at mid-calf. Ankle length leggings are cool too, and will become more and more popular as the weather gets colder. But, forget about Danskin leggings full footed leggings or stirrup styles. Girls are choosing monochromatic leggings and sticking mostly with neutrals such as black, grey, beige and white. For interest, lace trimmed leggings are stylish as are leggings with touches of sparkle in the fabric or other fun features. What should she wear with her leggings? For a great look that will be huge this year, pair leggings up with a skirt or a dress. Or, she can go 80s retro, and wear them with a long shirt that covers her backside. Steer clear of Denim leggings cropped shirts with leggings for older girls. What Footwear should she wear with her leggings? Choose shoes that do not require socks like ballet flats, a sporty pair of Mary Janes or traditional Keds sneakers. Where can you find leggings for girls? Leggings are pretty hot right now, so you should find them in your local malls. Preteens, tweens and younger girls are Ingredients: 4 cups flour 1 teaspoon Baking Powder ¼ teaspoon Instant Yeast By Kamla Harradan
Ayurvedic Making Sada beauty tips you apply at home Roti is easy There are many home treatments using the
ayurvedic approach to treat your facial skin, pimple, acne, wrinkles, black circles and black patches. Most of them cost next to nothing, and have no side effects. General face treatment Grate raw coconut and squeeze milk out of it. Apply this milk over your lips and face. It adds grace and glow to your skin. Cleansing the skin Dip a piece of cotton wool in unboiled milk and wipe on the face with it. It also cleans unseen dirt and goes down to pores.
Leggings and skirts are truly a dynamic duo. If you have qualms about showing off your stems, add a pair of leggings in to the mix. Leggings Cropped leggings enable skinshy women to pull off skirts of all lengths. Choose a color that coordinates with your top, and keep in mind that dark colors are always more flattering. Shirtdresses Peeking out from a sturdy shirtdress, tights add an extra layer of style, often in the form of a pattern or color. When it comes to sun dresses and other breezy numbers, take caution: most flirty frocks are just too light for tights. A good rule of thumb is that if the dress demands heels, stick to bare legs. On the other hand, flats and sandals work, Jersey leggings leggings will too. Tunics If you want your tights can take the spotlight, pair them with a tunic. Standard tees and tanks simply won’t work unless you’re a model or an aerobics instructor–make sure your top hem touches your upper thigh, and you’re good to go. Flats High heels tend to look very “retro dance queen” teamed with tights–and not in a good way. Avoid heels of any height and instead opt for ballet flats, skimmers, moccasins, and slides. With stylish flats, you can pull off tights with casual ease.
Method: In a bowl add flour, baking powder and yeast. Add some water and knead to make a dough. Cover with saran wrap and let stand for about 20 minutes.
Cut dough into loys/loyas(balls) about the size of a cricket ball.
Let stand under saran wrap for about 20 minutes.
Nourishing the skin A protein mask help to nourish your skin. Soak a teaspoon of urad dal and 5-6 almonds overnight. Grind this to a fine paste apply this protein mask on face and wash it off after half an hour. This mask nourishes the facial skin and also enhances the complexion. Preventing wrinkles Application of pure castor oil prevents wrinkles and softens the skin. This slows down the aging process also.
Skin Moisturizer For normal skin mix 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a cup of yogurt, to make a paste. Apply it on face as a mask and keep it on for 15 minutes. Then clean it off with a wet tissue. This mask enhances the complexion and glow of face.
Baylay with a baylnah (rollout with a rolling pin) on a floured surface (or chowki if you have one) into a circle about 7 inches in diameter.
Home made conditioner Mix one table spoon of honey and 2 table spoons of cream. Apply this mixture on face and wash it off after few minutes. It works wonders. Removing Skin pigmentation and marks Rubbing a raw potato on face removes marks and pigments.
Sun-screen Lotion from kitchen Prepare a homogenous mixture of cucumber juice , glycerin and rose water .Apply this mixture on face. this mixture can be refrigerated. For fair and glowing skin Split Orange lentils (Masoor dal) Flour pack ( Gives glow to Skin) Ingredients:1. Split orange lentils (Masoor dal flour which is available in Indian stores) flour 2. Milk 3. Ghee Method of preparation: Prepare a paste by mixing the flour with ghee and milk .Apply this as face pack. This enhances the glow of skin. Sandal wood powder pack (Rejuvenates skin) Ingredients:1. Sandal wood powder 2. Turmeric powder 3. Milk
Cook on tawa or griddle, until lightly brown. Sakay (swell) in microwave for about one minute. You can sakay on stove, by partly moving the tawa away from the burner and exposing roti to direct heat.
Keep covered with tea towel until use.
Method of preparation:Mix all the ingredients to form a paste. Apply this as face pack. This rejuvenates the skin
Montreal produces new play on Lord Rama Anant Rambachan the first Hindu to head college’s religion section
Indo-Caribbean Times JUNE 2007
MONTREAL, CANADA, April 4, 2007: "How is it that one never sees Indians in Montreal theatres?" This question was worrying playwrights Alexis Martin and Daniel Briere who for two years have taken an "ethnic turn" in their approach. They have surprised and entertained with laughter everybody on Nouvelle Tele Communautaire de Montreal (New Community TV) with their Bulgarian, Haitian and Vietnamese evenings. Two years later, they've plunged into Indian culture with all the playful comic behavior and quirkiness for which they are famous. "One likes to be as most incoherent as possible," proclaims Alexis Martin. With 20 years of rich experience in experimental plays, Martin and his partner, Daniel Briere have made it a habit of being present where they are the least expected. In their new work, "The March of Rama," the two play writers take on the Ramayana, a major Hindu epic. A HINDU professor of religion has become the first non-Christian to head St. Olaf College's Religion Department in the college's 133-year history."It' s a great honor," Anantanand Rambachan said of the three-year appointment. "St. Olaf has one of the finest undergraduate religion departments in the country." Rambachan, 55, has taught religion, philosophy and Asian studies at the college in Northfield, Minn., since 1985. He also has been a leading figure in Minnesota's Hindu cultural circles. He grew up on the West Indies island of Trinidad in a devout Hindu family -- both of his grandfathers were Hindu priests. As a young man, he spent three years at a Hindu monastery in India before deciding to pursue postgraduate degrees at the University of Leeds in England. "That time [in the monastery] was very important in my life," Rambachan said. "I was able to steep myself in the discipline of meditation and to enter into a deep sense of spirituality. There is a close relationship between those years of reading sacred texts and practicing sacred disciplines and my work now as a Hindu scholar and teacher." His passions, both scholarly and personal, include interfaith dialogue, in particular those sponsored by the World Council of Churches, and "fostering liberation theology in the Hindu tradition in the areas of gender, caste and poverty," he said. He recently returned from participating in a papal conference in Rome about proselytizing and the tensions it can create for non-Christians, and will visit with the Dalai Lama in November. Last year saw the publication of Rambachan 's most recent book, "The Advaita World View: God, World and Humanity." It explores "the fundamental unity of God, the world and living beings that constitutes the heart of the Hindu tradition," he said. ("Advaita" is a Sanskrit word meaning "not two," a reference to the unity of being, he said.) "I have tried to give my students an understanding of what it means to see the world through Hindu eyes," he said. Rambachan lives in Apple Valley with his wife, Geeta, a physician, and their children: Ishanaa, 20, Akshar, 16, and Ashesh, 12. "It is probably the first time that a condensed Ramayana is being staged. The meaning and the importance of the epic has been respected. However we did take some liberties so that we can jump from one type of play to another within seconds," explains Daniel Briere. One obviously had to expect that Briere and Martin would give their personal color to this Indian masala. To narrate the adventures of Rama, they make use of radio-controlled cars, puppets, songs, dance and video projections. "We kept a low tech profile, because we do not have the means of making holograms in 3D," explained Alexis Martin .
There is, of course, in this Asian offering, a wish of the promoters to open their theatre to a new clientele. "Among Hindus, everyone admires Rama, and even the villain of the epic is appreciated.
We give more roles to Indian artists in this play. One could have chosen others to play Indians. But working with Indian actors taught us a lot, regarding the content and interpretation of the text." The March of Rama, written and produced by Alexis Martin and Daniel Briere, first performed at l'Espace Libre April 3 and April 28, 2007.
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Franken foods? What are those? Not for me, you say? Another name for Frankenfoods is GMO’s or GM foods, which is a European term for genetically modified organisms. Franken comes from the scary science fiction character Frankenstein’s monster, who was made from human parts. This is how it works. A gene controls the substances that organisms produce, and we call these substances gene products. Humans have about 30,000 genes in all, and each gene is a section of DNA, another mystery word. DNA is short for de-oxyribonucleic acid, the stuff of life present in all living things. We call DNA the universal molecule. So back to genes. Scientists have learnt how to cut genes from human cells and stick them onto the DNA of bacteria. It’s sort of like cutting and pasting human DNA from human cells into bacteria DNA. Now the bacteria will carry human genes in their own DNA, and when they multiply many times and make many new bacteria all carrying exact copies of that human gene. It’s OK. You can get human genes from hair or skin without too much trouble and you don’t have to hurt anyone. The bacteria will produce whatever substance the human gene tells it to make. Insulin is made this way to treat people who have diabetes. We call this technique gene splicing. Scientists can use this method to transfer genes from organisms to the DNA of other organisms, like a dentist putting a splice of gold or enamel onto our teeth. They can really do this, for example, by taking genes from salmon fish and transferring them to tomato plants. Salmon can live in cold water, and this part of their genes can help the tomato plant survive and grown better in cooler temperatures, to overcome frost or last longer in the fridge. By Staff Writer
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THE SUDDEN unexplained loss of millions of bees in the Niagara region – up to 90 per cent in some commercial colonies – has prompted Ontario beekeepers to ask experts at the University of Guelph to investigate. The move comes amid the mysterious disappearance of millions of bees in the U.S., in a phenomenon so unusual that it has spawned a new phrase – "Colony Collapse Disorder." In Canada, the problem seems to be confined so far to the Niagara region but is still early days for beekeepers in the West, who won't know the extent of the damage until they unwrap their hives later this month. "About 80 or 90 per cent of the beekeepers in the Niagara region have had substantial losses," George Dubanow, president of the Niagara Beekeepers Association, said in an interview. "This number is unparalleled. A typical winter loss is between 10 and 20per cent." That has some Niagara region fruit growers worried in the weeks leading up to the May pollination period because bees don't just make honey. They also play a vital role in pollinating everything from cherries to pear trees in Ontario, hybrid canola in Western Canada and blueberries in New Brunswick. As much as a third of the food we eat requires bee pollination, according to experts. Bee pollination is valued at $1 billion in Canada. Theories about why the bees are dying run the gamut from pesticides to poor weather and even radio waves from cell phone transmission towers. Experts in Canada are reluctant to blame "Colony Collapse Disorder" for what's happened so far in Niagara. "At this point we haven't seen the type of die-offs we're seeing in the U.S. although we're all certainly very concerned about it, said Steve Pernal, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, in northern Alberta. Officials in Ontario blame poor weather conditions last fall and the Varroa Destructor mite, a deadly parasite that first showed up in the early '90s. "The reason I say that is you can almost draw a line from St. Thomas to the south side of Hamilton. Below that they've lost 70
Why the bees are dying in North America
per cent of their bees with some individuals losing 100 per cent. North of that line, thank goodness, the bees are quite normal," explained Doug McRory, an apiarist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Winter die-offs aren't unusual for beekeepers. And while 20 per cent is the average, sometimes an individual beekeeper's losses will be much higher, experts said. However, the U.S. has now received reports from 24 states citing widespread losses. And more worrisome is the unexplained disappearance of the adult bees, a report to Congress two weeks ago stated. It's as if the bees flew away and never came back, highly uncharacteristic behaviour, the report by U.S. agriculture analyst Renee Johnson said. "The odds are some neurotoxin is what's causing it," said David VanderDussen, a beekeeper in Frankford, near Trenton, whose company NOD Apiary Products Ltd. recently won a provincial award for developing an environmentally friendly mite repellent. Len Troup, a fruit grower in Jordan Station who also chairs the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers, says farmers in the area start renting commercial bees to pollinate the cherry and pear crops around mid-May. Niagara beekeepers say the problem in the U.S. is driving up the price of Queen Bees imported from New Zealand to replenish the hives. The alarming decline in bee populations across the United States and Europe represents a potential ecological apocalypse, an environmental catastrophe that could collapse the food chain and wipe out humanity. Who and what is behind this flagrant abuse of the eco-system? Many people don't realize the vital role bees play in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. According to experts, if bees were to become extinct then humanity would perish after just four years. "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man," said Albert Einstein. Others would say four years is alarmist and that man would find other food sources.
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Indo-Canadians win seats as NDP take Manitoba polls
CANADA AND THE WORLD
Mohinder Saran Bidhu Jha
Riding high on the popularity of the Premier Gary Doer two IndoCanadians got elected to Manitoba Provincial Parliament as the ruling NDP swept to power once again . . Mohinder Saran and Bidhu Jha, both of them NDP candidates, won easily from their respective ridings. Bidhu Jha was declared winner from Radisson riding and Mohinder Saran and got elected from the Maples riding. Jha was the sitting MLA from the iiI same riding. Jha, currently Legislative Assistant to the Premier Former Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology was first elected MLA for Radisson in 2003 He got 4808 votes and 56.66% percentage of the votes polled and defeated his nearest rival Linda West of the PC party who was polled 3002 votes and her percentage was 35.38. Jha is a recipient of the inaugural and prestigious Asia Pacific Award of Entrepreneurship from the Asper School of Business Served as the president and CEO of Optimum Trading Corporation Ltd. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and postgraduate training in Industrial Engineering and Management, Jha helped Gary Doer and the NDP build Manitoba with projects like 'the Floodway expansion as well as revitalizing Winnipeg with the new MTS Centre, the Red River College Building and the new Hydro headquarters. As a member of Gary Doer's team, Bidhu Jha has helped move Winnipeg and· Radisson forward on important priorities such as improving health care with the new Access Transcona. He declared in his election manifesto, "I want to put my progressive business management skills to work to help move Radisson forward and maintain Manitoba as one of the best places in Canada to live and raise a family. It has been an honour to be your MLA and I hope you will choose me to continue to be your representative and keep Manitoba moving in the right direction." Jha had an extensive history of community service in Manitoba prior to his election, he was presented with a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. He was elected for the east Winnipeg riding of Radisson in the 2003 general election, defeating Tory candidate Linda West by 3888 votes to 2901. Mohinder Saran defeated another IndoCanadian from the Maples riding. As a NDP" candidate he got 3598 votes and defeated Lou Farnandez who was polled 1891 votes. Pritam Brar, another Indo-Canadian in the fray, got 921 votes as the Liberal.Party candidate. Saran also held many coveted posts like Chief Power Engineer, Manitoba Infrastructure & Transportation at Red River College Member of Power Engineering Advisory Committee. (Observer News Service)
AN AMERICAN researcher Francis C. Assisi has turned history on its head with evidence that the first Indians came to America as far back as 1624. Assisi says that when the first English colonists came to what is now Virginia in the year 1607, the Indians were just 17years behind in 1624. The best evidence suggests that the people from India arrived in colonial America in one of two ways. They were taken on board as lascars or helpers aboard the rading ships of the British East India Company from Indian ports, and, on reaching England, succumbed to the promises of agents who were taking indentured workers to the New World. Or else they were taken as servants by the British “Nabobs” who amassed their fortunes in India and subsequently returned home to England and thence to the newly established colony in America, where they took their servants with them as a sign of their status. A 2003 study prepared by Martha W. McCartney, a project historian for the National Park Service’s Jamestown Archaeological Assessment reveals that Captain George Menefie, who was assigned 1200 acres of land in Jamestown in 1624 used “Tony, an East Indian,” as a headright. This is further confirmed in a 2006 report from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation which identifies Menefie as a wealthy English merchant who arrived in Virginia in 1622, and obtained legal right to the land by paying passage for 24 immigrants, including an East Indian. It appears that many other East Indians were imported to the American colonies by way of England, arriving already Christianized and fluent in English. Others arrived as slaves who had been captured and sold. The Virginia Gazette of 4 August 1768 describes one young "East Indian" as "a well made fellow, about 5 feet 4 inches high" who had "a thin visage, a very sly look, and a remarkable set of fine white teeth." On 13 July, 1776, the Virginia Gazette reported the run away of a “Servant Man named John Newton, about 20 Years of Age, 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, slender made, is an Asiatic Indian by Birth, has been about twelve Months in Virginia, but lived ten Years (as he says) in England, in the Service of Sir Charles Whitworth. The above information is culled from a digital collection of advertisements for unaway slaves and servants found in 18th century Virginia newspapers. There are many more such references to “East Indians” to be found in “The Geography of Slavery” project in Virginia. The database is available online at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/runaways/allrecords.html They could cause South Asians in America to rewrite their history by acknowledging the indentured servants and slaves in America. Assisi can be reached at email@example.com.
1624: Earliest Asian Immigrants In America were East Indians In Colonial Virginia
New Yorkers with connections to Guyana and Trinidad have come out with a strong denunciation of the terror plot to bomb JFK Airport. They have also called on Americans not to rush to judgement on their communities because of the plot. A press release signed by several leading Caribbean groups in New York states: We are shocked by this revelation and are saddened to learn that these suspects are of Guyanese and Trinidadian heritage. As a community, We vehemently condemn any and all acts of terrorism and call for the highest punishment under the law, we must also ensure that the legal system run its course. We therefore cannot pass judgment on these individuals, except to assure everyone that we will join hands with law enforcement to ensure that all of us can pursue life, liberty and happiness in our great country. We ask our neighbors and fellow New Yorkers not to rush to judgment, and more importantly, not to paint every Guyanese and Trinidadian here in the USA with a prejudiced brush. The Guyanese and Trinidadian communities in New York City have been here for decades, and have assimilated and progressed as exemplary, loyal and law abiding citizens. Many serve proudly in the United States armed Services. In fact, we lost many members of our community on 9/11. A highly industrious community, we have been primarily responsible for the economic revitalization of South Queens. Please Do not pass judgment or stereotype us wrongfully. We invite the NYPD, FBI and DHS to work with us to ensure that New Yorkers, and the rest of the nation know that this incident , and wish to give them every assurance that we will assist in our common goals to fight terrorism. Trinidad is renowned the world over for its party atmosphere, eco-tourism,calypso and carnival. It is a cosmopolitan society and a nation where every creed and race finds an equal place in harmony. Guyana is known for its rich natural resources, forestry reserves, Kaiteur falls and ecotourism. We, the undersigned, being proud US citizens and loyal leaders and activists in these communities, hereby ask for unity and understanding as we move forward to ensure that New York city and every place is safe from terrorist attacks. AALDEF- Glen Magpantay Guyanese American Workers United Chuck Mohan Trimurthi Bhavan -Dr. Dhanpaul Narine Indo-Caribbean Federation of NA Coalition Against Hate Crimes-Dilip Nath Maha Lakshmi Mandir-Latch Budhai Richmond Hill/Ozone Park Democratic Club-Albert Baldeo, Esq. Agenda 21-Darrel Sukhdeo, Communities Liaison Richmond Hill Business Men's Association- Deo Gosine Chandra Bhatnagar AAARI/CUNY-Dr. Nehru Cherukupali, Int. Exec. Dir. GEICA-Prakash Singh, Exec. Dir Rajkumari center for Indo-Caribbean Culture-Pritha Singh, Exec. Dir. Families for Freedom-Subhash Kateel, Cochair
Guyanese & Trinida- Indian makes history as dian Communities in mayor of Gloucester New York Respond to Alleged Terror Plot
Indian born Harjit Gill has taken a historic step by becoming the 527th mayor of the city Gloucester in England, the first Asian mayor of the thousand year old municipality. Gill migrated to England in 1978 to get married to his British born wife Jasminder. Gill had created history in 2005 when he became the first Asian to be an elected sheriff in Britain. He had earlier served as mayor of Barton, an area of Gloucester city that has a unique historic system to elect its own mayor. The postmaster and player, who was termed a popular councillor from Barton and Tredworth in run up to the Gloucester council elections early May. He won a Labour ticket at a time when party did not do well in council elections. Gill comes from the village of Dakoha in Punjab province in Indi but has only about 25 Punjabi families in Gloucester. Though realizing that he comes from an ethic minority - Gloucester has only about 25 Punjabi families - Gill is confident of serving the people in the county. "I don't want to be identified with one community alone," he said. A keen hockey player, who even donned India colours at international hockey events, had the entire Indian hockey team attending his wedding. It was Gill's love for hockey that still keeps him connected with the game. He still plays referee at local hockey events. He took the Gloucester police hockey team to India in 1998 to play matches with Indian police teams. He moved to Britain the same year he married after completing his masters in political science from Jalandhar. He had not even met Jasminder till he arrived in England to marry her. The couple now have two children - son Gurkamal and daughter Amrit.
Global warming will displace over seven million Indians
Global warming and subsequent sea level rise will hit the eastern cost of India by the end of this century and displace over seven million people, the Indian Environment Ministry has said. Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Namo Narain Meena, informed parliament that a study conducted by the government on the impact of climate change has projected alarming signals for India. "In the event of one meter sea-level rise, 5,764 sq km of land in coastal areas of India is projected to be lost, displacing approximately 7.1 million people along with 4,200 km of roads by the end of the 21st century,” Meena said, quoting the study. Coastal areas are considered to be vulnerable to a projected increase in extreme weather events like storm surges and cyclones. The minister said the ocean adjoining the Indian subcontinent was likely to warm at its surface by about 34.16 degrees.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Poet’s corner Talking Tamarind mannish Grove
Sudesh hit the dharam patni (that’s the doolahin, the wife, the soul mate, for you who don’t know) He hit Dolly one slap one little slap, just one, like he used to do back home when she talk too mannish. And as the Trinis say, everything turn ole mas. By Ram Jagessar By Janet A. Naidu
Madras, you send rivers in language like a rising tide. You live in movies of your streets, and a glimpse of ancient architecture so adorningly in small chambers. tell stories of sacred texts – only from a distance. Absent embraces prevent me from claiming their tides of meaning. Lights flicker my life-long desire to decipher words like granules of salt on your seashore.
LEEDS, England: A film awards festival known as the Bollywood Oscars gets into full swing in Britain Thursday with the world premiere of "The Train," starring pinup actor Emraan Hashmi and former Miss India Sayali Bhagat. The International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs), which run to June 10 are taking place in Yorkshire, northern England and will likely be watched on television by some 500 million people around the world. "The Train" is a thriller shot in Bangkok about a bored husband who has an affair with a woman he meets on a train.
Bollywood festival in Leeds
Ash and the two Bachan men were seen at French Open tennis
The choice of the county of Yorkshire, an area built on heavy industry such as mining, to host the event has raised some eyebrows, but there are several reasons why the IIFAs have come to the relatively unglamorous location.
Next thing woo woo woo police cruiser reach two second talk with Dolly and a blonde lady cop with a big black gun marching Sudesh out the house in handcuff and shame. Neighbours outside peeping even Dolly surprised standing mouth open she thought Sudesh would get a warning. Not so, the lady cop say no options with assault. Sudesh sleep in the police jail say he will kill that Dolly when he get bail. That was only talk. Dolly ban him from the house he have to live batchie again judge put him on a bond. Next offence Sudesh will make a real jail. In two months Dolly feel sorry Sudesh gone back home. But everything different he ent the boss no more if he only try to raise he voice and talk a little mannish Dolly give him one look and he see the blond lady cop with the black automatic gun. Sudesh sweet life in Canada disappear Just like that. realize too late Canada is not Trinidad. Now he thinking to go back home checking out jobs in Guardian and Express online though he know inside you can’t go home again. Sudesh need a little education not book sense but serious common sense Made in Canada.
Yorkshire has the third highest population of Asians and British Asians in Britain - according to the 2001 census, some 200,000 of the group's overall population of 2.3 million live in the area. In addition, Britain's tourist board has recently launched a drive to attract more visitors from India and wants to associate itself more closely with Bollywood movies.
Paati, when you arrived, did it rain? You made garam masala taste like pepper straight from the yard; gave me hints of a distant land, like jewels for body adoration. You traveled across dark water, scandalous – by whose colour, whose scolding measure? You huddled alone without family. Your body forbidden with life again and again. You changed companionship in daylight. Whatever villagers and neighbours said I am forgetful now. Did they conspire to call you names? Illiterate, Mad Rass, play jumbie. Ahhh, fake boundaries, vapour. Madras, wait for me. Every word, this new language aches of tamarind sauce. Even mulligatawny and dosa stream in my vein as I long for some paan.
By securing the prestigious premiere slot, it is following in the footsteps of movies including "Lagaan" in 2001, the last Bollywood work to be nominated for the best foreign language film Academy Award. Elsewhere at the festival, veteran star Dharmendra and his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol will Thursday be promoting their first ever film together, the family drama "Apne." The climax to the event is Saturday when the awards ceremony itself takes place in a massive arena in the city of Sheffield. Other superstars in attendance include Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai plus Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty, a household name in Britain after this year's reality TV race row. Bachchan senior, nicknamed "the Big B," was voted biggest star of the millennium in an online poll conducted by the BBC in 1999 for a dazzling career which dates back to the 1970s. But it is thought that Shah Rukh Khan, dubbed "King Khan," will not attend, amid reports of a rumbling row with the Bachchans, despite being scheduled to appear in London Thursday for a charity auction. The IIFAs are held abroad to raise the profile of Hindi film internationally. Previous venues have included Amsterdam and Dubai.
Britain is now the second-biggest market for Bollywood films in the world - in 2005, the British and Irish box office take was 12.4 million pounds (18.2 million euros, US$24.7 million). The event also allows the Bollywood film industry to reach out to a wider audience despite the fevered interest in India, its international success has been modest.
In February, leading actor-director Naseeruddin Shah told BBC radio that Bollywood films did not match the quality of those from other countries such as Iran, Korea or Mexico. "These countries are producing the most incredible movies and we are still plodding on with our boy-meets-girl, safe, old formula," he said.
Estimated global revenues for 2002 were one percent of Hollywood's and only three Bollywood films have ever been shortlisted for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards - "Lagaan," "Salaam Bombay!" (1988) and "Mother India" (1957).
Rainy days drench me with yearnings for your abode. Kali Mai, take me to that distant shore now ceaselessly soaking my cheek. These days, I lean towards you and touch unseen shades just to feel some small word of recognition – Eternal amma, I follow you to the market near appa, combing streets through bazaars; recognize smiles among city dwellers like annas and akkas of the last century; I stroll through spice shops, historical temples past that obscure village, not knowing which path to take. I look for a bright orange shawl, gentle eyes in the crowd unguarded and innocent, perhaps wandering too. I see an Arkati take hold of your arm. Remind me, was this your moment of deciding departure?
"That is the reason I think our films aren't taken seriousl
You may not recognize my desire to know something about your childhood days, the music that once echoed in your heart. Show me your pulse, your soul on the hill, long before the drumming of youthful separation, long before you carried that bundle across the bridge to Lil’ Diamond dam.
GUYANA Three Guyanese in JFK terror plot
They allegedly loaded the video onto Kadir's computer and according to the complaint Kadir expressed interest. (CONT’D
FROM PAGE 8)
The chicken hatchery Kadir, according to the complaint, said he would need a few weeks to contact associates and code-named the project "the chicken hatchery" or "chicken farm". On February 22 Defreitas, Kadir and the Source met in Georgetown at a prominent commercial building and Kadir allegedly told the Source that they had gone there so that the people Of Georgetown would see them with Kadir and would think twice
Source discussed travelling to Trinidad to meet with the Muslimeen. The Source arranged three tickets and while he suggested that Nur accompany them, Defreitas said that Kadir should go along with them for the introduction to the Muslimeen. The complaint alleges that Kadir agreed to this. It was later agreed that Nur would travel on a fourth ticket to Trinidad by himself. Last month, May 7, Defreitas and the Source discussed the trip to Guyana and Trinidad. Defreitas also wanted Kadir to meet them at the Guyana airport so they would not have problems with airport security. The complaint said that Kadir promised to meet them at the airport and did so on May 10. Defreitas stayed in the capital and the Source travelled to Linden with Kadir where he met another Guyanese, Individual G. When Defreitas arrived in Linden a day
In this recorded conversation it is alleged that Kadir advised the two on how to handle themselves in Trinidad. "Kadir: Right now in Trinidad, with [the JAM…]. Is hot, with respect to national security, and the international security. Because I think there was some problem. Some problem with the government and what not. [ ] has been acting up as late. And they have him under serious surveillance. Very, very strong surveillance. Even to the point of the international, because they see he has links with Mohamar Qadafi. And so the international people and the local police. Everybody is zooming in on him. So I don't know if he'll be available, because of that. But the brothers are going to try to see what can happen - if they can hook you up to meet him". Trinidad
about harming them. Kadir is then alleged to have said that his associates had their own rules and wanted to minimize the killing of innocents. "Kadir proposed conducting the operation in the early morning hours, to minimize the killing of innocent people. He said that the damage should be economic in nature. Kadir also said that the JFK video was not sufficiently detailed for operational purposes, and told them to use Google Earth software to get more detailed pictures of JFK after they returned to New York", the complaint alleged. Told of the plans to travel to Trinidad for the meeting with the Muslimeen, Kadir said that he had introduced Nur to the relevant Muslimeen leader and Nur was the right person to make the intro. Defreitas and the Source returned to the US and after deplaning at JFK US Customs officers conducted a search and copied among other items Defreitas' phone book with the names and phone numbers of Kadir and Individuals F, E and A. Defreitas then told the Source that he was suspicious that the US government was aware of their plans. The Source then told Defreitas that he had been questioned by Guyanese officers at the airport in Guyana. According to the complaint, on March 1 in a recorded conversation Defreitas told the Source that he had called Kadir and told him about the airport incident. Kadir promised to get back to him after checking with his associates. On March 5 in another recorded conversation, the Source told Kadir that he had used Google Earth and had found the "chicken farm" whereupon Kadir said that that the "the folks don't want to deal with that hatchery" because "right now it is too sensitive," an apparent reference to the customs search. In early April, 2007, the Defreitas and the Airport search
Accused terrorist Kareem Ibrahim (left) is taken into custody by Trinidad police
later, Kadir is alleged to have said that Individual G would go to Trinidad to arrange the meeting with the Muslimeen but G did not know the purpose of the meeting. The complaint alleged that "later in the day, Defreitas and the Source showed Kadir the JFK video and Google Earth maps of JFK. Defreitas identified, among other things, the fuel tank locations and air traffic control tower. "Defreitas explained that because JFK security monitored the fuel tank locations from the tower, disabling the control tower was a key to the operation. Kadir asked many questions about the maps, including the distance between the street and the fuel tanks.Defreitas asked Kadir, who is an engineer by education and training, about the composition of the tanks. "Kadir explained, in sum and substance, that they were probably double tanks, i.e. a tank within the tank. Kadir said that two explosions would be necessary to ignite the fuel inside the inner tank, and explained that fuel needs oxygen to explode." On May 14, plans continued for travel to Trinidad and on May 19 at a recorded meeting, Kadir allegedly told the Source that he could no longer go to Trinidad because of a "project" that required his presence here on May 21-22. He however said that he had called someone in Trinidad and arranged for them to meet Defreitas and the Source at the airport in Trinidad, provide them with a place to stay and ensure security. According to the complaint "Later in the conversation, Kadir took a telephone call outside of the Source's presence, returned and informed the Source that, `The folks called from Trinidad. They said they've arranged meetings for when you go there.' Project Disabling
On May 20, Defreitas and the Source journeyed to Trinidad and Nur arrived seaparately. It is alleged that Kadir's associate picked up Defreitas and the Source and travelled to a Muslimeen compound where they met with Nur. Nur then said that he had met with the Muslimeen official and the official had suggested that they all return in a few days to discuss the plan in detail and in the meanwhile he wanted to do some checks on Defreitas and the Source before any meeting. The three departed with the fourth accused, Kareem and went to Kareem's abode. They then called Kadir and Nur advised him that he had met with the Muslimeen official and presented the plan to him. On May 23, 2007 Kareem was advised of the plot. Defreitas then said it was his intention to present the plan to the Muslimeen official. Kareem then advised against this and said that he (Kareem) would present the plan to contacts overseas. The complaint said that on May 24 that Defreitas advised Kadir that Kareem was going to present the plan to his contacts. Defreitas and the Source returned to New York on May 26 and in a phone call with Kareem the following day they were told that the plan was moving forward and he was sending one of his associates as an emissary. At this point arrest warrants were then requested in New York under seal. The deposition was sworn to on June 1, 2007
JUST THREE days before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank issued their critical joint report entitled Crime, Violence and Development: Trends, Costs and Policy Options in the Caribbean at the World Bank's headquarters in Washington, Guyana's Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee launched an InterAgency Task Force on Narcotics and Illicit Weapons in Georgetown. This was quite a coincidence. Echoing the arguments advanced in the UNODC-World Bank report about the damage to the national economy caused by illegal drugs and guns, Mr Rohee used the opportunity of his address to the ceremony for signing the memorandum of understanding to establish the task force to vow that the government will "stop at nothing" to stamp out trafficking in illegal drugs and
Guyana low on human development index
guns. The UNODC-World Bank report evinced evidence to explain how narco-trafficking was at the core of the murder rates in the Caribbean, which were higher than in any other region of the world. Narco-trafficking drives crime by "normalizing" illegal behaviour and diverting criminal justice resources from other important activities. In this way, it "embeds violence, undermines social cohesion and contributes to the widespread availability of firearms." The report warned that narco-trafficking, high crime rates and violence in the Caribbean are undermining growth, threatening human welfare and impeding social development. Crime is seen as a major obstacle to investment because, as crime increases, "access to financing declines, spending on formal and informal security measures increases and worker productivity declines." Although the report deals generally with the Caribbean, Guyana's particular public safety predicament is the subject of several specific references. In fact, various indexes were used to measure the impact of narcotrafficking, gun-running and criminal violence on the quality of life in Guyana. The country had already been ranked at 103 Human Development Index (HDI) compared to Suriname at 89; and rated at 121 on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) compared to Suriname at 90. But other new statistics paint a poor picture of the people's quality of life. Guyana now occupies the notorious lead in the Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) index - the standard international health measure of the burden of disease that expresses health life lost, years of life lost, mortality and incapacity. With a rating of 716, Guyana is over twice the world wide average of 343. The report places Guyana's high homicide rate as way above Suriname's and even the world average. But it also suggests that the annual national rate of growth can be boosted by as much as 1.7 per cent if only the country could reduce its high rate of homicide to, at least, that of Costa Rica, which has one of the lowest in the region. Crime and violence have also contributed to Guyana's top ranking as world leader in emigration; it has the world's worst skilled emigration rate (89 per cent). The report cites Guyana's own Poverty Reduction Strategy which admits meekly that "the crime and security situation will have to be tackled and dealt with definitively if Guyana is to minimize the migration of its highly trained professionals and entrepreneurs whose skills and resources are needed to propel growth." The UNODC-World Bank report should convince both the administration and the criminal justice system that the lawless activities of notorious narco-traffickers and gun-runners have had a deleterious effect on the country. Should the administration even half succeed in reducing narco-trafficking and gun-running, Guyana can expect to see an improvement in economic growth and the enhancement of citizens' quality of life. Guyana does not fare very well in Transparency International's latest Corruption Perception index, which includes ten Caribbean countries. Haiti was ranked as the most corrupt country of the 163 that were assessed: Guyana (121) was well below Suriname (90), Trinidad and Tobago (79), and Jamaica (61). The only cause for regional pride was Barbados (24), a position that places it "ahead of many European countries".
BRAMPTON Masters Cricket Club won their first game in the Premier Division of the Toronto and District Cricket Association last Saturday, beating the Grace Church Cricket Club by five wickets. The other 11 clubs in the Premier division are taking the “new kid” very, very seriously, and for
Brampton Masters Cricket Club reaching for the sky this year
SPORTSCUP CRICKET WORLD
West Indies faces tough climb to recover from defeat in second test.
good reason. Recently, the Brampton Masters club have rewritten the record book by being the only club in the 80 year history of the Cricket Association to rise through the three lower divisions and advance to the Premier Division. That meant beating all the other teams in each division, getting promoted and doing the same thing in the next division, three years straight. It's no accident that the rise in the fortunes of the Brampton Masters coincides with the move by Kevin Seepersad to take on the position of president four years ago. The club is ten years old and was doing moderately well in the Commonwealth cricket association with a team heavily loaded with Trinidadian and other Caribbean players. Four years ago, the club approached Kevin, who had been a decent first class cricketer in Trinidad, to help them out of a slump. He had come to the University of Toronto as a 20 year old, but had not played much cricket in Canada. They wanted him as an administrator. Kevin took up the challenge and went full blast into re-organizing and expanding the club. Job number one was to bring some more discipline into the Brampton Masters players. Next came the development of a solid core of supporters, and a range of non cricket activities to keep the group together.
Club president Kevin Seepersad
Players of all skill levels (beginners to advanced) are invited to participate. Tournaments held every month during the winter.
CHESS, DRAUGHT AND DOMINO TOURNAMENTS
“To keep the culture alive, we have to work together,” says Kevin. Next he moved the club into the more prestigious and more competitive Toronto and District Cricket Association, even though that meant starting at the bottom in the third division. Their first season in the third division was also their last season, as they won the division title and gained a promotion to the second division. The next year they went through the second division like a hot knife, taking the title again by beating all the other teams. They were promoted to the first division, and to the astonishment of the Association, took the division title again. No club in the Association's history had ever done anything like that before. Their reward was a promotion to the top rung of the cricket competition, the Premier Division with the 12 top ranking teams in the Association. There is no hiding it. Brampton Masters is the hot ticket in the Association. Other cricketers want to get on board and get a taste of the action. Today the club has over 100 players and supporters, a strong executive working with Kevin, a well rounded training program, a funded junior division and social activities like a boat cruise and picnics. They are benefiting from what Kevin sees as a boom in cricket in the GTA. “Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Toronto. It's much cheaper than hockey, and our players have to contribute only $260 a year, and that includes uniforms. Seven new pitches have just been laid down in Toronto. Cricket has a huge following among the Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Caribbeans,” he says. It's called the Brampton Masters Club, but players and supporters come from all over the GTA, even as far away as Scarborough. The club still has hills to climb in the ultra tough Premier Division, but they have all the people and the spirit needed to excel at the very top. So far this year the Brampton Masters had their first game rained out, and won their second match quite convincingly against a senior team in the Association. It will be quite a feat to do well in the standings when the season is over. This is, after all, their first year in the Premier Division. Just to survive would be an accomplishment. Kevin and the gang are not looking merely to survive. There are still records to break.
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MANCHESTER—West Indies, under new offer Ganga another slow bowling option. captain Daren Ganga, enter the third Test The fast bowlers have also come under the against England, starting today at Old Traf- microscope, following England’s heavy ford, aiming to put behind them their record scoring in the first two Tests, and this may also prompt the inclusion of Fidel Edwards defeat in the second Test. to give it West Indies bit more trail the fourfirepower, Test series 1-0, and Darren after losing the Sammy to second Test at give it Leeds by an inmore stanings and 283 bility. runs—their “We heaviest defeat know the in Tests. The (Old Traffirst Test at ford) pitch Lord’s was is very drawn. conducive Ganga, who Captain Darren Ganga at bat to fast was elevated to bowling, and it has got a lot of pace and the post of captain following Ramnaresh Sarwan’s return home to nurse his injured bounce,” Ganga said. “We’ve taken those things into considerright shoulder, said the visitors have identiation. fied where they went wrong in the second “We’ve realised that our bowling lacked Test, and they were looking to correct them. a little bit of penetration, and this is some“It’s very important for us to focus on the process of winning a cricket game,” Ganga thing that we are going to take into consideration before we select our final 11. told reporters on the eve of the match. “I’m sure the best combination is going to “We did some of the basics wrong in the come up, so that we can get the best chance second Test. We definitely did not deal with the English conditions well, and this is of winning a Test match.” Controversial comments about allsomething that we need to adapt better to as rounder Andrew Flintoff have distracted a team. “It is going to be very important for us to England captain Michael Vaughan. think about the process of cricket—the He is looking to become the most sucprocess of getting partnerships, the process cessful England Test captain of all time. of bowling in partnerships, the process of He is currently level on 20 wins with creating chances for us to get 20 wickets. Peter May, and this is enough to get him to “The series is not beyond us as yet, we’ve got two opportunities to level the series, and maybe, win the series. “A lot of people have written us off, but I think cricket is played on the field, and it’s about being prepared mentally for the challenges, and I’m sure the young guys are looking forward to making a name for themselves.” West Indies failed to cope with the unique Chanderpaul ready to play conditions at the Headingley ground, and they were dismissed twice for totals of less focus on the job of leading his side to a than 150, replying to England’s first innings fourth straight Test series win over West Intotal of dies. 570 for “We want to try and hit home the advanseven tage when we are on top,” he said. d e “We are up against an inexperienced clared. Windies team and we want to make most of Sarthat. w a n “The key is starting well, it’s important h o w whatever we do we start well and get on top ever, of them.” was unEngland have named the same 11 that able to Sarwan is out for now won the second Test. bat in the match, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul was sidelined with a knee injury which Squads: raped the side of two of its most experienced batsmen. ENGLAND: Michael Vaughan (captain), “Shiv is going to be available to play, so Andrew Strauss, Andrew Cook, Kevin that is going a definite boost for us and our Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt batting,” Ganga said. Prior, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, “Chris Gayle is definitely going to play, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar. but an assessment is going to be made as to if he is going to bowl in this Test match. WEST INDIES: Daren Ganga (captain), “All members of the touring party will be Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, under consideration barring Ravi Rampaul Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Chris who is suffering with a groin injury so he Gayle, Sylvester Joseph, Runako Morton, will not be considered.” Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Gayle tore a muscle in his right side dur- Samuels, Darren Sammy, Devon Smith, ing the team’s three-day tour match prior to Jerome Taylor; Ravi Rampaul (injured). the Test, and he was unable to bowl. Compatriot Marlon Samuels however, UMPIRES: Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar (TV may benefit from this setback. Flown in to Replays: Peter Hartley). replace Sarwan, the batting all-rounder could replace Sylvester Joseph in the 11 to MATCH REFEREE: Allan Hurst.
Getting that golf swing
June 2, at Mayfield: Baal Ramdhan 77, Boysie Chaitan 78, Les Lee 81, Bobby Neebar 82, Oral 92
EVERY Saturday a group of Trinidad Canadian golfers get together for a round of golf. There have been three games played so far and the turnout was better than expected. The rounds were pretty intense with some scores in the mid to high 70s. . Apart from some seasoned players like Bal Ramdhan, Benny Beekhoo, Bobby Neebar, Boisie Chaitan, the group has attracted many amateur golfers and enthuiasts. The objective is firstly to get together with other Trinidadians and enjoy what for these guys, is their passion and also to get new players in to the game. Bal, a prolific and intense player, said that all too often, players get into the game without taking the time to learn the basics. This could lead to frustrations and eventual quitting. He and others would like to share their knowledge and experience with anyone interested in golfing. Clinics will be held to
Golf enthusiasts getting ready for a session on the links last weekend.
teach new players the basics of golfing. The group also plan to have the the 5th annual Indo Trinidad Caniadian Association golf tournament at the Streetsville Glen Golf Club, Mississauga Rd., North of the 401 on September 15, 2007. Members of the group say that while golf may not have been popular in the Caribbean, here in Canada golf is a game for everyone. Anyone interested in playing the weekly game or attending the clinic can contact Bal at 905 507 3912 or Bobby at 905 451 6483 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
West Indies cricket team grasping at straws
By Tony Cozier
Other players include, Harry Siriram, Arnold Lalchan, Bryan Neebar, Nick Ramdhan, Jason and Adrian Siriram, Dave, Adrian, Robert, Justin and Reynold Ramdial.
Top scores for the past games were: May 12, at Mayfield: Boysie Chaitan 80, Baal Ramdhan 82, Bobby Neebar 82, Benny Beekoo 83, Hardy 85. May 26 at Streetsville: Baal Ramdhan 77, Bobby Neebar 78, Les Lee 78, Benny Beekhoo 80, Mohan Sundarlal 88
For a team that sustained the heaviest defeat in its long history to the same opposition only 10 days back - conceding over 500 runs in both Tests - West Indies will snatch at any available straw. Tenuous as they are, a few have presented themselves in advance of the third Test starting at Old Trafford tomorrow. The weather has changed from polar to tropical and runs have been made, wickets taken and long spells enjoyed in warm sunshine, albeit in a leisurely three-day match inbetween Tests. Even though Ramnaresh Sarwan is back home attending to the injured shoulder that forced him out of the entire series, the experienced and reliable Shivnarine Chanderpaul has recovered from his knee injury and can resume his essential place in the middle order, so badly missed at Leeds. Chris
Gayle, who damaged a rib muscle in the intervening match, too has recovered. There has even been a little help from the other side. Michael Vaughan, the England captain, has created a distraction for England with some ill-timed, and widely condemned comments on the effect of Andrew Flintoff's high jinks during the World Cup on team morale. It will take more than a little straw to suddenly make West Indies strong again but these few might render them less compliant than they were. An MCC XI, made up almost exclusively of eager but anonymous university students, bore no resemblance to the intimidating task expected over the coming days. All the same, most West Indies players used the chance for match practice with both bat and ball. Runako Morton's double hundred and Denesh Ramdin's ton surely raised the confidence of two players for whom it is more essential than most. And Fidel Edwards and Darren Sammy appreciated lengthy spells in their first chance in the middle since arriving in England over a month ago. To the English media and perhaps even to the England dressing room, such developments are irrelevant. Both appear certain of a repetition of the ruthlessness of Leeds and another thumping victory. It is Vaughan's assertion that Flintoff's much publicised, inebriated escapade on a paddle boat in St Lucia in the early hours of the morning after the first round loss to New Zealand in the World Cup that has attracted most attention. Flintoff's weak ankle that required a second operation this week has put him out of the series but he remains an immensely popular cricketer in England, especially in Manchester where he plays his county cricket for Lancashire.
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Serious Caribbean fallout from terror arrests
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has described the three Guyanese implicated in the alleged terrorist plot to destroy the JFK Airport in the United States as “absolutely crazy” and said it has soiled Guyana’s image.
Guyana’s image soiled, says Guyana President Jagdeo
Speaking at the opening of a tourism conference at the Guyana international Conference Centre, Mr Jagdeo said the unveiling of the terror plot by the Guyanese “is not good” since Guyana’s future depends on the linkages with the United States. He referred to the Guyanese suspects as “crazy”, repeating “they are absolutely crazy”. US Ambassador David Robinson confirmed that the US is seeking the extradition of three of the men who are being held in Trinidad and Tobago. Kadir and Ibrahim were arrested last week in Trinidad, while DeFeritas was nabbed in the US. .
President Jagdeo talks with US Ambassador David Robinson
TRINIDAD and Tobago nationals with valid visas will not be facing any extra scrutiny when travelling to the United States because of the alleged terror plot against JFK airport, the US Department of Homeland Security has said. Some nationals have raised concerns about being targeted for heavy screening when travelling to the US because three of the suspects were arrested here, one of whom is a Trinidadian. The concern is even higher among some Trinidad and Tobago nationals who are Muslim or have Muslim names as those involved in the plot have been identified as being of the Islamic faith. "We don't want to punish anybody because they belong to a particular, group, religion, custom or country. We want to protect the homeland while at the same time protecting people's civil rights and civil liberties," said US Homeland Security spokesman Naomi Elmer. Elmer said, "Just because there is one bad person in one country, that does not make the whole country bad." She said that Trinidad and Tobago nationals should not expect to experience any additional screenings other than that which already exits. Department does not believe in profiling in any kind. She asserted that the Homeland Security
No extra US scrutiny for travelling Trinidadians
Trinidad PM denies links with arrested Ibrahim
New York Trinis baffled at bomb plot
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THE ruling People's National Movement (PNM) has meanwhile denied claims that its political leader, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, is associated with Ibrahiim. The party issued a press release in defence of Manning, hours after Ibrahiim's daughter, Huda, claimed at a press conference that her father is a personal acquaintance of Manning and that he had visited his home. "The attempt to infer that supporters gathered at the home of Edna Kingston, who is a relative of Kareem Ibrahiim, constitutes an association between our political leader and the suspect is ludicrous to say the least. "The PNM readily admits that on occasion, after political meetings, constituents including its political leader were refreshed at the home of Edna Kingston." The PNM described Kingston, the sister of Ibrahiim, as an upright and upstanding citizen and "a loyal supporter of the PNM for several years so much so that the Lopinot/Bon Air Constituency office is housed in her home". According to the PNM, Ibrahiim is a "known opposition activist and is associated with one of the UNC deputy political leaders in the Five Rivers area". Other sources have identified Ibrahim as a member of the opposition Congress of the People (COP), headed by Winston Dookeran.
TRINIDADIANS in New York continue to be bewildered that one of their own could have planned a terror attack on their adopted homeland, Hardbeatnews has reported on its Web site. The hot question among those living in Queens and Brooklyn where many Caribbean migrants live is: “Is this for real?” it said. Desmond Chase, the Trinidad-born chairman of Hawks International, a youth group in Brooklyn and one of the city’s largest mas camp, is doubtful of the facts being presented by federal officials, it said. “I don’t think Caribbeans as a whole have this hate,” it quoted Chase as saying of the four accused, one of whom is Trinidad-born Kareem Ibrahiim. “We are generally people-loving and we love America...In Trinidad, there is no support of terrorism against the United States.” Chase, the report added, is also sceptical that suspects could have the means to bring the alleged plot to blow up major jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline at John F Kennedy Airport to fruition. The report also quoted another Trinidadian, Hazra Ali, saying she wasn’t sure what to make of the allegations. “People in the Caribbean don’t have that kind of hate as people in the Middle East,” she said. “Trini and Guyanese people don’t share the history that people in the Middle East have in terms of their hatred for the US.”
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