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Vol 2. No 1 January 2008
Community policing starts in Trinidad P. 3 Revival of Hinduism in the West P. 11 Canada: How much accomodation by immigrants P. 14 Culture loss among St Vincent Indians P. 18
I ndo- Caribb ean
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Hindu leader tells youth to leave UNC MP says form community police stations and arm yourself
Armed robber gangs, some of them using police and army uniforms and police issued guns, are pouncing on Trinis in their workplaces, on the beach, at their river limes, at funerals, in their driveways. Kidnappings and kidnap murders continue as before. Criminals are extorting protection money or “coward tax” from citizens to spare them from kidnapping. Street vendors and taxi drivers are disappearing as soon it gets dark, and joining the other citizens hiding behind burglar proofing, fences and guard dogs and electric gates. Most Trinidadians are living under a self imposed curfew, and existing as prisoners of their homes and their cars. Meanwhile the police and security forces appear unable to stop or contain the crime wave sweeping the nation. The population believes that many of the security forces are corrupt, incompetent or in league with the criminals. The detection rate for crime according to a former attorney general is 10 per cent and the conviction rate is around 1 per cent. Law and order have broken down in practice. Hundreds of people are migrating to safer countries. Sweet Trinidad is no more. Something must be done before there is a total collapse.
crisis of crime and safety is coming to a boil in Trinidad and Tobago, as more people believe the country faces a breakdown of law and order. Sat Maharaj, secretary of the main Hindu group the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, has told young people they should leave the country, as they have no future in Trinidad. Opposition member of parliament and former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has advised communities to form their own community police stations because the Trinidad police cannot protect them. Maharaj has told communities plagued by crime to arm themselves and be prepared to kill criminals in self defence. Citizens at a Tunapuna Against Crime rally crime have said openly and without being contradicted that Trinidad and Tobago is a lawless society and is no longer a safe place to live. The country racked up a record 395 murders in 2007, most of the victims being killed with guns, and continues in the same direction. There were an amazing 20 murders in the first 14 days of January 2008, and two kidnappings, with one of the kidnap victims being murdered.
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made Canada his home. Also in that same year a 25 year old English speaking clerk from Demerara (British Guiana) M.N Santoo migrated to Montreal via the ship Dahomey that docked in Halifax in summer 2008. Those were the first arrivals in Canada that we know. They performed the first rite of Indian Arrival, and from those humble beginnings sprang a community of Indo-Caribbeans that now numbers over 200,000 spread out in every province and territory in Canada. This year is a special milestone for us Indo-Caribbeans. We can say with pride that we have placed our roots in this country for a century, that we have brought much with us and have much to give to this country. Most of us are no longer immigrants. We are Canadians now, but still proud of the Indian heritage and culture we have brought from the Caribbean and are transmitting to new generations. We are doing just what the jahajis did after they left India to help build a new land in Trinidad, Guyana and a dozen other Caribbean countries. It is what we must celebrate all through this year, in our home, our school, our places of worship, anywhere we gather.. Happy Centenary! Happy Indo-Caribbean Arrival Year to all!
One hundred years ago two historic arrivals in Canada marked the beginning of the Indo-Caribbean presence in this country. A young medical student Kenneth Mahabir from San Fernando came to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia to become a doctor. He went to serve Canada in World War 1, and visited Trinidad, but he
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Trinidad crime crisis
ormer attorney general and Member of Parliament for Tabaquite, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, says if Government does not act to protect citizens, he would encourage them to form their own citizens police stations, vigilante or watch groups. And he says he would help provide armed security guards to assist citizens "to track down the criminals in the area, catch them and then deliver them to the police". Maharaj, who was addressing a meeting of crime-affected villagers at the Macaulay Community Centre, Claxton Bay , told them if Government failed to provide police protection against criminals, people would be acting legally if they take up weapons to injure or even kill their attackers in self defence. The residents of Macaulay and surrounding areas, which include the constituencies of Pointe-a-Pierre and Tabaquite, complained of an upsurge of crime and lack of police action. They said within recent months, there had been an increase in hold-ups, robberies, car theft, house breaking, rapes and murders. Maharaj said the history of the law is that a man's house is his castle and "when somebody leaves the road and go to your home, they must be prepared to face the consequences. You are entitled to use whatever force necessary to protect everyone in your home and your life". Urging citizens not to sit back and allow bandits to terrorise their lives, Maharaj said: "The law is that you do not have to wait for someone to kill you before you act in self defence. So if I am walking out of the door and a man comes to me with a gun I do not have to wait for him to fire, I can take out my revolver and shoot him and kill him, and that would be self-defense. "If a man comes to attack my family in my house, I do not have to wait for police to come, I am entitled to use reasonable force to protect my house and family, even if it means shooting at his feet." He stressed that as MP, it was his duty to encourage his constituents to defend themselves, especially because the Constitution gives every citizen the human and fundamental rights to life and enjoyment of property. Responding to critics who spoke against citizens deciding to form watch-groups to protect themselves in the absence of police protection, Maharaj said: "The alternative of not defending themselves is to permit criminals to kill, kidnap, rape and rob defenceless people." The former attorney general said: "It is totally false for anyone to give the impression that such watch-groups with the assistance of such security personnel are not permitted by the law or in any way are dangerous to law-abiding citizens.”
Ramesh starts community fight back against criminals T
Arm yourself and be ready to kill criminals in self defence
Sat: TT a bogus democracy, children are migrating
Armed security guards take up duty
Opposition chief whip Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj says the law allows for citizens to kill in self-defence. Maharaj was addressing residents of Macaulay and Claxton Bay, One of the major concerns of the troubled villagers was how they would be dealt with by the law if they defend themselves when attacked by criminals. Maharaj was adamant that citizens "should not be weak in their homes." He told them if an assailant entered their house, they could retaliate and even kill their attacker once they believed that their life was under threat. Urging them to continue with their watch groups, Maharaj said members who had a licensed firearm could carry it.He also saw no problem if they armed themselves with cutlasses."The weapons are necessary," he added. Using himself as an example, Maharaj said he was not going to stand idly by and let an attacker kill him. Maharaj said he had no qualms in killing any man with his licensed firearm, should his life come under threat. He said even if he had a cutlass and a man attacked him, he would not hesitate to hack off the head of his assailant.
Responding to plans by Manning to amend the laws on hanging, Ramesh wanted to know if Prime Minister Patrick Manning plans to hang "invisible people". He noted that "for you to reach the stage of the death penalty, you first have to detect, to hold and then convict". "So it is a national joke for the Prime Minister, in a situation where there is a ten per cent detection rate and a one per cent conviction rate, to talk about implementing the death penalty as a solution to crime,"
1% conviction rate for crimes
The Opposition UNCA has launched its own brand of community policing through a pilot project which links armed private security officers with members of the Macaulay Village crime watch group. The project was launched by Tabaquite MP Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Chaguanas (West) MP Jack Warner at the Macaulay community Centre in Claxton Bay. Addressing a large gathering comprising both old and young residents in front of a large banner which read: ‘People versus criminals. We need protection against criminals now’, Maharaj said security officers from SWAT Security Company Limited would be made officially available from Monday January 14. “We are going to make this service available from tomorrow night, but we are going to provide a service tonight but we do not want to tell the country where that service would be,” he said. “The security guards would both be open and undercover so the criminals would not know where they are.” Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Maharaj said the service would operate in pretty much the same way as a government-run police service on the streets. “It would be both covert and overt and it will depend upon strategies and intelligence. I cannot disclose how it’s going to work but it’s going to work in the same way as if a police service is on the street,” he said. He said the criminal element had forced residents to become virtual prisoners in their homes and the time had come for decisive action.
rinidad and Tobago is a "bogus democracy" where only people with money can enjoy constitutional rights, according to Satnarayan Maharaj, secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS). He delivered the stinging criticism on the first day of the year yesterday, during a satsang (Hindu religious prayer meeting) at the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha headquarters in St Augustine. In an emotionally charged speech, Maharaj slammed the Government for the pressing problems that plague this land. "I say to you and I say to the nation, don't congratulate yourself that we are a democracy.We're a bogus democracy, we're a sham democracy, only if you have millions and political power you enjoy democracy," Maharaj said. He said all over the world there is unrest and battle for democracy, as in Pakistan and Kenya, but right here at home, even though we had a peaceful general elections, we revert to living in a place where our rights are suppressed. "We see on a daily basis our leaders going to court and coming from court, judges are being threatened, the senior judge in the land, the Chief Justice, for two years was tormented and almost destroyed," he said. He added, "We see the rise in crime. There is more blood flowing on the streets of Trinidad than water through the pipes of WASA. The cost of food has now become a problem. We as a nation, we are starving in midst of prosperity, our health care is in disarray and as a people we cannot access proper health services. "Yes you may say we have survived, but we have survived in a bogus democracy. Trinidad and Tobago is a bogus democracy." Maharaj said because of this bogus democracy, the children of this nation were migrating. "The brainpower in this land is moving away and I am saying 'yes move out', because there is a glass ceiling, only the preferred should cross that glass ceiling." Adding there was no reason for our children to remain here, because they would only be denied the right to expand their mind and do the things they are qualified to do, he said, "The biggest hypocrite ... in denying the people their freedom and rights, is always the Government and the State." He said the Government runs this country according to its own whims and fancies and this is the only democratic country he knows where a referendum was never held on any topic. Maharaj said this country had not yet degenerated into open warfare, but we were living in a country where "we don't know who is police and who is thief, this is a fact, this is stark reality". He said the emotional connection people have to this land is the main reason why many are still here. "I'm going to be cremated on the banks of the Caroni River...This is the place where I was born, this is the place where my father and grandfather was buried." Reiterating that the new generation will not remain here because the politicians are driving them out., he said we must look forward. "We must go back to looking inward, protecting our communities and villages, we must always stand up and speak out and fight against anybody who has denied us our freedom.
n amazing 24 murders have been committed in Trinidad for the first 16 days of this year, over three times the 7 murders for the same period last year. Twenty one had been shot with guns, two stabbed and one beaten to death with a cricket bat. Four had Indian names, Roland Naresh Toyer, Roopnarine Singh, Ravin Mannah and Zorissa Bhola. Eighteen of the murder victims were in their teens or twenties.This is the grim list for 2008, which seems to continue the record breaking murder spree of 2007 which saw 389 murders at the rate of more than one a day.
January 16: Kevin Marcano, 27 killed in Arima
A record 24 murders in 16 days of January
January 14: Shaka Wiley, 26, killed in Arima.
January 15: Ezra Mitchell, 30, shot dead in El Socorro Jason Joseph, 22, shot in Diego Martin
January 13:. Bishop Williams, 24, a construction worker of La Brea, stabbed in the chest outside his home. Dwayne Rose, 24, of St John's Road, St Augustine, shot dead by a gunman outside a Tunapuna recreation club. Paul Salandy, 59, a businessman kidnapped and shot to death in Arima. January 09: Jonathan "Ants" Blanc, 22, a construction worker of Arima, found behind a house with gunshot and stab wounds. January 7: Roland Naresh Toyer,19, of Quarry Street, Diego Martin, shot dead at his home
January 6: Jason Hoyte, 25, of Arima, shot during an altercation at an Aranjuez christening. Roopnarine Singh, 53, of San Juan, shot while seated in his car at Morvant.
January 5: Adisa Williams, 26, a handyman of Morvant, shot dead near his home. Trevor Timothy, 21, of Morvant, shot dead in Laventille. Anastacio "Papa" James,19, of Belmont, shot at the Belmont Moravian Church, Laventille. Christopher Leon Henry, 49, Morvant, shot by gunmen.. January 4: Sean Wade, 23, of Belmont shot dead by three men who stormed his home
January 2: Brandon Calica,15, of Sangre Grande, beaten to death with a cricket bat.. Ravin Mannah, 21, a doubles vendor of Barataria, shot dead while returning home. Delano Mc Nicols, of Morvant, shot dead outside his aparment complex
January 1: Andre "Cutters" Richardson, 28, of Laventille, shot dead while sleeping at his home. Zorissa Bhola, 47, of Jaffar Street, Bamboo Settlement No.2, Valsayn, found stabbed in bushes in Gasparillo. Junior Phillip, 18, of , Longdenville, Chaguanas, shot outside a local pub. Shevon Lamkin, 23, of Morvant shot dead while asleep at his home. Damien Charles, 27, of Sea Lots, shot dead..
Sam Persad passes on at 83
Extra Carnival GOPIO Trinidad seeks flights to Trinidad Canada based members Barbados Labour Party
defeated in elections
Caribbean Airlines is putting on additional flights to Trinidad in all its North American routes to accommodate peak Carnival travel. Two flights a week will be added to the normal New York schedule, resulting in 13 flights a week, while Toronto flights increase to ten flights a week, up by two flights. “Toronto flights will be serviced by the usual two class configuration aircraft, while the extra New York services will operate in all economy configuration. “Caribbean Airlines will also add new nonstop flights from Port-of-Spain to Kingston before and after Christmas,” complimenting the daily scheduled flights to Kingston. Additional non-stop services will be added to the Miami route.
Sam Persad, known to most as “Papa Sam”, passed away quietly in Toronto on January 4. Sam, who was a foundation member of the Satja Jyoti Cultural Sabha, and a pillar of the Indo-Trinidadian community in Toronto. Over 500 people attended the viewing and the funeral service, which according to the funeral agency was the largest funderal they had ever seen. He leaves behind his wife, four grown children, and six grandchildren. His ashes will be scattered in Lake Ontairo and in the Caroni River in Trinidad.
Canada is advising visitors to Trinidad to mainain a “high degree of caution” when visiting T&T, “due to high crime rates.” Its Travel Advice notes that “robberies with violence, including assaults and rape, occur frequently” in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and other urban areas. It says “crimes of opportunity such as petty theft tend to increase during...Carnival in February or March and during the Christmas holidays.” As it has in the past, it maintains that “incidents of gangs following cars leaving Piarco Airport and robbing travellers once they reach their destination have been reported.” In a one-sentence reference to Tobago, it states “tourists and foreign nationals are also victims of crime” on the island. Several countries have been issuing travel warnings or advisories about T&T for the past three years when the homicide and kidnappings rate began to escalate. Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated the travel advisory on
Canada urges caution when visiting TT
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its Web site www.fco.gov.uk to warn travellers “you should be aware that there are high levels of violent crime, including shootings and kidnappings.” It notes that “British nationals have been victims of violent attacks, particularly in Tobago where law enforcement is weak.” It also states that “cruise ship passengers should take particular care when walking along the docks and downtown (Port-ofSpain).” Giving examples of British nationals being attacked, injured and robbed, it warns of an increase in attacks at tourist sites and car parks of supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants and business premises. In Tobago, it says, visits are generally trouble-free but refers to incidents of robbery and violence, including rape. It advises caution in renting villas in the south-west of the island, near Bethel, Buccoo, Mount Pleasant and Plymouth. Australia has at Travel Advice which also warns a “high degree of caution” due to “high levels of serious crime.” The United States notes that “incidents of violent crime have been steadily on the rise on both islands.”It goes on to warn against using maxi taxis as they “have been linked to many road accidents and some instances of crime.
Defying tremendous odds, David Thompson led the Democratic Labour Party to a comprehensive victory against Owen Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party in the general election earlier this week. It was a doubly sweet comeback victory for the 48-year-old attorney, who had lost the leadership of his party following his second successive defeat at the polls in the 2003 general election. He had resumed the DLP leadership when the man who replaced him, Clyde Mascoll, defected to the ruling BLP two years ago, and became a Minister of State. With a voter turn out said to be in the high 60s, the DLP won 20 of the 30 seats in the Barbados House of Assembly, in results which saw several of the members of the former Cabinet going down in the BLP defeat. Owen Aathur was seeking a fourth election term, but could not convince the voters this time.
Camille is new TT envoy to Canada
GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago is seeking the support from Trinis at home and from Caribbean people in Canada and other countries abroad for its inaugural Fundraiser Awards/Dinner event on February 29. Tickets are priced at $TT200 (about $30 US or Canadian, and 15 British pounds). Organization president Deosaran Bisnath revelas that he has had queries from a few people abroad, and in response is setting up a PayPal account to facilitate purchase of tickets and donations to GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago. The group is also looking forward to individuals becoming members and participating in the activities of GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago. Membership is open to Caribbean people living abroad Please contact at GOPIOTT@gmail. com, deobisnath@yahoo. com, or 868 687 7529 for more information.
Camille Robinson-Regis is Trinidad and Tobago’s new High Commissioner to Canada. She replaces Arnold Piggott who held the position until he was brought back to Trinidad in 2006 to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Robinson-Regis received her letter of appointment recently from Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon. An attorney, Robinson-Regis last served in the Patrick Manning Government as MP for Arouca South. She also served as Minister of Planning and Development, Legal Affairs, Consumer Affairs, and even acted as Attorney General.
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Indo-Caribbean Times is published monthly in Toronto by Indo-Caribbean Times Ltd.
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Predictable predictions for TT in 2008
rinidad psychic Yesenia Gonzalez has predicted food riots, a political coup in Parliament, Prime Minister Manning becoming executive president, and crime Ram Jagessar over-runing the nation. Now I could have predicted those too, as well as some of Yesenia's other pronouncements. Trinidad seems to be taking a spiralling course downwards, in spite of its abundant oil money, in the way the Nigeria has done for the last few years. Yesenia could well have looked there when she predicted political intrigue and turmoil that could create uprisings, major scandals, and a change in the parliamentary system. She feels Patrick Manning could succeed in becoming Executive President, though I don't know why he would want that since he is already a constitutional dictator. Yesenia predicted Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj will replace Basdeo Panday as UNC leader, and that was a low blow. When I look at the other people who were tipped to succeed Panday rotting in the political cemetery, I have to feel sorry for poor Ramesh Lawrence. But it's not all bad from Yesenia. She says that in the coming year T&T will see major growth in the economy as oil prices continue to rise, and international investors flock to local soil. Manning has the luck of the devil, much as Eric Williams did, and higher oil prices have rescued him before. Some more predictions are natural to Trinidad: More money for Cepep workers will create confusion among the population, she says. On the Carnival front, mas lovers can expect a hike in the price of costumes and expect a major break-up among members of the National Carnival Commission. There will be a legal battle among the various Carnival organisations as scandal and allegations of bribery emerge. Carnival will become highly commercialised, creating big businesses for
political gains. The Police Service will be divided internally. Many police officers will be arrested for corruption, she predicts.
dates the only change.
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Opinions given in this newspaper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reﬂect the views of the Indo-Caribbean Times.
On matters of national security, Yesenia had very little work to do in predicting that in 2008, crime will overwhelm the country, and that food prices will soar to the extent where people will be breaking into other people's homes to get food. Riots will occur and people will call on the Government reduce the price of food and medication. When I saw a lady in HI-LO paying out $585 TT for one third full grocery cart I could see that food trouble is coming for Trinidad.
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Researcher Lloyd Harradan discovers a historic early arrival in the United States, probably the first Indian to come from Trinidad to New York
Coolie wanted to die
Desperate Attempt of a West Indian to End His Life at the Battery
A West Indian coolie. with an unpronounceable and unspellable name, has attracted a good deal of attention at the Barge Office for three weeks past. When be first appeared, he said that he had ,arrived a week vrevious on the steamship Caribbee, from Trinidad. He had meantime been robbed of $100, he said, and having become penniless, asked to be sent back to Trinidad. Investigation failed to find that he had been a passenger on the Caribbee, and nothing was done for him .. He hung about Battery Park, despondently, until about a week ago, when he went to the Barge Office and flung him-
(From The New York Times July 12,1897)
self down upon the steps, and refused to move. He had no money and had nothing to eat. He was exhausted, and unless aided, he said, could do nothing but die. This appeal could not go unnoticed. He was taken in by the immigration officials and fed, and then an ambulance took him to the New York Hospital, where he was kept till strong enough to go abroad. Then he was discharged, and immediately he went back to Battery Park to wait for something to turn up. Nothing turned up to relieve the coolie's wants or the monotony of waiting, and yesterday morning, it appears, he thought It time to do something. Going to the Barge Office steps again, the unfortunate fellow took off his shoes and socks, and depositing them, together with a small bundle and his coat to one side, he ran around the Bat-
Trinidad “coolie” immigrant makes a hard landing in New York, July 1897
tery pier and sprang overboard. The Liberty Island boat lay alongside the pier. It was filled withpassengers, and hundreds of persons were lined along the sea. wall. There were immediate cries of "man overboard," and the congregating of an immense crowd.Various things were thrown to the would-be suicide. who was seen swimming l!ke a duck, or rather treading water, while a swift current setting over toward the East River was carrying him rapidly toward Staten Island. Lines and buoys were thrown him from the Barge Office pier. but he did not see them. As he was carried past the revenue cutter ship Lieut. Scott, of the cutter Chandler, flung a life preserver with a line attached out to him. It fell within ten feet. The coolie had evidently by this time changed his programme, for he struck out for the floating ring. The tide was too much for him, however,
Absolutely no surprises there and the same with “ a major controversy in the PNM resulting in the party being split later on”, cabinet reshuffles because certain ministers will be branded as not performing their duties, and trouble ahead for the UNC as two of their seats come into question. Every political reporter in Trinidad has written those stories with the names and
As I said, I could have predicted that. I've been observing Trinidad politics for a few decades, and will go along with Yesenia when she predicts major confusion about contracts and acquisition of land, many in high offices charged with corruption, the changing of the organisational structure of the public sector and moving around people. I remember millstones being insulted by Dr Williams, as well as past examples of her predictions of “a lot of disagreement, controversy and hasty decisons by the Government against the media.
Yesenia feels that Trinidad will witness increased industrialisation as plenty money will be flowing into the country. But the people will not receive any of the wealth. The gap between the rich and poor will only widen, causing major conflict.
She thinks the traffic problem will get so bad that many people will now look to the East to live and to set up businesses, families will migrate from the West to the East, and the Interchange, now under construction, will be of little help. These have all been happening for years now, and are only a continuation of past problems. Now I am not saying that Yesania doesn’t know her business. She has made some astounding predictions in the past, including: Soca Warriors will go to the World Cup in 2006, Hugo Chavez will lose in his bid to create constitutional reform in Venezuela. Election deadlock in 2001 of 18-18 A November 2007 general election errorists in T&T will be found and extradited to the US. That’s sereious stuff. Take your marks, Yesenia. I hate to say this, but I have to agree with all your predictions for Trinidad. This is becoming a depressingly easy place to read, with the emphasis on depressing. I couldn’t make my living doing predictions for Trinidad.
I could say the same for Yesenia's predictions on health, which are that the health sector will worsen, the shortage of beds and equipment will continue and there will be many deaths in the hospitals, an acute shortage of drugs, and sick people will have a difficult time getting their prescriptions filled. Those are history notes from the sixties.
Now Yesenia will have to be more creative in her crime predictions to shut out amateurs like me. Robberies will increase, there will be internal problems in the executive of the Police Service, criminals will turn their weapons on lawmen and police officers will face major danger, especially female officers. Those aren't predictions, but reports taken from the newspapers.
and he was swept against the hull of one of the Staten Island ferryboats. which was about to leave her slip. He caught hold of one of the braces beneath her guards just as the paddles began to turn. It looked as though the coolie must be drawn beneath the big wheel, when shouts from the shore and passengers on the forward deck attracted the pilot's attention, and he had the engines stoppcd. Policeman Thompson and Peter Riley, a boatman, had meantime put off in a Whitehall boat from the Battery Basin, and they rescued the man. He was taken back to the basin and lifted up to the seawalI, where a. big crowd gathered about him as he lay on the pavement. apparently in a very weak condition, pending the arrival of an ambulance. He was taken to the Hudson Street Hospital.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO NEWS
Chronicles from the killing fields of Trinidad compiled by Lloyd Harradan
Patrick X and the Killings in Trinidad
Indo-Caribbean Times JANUARY 2008
wounds to his left hand. St Joseph Police are continuing investigations. Shawn Neaves who was also shot in Tunapuna around 8 p.m. on Friday, was treated and discharged. Neaves, 24, reportedly had an argument with a man near the Tunapuna Market. The man pulled out a gun and shot Neaves in the neck. A passer-by drove Neaves to hospital. Tunapuna Police are continuing investigations. KILLED TO SEND A MESSAGE fear and incompetence. On the opening day of Parliament, the Government should have given the country a sense of hope but they have not done that." Members of the anti-crime rally, including children, eventually held up their anticrime placards in plain view of passing vehicles as they carried out a silent protest. Standing feet away from the dead man, one marcher stood silently as he held a placard which read "Crime is a national crisis". Express 2007.12.18 PUT DOWN YOUR GUNS THIS CHRISTMAS
FLASHBACK On December 4, State witness Kelly “Machine Gun” Denoon, 31, was killed at his home in John John, Laventille. Denoon was a State witness in the trial of the 2005 killing of a Unemployment Relief Programme worker on the Brian Lara Promenade. TEEN'S MURDER PUSHES TOLL TO 383 Denyse Renne Sunday, December 30th 2007
Minister of National Security Martin Joseph at a seven minute news conference on January 3rd 2008 admitted that Government's initiatives to arrest gang-related crime have failed. Joseph said some of the measures Government had put in place to deal specifically with gang-related violence were the Homicides Prevention Working Group, the Homicides Bureau of Investigation, the Repeat Offenders Programme and the Inter-Agency Task Force which was used "as a crime suppression mechanism." “Clearly it did not work,” Joseph announced. Is that news to anyone? In what was clearly a trial balloon the Express published an editorial suggesting a limited state of emergency. Police and relatives of a St Joseph teenager remain baffled yesterday about the motive behind his murder. Eighteen-year-old Christopher Singh was shot several times while walking on Agostini Street, St Joseph, yesterday morning. He was returning from his girlfriend’s home, not far away. Singh was shot at about 12.20 am and was pronounced dead at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) shortly afterwards.
With just one day before the start of a new year, the murder toll continued to climb yesterday, following the shooting of a St Joseph teenager. The killing of Christopher Singh has pushed the murder toll to 383 for the year, this figure has already surpassed last year's by 12, and is three short of 2005's toll. Homicide detectives say they are yet to establish a motive for Singh's killing. Singh, 18, an employee of Bermudez Biscuits, lived on Agostini Street, St Joseph and was walking along the street when a gunman ran up to him and started shooting. Singh was shot five times about the body. The incident occurred at around 12.30 a.m. He was rushed to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Upon returning to the shooting scene, homicide detectives heard several gunshots coming from Sutton Street , which is a few metres from Agostini Street . When the detectives investigated, they saw a man running with blood flowing from his left hand. The man identified himself as Harold Gould. Gould ,30, told police he was asleep at his Sutton Street home when someone shot him through his bedroom window. He was rushed to the EWMSC where he remains warded nursing four gunshot
Toll for 2007 goes to 373 Wednesday, December 26th 2007 Last year's murder toll of 371 has been surpassed by two, which includes the murder of a man described as a close relative of a gang member.The man was shot dead on Christmas Eve after his killer wished him a "Merry Christmas". The toll for this year now stands at 373.Dead is Joseph Phillip, 35, of Augustine Lane , Gonzales. He was not a member of any gang but he was killed to send a message to a relative, investigators believe. Phillip was due to be married next month, the Express learned. Commenting about the toll, Deputy Commissioner of Police Gilbert Reyes said, "We are very concerned about what is happing with the toll and we are asking people to provide the police with whatever information they may have with regards to the murders taking place." Police said that at 6.45 p.m. on Monday, Phillip was dropping off a few cases of beer at a parlour at St Barbs Road , Belmont , when a gunman walked up to him. Eyewitnesses told the police that the man told Phillip, "Merry Christmas. Ah hope you enjoy the gift." Then the man shot him several times. Phillip died instantly.The killer then ran off. Police have ruled out robbery since nothing was taken. Officers from the Homicide Bureau, Port of Spain are continuing investigationsThe search for the killer continued up to late last night. Hours later there was another shooting incident in Port of Spain. Police said that at 10.45 p.m. Corey Haynes, 19,was standing near the Mango Rose, Laventille apartment scheme when he was approached by three men all armed with guns. The men opened fired on Haynes who is a construction worker and ran off. Haynes was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where an emergency operation was performed. He was in stable condition at the hospital last night. Besson Street CID detectives who are continuing enquiries into the shooting could not say what was the motive for the shooting. DEAD MAN FOUND AT ANTI- CRIME RALLY
In a brutal and ironic twist, a homeless man was badly beaten and left for dead metres away from where an anti-crime rally was being held at Victoria Square , Port of Spain , yesterday afternoon “Never in my wildest dreams I thought I would have witnessed this. This tells you where our country is going," said United National Congress Alliance member Wade Mark, who had been invited to participate in the march. "People are being murdered in broad daylight just opposite an anti-crime rally.....the country is under siege. It is under the grip of
One Christmas Day during World War II, in an act of spontaneity, German and British troops began singing a carol and soon they left their trenches, dropped their weapons, walked toward each other and embraced, in recognition of their mutual humanness that the war had forced them to suppress. It is the nature of wars, whether between nations, or ethnic groups as in Bosnia , or tribes as in Rwanda , or gangs as in Morvant, Laventille, or Diego Martin, or Nelson Street , that it requires suppression of our humanness so we can objectify the other. In that way, we could walk up to a human being and take his life for the simplest of things. But these soldiers in World War II, at least for that day, allowed themselves to be overcome by their humanness, and instead of shooting at their enemies in rival trenches, did something much grander-they hugged. I am calling on my young brothers, in Laventille, and Morvant, and Diego Martin, and the other ghetto spaces in the land, this Christmas, to put down their guns, and try to find each other. The reason is simpleit will be a while before the current fire that is raging among you will burn itself out, leaving behind lots of young black corpses, with holes in their skulls, and in the end, in the ashes, we will have young widows, and even younger orphans, black babies and children without fathers, now dead for having gotten themselves caught in this spiralling whirlpool of gangsterism, that has appetite only for the young and the black. Or so it seems. Black men, we survived the Middle Passage, our ancestors did, and then the inhumanity of slavery, and the arrogance of the colonial master, to claim this land, and now having done all of that we kill each other in pursuit of what? The newspapers are keeping score each day-300, 310, 315. Keeping score in this game of death that no one can win. Those likely to die in a war are those in the fight, at the front lines. Soon it will be your turn, my brother, to die, face down on a dirty pavement, in Morvant, and Laventille, and Diego Martin. No one lives in more fear than you, who, caught up in this game of murder, set to the music of 50-Cent and others, must watch your back constantly, for a while at least. Because, as sure as the cock will crow in the morning, on a tree in Patna or Covigne Road , you will die. You will be bad, for a year, for a time, you will feel big and strong, having the power to kill, and maybe kill again, but in the end, it will be your turn. To die. In the old days, when the men from the hill went to war, men representing Silkhats, or Marabuntas, or Applejackers, or Desperadoes or Renegades, they left each other
Theodore Lewis Sunday, December 16th 2007
wounded on the battlefield, and they retreated to the hill, and the music could help take their minds away, and many of them lived to old age. Maybe it is the new age of technology, the gun replacing the iron bolt, and killing becoming so much easier. The old warriors from the hill lived, though many could show the scars of war. That old generation of tough men always gave themselves room for peace. They knew that the hill had to be shared and that no one would be left standing if they did not compromise. As I gazed on the hills recently in the night, I could not discern the difference as I swivelled my eyes from Laventille to St. Ann 's, the lights shining innocently. And at the one end of this arc, I imagined people in their gated communities, living in fear, and bolted inside, and at the other end, I imagined the young man of 18, black and impressionable, living in a deeper more desperate fear, because for him, that night, it would either be kill or be killed. Who has a greater fear than the young black man in our land, caught up in the ghetto? His gun cannot save him from death. The surest way to escape death, my brother, is to stand down from the heat, tough as that is to do. Christmas is a time for compromise. My brothers, look at your children. You should be around to take them down the hill on the first day of school, or to go shopping with them for uniforms when they pass the SEA Exam. Black warriors, put down your guns this Christmas, and forever. You are in a battle no one can win. Soon you will be dead if you remain on this battlefield. What is it about us, black men? Why are we the only ones caught up in this self-inflicted, stupid genocidal war? Why is there not this perpetual counting of dead bodies in Westmoorings, or Cascade, or Valsayn, or Preysal, or Penal? So where are the spoils from this great war black man. Where are your groceries in your communities, your factories, your businesses? What does the race benefit from your war? Is it because you are braver black man, than young brothers from other races? Or is it because, as before, you are easily fooled by the shining trinket held before you? What shall we tell your children black man, about you, when you are gone, picked up at the corner with holes in your skull? Shall we tell them that you were some big man? Please put down your guns this Christmas, and forever. Hug each other my brothers. There are larger wars in the land to fight, such as educating our children, and trying to own our own businesses. We need you in this larger war. Black men, please emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. Put down your guns this Christmas, and try to live to see your children grow up. * Theodore Lewis is Professor in the Department of Work and Human Resource Education at the University of Minnesota , USA. (
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Anti crime rally says Trinidad not safe to live
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Indo-Caribbean Times JANUARY 2008
Against Crime anti-crime rally in Port-ofSpain recently voiced their displeasure at the country's spiralling crime rate, saying T&T was no longer a safe place to live. The group was formed recently by defeated Tunapuna UNC Alliance candidate Christine Newallo-Hosein, whose son was kidnapped and beaten in 2005. NewalloHosein appealed to Social Development Minister Amery Browne to give the Criminal Injuries Act board power to assist victims of crime, who had no where to turn for counselling. A member of the public Juliet des Vignes, whose daughter was killed one year ago, said her family was going through a tough time trying to cope. "People are dying like flies and nobody cares. The Government does not have the political will to fight crime, although their duty is to protect each and every citizen. The criminals have no fear for the police and courts. They are doing what they want. We are living in a lawless society." Diabetics in south Trinidad are out of luck if they are looking dialysis treatment at the San Fernando General Hospital. The dialysis unit at the San Fernando General Hospital has been shut down indefinitely, after 19 catheter lines have been found to be contaminated. This poses a serious an infection risk to patients. Over 50 patients have been affected by the temporary closure of the unit, as they were unable to receive treatment since late last week. The catheter is a hollow tube employed to drain fluids from body during dialysis in patients whose kidneys are not functioning properly. A health official said it was uncertain what could have caused the contamination, but “The necessary steps have been taken to deal with the problem.” The official said patients would be treated with antibiotics while the situation is being rectified. Thirteen kidney failureÂ patients who were admitted to San Fernando General Hospital on January 7 are now suffering from the effects of enterobacteria, which can be fatal if it is not treated in the early stages. became the year's first kidnap victim on January 2, when he was snatched shortly after he parked his car after finishing work for the night. Relatives received a telephone call next day from a man who demanded $50,000 and cocaine and marijuana, for the safe release of Kimo Evans. Police said at around 10 p.m., Evans, 37, parked his car at St James Street, Marabella, a couple blocks away from his George Street home, when he was confronted by three men who pulled up in a car. A scuffle broke out between Evans and the men, during which time a gunshot is believed to have been fired. Evans was overpowered by the men and forced into the waiting car.
Anti crime rally: Infection shuts First kidnap on 2nd kidnap TT not safe down dialysis at 2nd day of 2008 victim killed Victims of crime and members of the pubTrinidad's latest kidnap victim, 59 year lic who came out to support the Tunapuna Sando hospital A man who drove a private car for hire old businessman Paul Salandy, has been
found dead with gunshot wounds along the Guanapo Road, Arima last Thursday, just hours before his relatives received a $300,000 or a half-kilo-of-cocaine ransom demand for his safe return. He had been reported missing from his travel agency. Salandy, who had Trinidad and Venezuela dual citizenship, was the father of eight children who live abroad. The family are now considering their next move, as they would like to pay final respects to their deceased father but are too afraid to return to Trinidad.
Deputy Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagessar says life is becoming increasingly harder for T&T's poor. He made the comment while distributing food hampers to needy families in Felicity. Nagessar warned that the cost of living had risen drastically, and the price of food had risen by more than 40 per cent in the last year. He called on the Government to make the special chicken family packs available to all in order to meet the needs of the working class families and those living on the edge of poverty.
Life getting harder for poor
The patients are among 29 people with kidney ailments who were admitted to the institution following problems associated with the catheter used in the haemodialysis equipment to treat them. Eight have been allowed to go home. The equipment was shut down on January 7 for what was described as "sanitisation', after some patients became ill after treatment.
Another deadly menace stalking Trinidadkiller bees- has caused the death of a Petit Valley pensioner. Nathaniel James, 74, of Tara Drive in Petit Valley, died last week after “thousands of bees” stung him about the body. Residents in the area where James lived said the bees became agitated because of vibrations from a tractor at a nearby plot of land. James’ relatives said they heard their dogs “getting on wild,” and when they rushed outside to investigate, they saw James lying on the road, covered by “thousands and thousands of bees.” Everyone had to rush back inside the house because there were so many bees, and nobody could rescue James who was bawling for help. One relative said the ambulance responded almost one hour after the call was made. A local resident said he had contacted the Apiaries Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture in December about the same bee hive, but was told they had no transport, as the vehicle at the unit “was not licenced.”
Killer bees kill pensioner
Camouflage outfits worn by soldiers, a beret, two ski-masks and two pairs of armyissued boots were among a cache of arms and ammunition seized by police in Erin this week. Police held two men, a 35-yearold taxi-driver of Cocorite and a 19-yearold labourer of Carenage, when they intercepted the seven-seater mini-van carrying Venezuelan merchandise. In the vehicle, police discovered a cache-a Tech-9 machine-gun, Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, 53 bullets and 145 kilogrammes of marijuana worth an estimated $1.5 million. Investigators said they also found something more disturbing-three camouflage outfits worn by members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, a beret, two skimasks and two pairs of army-issued boots. Last weekend in Central Trinidad, police arrested a car thief dressed in the uniform of a soldier, who has since been identified by his senior officers and is being sought for questioning. Efforts to contact the public relations department of the T&T Regiment were unsuccessful. But a source attached to the Regiment said several of the uniforms seized were genuine and the army would probe how the uniforms got into the hands of the criminal element. The source added that the uniforms seized have the names and regimental numbers of soldiers and they are expected to be interrogated and possibly confined to barracks until senior officers get to the bottom of the problem.
Army outfits found on criminals
Nine men with guns robbed a foreign used vehicle business in Chaguanas this week, and left with rides worth more than $350,000. At around 2 p.m., the criminals entered Auto Rex, a company on the Mulchan Sieuchan Road near the Endeavour Overpass. The employees were held at gunpoint and forced to hand over the keys to two Nissan Ad Wagons and a Toyota Hilux pick up van. Police swarmed the area within minutes, but said the suspects split up and could have used any of nine escape routes to get out of the borough. A police helicopter and highway patrol officers were searching for the vehicles up to last night. The car firm was robbed last year, and several suspects are before the court charged with that crime.
Huge armed gang raid Central car firm
Three armed and masked gunmen robbed over 20 people who were enoying a Friday afternoon “river lime” at Caura River earlier this month. Several frightened foreigners were among the shocked Trinis who witnessed the bandits robbing limers of their valuables. One man said his family had to flee the scene. "Man, woman, woman with children...everybody had to run up the river," he said. The bandits escaped after trading gunshots with Tunapuna police responding to frantic calls by bathers."What is this place coming to?" the man asked, "that people can't even have a river lime in peace."
Bandits terrorise Caura limers
Central woman robbed and raped by taxi driver Witness against A Central woman was raped by the driver of a “PH” taxi on an early Saturday night Muslimeen leader recently. The 29-year-old woman who was on her gunned down way home reportedly boarded the vehicle
shortly after 7 pm on the corner of Eleanor and Marc Street, in the vicinity of Montrose Vedic School in Chaguanas. When the vehicle reached the vicinity of Edinburgh Gardens, the four other occupants proceeded to rob the woman of her cellphone and a quantity of cash and jewelry. She was then taken to a desolate area in Carlsen Field and raped by the driver. This is one of several recent incidents where passengers in taxis have been robbed by other passengers, sometimes in collaboration with the taxi-drivers. Many of Trinidad’s regular taxi drivers have stopped working at night because of crime, and in some cases private taxis have taken up the slack. Salim "Small Salim" Rasheed, one of the main witnesses in a failed conspiracy to murder trial against Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, was gunned down in broad daylight just before the new year.Rasheed, 33, was killed by an unknown gunman while he was at his Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) jobsite located on the roadside at Seventh Avenue, Malick.
The new year started on a grim note with the discovery of the body of a middle aged Indian woman Zorisha Bholo of Bamboo Settlement. Bholo, who was unemployed and lived alone, was last seen alive the weekend before Christmas. Her body was found in the bushes off Bhagwansingh Trace, Caratal Road, Gasparillo. Police believe she was raped before being killed.
Zorisha found dead on New Year’s Day
Good infrastructure year, poverty unchanged
Indo-Caribbean Times JANUARY 2008
he success rate of the poverty reduction strategy papers over the last five years has been minimal with no significant reduction in moderate and extreme poverty levels countrywide. It is against this backdrop that Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, at the opening of consultations yesterday, charged the participants, for the 2008-2012 paper, to find out why there have been such poor results and to make recommendations about what can be done to correct shortcomings. The Region Four round kick-started the process which will continue in all ten regions over the next two weeks. Hinds told the participants that the results in two poverty status surveys conducted in 1999 and 2006, following the implementation of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), have been marginal. He said the 1999 report showed that the national moderate poverty level was 36% and extreme poverty levels stood at 19%. At the end of 2006 when another assessment was done, Hinds said, the implementation of the programmes set out in the paper had only showed marginal reduction in the poverty levels. The moderate poverty level only declined by 3% and to 33% and extreme poverty, by 1% to 18%. "I am not knowledgeable of the procedure of measuring the levels, but on the surface, the improvement is marginal," the prime minister told the gathering. "We have to see what has been accomplished so far and why results have not been better and what could be done to see more reduction in poverty levels," he added. Hinds also disclosed that higher levels of poverty were found in Regions One, Seven and Nine. He said too that the other regions had experienced some degree of poverty reduction. The prime minister said that the assessment showed that 75% of Amerindian communities were considered poor. Meanwhile, Hinds said his government has implemented economic policies and reforms in many sectors and has maintained a sound macroeconomic framework although economic growth has not been very significant. He also said that though the government has invested heavily in the education and health sectors, their returns would not be seen in the short term but as the programme progresses. He posited a similar view as regards infrastructure. However the prime minister also said that citizens have a role to play in the growth and development of the country. He said that the government had implemented many programmes sector-wide as it works to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target. He said too the PRSP is the people's document for development. Region Four Chairman Clement Corlette chaired the proceedings. The audience later formed informal groups to continue discussions. The Government Information agency (GINA) said this final round of consultations is to further address issues related to implementation of the second PRSP and subsequent developments.
Only 'minimal' success from poverty reduction papers -PM Hinds
GINA quoted Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, as saying that consultations on specific thematic areas would also be held. They are expected to address areas such as rural development, gender, governance, security, social protection and health. It had been reported too that many of the issues and recommendations from the public consultations held in 2001 had been incorporated into the PRSP and in addition the consultations have assisted in the sequencing of programmes and re-allocation of resources. The next round of consultations will take place over the weekend in several areas in all ten regions. The consultations were held at the Ocean View International Conference Centre.
truth and reconciliation commission to look into the PNC period in office from 1966 to 1992 would not help the current state of affairs but such a commission could examine the period in the 1950s and early 1960s, President Bharrat Jagdeo has said. He also asserted that before the government and the opposition could enter into an arrangement for enhanced cooperation or power sharing they must trust each other. He added that he was reluctant to put in place artificial mechanisms to foster relations between the government and opposition because they would collapse if they are not buttressed on a foundation of trust and goodwill. Asked at a press conference he hosted at the Office of the President on Tuesday whether he feels that a truth commission could help in putting to rest allegations of corruption and other forms of atrocities allegedly committed during the PNC's 28 years in office and improving relations among supporters of both political parties, Jagdeo said that a lot of people suggested that a truth and reconciliation commission should be established for this purpose.
Jagdeo favours truth commission to examine Guyana’s brutal past
Local government elections in Guyana, due since 1997, will be held by December this year.The Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) bill was unanimously approved by the National Assembly , paving the way for municipal and local government elections to be held by December 1, 2008. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lallopened the debate on the bill which saw lively exchanges before it was given the full support of the House. The parties involved blamed each other for the yearly postponements since 1994. Lall, however, gave the assurance that all the machinery was in place for elections to be held on or before December 1 next year.
Local gov't polls in ‘08 finally
ontinuous improved infrastructure remains a primary objective of Government and during last year more investments were made in this direction to enhance the country's road network, sea defences and air and river transport services through various activities implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. At a press conference Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn reported satisfactorily progress in 2007, which he described as a principal year for infrastructural development. Minister Benn noted that the achievements were not made without challenges, some of which still exist and are being given significant attention by the Ministry. Updates on the various projects were presented by senior officials of the responsible departments such as the Work Services Group (WSG), Sea Defence Unit, Transport and Harbours Department, Maritime Administration (MARAD), Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) and Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIAC). The Ministry's major road projects in 2007 were the ongoing construction of the Berbice River Bridge access roads, completion of the Road Safety Engineering Programme and continuation of the Road Maintenance Management Programme. Extension of the four-lane East Bank Demerara highway from DHB to Greenfield and continuation of the Mahaica/Rosignol Road Rehabilitation Programme which is nearing completion were other notable activities for 2007. In addition, approximately $1.9B was spent on upgrading, construction and rehabilitation of various roads under the categories of miscellaneous, urban and infrastructural development programmes. These were carried out through the WSG, which was responsible for several enhancement activities in Georgetown which cost an estimated $424M to upgrade roads, the City's main avenues and drainage and irrigation. Another major investment made through the Public Works Ministry was installation of approximately 50 traffic lights at crucial junctions under a US$2.1M project that was officially commissioned in July. With regard to sea defences, major construction was done in Regions Two and Three under a $3.6B project funded with support from the European Union while another internationally funded project continued at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice. Other improvements were done in Regions Two to Six with the $650M made available in the 2007 National Budget for emergency sea defence works. Continued efforts to boost the country's ferry services include repairs to stellings at Adventure, Parika, Georgetown, Rosignol, New Amsterdam and Morwhanna while maintenance works were done to several vessels including the Sandaka, Torani and Lady Northcote. During 2007, the T&HD was able to reintroduce ferry services to Port Kaituma after 20 years. Investments at the CJIA were focused on continuing the modernisation programme through which new conveyor belts were acquired, various areas such as the Viewing Gallery were upgraded and new runway lights installed.
Berbice Bridge among sound infrastructure works
The epic Ramayan, and its annual re-enactment, the Ramleela, werebrought to the Caribbean by the indentured labourers. It was, and stillis today, a popular activity in the area of North India, from which mostof the indentured labourers were brought to the Caribbean . Once vibrant in Guyana, the Ramleela groups gradually dispersed until they stoppedtheir activities almost thirty years ago. However, in sister nation, Trinidad and Tobago , the tradition sustainedand evolved for over a century into an unassailable dynamic.At the behest of a Trinidad-based Guyanese lawyer, Mr. Randy Depoo, aGuyanese delegation, led by Pt Hardesh Tewari, attended a conference on Ramleela in Trinidad in November of 2006, which was organized by the Academy at the University of Trinidad and Tobago . Subsequently, in early 2007, a group of 14 students chosen from seven Mandirs nationwide attended a summer vacation course at The Kendra in Trinidad. The Kendra organizes this course with a syllabus that includes theory to practical for youths.’The Ramdila 2007 – The Guyana Initiative', a group of Guyanese who are taking initiative to reclaim the Ramleela heritage, has organized a workshop in Ramleela. Over fifty (50) students attend weeklyworkshops at the Gopal Mandir in Lusignan.The Ramdila 2007 – Guyana Initiative group held its first major Ramleela production at the Starlite Drive-in Cinema from January4-6, 2008, beginning 6:30 p.m. each evening. they were two-hour programmes with no entry charges.
Ramleela returns to Guyana !
Several major audits were conducted by various agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the United States Transport Security System to ensure that the CJIAC's operations are in keeping with required regulations. A simulated aircraft crash exercise was successfully conducted. Other significant infrastructural projects which took centre stage in 2007 and which are still ongoing are construction of the Takutu bridge scheduled for completion by March/April and the Berbice bridge. This is expected to become operational later in the year.
It pays to advertise in the Indo-Caribbean Times
he government has accepted the Venezuelan government's response on the incursions into Guyana's territory by a military contingent on November 15, 2007, "in a show of good faith" even though not all the questionswere answered. The response conveyed Venezuela's acceptance of a number of proposalsGuyana had made to Venezuela to use the UN Secretary General Good Officer Procedure as an instrument in the common search for a peaceful solution to the Guyana/Venezuela territorial controversy. In its response, the Vene-zuelan government expressed regret at the incident and accepted some of Guyana's proposals for enhancing bilateral relations while at the same time dealing diplomatically with the Guyana/ Venezuela territorial controversy. Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy Insanally said Guyana no longer saw taking the Cuyuni incident to theOrganisation of American States (OAS) or the United Nations (UN) as necessary. Contacted for a follow-up on whether the Ministry of ForeignAffairs had completed analysing the response to determine whether it adequately addressed and satisfied Guyana's concerns, Insanally saidthat even though all the questions Guyana had put forward to Venezuela had not been answered, the government had accepted the response as satisfactory. He did not say what the unanswered questions were. However, it is understood that the issue of compensation for the two dredges destroyed by the Venezuelan military and which were owned by Guyanese miners, had not been addressed.
Gov’t accepts Venezuelan reply on November invasion
Canje jeweller robbed at 2.30 am
Friday, December 21st 2007 Canje jeweller robbed and beaten
Berbice Bridge looks solid
in investing in developing a local bio-fuel/ agro-energy sector are likely to be evaluated early in 2008 with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the UN's Econo-mic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Ten of the proposals are from eight different countries and one is froma local potential investor. The process of evaluation and implementing a comprehensive strategic plan for local bio-energy investment and production, would cost an estimated US$1.2 million which would be raised with grant funding from the IDB and counterpart funding from the government. In an interview Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud told the Stabroek News that the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) has received the proposals, which are in varying stages of development since additional information were still being sought from the potential investors. The number of investors has grown from early August, when President Bharrat Jagdeo had announced that six companies had expressed interest, with one of them proposing an investment of US$600 million. The proposals submitted include those from a locally-registered company, Sawarima Agro and Bio Energy Enterprise; and the Canada-registered Agri Solutions Technologies which is already operating a biodiesel facilityusing palm oil at Wauna in the Mabaruma District, Region One (Barima/Waini).
Great interest in Gunmen rob bio-fuel plant funeral home Proposals from 11 companies interested
Kalamadeen Khan of Lot 2 'B' East Canefield Settlement, a gold jeweller who operates at the New Amsterdam Market, was awakened around 2.30 am on Tuesday by the loud barking of his dogs in the yard. He heard a loud sound from his metal gate; as if someone was breaking it down. He ran to the door and saw a masked man standing on his verandah looking through the glass at him. A second man appeared and they smashed the door before attacking Khan with an axe and cutlass, and fired bullets at him. The men ransacked the house, stealing gold jewellery belonging to Khan's wife, and taking away $300,000. The men took his five-year-old son, put the axe on his neck, and threatened to chop it off if they did not get more money. Khan was severely beaten in the attack.
A Canje householder put up a fight, but was eventually beaten and robbed by armed bandits who broke into his home in the wee hours of a Tuesday, morning.
Around five gunmen, clad in military fatigues and carrying rifles, shotguns and handguns Sunday night terrorized residents of Mon Repos,East Coast Demerara last month.They killed two men and seriously wounded two others during a ten-minute robbery spree in a rum shop on Agriculture Road in front of the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI). Dead are Rajesh Singh, 35, of Martyr's Ville and Fazal Hakim, 25, of Mon Repos. Both men, according to police reports, sustained gunshot wounds to their heads and were pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Army style gunmen kill two
Two gunmen posing as customers walked into Sandy's Funeral Home on Chapel Street, Lodge and robbed an employee of $300,000 cash before escaping on waiting motorcycles. An employee said that around 2:30 pm she was filling out some paperwork for two customers when the men came up and she heard a voice say "No noise, give me what you have. I thought that they were just making fun." The employee who was still visibly shaken said that the men got away with her handbag which contained $40,000 and $260,000 which was in the desk drawer. The woman said that the men wore no masks.
President Bharrat Jagdeo has announced a wide-ranging probe to determine how many weapons were issued to government departments under the late Forbes Burnham-led administration by the security forces and have not been returned. And he revealed that based upon records provided by the Guyana Defence Force, between 1976 and 1979, the military issued 236 weapons including General Purpose Machines Guns and other guns of various calibre to the Ministry of National Development. Jagdeo could not say how many of those weapons have been returned and he assured that the investigation which he will commission would hopefully unearth this. He gave no time frame as to when the inquiry will commence, neither did he say what form it would take. Jagdeo's announcement came following the recovery of two weapons - a M-72 rifle and a beretta 9mm submachine gun that were issued to the Ministry of National Development under the People's National Congress government from criminals last week Wednesday during a gun battle at Mahaicony. Jagdeo said the investigation would go back as far as the 1950s to present, noting that it now worries his administration that guns that were issued to the government back then have now landed in the criminals' hands. "The question to be asked is how these weapons ended up in criminals' hands," Jagdeo commented at his press conference yesterday afternoon. He said that his administration has decided early that it wanted a full investigation, noting that the matter was a serious one. Among the weapons that were issued to the national development ministry were: seven Smith and Wesson Pistols, Four HK 11 Light Machine Guns, eight G-3 rifles, four General Purpose Machine Guns, 20 beretta Submachine Guns, 15 Self Loading rifles, 50 M-10 Pistols, six .22 rifles, six .30 Carbines, six .303 rifles, 15 Self Loading rifles, six G-3 rifles, 50 M-10 pistols, 20 beretta Submachine Guns, 15 M-70 rifles and five M-72 rifles. J
Probe to check weapons issued by PNC govts
The majestic Berbice Bridge takes final shape. It will open in September.
The battered body of U.S-based Guyanese Abdool Khan, who had been missing since January 14, has been found at Letter ‘T' Village, Mahaicony. Police say Khan, called ‘David', who was staying at Belmonte, Mahaica, had been clubbed about the body and had apparently been dumped among a clump of bushes along the Letter ‘T' Public Road . Police officials confirmed last night that they have detained a 22-year-old male associate of the murdered man, and are looking for two other suspects from Mahaica. Robbery appeared to be the motive for the killing since, according to relatives, the victim's wallet, gold jewellery and a cellular phone that he had when he left home were missing. Khan arrived in Guyana on recently and was staying in Mahaica, where his mother and a brother reside. According to relatives, at around 20:00 hrs on Tuesday, a car arrived at the house and Khan left with the occupants. That was the last time he was seen alive.
US based man found dead in Mahaicony
Gunmen on New Year's morning attacked members of the Bethel Wesleyan Church on the Bachelor's Adventure Public Road, East Coast Demerara robbing the pastor and a woman of jewellery valued at $145,000 alongwith an undisclosed sum of church funds. The robbers, armed with rifles, ordered over 20 members to lie on the floor while threatening to shoot the Pastor, Clairmonte Boucher. Speaking to Stabroek News Boucher said that they had theirtraditional Old Year's Night church service on Monday evening which concluded at 1 am on Tuesday. He said it is customary that a social would follow the service every year and this year there was no difference. He told Stabroek News that they had just finished eating - around 30 of them and were sitting mainly inside the church and on the verandah when around 4:30 on Tuesday morning the bandits struck.
Gunmen attack full church
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Recession fears shake N. America
TORONTO - Stock markets resumed a sharp selloff after a manufacturing survey came in worse than expected and U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the risks of a U.S. economic downturn are more pronounced. Shortly after midday on January 17, Toronto's S&P/TSX tumbled 180.33 points to 12,894.53 after writedowns of securities connected to the U.S. housing sector and lower oil prices had helped push the TSX down over 600 points in the last two days. The index is now below where it started 2007. The TSX Venture Exchange moved down 11.08 points to 2,713.13 and the Canadian dollar declined 0.31 of a cent to 97.29 cents US. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average declined 133.97 points to 12,332.19. The Nasdaq composite index shed 17.88 points to 2,376.71 while the S&P 500 index retreated 20.24 points to 1,352.96. The blue-chip index is also below where it started 2007, as is the Nasdaq composite index and the S&P. Indexes had started the day on a positive note, but losses started piling up after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey showed regional manufacturing activity weakened in January, falling sharply to a negative 20.9 from a revised reading of negative 1.6 in December, its lowest number since Oct. 2001. "The Philadelphia Fed just announced dreadful numbers," said John O'Donoghue, co-head of equities at Cowen & Co. He said if you look back at Philadelphia Fed data for similar numbers, it takes you back to the
By Vic Sarju
e are well into Canada’s fifth season: The RRSP season; the time when all the sleeping advisors wake up and suddenly become your best friends, the mad frantic dash to get in before the deadline. It can be the most brutal of all seasons, the most heat (in January and February), the most pressure but quite possibly the most rewarding and the most satisfying of all our Canadian seasons. If treated correctly it has been known to discharge feelings stronger than those of the first snowflake or spring flowers in full bloom. Handled correctly, we literally get to take it all the way to the bank. Now don’t panic, I know that Christmas has just passed and you are getting all those lovely bills coming in and at the same time there is the good old mortgage statement (you thought you paid more principal, didn’t you?) so you are probably a little strapped for cash right now. But you know deep in your heart that you should make the RRSP contribution, after all it’s for your retirement and Lord knows that the CPP will not last forever (or will it?). Where will this magical, mystical money come from, and what is the going price for a kidney these days (because you have two and need only one so of course you could always sell one). Now before you give yourself a heart attack (that is your advisor's job) consider the following tips and we will all be further ahead: 1) Make the contribution; RRSP loans are easy to obtain and is a good way to take advantage of the biggest tax break that we have. 2) Sit with your financial advisor and arrange to make automatic monthly contributions to your RRSP. This way you won‘t be left scrambling for cash for the next RRSP season. Your money will already be working for you. 3) Arrange to have your taxes adjusted at source; (form T1213) It is better to never have paid taxes than to pay and get it back. If you get a big tax refund each year you are really giving the government an interest free loan, (so you are now a bigshot money lender!) instead, you can give yourself an immediate raise in pay. Unlike the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall with the weatherman guessing everyday, you can actually take control of the fifth season (RRSP) and grow your own sunshine whilst controlling the rainy days, your life can be filled with clear blue skies with the occasional snow storm of course, because, after all, this is Canada eh! RRSP deadline: This year’s deadline to have your RRSP contribution eligible for the 2007 tax year is midnight on February 29, 2008. Ijaz Hosein is a financial advisor with BoosterLink Financial Inc and can be reached at 647-401-1608.
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How to make your mortgage tax deductible
mortgage is often the largest debt people incur. The stress associated with its size often sets people on a mission of trying to pay it off as quickly as possible. While not without merit, this goal is often previous generation’s well intended guidance that actually lacks financial wisdom and often has negative results. Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having. Statistics Canada tells us that 10% of the population control over 50% of the wealth. The recent publication by Fraser Smith, "The Smith Manoeuvre," provides instructions and quantitative proof showing the benefit to re-think paying down the mortgage, and to re-consider debt’s place in a financial plan. The concept is quite simple; borrowing to invest in non-registered assets, unlike borrowing for a family home, allows interest to be tax deductible (according to CRA providing there is an expectation of profit). According to Canada Revenue Agency rules governing interest deductibility for investing are set out in IT-533 Interest Deductibility and Related Issues - October 31, 2003 and represents the most current reference at the time of writing. The change in reason for borrowing lowers after-tax borrowing costs as the interest creates a refund at your marginal tax rate. At a 40% tax rate interest cost is 40% less. To put this in perspective, a 5% mortgage becomes 3% after interest deduction. As an investor, if the after tax rate of return exceeds 3% you are getting rich with someone else’s money. Each mortgage payment is a blended portion of principal and interest – interest in-
2001 to 2002 recession. "It's not rocket science - the economy is slowing dramatically, and it's being reflected in economic reports." The White House announced during the morning that President George W. Bush has decided that an economic stimulus package is needed. Bernanke echoed the sentiment, telling Congress in an economic update that such a plan should be implemented quickly and be temporary so it won't complicate longerterm fiscal challenges. However, details were short about what shape such a stimulus package should take. There was also more dismal news from the financial and housing sectors in the U.S. Merrill Lynch & Co., the world's largest brokerage, posted a fourth-quarter loss of nearly US$10 billion. The firm wrote down some $14.6 billion worth of investments and trades slammed by the ongoing credit crisis. The TSX financial sector was down 0.6 per cent, with Scotiabank (TSX: BNS.TO) down 49 cents at $46.56. Online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. said its first-quarter net income soared 65 per cent to US$240.8 million as trading activity increased and asset-based revenue continued to grow. On the housing front, the U.S. Commerce Department said construction was started on 1.353 million new homes and apartments last year, down 24.8 per cent from 2006. That's the second biggest annual decline on record. For December, construction fell by a bigger-than-expected 14.2 per cent.
Vic Sarju is a Life Insurance Advisor with Berkshire Insurance Services Inc. A member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. Vic can be reached at Tel: 416-686-6127; Toll Free: 1 888 686-6127.
* Exceeding the withdrawal thresholds may have a negative impact on future payments. The Lifetime Withdrawal Amount is available after December 31st of the year the annuitant turns age 65. Payments can continue until the contract reaches maturity or upon death of the last surviving annuitant.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily be those of Berkshire Insurance Services Inc. Contents, courtesy of WealthStyles from Manulife Investments.
curred to borrow for the home (not tax deductible), and principal that is paying off the total mortgage balance outstanding. At the start, a mortgage payment goes mostly to interest and less to principal – this reverses over time. As the mortgage is paid down the home equity can be re-borrowed to invest. Using the equity to invest, the interest on this borrowing is tax deductible and unlike unused home equity, able to grow and compound. The homeowner who puts $100,000 of equity into an income producing asset with an ‘expectation’ of profit can write off the associated interest cost. At a 40% tax rate the investor’s real cost to borrow is actually 60% of the face rate of interest as a result. At the 4.25% prime rate of today the real cost to borrow is 2.55% (60% of 4.25%). In other words, to be gaining the after tax return need only be above 2.55%. While interest rates vary, the long run probability for gain is clearly strong with numerous investments. As Fraser Smith points out, since the house is the security the investment portfolio is free and clear and provides liquidity if ever required along the way. Using home equity responsibly is a powerful tool for asset accumulation. While you may always have a mortgage - a six figure mortgage with a seven figure investment account gives little concern. For advice on this strategy can be found at www.smithman.net. While what you owe is important, what you are worth after tax is what ultimately fulfills most financial goals. For more information contact Mortgage Broker Rudy Lochan at 416-410-7501
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO REPORT
GANG MURDERS MUST BE DEALT WITH
Patrick X and the killings in Trinidad (Continued From Page 5)
Julien Neaves firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, December 14th 2007 GANG related homicides must be dealt with if this country has to address a large percentage of homicides, advised US Prof Stephen Mastrofski. Deputy Commissioner of Police Gilbert Reyes, who chastised the media for reports which stated the murder figure had surpassed Homicide's official tally, thus telling the public that the toll had surpassed 2005's figure of 386-then a record toll. "(The media figure) Might be different to mine, reasons, because some of the reports that you (media) have classed as homicides are not classified as homicides in the police service. "Some went for Coroner's Inquest and some are still awaiting instructions from the DPP," Reyes said at a media conference on Monday afternoon at Police Administration in Port of Spain . But figures gathered by the Express newspaper show a different story as, of December 31, the murder toll stood at 395 for the year. This toll excludes inquests, manslaughters and unclassified killings. Whether the homicide figure is being "massaged conveniently" or otherwise by the police authorities, the Express has compiled the following statistics to support its homicide toll. The toll has surpassed the 2006 figure by 24 and is now the highest record number of homicides Trinidad and Tobago has ever seen in its history. In 2005, the homicide figure stood at 386, while figures for the preceding years were all lower at 261 (2004), 269 (2003), 172 (2002), 151 (2001) and 120 (2000). Earlier in 2007, Homicide had recorded 2006 as having 368 killings, but added three more in the latter quarter of the year to bring it to 371. Explanations given for the increase included the classification of the murder of businesswoman Vindra NaipaulCoolman and autopsies which were performed on unidentified bodies found with either gunshot wounds or chops. Despite the increase, homicide figures provided by the police for 2006 are still cloudy, since Express figures also show there were a couple unclassified killings still not listed in the toll. This included the January 21 discovery of an unidentified man who had gunshot wounds to the head at Sandy Trace, Laventille; that of a man on October 15 in a manhole on South Quay, Port of Spain, bearing a slash wound to the neck; and the unidentified body of a man with chop wounds in Springvale, Claxton Bay, on December 20. UNCLASSIFIED KILLINGS THE WAITING PERIOD When a body is found with gunshot, chop or other wounds and is yet to be identified, Homicide does not class this as being a murder until autopsies are performed. Explanations often given by police as to the reason why these unclassified killings are not added to the murder figure include, "Suppose the person had a heart attack before being shot or chopped ..." Saying a waiting period is adopted to ensure all methods of identifying the body are met, explanations such as "there is no required waiting period in which the body can be stored.." are also often given by the police. However, a pathologist, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: "Normally when there is an unnatural death, the waiting period is three to nine months (before an autopsy is conducted). "The waiting period varies depending on the likelihood of the bodies being identified. Usually, the waiting period also depends on the police, but a problem arises when we have all these bodies and no space." Noting that there is also a problem with storage space at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, the pathologist said the autopsies are performed on unidentified bodies, which are then labelled as "John or Jane Doe" and buried by the State. On January 10, the unidentified body of a man of East Indian descent was found over a precipice along the North Coast Road , Maracas, with stab wounds. Sources said a waiting period of nine months passed before an autopsy performed. Death, it was found in this case, was due to a punctured lungs consistent with stab wounds. However, checks with Homicide reveal this killing was not added to the police's official listing. For 2007, nine bodies (unidentified) were found bearing chop or gunshot wounds, while autopsies on the bodies of three people were undetermined, although the victims' bodies bore marks of violence. Sources at Forensics said: "We try not to let autopsies on unidentified bodies go into a new year." However, although an autopsy on the body of Jacqueline Joseph Adams was undetermined on June 17, a man was subsequently charged with her killing. Adams , 38, of Puerto Grande Beach Road , Erin , had been missing since March 30 and her remains were found at Petrotrin Field Road , Erin . Her death was listed on Homicide's official figure. On March 2, the body Angelo Mendoza, 40, a US deportee of Lily Trace, Siparia, was found with marks of violence on Central Road, Los Bajos, Santa Flora; on April 15, the body of John "Wad" Vidale was found on Spaniol Road, Diego Martin, bearing several marks of violence; and on October 22, Hollis Thomas, a 70-year -old pensioner of Duff Trace, St Croix Road, Princes Town, collapsed outside a supermarket after complaining of feeling unwell on October 21. Eyewitnesses thought Thomas suffered a heart attack, but an autopsy performed revealed Thomas died of severe injuries to the neck, chest and abdomen, including a broken rib cage and lacerations to his liver.
Mastrofski, Principal Investigator and Project Leader of project "Transformation of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service" and professor of public and international affairs, George Mason University, noted that gang related homicides in this country has been "pretty high and stable" since 2003. He also reported high levels of gang violence were found in the Port of Spain , Northern and North Eastern Divisions. Mastrofski was speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AmCham) event "Towards Crime Fighting Initiatives-The Transformation of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)" held on Wednesday at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, St Ann 's. He explained that local gangs were not dissimilar from gangs in the US or UK , or even legal businesses, in that they compete with each other, though primarily through violent means. He noted that when a gang leader dies or is incapacitated, it "destabilises the market" and the opportunity arises for people to "compete for positions". Senior Advisor to the Minister of National Security Richardson Franklin, during his contribution, noted that with the death of gang-leader Kerwyn 'Fresh' Phillip in September, a number of other murders were linked to his killing. He also presented a chart on the probable causes of homicides for the past four years which showed 53 per cent of homicides as gang related, 13 per cent drug related, 12 per cent altercations and the same percentage for robberies, and five per cent domestic violence. Franklin reported that the Police Service has been strengthening the new Repeat Offenders Programme (ROP) and the Ministry of National Security has interviewed representatives from the New York Police Department gang unit and the Chicago gang unit for the position of full time advisor to work with the ROP team. Mastrofski had previously explained that the ROP was one of his team's crime focused interventions, where the police use resources and strategies to concentrate on repeat offenders by a number of means, including increased surveillance and arresting them for outstanding warrants. 395 NEW RECORD HIGH 2007 MURDER TOLL
The State said yesterday it had no choice but to discontinue a gang-related murder case, after one of the witnesses was recently killed and two others said they no longer wanted to testify. Senior State prosecutor Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo told Justice Devan Rampersad said she was "unable to proceed" with the case, having regard to the position of the witnesses. The two accused men, 26-year-old Aaron Worrell and 23-year-old Kareem Baptiste, though visibly pleased at the news, were not set free yesterday. The judge said he needed to see a death certificate of the witness who had been gunned down, and adjourned the case to Monday. Worrell and Baptiste, both of Picton Road , Laventille, are charged with murdering Laventille gang member Oba Jones on April 21, 2005 . Jones was gunned down on the Brian Lara Promenade around midday . His killing grabbed headlines for several days due to the boldness of the gunmen in opening fire in a public place. A bystander, Licensing Officer Lystra Wright, was shot in the leg by a stray bullet. Jones had been in the company of a friend, fellow gang member Kelly Denoon, alias "Machine Gun Kelly", and he was also shot at. Denoon was shot dead on December 4, reportedly because he refused an order to take part in the shooting of an unidentified State witness. DOH WORRY, MR JOSEPH Saturday, November 24th 2007
STATE WITNESS KILLED Tuesday, December 11th 2007
of his death, but a man is before the courts charged with the killing and Bowlah, whose killing was listed on the official homicide figure. The list goes on about questionable deaths and autopsies which are performed on the victims which proved they died on unnatural causes. However, these results are not reflected on the official Homicide figure being purported by those in authority.
The curtains have fallen on 2007 with the homicide figure standing at a new record high of 395. Express statistics show that up to midnight on Old Years night, three late night killings had pushed the toll near the 400 mark. Commissioner of Police Trevor Paul, during his final weekly media briefing for 2007, which he held just after 2 p.m. on Monday, had given the figure then as 383. This figure was reinforced by acting
Denyse Renne email@example.com Wednesday, January 2nd 2008
Unclassified killings is a term used by the Homicide department when referring to deaths which have not been classed. When autopsies have not been performed on an unidentified body, or a cause of death following an autopsy has not been determined, they fall into this category. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a pathologist said the term "autopsy inconclusive" is a figure of speech often used by the media and police. "If we are unable to find a cause of death, we put it as undetermined. The manner of death can also be undetermined," the pathologist said. Citing the example of an individual falling off a building and dying, the pathologist said that individual has died from injuries sustained via the fall, "but what the autopsy does not say is whether someone pushed the individual, whether the individual slipped and fell by accident, whether the individual experienced fits and this started a series of events, or even suicide". "In a situation like this you have a cause of death but you do not know the manner," the pathologist said.
Then there was the April 24 killing of tailor Dhanraj Bowlah. Bowlah, 32, of Ajodha Road , Cunupia, went missing from his home and was found bound and gagged in the Arena River , San Rapheal, Arima. An autopsy failed to determine the cause
So Martin Joseph now realises that he didn't have a clue when he accepted the National Security Ministry. Doh study dat nah Martin! Look, when you took over de wuk from the equally hapless Howard Chin Lee, we had an unprecedented rise in the murder rate. Fuh de first time in our history we reach 300 murders, then we reach 400 murders, then it went down to bout 390 jus' in time fuh elections and all ah we happy! As de Prime Minister rightly say, crime wasn't ah issue! If it was, you Martin, woulda be looking fuh a wuk right now! But people check dat all de CEPEP wuk and all de tall buildings and all de odder goodies allyuh dish out, outweigh de loss of a few lives, so what is de problem now? So Martin, stop making excuse and stop worrying! Your wuk safe, Manning wuk safe, and we de people doh mind getting killed as long as our beloved PNM in power! Sleep good Martin, sweet dreams T&T! Kurt Seucharan-Fuentes via e-mail
charya Swami Pranavanandajee Maharaj founder of Bharat Sevashram Sangha said, “I am He. The Almighty reveals Himself through me. I am the destined Saviour (Sad Guru), the personification of God Himself for this age. I am the common reservoir, the power house of Divine Energies and Benedictions. Come to me, connect yourself with me, resign yourself in me; take refuge in me, worship me, pray to me , meditate upon me, follow me, realize my ideals in your life and work for my mission. In this way you will progress spiritually towards the path of God realization, through my grace. This is the earliest course of spiritual progress in the present age”. “My Sangha is but the second and more perfected edition of the Great Buddha’s Sangha founded in order to fulfill the demands of the age. The Sangha sets forth a synthesis of the ideals of the Vedic Age and the spirit of national re-organization of the Buddha’s period. As long as the preaching and propagation of -The Message of the Sangha would be continuing, the Sangha will be alive.” In order to carry out His order, the monks of the Sangha were engaged in preaching His message, the gospel of Hinduism all over the globe. On June 4th, 1948, a cultural mission under the leadership of Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj, the great orator, left for (Darussalam) Tanzania, (East Africa) from Bombay. They travellled by the ship named Kandala. Swami Akshayanandajee Maharaj was the Deputy leader of the Mission, he organized the tour. He was a dynamic monk in the history of the Sangha. The other members of the Cultural Mission were: Swami Tryambakanandajee Maharaj, Brahamachari Chandi (Swami Ashokanandajee), Brahmachari Paresh (Swami Buddhanandajee), Brahmachari Ramdas (Swami Vedeshanadajee) and Brahamachari Mritunjoy. After preaching and providing the people of East Africa with the wealth of Hinduism, the cultural mission returned to India. In order to welcome the cultural mission, reception programs were organized in different states of India. For example: one reception program was held at the Association Hall in Calcutta, spearheaded by Dr Ramesh Chandra Mazumder, a great historian. Other receptions were chaired in Delhi and Surat to welcome these fearless monks. With such vast response from East Africa, the Sangha felt a sense of comfort to send their missionaries to other countries to disperse the verbiage of Hinduism. Then the Cultural Missions continue to send monks to Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, PhilipINDIAN CULTURAL MISSION
By Swami Dibyananda
The Revival of Hinduism in the West
The inspiring story of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Trinidad, Guyana, England and Canada
pines and different countries of South Asia. Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Trinidad India is at last politically free and her people have become independent after thousands of years of subjugation by Muslims and British. There is a proverb, “The Sun never sets in the British Empire.” The British Government in India sent farmers from remote villages especially from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as indenture labourers to the West Indies. It is assumed that the Indians who were transported to the West Indies were from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This theory is still an unknown to people of the West Indies as to which state their ancestors came from. Most of the East Indians landed in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Barbados and other Caribbean Islands. These people worked on the sugar plantation as indentured labourers (1838 to 1845). They were paid farmers. Today, the offsprings of the indentured labourers are now lawyers, doctors, politicians and are welleducated men and women in the Society. It is an established fact although people migrated from India so many years, to date they have managed to keep their culture, thus maintaining Hinduism. The First Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru requested the President of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Shreemat Swami Satchidanandajee Maharaj to send a Cultural Mission to the West Indies (Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname) to preach and propagate Hinduism (which teaches live and let live). During the period 1835 to 1845 the Indians were sent by the British to their colonial territories. The Christian Missionaries converted a number of Indians but Hinduism stayed alive after 112 years. Pundits and the older generation fought and struggled to sustain our Hindu culture. In the year 1950, 11th September, a Cultural Mission again sailed from Khidirpur
Swami Purnanadajee (left), Governor Mr.Patrick Renison (seated) and party cross the river to lay the corner stone at the Guyana Ashram at Cove and John
(Calcutta) traveled via ship (Betya) to the West Indies, under the leadership of Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj. Other members were Swami Purnanandajee Maharaj (Deputy Leader of the mission) Brahmachari Rajkrishna (Swami Vijayanandajee) and Brahmachari Mritunjoy. The ship reached Mauritius Port and anchored for two days. The Indians welcomed the Indian Cultural Mission and arranged lecture programs. The Indian High Commissioner welcomed Swami Advaitanandajee. Their visit and lectures were publicized in the Advance Newspaper. In Mauritius 70% of the population were Hindus. Then they traveled to Cape Town in Africa, the Gujrati business community organized lectures in Cape Town. Then to Barbados, the Indians organized lectures in Barbados. Finally the ship reached its destination, Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago at 9.00 a.m., on the 28th of December 1950. A Reception Committee headed by Mr. C. V. Mathur was formed in Trinidad to welcome the Cultural Mission. Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj the leader of Cultural Mission and other members of the group were garlanded by the welcoming committee. First, Mr. C.V. Mathur (President of the cultural committee) welcomed the Indian Cultural Mission with a short speech. Then, Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj leader of the Cultural Mission replied with a short lecture thanking the people of Trinidad for this warm welcome. The High Commissioner of India, Mr. Anand Mohan Sahay, Bhadase Sagan Maharaj, Bishram Gopi, R.R. Ojha, Pandit Seunarine ,E. J.Pelse and many other Hindu leaders welcome Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj VISIT TO TRINIDAD
and the other members of the Indian Cultural mission . They took them to Champs Fleurs in the house of Mr. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj where they were accommodated. He was the richest person as well as a dynamic Hindu leader in Trinidad. The next day, the Welcome Committee arranged a great reception program for the Indian Cultural Mission in Queen’s Park, Port of Spain (the capital city). Thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Christians from all over Trinidad and different islands of the West Indies came to the reception program. They were overwhelmed by the lecture of Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj, the great orator. After hearing the dynamic lecture, the Hindus were thinking God has sent these divine saints to our blessed country to save our religion. Since their forefathers came to Trinidad from India about 112 years ago, no preacher came from India and for the first time in their lives they saw Indian monks. Yet, it is amazing how these people from Trinidad managed to maintain their religion without any support from any cultural or ascetic background to keep their faith and religion alive. The Cultural Mission started preaching from Champs Fleurs. Mr. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj from a Hindu background always supported the missionary group and provided them with a pleasant stay. Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj lectured in different cities and villages of Trinidad at the request of the Hindu leaders of Trinidad. The Cultural Mission was preaching the cultural heritage of India with Vedic Sandhya and Havan. The charming and melodious songs of Brahmachari Mritunjoy kept everyone spell-bounded. Brahmachari Rajkrishna, the young fair-complexioned and handsome looking was with long curly black flowing hair, provided the backdrop when he used to perform the Heroic Guru Arati, in the dancing mood, people were captivated. The rebirth of the wonderful Vedic age came alive once more. 112 years from one’s motherland, change is expected; therefore large numbers of Hindus were converted to Christianity as the Christian Missionaires were in Trinidad. However, after hearing the dynamic lectures of Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj, a large number of them were returned to Hinduism. The Christian Missionaries were not able to convert the Hindus in Trinidad very easily any more. Due to the preaching and propagation of Hinduism by the Indian cultural mission in Trinidad and due to inundating the Hindus with Hinduism, they were unable to convert Hindus into Christianity. The Hindu leaders of Trinidad arranged a few farewell programs in different cities. After adding to the wealth of Hinduism to the people in Trinidad, the Indian Cultural Mission flew for British Guyana on September 14th, 1951. (CONTINUED
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There’s nothing like a parang style holiday fete especially if you have a one man band like T&T 50 Plus and Seniors executive Steve Khan doing the music. It was was held at the home of Reynold Ramdial (left) in the big snowstorm. Guess who arrived in timelast month to apply for a job as Santa’s helper? It’s baby girl Lesha, born on December to a Canadian born Indo-Trinidadian Nesha and Indian born husband Joginder Godhara.
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Now that’s what you call a bird. The Guyanese Harpy Eagle has a wingspan over two metres and can prey on quite large animals.
. Surrounded by family and pundits, Toronto Arya Samaj stalwart Rupa Narine tends to the sacred hawan fire at her 70th birthday celebration held at the Vedic Cultural Centre.
Enmore Paradise Restaurant owner Harry Persaud (right) and staff from left Roza, Raseena, Sita and Rudra laid it out at their first New Year’s Eve party, with patrons (in picture at left getting in the mood) to bring in 2008
Seeta Oumadatt (standing second from right), posing with her two Santas and some of the children at Patentia, West Bank Demerara. She comes each year from New York,.
How old are you now, is the question put to IC Times editor Ram Jagessar (right) at his birthday celebration over the holidays.He gives a six fingered clue to friends and family.
Indian immigrant transport vessel SS Forth
By Roop Misir, PhD
Indo-Caribbean and other immigrants: How Much Accommodation?
grants? Should it be accommodation, integration or a combination of both? “Reasonable” Accommodation At the time when there was debate among Quebec politicians over limits to “reasonable accommodation”, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “I first of all think immigrants come to this country to belong to this country.” Then he spoke of the need for accommodation for immigrants and their cultures. He added that the Canadian mixture of integration and accommodation might be the right approach. By rejecting the notion that the country is facing a crisis involving newcomers who won't embrace Canadian values, Mr. Harper then pointed out: “…our country also consciously changes somewhat for new immigrants and new cultures.” [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071223. wharperimmigration1223/BNStory/National/]. Limitations to Accommodation During the October 2007 Ontario election, the Progressive Conservatives stirred up debate over what was “reasonable accommodation” when they proposed that the province fund private schools, including religious-based schools. But voters strongly rejected this proposal, and thwarted Tory leader John Tory’s election bid. Despite this, private schools are still allowed to operate, but the students must pay tuition fees. By rejecting public funding for religious schools, does this mean that Ontarians are insensitive to specific religion or people’s belief systems? Or do they prefer that the same education be provided to ALL Ontario students? Why? Is it because the prevailing view is that there SHOULD NEVER be special privileges for special interest groups? Need to Revisit Multiculturalism? ways of the new country. In these circumstances, isn’t there is the risk of immigrants becoming “people of nowhere”? Yes, celebrating one’s culture may lay our claim to both lands; but the fact of the matter is that it also gives newcomers no true place to call home. Of concern to us all is: Does multiculturalism encourage immigrants to assimilate or integrate? Or does it force them to remain “ethnics”—on the fringes of Canadian mainstream—merely to be seen and not heard? Is there a hidden agenda here? What are possible implications for Canada in the long term? True, most us get emotional when it comes to the place we call “home”. Like a son to a mother, my love for Guyana is unquestioned. But having left her shores many decades ago, I now realize that my love for other places also has no bounds. For some 35 years, I have lived, studied and worked in many provinces and cities of Canada. To me, home is wherever I happen to live. For new immigrants and Indo-Caribbean people, that home is Canada. For young people born here, that place is also Canada. My own children have little interest in my ‘marti bhoomi’ Guyana, choosing to consider my mother country as just another place on the map. Should I get them for that? Or should I be man and mature enough and respect their views? Signs of the times, eh? Like fellow Indo-Caribbean immigrants, I know that I am the one who choose to come to Canada. Accordingly, it is incumbent on me to adjust in order to become successful in this wonderful country. I have had no hidden agenda, no cultural axe to grind, and everything divine to respect. As a Guyanese-Canadian with Indian roots strong and proud, universal truths are instilled in my cultural DNA. One of the finest sayings in Sanskrit with universal appeal is: Vasudhaiv Kutumbikam: “The world is one family.” Billions around the world increasingly share this conviction. What’s the best way for Indo-Caribbean and other newcomers achieve success in Canada? Those with eyes let them see. Those with ears let them hear. And those who choose to whine, or use Canadian secular laws to push linear agendas, let them persist. Where it will all end, only time will tell, but in the end, Satya meva Jayate - meaning: “Truth Alone Triumphs”! Indo-Caribbean and other immigrants who try hard enough are most likely to succeed. Knowing what our rights is one thing; demanding them is another. Complaining will get us nowhere. Amidst the apparent turmoil of life in ‘multicultural’ Canada, is there one happy medium where all can be reasonably accommodated and respected? And can this be done without compromising our new country’s goals for peace and prosperity? My Love Has No Bounds
Fishing boats bring guns to TT
Letter to the Editor
ndo-Caribbean immigrants come to Canada mainly to economic reasons. As such, they strive to achieve career objectives. Since this means doing things differently, out of necessity they are required to adapt. However, problems of adjustment can pose a challenge for some newcomers. With few official centers to welcome immigrants, many find support amongst relatives, and comfort in people of similar circumstances. Often overlooked is the fact is that we come not only with our skills but also our culture. Some of us choose to retain only relevant aspects of culture and tradition. However, many would like the best economic opportunities, plus the freedom to lead their lives exactly as in former countries. Are these expectations overlooked or ignored by mainstream Canadians? The ongoing challenge is how to balance one lifestyle with another that’s different. Whether we like it or not, aspects of our culture may become modified and our former ways tempered as newcomers become exposed to Canadian culture. The “culture” for a given population can be defined as all the behaviors, ways of life, arts, beliefs and institutions that are passed down from generation to generation. For an immigrant (or other) group where culture dominates the way of life, then culture also dictates the choice of food, codes of conduct, modes of dress, as well as the language spoken, religion followed, rituals practiced, morality and norms of behavior. A major challenge facing Canada is not only attracting talented immigrants, but also helping that them adjust to life here. The task of making them “feel at home” shortly after arrival may be easier said than done, especially amongst new immigrants from countries where peoples’ lives are governed by culture and tradition. For the authorities therefore, the challenge is how to make newcomers happy and as they strive to become contributing citizens in a strong and united Canada? There is increasing movement of skilled workers across the globe. Many immigrants like to acquire citizenship of adopted countries. Naturally, some choose to retain ties with former homes. I myself hold both Canadian and Guyanese passports. Does dual or multiple citizenships necessarily mean divided loyalties? Can a person concurrently serve both Canada and a distant country? Other immigrants are willing to accept social dislocation as the necessary price for economic advancement. And so they quickly become assimilated into the social fabric of Canada. Who says that the rite of passage from the home to the host country necessarily has to be rough and traumatic? If there is a secret formula for immigrant success, what approach should the host country Canada follow to assist new immiSocial Dislocation a Necessary Price Culture
I referred to the Venezuelan connection in a past post regarding the type of ammo and rapid fire munitions that have been coming into T&T and the rest of the Caribbean for the past 20+ years. It has become so bad now that it may be impossible to capture the culprits. Ordinary fishing boats have steel extensions welded on to the underside of the boats and cannot be seen as they are at least 4 feet into the water. These steel extensions act as "tie-ons". Large waterproofed plastic containers and bags are attached to these underwater, to escape detection. They carry everything!
If you have $500.00 TT you can pick one up in San Juan, Curepe and all of the "hoods" in T&T! You can even rent one!
That is sweet T&T for you. No woner so much guns with Portuguese writings and Spanish logos are found in the streets in T&T.
Even though the Coast Guard stops these fishing boats it is difficult to detect unless they have CG divers like they do in the US, who can check the hull for underwater drag-equipment. They know when the Guardia Nacional vessels pass by ( you can even see them from the beach in Los Iros) and when our CG under-equipped small boats go by.
Ever since it became official, Canadians were apprehensive that official multiculturalism may have its drawbacks. While conceived with the best of intentions, is there a sinister side? For example, does it encourage racial or ‘bloc’ voting, or promote the radicalization of fringe elements in religious communities? In recent times, there have been calls for prayer rooms in public spaces, and the insistence on dress code preferences in schools and in sports. While these demands are by no means illegal, are such requests unexpected and asking too much? Do they undermine the spirit of multiculturalism? The recent arrest and charge of a Muslim Canadian man for the murder of his teenaged daughter, allegedly for refusing to wear a traditional headscarf has cast elements of multiculturalism in a different light. Then there is the view that the multicultural label can be unconsciously patronizing. Newcomers arrive in a cloak of exotic mystery. This supposedly discreet charm is never allowed to fade by assimilation, but rather is preserved by the façade of official multiculturalism. As a consequence, the exotica becomes embedded in immigrants’ permanent identity. Nowhere else is this “accommodation” more obvious than at summer fairs and other cultural extravaganzas. Here newcomers showcase food and costume (“sari and samosa”), and music and dance (steelband and bhangra). Immigrants are encouraged to hang on to their identity of origin rather than adopting
That's how bad it has become, and the police knows who the traders are! Dr Chris Mahadeo Associate Professor of Biology
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.
CANADA Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton Ramnarine Sahadeo 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
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No apology to humiliated TT chief justice Sat Sharma
Indo-Caribbean Times JANUARY 2008
ow that Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma has been cleared of any wrong-doing by the Mustill tribunal, certain questions must be seriously addressed if the country is to learn anything from this act of injustice. Who is going to apologise to Mr Sharma for putting him through hell, which some people would go to their grave believing was motivated by spite, vindictiveness and malice? Let?s face the hard, cold truth: although Mr Sharma has been vindicated, because of the dog-eat-cat society we are now existing in (it wasn’t like this all the time), there are also those who would swear on the grave of whoever, that the man was guilty of whatever. Because of their myopic, biased and jaundiced mindset, they would always ignore the facts and swear to whatever demon they worship that the CJ did a wrong and he should not have been cleared by the very eminent people who adjudicated the matter. The good name of the holder of the country’s third highest public office has been dragged through the mud, worse than a Good Friday “bobolee,” all the while suffering in silent agony. But thank God he and his family, who were also put through the shame and humiliation that Mr Sharma underwent with a very strong resolve to clear his name and uphold his reputation, ended up victorious, as many expected he would have. Including myself. But victory at what price, one may very well ask. That’s why it is very important that somebody, anybody, must do the right thing and express some regret, even remorse, for the embarrassment and pain caused the CJ.
By Clevon Raphael Trinidad Guardian
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Would Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls lead the way as he was the catalyst of this whole mess, and set the example and tell his boss he is sorry for what has transpired? Remember it was Mc Nicholls’ complaint to then Attorney General John Jeremie which triggered this whole mess. Can he find the time from dealing with his own problems to be a big man and do the decent thing? Time will tell. Can we hope Jeremie, another key player in this history-making affair, and who said he had nothing personal against Sharma, would do the right thing at this time? Since November 5, the country has not heard a squeak from Jeremie so I don’t think we can hold our breath on this one. Would the Prime Minister, who told the nation he was only doing his constitutional duty by asking the President to set up the inquiry, do what most political leaders loathe doing and offer a sincere apology to Mr Sharma? I doubt we should hold out much hope since he, a la Pontius Pilate, washed his hands of the matter when he restated his “only” role in it,when the report was delivered last week. Since our dear PM has often professed his intention to take the pulpitwhen he demits office, should he not display his Christian-like heart at this time and openly reassure the CJ that his only role was in fact the constitutional one he performed? Then what about others who had no significant part to play in the failed attempts to sink the CJ but who by their actions clearly found the man guilty even before a single tribunal member was appointed? I am referring in general to those irresponsible talk show hosts who demonstrated an appalling lack of professionalism by lambasting the man up and down their
frequencies. In this regard would Louis Lee Sing record and air a new tape apologising for the station’s unreasonable and bewildering calls for Sharma to go “now.” In retrospect, Mr Lee Sing, were you and George “Umbala” Joseph right to take that position against a man who was simply fighting against all theodds to salvage a lifetime of unblemished public service in the land of his birth? In retrospect you two gentlemen, don’t you think you owe it, if only outof a sense of fairplay, to apologise for that inglorious piece of indiscretion? That is putting it mildly. Louis and Umbala, I will be monitoring your frequency on behalf of all citizens who have a sense of decency to hear whether you are men enough to apologise to the gentleman CJ. There are so many issues that come to play in this, as I said, very unfortunate episode in the country’s jurisprudence history that this space does not permit at this time to comment on many of them. But I cannot leave unless we deal with this matter about Sharma being told, by you know who, to resign or else the police would prosecute him. Apart from the disputed propriety of such an ultimatum, given the penchant for passing illogical judgments on others by the terribly misinformed and biased segments in our country, just think what the perception would have been if the CJ had agreed to do so. The talk on the ground would have been “he was guilty, that is why he resigned.”
Sharma to retire on January 24
A pained and humiliated Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma returned to the helm of the judiciary last December 21, a day after he was spared impeachment. "I am happy to be back...I still have work to do," he said. Sharma, in a wide-ranging impromptu interview session with the media, said he did not believe that the judiciary was weakened by the charges against him. And, just like earlier last year, Sharma's return to his judicial duties will be short, as he is due to retire on January 24, 2008. Sharma resumed duties on March 26, 2007, when criminal charges, which were sparked by complaints by Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls that Sharma tried to unduly influence the outcome of the Integrity trial of former prime minister Basdeo Panday, were dropped on March 5. The prosecution against Sharma was discontinued when Mc Nicolls refused to testify, saying he preferred giving evidence before an impeachment tribunal. He was again suspended on June 13, after more than two years of legal wrangling involving allegations of interference by T&T's third-highest official in a preliminary inquiry. At a hastily-called press conference on the third floor of the Hall of Justice in Portof-Spain, Sharma steered clear of commenting on thefindings of the impeachment tribunal. Sharma said he had nothing to say on the report which cleared him. He said, however, that he believed the country would come to its own conclusions on the entire issue. “I stood up for what I felt was right,” he said. He does not plan to take any action against the State for prosecuting him.
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We accept orders from schools, clubs and organizations
itamin D tests conducted on a group of University of Toronto students have found that virtually all non-whites had insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin, putting them at elevated risk of debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes.
Are Indo-Canadians running low on vitamin D?
HEALTH AND FASHION
skin is exposed to strong spring and summer ultraviolet light, hence its nickname the sunshine vitamin. Those with darker skins have more pigmentation due to melanin, a natural sunscreen, that slows the ability of skin to make the vitamin.
The research found that 93 per cent of South Asians (those of Indian or Pakistani origin, including Indo-Caribbeans) were short of vitamin D, as were 100 per cent of those of African origin, and 85 per cent of East Asians (those of Chinese, Indochinese or Filipino origin, among other countries).
"I think it's important to take measures as soon as possible for this," said Esteban Parra, an anthropologist at the university who worked on the study and said the result "really surprised" researchers.
The findings have alarmed the researchers, who say that if the results are typical of Canada's growing non-white population, the country could be facing a public health crisis.
Insufficient vitamin D amounts were also found among those of European ancestry, but were less widespread, at 34 per cent of those surveyed. The research, based on blood tests conducted at the university's Mississauga campus in February and March, is the first to systematically examine vitamin D levels of a group of racially diverse, young Canadian adults and categorize the results by ethnicity.
A variety of factors influence how much of the vitamin people have, but skin colour and diet are among the most important.
Regardless of racial background, people living in Canada are among those at the highest risk in the world for vitamin D insufficiency because of the country's northern latitude. It is impossible, even in southern parts of Canada, to make the vitamin in skin for about six months each year during the fall and winter because the sunlight is too feeble, so the amount a person is able to build up during the summer is of critical importance. THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN Most of the vitamin D circulating in our bodies is made in our skin, when it is exposed to ultraviolet light.
One of the participants in the study, Roselle Gonsalves, said she was "very much surprised" that her vitamin reading, while near the average of the group, was considered insufficient, even though she had a summer job working outdoors for part of the day. Ms. Gonsalves, of South Asian ancestry, hadn't been aware that melanin in skin reduced vitamin D levels, and before participating in the study had thought her skin colour gave her an advantage when it came to the nutrient. "I was shocked," she said.
"The darker your skin, the lower your average vitamin D level will be. There is no doubt about it," said Reinhold Vieth, a professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the university and another of the researchers. Dr. Vieth said Canada needs a public health strategy that includes more information about vitamin D, particularly for those at risk of deficiencies based on skin colour.
Vitamin D insufficiency used to be thought of as a problem causing only rickets, but in recent years, researchers have found that low levels of the nutrient are linked to a disparate range of diseases and health problems, including many types of cancer, osteoporosis, mult-iple sclerosis, diabetes and susceptibility to tuberculosis and influenza. Diet is a source of vitamin D, but very few foods contain it naturally. In Canada, milk and some other products are artificially fortified: a cup of milk contains about 100 IU. Oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, also contain about 300 IU a serving. Smaller amounts are found in organ meat and egg yoke. MAN-MADE VITAMIN D With the right amount of exposure to UV-B sunlight, it's possible for humans to create enough vitamin D. Here's how:
Canada in winter fall to around 40 nmol/L, and even less in non-whites.
Humidifier can help manage dry winter air
Currently, Health Canada doesn't have a racially based recommendation for vitamin D. The Canadian Cancer Society, however, earlier this year advised non-whites that they need to consume more than whites. The recommendation, through diet and supplements: 1,000 IU a day year-round for non-whites, and that amount in fall and winter for whites.
Some of the levels found - among people from all ethnic groups - were so low that if the students had been infants, they would have been at risk of the debilitating childhood bone disease known as rickets. Insufficiency in the study was defined as a blood level of less than 50 nanomoles/litre, or about half the amount found earlier this year to prevent cancer in a U.S. trial.
The results indicate that Canada may have to revise its vitamin D intake levels and increase awareness about the risk of deficiencies, particularly among non-whites.
Whites can make about 10,000 International Units after about 10 minutes to 15 minutes in a bathing suit around noon in summer. Those with darker skin need up to six times longer to make the same amount because their higher levels of melanin act like a natural sunscreen. Those with low levels can easily correct the problem by taking supplements. Most multivitamins contain 400 IU, but vitamin D pills have up to 1,000 IU. A year's supply of the bigger dose costs about $15 to $20, or about five cents a day.
Low vitamin D may be trigger for heart attack
1. Sebaceous glands Produce an oily substance that contains acompound called 7-dehydrocholesterol. 2. Sunlight Provides the energy needed for 7-dehydrocholesterol to rearrange itself into a chemical called previtamin D3. 3. Key organs The liver and kidney convert the previtamin D3 to vitamin D. From there, it is released into the general circulation and transported to target organs. As people age, the concentration of 7dehydrocholesterol falls, reducing their ability to produce vita
The new study vindicates the cancer society's approach, and also suggests that the country's main food-fortification strategy adding vitamin D to milk and infant formula - doesn't work for non-whites as they get older, although it helps prevent rickets during infancy. The U of T findings reinforced the importance of skin colour, which has been known for more than a decade to be a factor determining how easily a person is able to make vitamin D at a given latitude. Most of a person's vitamin D is made when
There are a number of conflicting recommendations on how much vitamin D to take. Health Canada developed its recommendations 10 years ago, and many critics say its advice is outdated. In any case, the agency says an adequate amount for those aged one to 50 is 200 IU daily; for 51 to 70 it is 400 IU, and over 70 it is 600 IU. The safe upper limit is 2,000 IU.
Given that differences in skin colour determine how much vitamin D a person makes in sunlight, the Canadian Cancer Society is recommending non-whites take 1,000 IU daily year-round, while whites take that amount only in fall and winter. Government health-insurance plans cover blood tests for vitamin D requested by physicians. Many researchers think people need at least 75 nanomoles/litre for optimum health, although typical levels in
People with low vitamin D levels face an elevated risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, according to a study published today suggesting that the vitamin may protect against cardiovascular disease. The elevated risk was particularly acute among those with high blood pressure, the researchers found. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is considered important for bone health, but a number of studies have indicated it might provide a number of other benefits. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, and it can lead to rickets in children. Researchers led by Dr. Thomas Wang of Harvard Medical School in Boston followed 1,739 people, average age 59, for 5 years, taking blood samples to gauge vitamin D levels.Those with low vitamin D levels had about a 60 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event like heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher levels, even with well-known cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure taken into account. The risk for heart attack, heart failure or stroke was double in people with both high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and vitamin D deficiency, the researchers said.The findings were published in Circulation, a journal published by the American Heart Association. Wang called the findings intriguing but said it was too early to say that taking vitamin D supplements would lower one's risk for heart disease or stroke.
inter brings the stuffy combination of cold season and months of dry air when the heat goes on. If you're struggling with a dry cough, or reaching for the tissue box to try - in vain to blow your nose so you can breathe, it's time to consider a humidifier. By putting moisture back into a dry environment, the machines can bring relief to victims of the dreaded winter cold. Humidifiers can help ease dryness in the lining of the nose, the bronchial tubes and the lungs, said Jim King, a family physician in Selmer, Tenn. "The water evaporates into the air, and then you can breathe it into the nasal passages and it keeps everything moist so it's easier to clear and breathe," said King, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "If you have a lot of congestion and you're stopped up and can't clear the secretions, it will be a benefit." Humidifiers are also touted as a way to help with scratchy throats, chapped lips, dry skin, and congestion from sinus problems, allergies and asthma as well as household problems such as static electricity, peeling wallpaper and cracks in paint and wood furniture due to low humidity. King says anyone can use a humidifier, but he mostly recommends one for children, who have small nasal passages, and can't always blow their noses by themselves. Lisa Schroeder, a mother of two from Mamaroneck, N.Y., said a humidifier worked well for her four-year-old son, John, when he was younger. She planned to buy one for her daughter, Mary, who turns one in February. "It's so dry all winter long," Schroeder said. "It's good for the nasal passages and to keep them free of stuffiness so they can breathe easier through the night." Just remember, humidifiers must be cleaned regularly to keep them clear of bacteria that can make you sick. And a humidifier isn't a wonder cure. "You're not curing anything," King says. "You're trying to treat the symptoms and make them more comfortable."
IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE
fter investments in stock market based on Islamic values, investors would now be able to park money in stocks of companies that operate in accordance with the principles of religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. Global index developer Dow Jones Indexes, in partnership with Dharma Investments, on Tuesday launched 'Dharma Indexes,' which measure theperformance of companies selected according to the value systems of religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. "The Down Jones Dharma Indexes bring together a combination of environmental, social, governance and traditional sin sector filters. As such, the index is unique and will not just have appeal to the religious, but to a far broader audience as well," Dharma Investments CEO Nitesh Gor told reporters in New York. The first faith-based index was launched in 1999 when Dow Jones came out with an Islamic market index. Presently, there are many Shariah-compliant indices with asset under management of over $500 billion. The Dharma indices series includes Dow Jones Dharma Global Index, as well as four country indices for the United States, the UnitedKingdom, Japan and India. For inclusion in the index, a stock must pass a set of industry, environmental, corporate governance and qualitative screenings, Gor said. Dow Jones will licence the index to mutual funds that may come out withproducts based on the index. Dow Jones Indexes Senior Director (Asia Pacific) Sumeet Nihalani said 8-10 mutual funds have already approached the company for the index. The funds will be charged an annual licence fee or a small percentage of the assets under management, he added.
Dharma index to guide Hindu investors
Be wary of English translations of Hindu scriptures
ost Hindus living in the West have an urge at one point in their lives to learn about Hinduism. Sometimes the curiosity arises from a genuine desire for guidance in life. In other cases the urge to look into Hinduism comes from a particular incident – for example being asked questions that we’re not able to answer. There may be any number of different starting points to an individual’s quest. So how does such a person go about studying Hinduism? One of the seemingly obvious things to do would be to obtain an English translation of some of the major Hindu shastras (sacred texts) and read them. And this is what quite a few people attempt to do, perhaps from a library, bookshop, or an old copy lying around at home. Reading the Hindu shastras would seem like a sensible thing to do for someone wanting to learn about Hinduism. However the result of such pursuit is often confusion and misunderstanding of what Hinduism is all about. The problem is in the translation. There is an old story about how a computer, programmed to translate from English to Russian and back, rendered the phrase "The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak" into "The Vodka was strong, but the meat was bad. A similar phenomenon occurred when European scholars made their first translations of Hindu shastras into English in the 19th century. Unfortunately, it is often the translations of such European scholars which form some of the most readily available collections on Hindu scriptures. Examples of such translators include Max Muller, Ralph Griffith, Monier William and H. H. Wilson. Although they played a role in the pursuit of English translations of Sanksrit works, they were relatively new to Sanskrit and without a background in the ideas of the Vedic era, for them to set out to translate the large and complex works of the Vedic age is an exercise bound to fail. It is comparable to a person trying to interpret a physics paper without a grounding in the basic concepts, but just having learnt the language. In addition to the difficulty inherent in trying to interpret early Sanskrit of thousands of years ago by people who had only
By Sheena Patel
The Muslim Youth League (MYL) says Caribbean Muslim Scholar Al Haj Kamaludeen Ghanny will serve as guest of honour at celebrations being held for the Islamic New Year 1429 on January 20. In a press release the MYL said it, in collaboration with the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman and the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex, is hosting the programme at the newly opened Hogg Island Masjid. It said the celebration has been added to its calendar of events for Muslims in Guyana. The MYL said this is the first time that the programme will be hosted in another county. It is expected to be covered live by Trinidad and Tobago's (T&T) most popular Radio Network, Radio Shakti, which is owned by that country's Hindu Credit Union, and beamed to the Caribbean and North America. Ghanny, along with members of the T&T diplomatic corps, political, religious and civic leaders and members at local mosques are expected to attend the event. A boat has been contracted to ferry persons to Hog Island for the event. The MYL said Farouk Amin is providing this service free of charge.
Listen live to Islamic New Year event Jan. 20
just discovered the language, some of these scholars (with a handful of honorable exceptions) also projected their own worldview, biases and agenda into their translation. For example, in the 19th century a racialist view of history was in vogue, whereby history was a product of constant invasions and subjugation of one race by another. Therefore, it was automatically assumed that anything sounding vaguely like a conflict in the Vedas was a race war between an invading European-like horde (Aryans) versus darker Dravidians, even if there was no objective evidence that this was the case. Unfortunately, because of the greater prestige attached to European scholarship in the humanities compared with Indian scholarship, these translations have achieved an aura of authority. Unfortunately large sections of English speaking Hindus ended up learning Hinduism through their translations. Better English translations of Hindu scriptures have been written by Hindu yogis and scholars, such as Sri Aurobindo, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Swami Chinmayananda, amongst others. These translations are often difficult to get hold of, and are quite difficult to read due to the style of English used – but are very rewarding and enlightening for the more serious reader who has got what it takes to persevere through the early stages. Recently, the Bhagavad Gita has been extensively translated into English, and a number of excellent translations and commentaries exist – although there are also a few of dubious quality. Other recommended ways of starting learning about Hinduism are the beginners books on Hinduism by David Frawley (“Hinduism: The Eternal Tradition,” avail-
Mukesh Ambani becomes world's richest man
able to read online) and Linda Johnson (“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism”), both of which are written by nonHindus who have embraced Hindu dharma, and have many references for further reading which you may wish to investigate. Hindu Wisdom (formerly known as ‘A Tribute to Hinduism’) is a great site on Hinduism and you may also want to browse through the Culture, Spirituality & Lifestyle archives of Hindu Voice UK, which are filled with articles on a huge range of subjects relating to Hindu spirituality.
ast month a Hindu became the richest man in the world for the first time in modern history. Mukesh Ambani, whose fortune was estimated at $20.1 billion at the beginning of the year, has prospered immensely in 2007 due to an excellent run in the Indian stock market, which saw the benchmark Sensex gain more than 4,000 points to break new records. Being a major shareholder in Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest companies, as well as the rupee gaining considerably on the dollar has propelled Mukesh Ambani’s fortune to approximately $63.2 Billion by the year end, ahead of Bill Gates’ $56 billion. In the table of the world’s ten richest men, no other nation in the world except the USA now has more men than India. India’s five richest men now hold more wealth then China’s forty richest, despite the fact that China has a GDP per Capita of about twice that of India. Ambani is currently building the world’s most expensive house, to be completed by September this year. The Antilia is estiamated to cost $1billion. It is as tall as an average 60 story building, but contains 27 extra tall stories, with three helicopter pads at the top. Six stories will be reserved for up to 168 cars and one floor for car repairs. There is also one floor for entertainment, including a 50 seat theatre. Up to 600 servants will be employed to take care of the massive building, its three floors of gardens, swimming pool and guest quarters.
Race retention and culture loss among Indians in St. Vincent
Abstract - The West Indian/Caribbean island of St. Vincent is home to a small percentage of South Asians/East Indians, all of whom came to work as labourers in the sugarcane fields after slavery under a system of indentureship (1862-1885). On the island there are distinct areas where Indo-St. Vincentians live, namely Richland Park, Calder and Rosebank. This paper takes the form of an interview done in 1982 with a 93-year old Indian, Mr. James Woods. Through this key informant, readers get an insight of the living conditions of Indian indentured immigrants, their relationships with one other, and with the larger ethnic African population. Woods also reveals the traditions and customs that have been retained mainly through song, dance, religion and marriage. He also attempts to explain why so many Indians converted from Hinduism to Christianity. The following interview was done with Mr. James Woods, born 1889, at his home in Richard Park, St. Vincent, on March 15, 1982 when Woods was 93 years old. Race retention and culture loss: South Asians/East Indians in St. Vincent By Kumar Mahabir go set the case. If he say you wrong, you wrong. If he give a judgement, you don't have to go through magistrate. The Indians used to set they own case. They call all the people . estate people. He take evidence from them. They no used to go to no court at all. He used to be the ... am ... judge. He left Argyle in 1905 when he bound done. them did living in a place call Bottom Barrick. It did have one Indian man living there. They call that man William Laban . he English name, but he did name Takoor. MAHABIR: How did your father convert to Christianity? WOODS: My father didn't come to Christianity. At the time of his death, he did still living the Indian way. But in 1931, I was baptized by Seventh Day Adventist. I was 41 years of age. I didn't stop long with the Adventist because their teaching not right. I change to the Church of God.
MAHABIR: Did they blow horns during the ceremony? WOODS: Yes. Blow you' shell man. Ring ah bell. pundit [priest] have their book.21 Them ah read. MAHABIR: Can you read Hindi? WOODS: No. Me can't read man. Me humbug meself man. My father could ah read and write in Indian.
MAHABIR: Did he live in the estate barracks? WOODS: He been have a separate house because he was an over­-seer. 5 And if anybody dead and you have a child - nine days, it used to have big dance and all kind of thing. You have a daughter who go married, some buy a gallon of rum, some buy half gallon, according. And two pound a rice, three pound of rice, according.7 They invite all the Indian; the woman them, the man them. The woman from Richland Park went to singin the house. They knock drum and sing and dance and thing. MAHABIR: Did people marry at an early age? WOODS: Just as they five year old. Little children - they getting married. You are the father and you are the father. Well, he say you have a daughter. He say you have a son. When the time come, they make a gowna [ceremonial acceptance of bride]. They make a big feast. Their parents choosing for them.
MAHABIR: Why did your grand-father leave India? WOODS: My grand-father (by my motherside) name is Kowlessar. They did immigrating people to come to St. Vincent to work. They come under immigration. They come to work. They come here under immigration to work. My father name is Seetaram. My mother come from India too. My mother name is Rajani. MAHABIR: What work did your father do in India? WOODS: I believe he was a sheep-a-man, seeing about cattle. He was seeing about cattle. He told me that. He and some fellar minding cattle for other people, and he take a stick and he knock the fellar. So he try to get-way in the immigration before they do anything with he.
MAHABIR: How did they reach St. Vincent? WOODS: They swim to shore. They take a next boat for come in St. Vincent.
MAHABIR: Mr. Woods, did your parents come from India? WOODS: My father and grand-father come in a boat from India. My father come two years old, li'l child. He come here in St. Vincent in 1852.They come on a boat, "Light in London." The boat wreck in Barbados.
MAHABIR: Were you told anything about crossing the kala pani [black waters]? WOODS: No.
MAHABIR: In which estate was your father bound? WOODS: Argyle. My father did all kind of work in the estate, but his last work was overseeing. All the work they got in Argyle, he head all the work. To dig bank, he beat all hand; to cut cane, he beat all man. He was the head work-man. You understand? So they raise him and raise him until hecame over- seer. He was a sealer-man in Argyle too. Sealing rum . my father. MAHABIR: Did he have problems, as an overseer, with workers on the estate? WOODS: All the Indian people, if they have any case, they go bring it to him. He
MAHABIR: What sort of clothes did Indians wear? WOODS: When they come from India, they used to wear dhoti [loin cloth] and thing. All ah them been ah wear dhoti. All the woman and them beenah wear orhini [veil] till they get the English wear. One time when I send my hand under the stone in Argyle River, the bera [bracelet] jam. My father bring cruba [picket] and turn the stone from my hand. I used to have , three bera 'pon me hand and my mother used to have nose-ring,jewel all over her hand. They call it julana [nose-ring]. MAHABIR: How did Negroes see the Indians' wedding, clothes, etc.? WOODS: The Negro dem used to be slave. In 1834 the slavery come off ah them. They release them from they slavery. Indian people was under bound.
MAHABIR: Was there a priest? WOODS: The Indian minister there. They call him pundit. He come and married them.
MAHABIR: Was the wedding big? WOODS: Oh yes. They build big shed cover with trash mostly. Cane trash. Bamboo post. They had big broad bush call chaila bush. They spread it all about and we go sit down right round. They share food in the bush.That was the rule, the Indian rule.
MAHABIR: Did this happen in St. Vincent? WOODS: Yes. But the gyul go stop at the mother house until she come to a certain age. When they feel they can go, they make a big feast and they bring the boy and gyul. They put them in a rule, the Indian rule. None of the gyul couldn't commit adultery with any other man. So you done married before you know anything about the world.
MAHABIR: What did you find wrong about the Hindu religion? WOODS: My father dead. See? After old Indian people dead off, we take up the English way. Before, Indian, when they have a child born nine days, theyhave big dance and singing and thing. When it come to a man dead, forty days, they have big party; sit down and eat and drink. All them ahIndian rule. MAHABIR: Tell me more about Hindu funerals in St. Vincent? WOODS: When they bury the dead, everybody have to go and bathe. The woman and them na go for burial you know. When we done, you have to go to the river and bathe. They mean to say you unclean. When you done bathe, you come back home.
MAHABIR: What made you change from Hindu? WOODS: There were two boys, Manoram and Ramrattan. They come Trinidad. When they come, one ah them used to stop at any house because he find Ididn't used to eat anything unclean. Ramrattan used to stop at a fellar named Harry Gonzales. One used to stop at me down there. But whenthey ready, the two ah them go back to Trinidad. Them come as a colporteur [bookseller] for the Seventh Day Adventist. They selling book andthing. I buy a book called The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan and The Revelation and Christian Sabbath. I buy those booksfrom them. Those boys.
MAHABIR: Did Indian marry Blacks in those times? WOODS: No, no, no. Black can't come near them. They wouldn't accept them at all. No. That time no Indian at all ever married a black. Negro find their rank; Indian find their own rank. Now Indian ah go with Black; Black ah go with Indian. All before that time, when we there in the estate, Indian people have nothing to do with Black, and Black people have nothing to do with Indian. You ah Indian, you keep by yourself; you ah Black you keep by yourself. No other people eh mix up with one another. MAHABIR: Do you know about Muslim functions? WOODS: No.
MAHABIR: Did they ever burn anybody in St. Vincent? WOODS: No. They never burn anybody in St. Vincent. They never burn none. All them ah used to bury them the same. They used to have the Indianminister, the Indian sadhu [ascetic] they call them. MAHABIR: Did your father stay separate? WOODS: All the Indian whe' come Argyle; they come in one like. They join up with one another. They have Dowlat and them, they have Sieunarine them. All ah them ah different nation [caste] you know. Some ah Chamar, some ah Garedhia, some ah Ahir.
MAHABIR: Well, sing a piece for me. WOODS: All right . Rama kena bhajo mana mariobow lagai kay Put your mind on Rama and praise him until deathRama kena bhajo mana mariobow lagai kayPut your mind on Rama and praise him until deathKoi kaie phiira jilebi baraphi mangai kay Some people send for phira jilebi and baraphi [sweetmeats] to eat Koi kaie phira jilebi baraphi mangai kay Some people send for phira jilebi and baraphi [sweetmeats] to eat Sadhu kaie ruka suka hari gun ah lagai kay Sadhus [ascetics] eat dry and plain food and sing praises to God MAHABIR: Did non-Indians ever abuse you by saying "coolie"? WOODS: Them ah say "coolie," but I say I no "coolie," me ah "Indian." I say, "Me nuh come as slave; I bound." We used to call them African, "Negro."
MAHABIR: Do you know any Indian songs? WOODS: Oh yes man. Wha' you talk? Me and a fellar named Seecharan sing whole night till day clean. Indian song.
MAHABIR: Was there any trouble between Indians and Negroes? WOODS: The Negro and dem live separate from the Indian and them. We did living separate from the Black. The Black and
MAHABIR: Do you remember any katha [Hindu ceremonial worship] being done in St. Vincent? WOODS: Yes man. We used to have katha. We put up a white flag on bamboo in the yard. We sing and so. They no eat no meat - milk. Up to now medon't eat no beef you know.
MAHABIR: Did Muslims stay apart from Hindus? WOODS: Well, Muslims did there too with them. All the nation there. If you is a Hindu, you is a Hindu; if you is a Chamar, you is a Chamar; if you isa Muslim, you is a Muslim. But all ah them go mix up because they nuh have you' family.
MAHABIR: When did the Indian way of life change? WOODS: I used to follow the Indian way right up to the time when the old Indian dead out. After, the young people take up the English way; so we throwdown the Indian rule. Everybody begin to christen they pickni [children] and baptize they pickni in different, different religion. Some ah Pentecostal, some ah Salvationist, some ah Church of God, some ah Seventh Day Adventist, all different religion.
MAHABIR: What do you have to say about the young Indians in St. Vincent? WOODS: Them young people today cyan even give their own account. They have to work out their own salvation. MAHABIR: Mr. Woods, thank you very much for speaking with me.
Swami Purnanandajee, the deputy leader of the Cultural Mission remained in Trinidad to carry out the stream of Hinduism in Trinidad. BHARAT SEVASHRAM SANGHA IN GUYANA
Indo-Caribbean Times INDIANS IN THE CARIBBEAN The Revival of Hinduism in the West (Continued from Page 11)
newly built house to reside. Swamijee felt it was his obligation to clarify the depth of Hinduism. He did not sleep in the house provided but slept in the car so moving from one area to another can be easily accessible to educate and add to the value of Hinduism to the people of Trinidad. He hardly slept in the house; he returned to his home every 10-15days. His goal was to spread the teachings of Hinduisim (teachings of his Guru, Acharya Swami Pranavanandjee Maharaj). In Trinidad the Maha Sabha was formed through the guidance of Swami Purnanandaje Maharaj. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj was the President of Maha Sahba. Swamijee encouraged Mr. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj to open Hindu Schools to protect the Hindus from converting to Christian missionaries. Today, the Maha Sabha has 52 Hindu Schools. After the expiry of Mr. Bhadase Sagan Maharaj, his son in law, Satyanarayan Maharaj became the Secretary of Maha Sabha. In 1953 a devotee from Felicity, Brijlal Bansraj donated one plot of land to build an ashram. When Swamijee got the land, he used to sleep on the ground on a mattress in an open space with a mosquito net. Devotees used to beg him, Gurujee! We are providing you a room, please come, but Swamijee would not listen to them. When rain fell, he used to sit with an umbrella. Devotees used to ask him again, Gurujee! Come to our house; he used to tell them, The sky is my roof. Within a few months he built a Temple in Felicity on that land. Swamijee formed an organization named Trinidad Sevashram Sangha. By his encouragement and support, another three Temples were built; Caparo, Bejucal and Freeport. These Temples are the branches of Trinidad Sevashram Sangha. Swamijee organized hundreds of groups. Swamijee wrote HINDUTVAM, it is called the BIBLE for the Hindus in Trinidad, Guyana and other parts of the world. In Trinidad (Felicity Ashram), his determination was so strong that he would use only one match stick to light the firewood to cook. If it did not light, he would not cook. Some times he used to boil papaya leaves and used to drink it as food. Gayadutt Singh (Sunder), used to visit him every day and Swamijee used to feed him. If there was no food, Swamijee used to give him the boiled liquid papaya leaves to drink. Sunder asked, “Gurujee! What is this?” Swamijee used to say, Sundar, “This is very good for one’s health.” Sunder entered the kitchen and found out; there was no rice and vegetables to cook. That’s why Gurujee boiled papaya leaves to survive. He never asked any one nor would he spend money to buy any thing for him. Swami Purnanadajee Maharaj, dynamic monk, spent five valuable years in Trinidad. He established Trinidad Sevashram Sangha with four branches. Felicity Ashram is the Headquarters. One African gentleman, Mr. Ephram Charles took initiation from Swamijee. He was a politician and Swamijee selected him as the President of Trinidad Sevashram Sangha. He went everywhere with Swamijee to preach. Another African gentleman Mr.Huangriggs donated all the money to print the Bhagawad Geeta, which was written by Swami Purnanadajee Maharaj. The echo of Trinidad reached to Guyana long before. The Hindus of Guyana were waiting anxiously for Swami Purnanandajee Maharaj. Swamijee appointed the executive committee members of Trinidad Sevashram Sangha and Felicity as the
Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh, Pandit S.P. Sharma, Barrister Sugrim Singh, Ramjas Tewari and many other Hindu leaders were present to welcome the Indian Cultural Mission at the Atkinson (Cheddi Jagan) Airport (Guyana). Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh welcomed the Mission by giving a short speech; people garlanded every one of the monks. Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj replied with a short lecture to thank and welcome the people of Guyana. Lots of people were waiting on both sides of the road to greet them. They brought them to the Kitty Mandir and arranged their accommodation in the house of Mr. Balkaran in Lamaha Street, Kitty. Next day, the Welcome Committee arranged a great reception program in the Town Hall of Georgetown. Mr. Charles Willy, Governor of British Guyana welcomed the Cultural Mission. On behalf of the city, Mr. H. B. Gajraj, Mayor, welcomed all with an accepting speech. The audience was overwhelmed by the dynamic lecture of the great orator, Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj. The Hindu leaders from different parts of Guyana invited the Mission and organized lectures. The Cultural Mission preached the cultural heritage of India with Vedic Sandhya and Havan all over Guyana. They received lot of co-operation from every one. The people of Guyana were captivated by the heroic Arati performed by Brahmachari Rajkrishna. The Cultural Mission spread the words of Hinduism all over Guyana as they did in Trinidad. The Hindu leaders of Guyana requested Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj to recruit one monk in Guyana to carry out the stream of Hinduism. Swami Advaitanandajee Maharaj said, Swami Purnanandajee is in Trinidad right now and he will work with the Hindus in both Trinidad and Guyana and will carry out the activities of the Sangha. After preaching and added to the Hindus on Hinduism in Guyana, the Cultural Mission departed. Farewell programs were organized in the Town Hall, Kitty Mandir and Arya Samaj Mandir. Enroute to India, the Cultural Mission reached London. Dr. Kumaria and other devotees welcomed them at the Airport. Dr. Kumaria is the founder of the Hindu Association in London. Swamjee lectured at the Hindu Association for two days at the Student Burrow and other places. After preaching and increasing to the growth of Hindus in respect to Hinduism in London for three weeks, the Cultural Mission left from London via Paris and Rome and reached Bombay Airport. As mentioned earlier, Swami Purnanandajee Maharaj the deputy leader of the Indian Cultural Mission remained in Trinidad to carry out the stream of Hinduism at the request of the Hindus of Trinidad permission granted by Governing body of Bharat Sevashram Sangha (Calcutta, Head quarters). In Trinidad, Swami Purnanadajee Maharaj had no particular place to stay. Usually he stayed in different Temples, in this way he was engaged in preaching all day. He used to teach Sandhya and Havan to the devotees and lectured on Hinduism. Mr. Sooknanan Maharaj, from Princess Town, donated him a car and he also gave him a
Headquarters of all the branches. He gave responsibility to Brijlal Bansraj to run the service of Felicity Ashram. He purchased a mini bus and he used to travel with the devotees all over Trinidad to perform Sandhya, Havan as well as to preach and propagate the message of Guru Maharaj. Mr. Brijlal Bansraj along with Mr. Shyamlal Jadunandan was very dedicated to Guru Maharaj. SWAMI PURNANADAJEE IN GUYANA
Hindu leaders of Guyana, Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh, Pandit S.P. Sharma, Mr. R.K. Singh, Mr. Budhu and Mr. Kedar sponsored Swami Purnanadajee Maharaj. On Octobor 28Th, 1955, Swamijee arrived in Guyana. All the Hindu leaders of Guyana went to the airport to welcome him. His accommodation was arranged in the house of Pandit S. P Sharma in Kitty, 29, Sandybabb Street. Swamijee did yojna (Prabachan) for fourteen days in Campbellville Temple (greater Gorgetown). He commenced preaching and propagating Hinduism all over Guyana and added to the revolution of Hinduism in Guyana. Mr. & Mrs. Resaul Maharaj met Swamijee in Kitty and offered Swamijee 20 acres of swampy land in Cove and John, East Coast Demarara to build an ashram. He accepted the generous donation and started to build an Ashram. Bhaijee Dudhnath, a very dedicated disciple of Swamije, worked with Swamijee all the time in the ashram. He never saw Gurujee neither cooked nor eat. One day he asked for permission from Gurujee to enter in the kitchen and was astonished to see heaps of coconut shells. He asked Gurujee! What do you eat? Swamijee replied, “Coconuts.” In this way, he used to survive but he never asked the devotees for anything. In Guyana, Hindus used to bury the dead bodies like the Christians. Swami Purnanadajee Maharaj defended the cause for the Hindus whereby the Government of British Guyana had to change the law to allow the Hindus to cremate their dead. Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh was the first man to be cremated in Guyana and Swami Purnanandajee Maharaj was present at his cremation ceremony. He showed the devotees how to cremate. Swamijee used to say, “Hindus have the sacred privilege and birth right to cremate their dead bodies.” Swamijee had a dream to live for. He said, “Until and unless I can build a Hindu College and dormitory my dream will not be fulfilled and the Indians will be able to stand on their own feet.” Swamijee encouraged Indians, by saying, you the Indians and you are the majority yet you Indians are treated like Coolies. How long you will all be dominated? Arise, wake and be a vibrant Hindu. One day you will have to rule this country. When he used to say these inspiring words, his voice rose and roared like a lion. In 1956 the prominent lawyer Mr. Sugrim Prasad (son in law of Mr. & Mrs. Resaul Maharaj) supplied materials to build the Hindu College (Secondary School) and Dormitory. Devotees from all over Guyana helped manually and financially and few devotees from Trinidad came and helped for construction also. Brahmacharies and students (boys) used to stay in the dormitory. Hindu Primary School was built by donations. In due course more buildings were constructed in the complex is known as Guyana Sevashram Sangha (Cove & John Ashram). The Governor of British
Guyana Mr. Patrick Renison laid the foundation for the science lab, 26 February, 1956. The Hindu Primary School and the Hindu College was the top educational institution in British Guyana. All races of students attending in the Hindu college and that was the only school in the west whereby students were allowed to say their own prayers before attending class. Swamijee allowed the poor students; free education and allow them to stay in the dormitory free, thus the reason for Swamjee to build a College for the people of Guyana. This is the work of this great organization (Bharat Sevashram Sangha). Swamijee traveled all over Guyana to preach and propagate the ideals of Hinduism. Sometimes the Pandits created lots of problems, but due to his heroic and dynamic personality and the blessings of his Guru Acharya Swami Pranavandajee Maharaj, on one could touch him. As the Ashram was growing with lots of activities, Calcutta Head quarters sent another monk to assist Swamijee, who unfortunately passed away in Guyana after a few years. Swami Purnanandajee trained five Brahmacharies in the first group. Swami Vidyanadajee is the first Sannyasian from the first group in Guyana (South America). He is presently in charge of America Sevashram Sangha and Guyana Sevashram Sangha. From time to time, Swami Purnanandajee took short trips to India. During those trips, in 1960, he decided to make a short stop in London (UK). He saw the need for the revival of Hinduism and in 1961 he established the London Sevashram Sangha, in Shepherd Bush, London (UK). Later, he brought two Brahmacharies to London from Guyana. Swami Nirliptanandajee who is presently in charge of the London branch, was one of the Brahmachari he brought from Guyana. In 1967, Calcutta Headquarters assigned Swami Brahamanandajee Maharaj (B,S.c) to Guyana as the principal of Hindu College. Swami Brahmanandajee served the Hindu College as the Principal and also in charge of Guyana Sevashram Sangha for ten years. In 1973, he rebuilt the new Temple of Guyana Ashram. By the request of Guyanese and Trinidadian devotees in Canada, Swami Brahmanandajee visited Canada in 1975. With the consent of the Governing body of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Calcutta Head quarters, Swami Purnanandajee sent Swami Brahmanandajee in 1977 to establish a branch of Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Canada. He stayed in devotees’ homes and conducted service every other Sunday at the University of Toronto and devotees’ homes. Swamijee worked hard and with the help of the devotees, a property was bought with a house in 1981 and establish an ashram at 196, Royal York Road, Toronto, Ontario (Canada). In 1989 the Ashram was moved to 2107, Codlin Crescent, Toronto, Ontario. (Phone 416-679-0967, E mail email@example.com). Swami Purnanandajee trained Brahmachari Shivshankar (Swami Bhajanananda) He served Hindu college as an English literature teacher. Swami Purnanandajee sent him to Trinidad in 1981, as In-charge of Trinidad Sevashram Sangha and he served there for five years. In 1986, Swami Bhajanandajee was sent to Canada to assist Swami Brahmanandajee.
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 21)
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Dabydeen wins Aamir Khan and Caribbean young Darsheel Nobel” writingscore with Taare prize Zameen Par avid Dabydeen is much garlanded
Cast: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra, Tanay Cheda, Sachet Engineer and Vipin Sharma Director: Aamir Khan All parents want their children to be top of the class. Therefore, there is no place for slow learners. Nobody has the time or tolerance to cope up with kids suffering from dyslexia and Aamir Khan smartly tackles this issue in his first directorial venture 'Taare Zameen Par'. Some films are meant to entertain and inform. However, this one is an eye opener and a must watch. Bullying of children by their parents is a shameful thing and as the story unfolds you begin questioning your treatment of your child. As the film shows, the same yardstick cannot be used for every child. The film is well scripted and all actors have done a good job although some dialogues are too heavy and preachy. 'Taare Zameen Par' would make for a good film for teachers and parents as well as kids who might be able to relate to the protagonist in the movie. Emotions shown in the film are not over the top. They are real and often strike the right chord. So don't forget to carry tissue paper. Humanely covered in 'Taare Zameen Par' is the dilemma of Ishaan Awasthy (Darsheel Safary) - a child suffering from dyslexia. His parents demand excellence from him in every aspect of life. When he fails to live up to their expectations, he is subjected to punishment and sent to a boarding school. He begs them to not send him away but the over ambitious father ignores him. Life becomes more difficult for little Ishaan in the boarding school - he is left alone to fend off bullies in the form of teachers. The insensitivity of his peers, rough treatment by teachers and his parents' inability to understand his problems take their toll on the nine-year-old boy. Eventually he loses interest in everything, including his favourite hobby of painting, and stops interacting with the outer world. And then enters an unconventional art teacher Ram Kumar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) who had faced a similar problem in his childhood and is able to connect with Ishaan. Nikumbh's gentleness and devotion helps Ishaan overcome the trauma that he has suffered. A brilliant script by Anil Gupte and matured handling of a sensitive subject by Aamir leave viewers overwhelmed with tears rolling down their eyes. If Darsheel's name comes first in the credit, he deserves it. The gifted child artist demonstrates every nuance of a kid faced with such trauma, torture and humiliation and you feel like reaching out to him and comforting him. Aamir fits the bill of an art teacher.'Taare Zameen Par' tackles a sensitive social issue and ended 2007 on a positive note.
within and without his native land -Guyana. Thrice the winner of the Guyana Prize, he has just won the biggest prize of his life, the ANSA/Sabga Award for Caribbean Excellence in Arts and Letters, the 'Caribbean Nobel Prize'. The announcement was made on Friday in Port of Spain and Professor Dabydeen will collect the TT$500,000 prize in April. The Stabroek News caught up with him for an exclusive interview in his Coventry home in the English Midlands on the day of the announcement. SN: How did you find out you had won? DD: I took a phone call one mid-morning, when I was lazing in bed, wondering whether to get up and face the bleak wintry day. The phone call was the warm, lyrical voice of the Director of the Sabga Awards, telling me that I was their Arts and Literature laureate for 2008. Needless to say, England suddenly felt tropical, and I arose from my bed. SN: How do you feel about being given this 'Caribbean Nobel'? DD: It's a great honour bestowed upon me, particularly special because it is a regional decision. The Sabga Awards Project is one of only a handful of activities and institutions (cricket, University of the West Indies, Caricom) which are genuinely regional. I should also add that I am happy that the award went to a Guyanese. On many occasions in the past years I have become so depressed by idiotic actions in Guyana (from banditry to the withholding of ads to Stabroek News) that I decided to abandon the country to its own global insignificance. I thought I would relocate, imaginatively and physically, to India, which is a place, to some degree, of cultural greatness and splendour. But I changed my mind and became even more determined to stay with Guyana, because writers should not abandon their countries to politicians and bandits, especially when the distinction between the two groups threatens to blur. And, in moments of despair I remembered the countless intelligent, compassionate, truly decent Guyanese whom I would meet on my various visits, people who care deeply about the future of the country, and whose shining character represented the highest values of Guyanese society. My duty as a writer is to keep company with such people, against the petty and the idiotic. And I see my role too as reminding people that they should not surrender to cynicism and self-abasement, that there are many, many examples of economic, social and cultural progress in Guyana. Our bounty is of course the rainforest, which has to be preserved from human greed. It was truly wonderful when President Jagdeo announced a willingness to extend Desmond Hoyte's magnificent Iwokrama initiative, I thought Jagdeo was being visionary and global as very few leaders are. My latest novels are partly set in Guyana's rainforest, so I am very conscious of its preciousness. Another visionary act was to name the National Archives after Walter Rodney, whose intellect and moral
courage were an inspiration to me as a student, a truly great man who fell victim to the petty and idiotic behaviour of politicians. Of course the final duty of the writer is to write beautifully, in terms of imaginative depth and complexity, which is another kind of struggle against the petty and the idiotic. SN: What does getting this award mean to you? DD: It means that I can have a greater regional presence, in terms of access to media, individuals etc. It will also encourage me to visit more of the islands. It offers me a degree of protection against acts of malice. And I can buy crates of red wine as well. The money will be spent on paying off some of my mortgage, so I can have a secure home on earth; some will be spent on the poor in Guyana, a kind of bribe to get to heaven. SN: How do you see the future of Caribbean writing? DD: Undoubtedly, the greatest achievement of Caribbean peoples have been their production of globally applauded literature. The world respects us not because of our sugar and rum, but because of our writers, Nobel Laureates like Derek Walcott and VS Naipaul, poets of acclaim like Kamau Brathwaite; visionary novelists like Wilson Harris. These figures have inspired another generation of poets and novelists, like Pauline Melville, Olive Senior, Lakshmi Persaud, Fred D'Aguiar, who in turn have influenced succeeding talent. So the future is bright. And, given global warming, the future is green, I am sure the writers will be at the forefront of ecological struggle. This will not be new, for Walcott is the muse of the sea, and Harris is the spirit of the rainforest, and at the heart of Aubrey Williams' art and writing was the idea of catastrophe. I should also add that when events and personalities fade into history and then disappear from memory, it is the writing that remains. For example, only a handful of people remember the names of Victorian politicians, but millions globally know the works of Charles Dickens. SN: What are you working on at present? DD: Happily, my new novel, Molly and the Muslim Stick, comes out with acmillan next month in the UK, so I will go to Guyana, after the prize-giving ceremony in Trinidad in April, to launch the book.
New book on constitution reform in Trinidad
A new book by Kirk Meighoo and Peter Jamadar “Democracy and Constitution Reform in Trinidad and Tobago” deals comprehensively and exclusively with Constitution Reform in Trinidad and Tobago. It undertakes this task from a number of different critical angles: comparative,historical-evolutionary, philosophical, theoretical, sociological, cultural, statistical, and organisational. The book challenges many taken-forgranted notions about what democracy is (e.g. free and fair elections, the rule of law, majority rule) and provides a more historically and cross-culturally sustainable definition. The new definition of democracy formulated in this book applies to both ancient and modern democracy, in the rich worldand the poor world. This provides a genuinely new contribution to the theoretical discussion of democracy and the analysis of democratic government, state, culture, and institutions, in the Caribbean and elsewhere. The book also furnishes the reader with the most detailed statistical analyses available of First-Past-the- Post versus Proportional Representation for all of Trinidad and Tobago’s general elections from 1946 to 2002, and all Tobago House of Assembly elections from 1980 to 2001.
Available from www.amazon.com and www.ianrandlepublis hers.com
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GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago will honour Six PIOs (People of Indian Origin) whose sterling contributions have impacted positively on our society. His Excellency Shri Jagjit Singh Sapra will present awards to: ~ Mr. Zahir Baksh ~ Mr. Ramdath Jagessar ~ Ms. Valene Maharaj ~ Pundit Capildeo Maharaj ~ Ms. Phoolo Dhany-Maharaj ~ Reverend Ralph Omraw
GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago’s Executive Officers are: President: Mr. Deosaran Bisnath Vice President: Mr. Reuben Girdhar-Niranjan Secretary: Ms. Rajnie Ramlakhan Asst. Secretary: Ms. Sacha Mahabal Treasurer: Mr. Venosh Maraj Auditor: Mr. Davindra Singh Directors: Pandit Jaganath Seeram Maharaj, Mr. Doolarchan Hanoomansingh , Mr. Niranjan Bhaggan.
OPIO Trinidad and Tobago, a new chapter of GOPIO International, will be inaugurated at a Fund-raising Dinner and Awards Ceremony to be held on February 29th, 2008, at the prestigious Hindu Credit Union’s World Select Gem Convention Centre in Freeport , Trinidad . The feature speaker will be the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Shri Jagjit Singh Sapra. Officers of the local chapter will be inaugurated by Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, General Secretary of GOPIO International, and Ambassador Mr. Krishna Nandoe, the Regional Vice- President of GOPIO International, and President of GOPIO Suriname. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Cooperation.
Seeta gives back Revival of Hinduism (from Page 22) Global Indian to Guyana group to set up He visited Canada, America and London In the absence of Swami Brahmanandajee in Guyana, Swami Vidyanandajee be- and encouraged all the devotees to continue many Oumadatt of Hindu College and TT chapter: Likelater withGuyanese, Seeta The items came the principal of Sevashram Sangha. the activitiestheGuru Maharaj properly and left Guyana 38 years ago, revisiting told them in same way, that he is going In-charge of Guyana years her hands full. He is a vibrant monk and he has lot of com- back to Mother India forever to quit his not for IC Times editor however, were in need.her or her relatives mand on the Hindus of Guyana. Swami physical body. but for persons Swami Purnanandajee reached Calcutta Purnanandajee sent Swami Vidyanandajee who revisited before Maghi Purnima, he (USA) in 1987 to establish among 6 PIO’s to herThe woman,the first time inthe country of to New Yorkestablished America Sevashrama Headquarters health. Maghi Purnima and birth for 28 years, in was in good branch. He 2000, to attend a relative's funeral, now returns at least twice a year to distribute items Sangha (in Jamaica Avenue, N.Y, USA), a Shivaratri festivals were passed. There was be honoured Purna Kumbela in March in Hardwar. All branch of Bharat Sevashram Sangha. to needy persons.
This past Christmas, Oumadatt was busy distributing gifts in several areas, even on Christmas Day itself. This was her third trip for the year. Oumadatt, who works as a purchasing manager for a veterinary laboratory in New York, revealed that seven years ago, after an absence of 28 years, she returned to attend a relative's funeral in Berbice and was struck by the poverty she saw. Moved by the sight, upon her return to her New York home, she decided to gather together some items to send back to the people. "I decided that I would do this once only", she stated. However, she was unprepared for the reaction she received from persons, who upon learning of what she had done, contributed to her efforts. The members of the Mahatma Gandhi Satsangh located in Hollis, New York, which she belongs to, contributed as did other mandirs in the area. Co-workers, friends and family too donated clothing, toys, dishes, school supplies, linen and shoes among other items. Oumadatt said that the items are taken to the mandir, where they are sorted out and packed. Usually a 40 foot container is filled with the items and shipped to Guyana. This year two 40-foot containers were sent. The woman said that all the items are donated by persons who heard of the endeavor by "word-of-mouth". For this season, in a hired canter truck and accompanied by two 'Santas', sometimes in pouring rain, the woman distributed bags of goodies in villages on the West Demerara from Vreed-en-Hoop to Parika and also along the West Bank Demerara up to Patentia. Additionally, items were distributed in villages along the East Bank Demerara, in Georgetown and on the East Coast Demerara. Items were also sent to Berbice. Oumadatt said that in previous years other places were visited and items were also donated to orphanages and sent to the interior. She noted that word is usually passed on from person to person and when she is notified about needy persons, a bag of goodies is usually prepared for the family. "When I meet people, they tell me and I go to the neighbourhood", she said. She is assisted in doing this by several persons, whom she met during her trips. Oumadatt, who seemed unable to sit still during the interview as she tended to arrangements or checked bags, revealed that she never saw herself undertaking something like this. She said that the first time she distributed items the experience was "emotional" and "now I get pleasure doing it,¦ seeing the joy and happiness on their face". She noted that such endeavours were also undertaken by her and others in New York and trips are made to old peoples' homes and orphanages especially during the holidays. Oumadatt says that she plans to keep on with her charity work and her "ultimate goal" is to return to Guyana and retire. Asked how she finds the time to undertake her journey here; she said that she utilizes her vacation time. She added that her boss understands her endeavour. In the absence of Swami Vidyanandajee, in Guyana, Brahmachari Bhaskar (Swami Shiveshwaranandajee) took charge of Guyana Sevashram Sangha, also the Asst. Principal of Hindu College. Guyana Sevashram Sangha is the first monastery and first Hindu college and Dormitory in South America. Swami Purnanandajee’s strong discipline, great sacrifice, guidance and contributions for the education insistences on moral discipline produced people in every profession and field of activities in Trinidad and Guyana. By his grace, inspiration and blessings, America Sevashram Sangha, Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Canada, London Sevashram Sangha,Trinidad Sevashram Sangha and Guyana Sevashram Sangha were founded. Swami Purnanandajee worked very hard. He was very sick at the end of 1985. And he was admitted to Hospital in London. One night, Guru Maharaj (Acharya Swami Pranavnandajee Maharaj) appeared before him and told him, “Purnananda! You have done a lot in the West. Your lifespan is at an end. I am granting you few more months lifespan. You go and visit Guyana, Trinidad, Canada and America to meet all the devotees and encourage them to continue the activities. Then come back to London and finally come to Mother India, then I will take you.” Swami Purnanadajee rapidly recovered by the blessings of Guru Maharaj. At first he came to Guyana. All the Brahmacharis were extremely happy as Gurujee is with them. They were nagging, Gurujee! You will have to stay in Guyana Ashram with us for the rest of your life. Swamijee Said, My Children! Listen, my lifespan is at an end, Guru Maharaj granted me a few months lifespan to visit Guyana, Trinidad, Canada, America and London. Then I will go back to Mother India to quit my mortal body. Swami Purnanandajee stayed a few days in Guyana. On day he proclaimed amongst the Brahmacharies and devotees, Tomorrow morning I will fly to Trinidad. Next day early in the morning Swamijee did Guru Arati. Swami Purnanandajee blessed all the Brahmacharies and devotees and encouraged them to carry out the activities of Guru Maharaj perfectly. Swamijee sat on the car and they all started to cry. The Brahmacharies and devotees told, Gurujee! Please look back and see what you have done in the swampy land on the bank of Atlantic Ocean. Swami Purnanandajee replied, “I am the instrument of Guru Maharaj. Guru Maharaj did his work through this instrument.” Swami Purnanandajee left Guyana on Monday morning, December 9th, 1985 and reached Trinidad. All the devotees of Trinidad gladly came to meet him. He encouraged them to carry out the activities of Guru Maharaj. This time he was different. He gave Prasad to every one and spoke very softly. The devotees said to him, Gurujee! You are so kind to us. Swami Purnanandajee said I am going back to Mother India to quit my mortal body; I will not come back physically to you. the monks requested Swamijee to go to Kumbhmela with them. Swamijee told I will not go; I am in Guru Maharaj’s Siddhapith, ‘this is my Hardwar, this is my kumbhamela’. Most of the monks went to kumbhmela in Hardwar. On April 11th, 1986, His Holiness Swami Purnanandajee Maharaj gave up his mortal coil in Calcutta Head quarters at the Holy feet of Guru Maharaj and took rest for ever in the sacred soil of Mother India. Swami Purnanandajee, dynamic monk, shed His blood and energy in the west for the love of His master. The people of the West are eternally grateful to Acharya Shreemat Swami Pranavanandjee Maharaj, founder of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, who continues to inspire and unite the devotees to the spiritual path thereby saving Hinduism which teaches live and let live. At present there are lots of monks of Bharat Sevashram Sangha from India who are recruited to the West by the Sangha to propagate the gospel of Hinduism and from time to time monks of the Sangha from India are also visiting and propagating Hinduism in the West. Om Shanti! Om Shanti! EDITORS NOTE;
The Global Organization of People of Indian origin (GOPIO) is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian global organization engaged in promoting the wellbeing of non resident Indians and people of Indian origin enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in different countries and in furthering their cooperation with India . http://www.Gopio. com http://www.Gopio. net
GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago, a Chapter of GOPIO International, is a nonpartisan, non-political, and non-sectarian organization engaged in promoting the wellbeing of people of Indian origin, and enhancing cooperation, understanding, and communication between people of Indian origin and other communities in Trinidad & Tobago.
Project A GITA FOR EACH HOME now has another BULK DISTRIBUTION CENTRE as Swami Pushkaranandji Maharaj, one of the resident monks at Bharat Sevashram Sangha at 2107 Codlin Ave. Rexdale now has supplies. He works with a lot of youths and hopes that all who were once associated with this movement in their country of birth should inject renewed energy in their Dharmic duties by ensuring that the youths are all supplied with a copy of the Gita. It is hoped that all other Ashrams and Mandirs centres will soon follow his example of taking a supply of gitas whenever he is invited to perform religious ceremonies at the homes of devotees. He resides on the premises and can be reached at 905 679 0987.
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Deosaran Bisnath, President, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Trinidad and Tobago . A chapter of GOPIO International.
Cricket Top 15 domino players for 2007 receive awards from Horizon club West Indies gained new respect in defeat by South Africa
Prem Sukhoo, 2007 Number 1 Domino Player in the World (centre, with trophy) is surrounded by other 2007 domino champions and the top 15 domino players. rem Sukhoo has taken the Grand Title place, Fred Lall was third, Navin Sukhoo of No.1 Domino Player in the World for took fourth place, and Mahendra Monilall 2007, as the overall winner of all three tour- was the fifth place individual winner. The 2008 Ontario Team Champion was namens hosted by the Horizon Cricket Club, including the Ontario Domino Cham- Rudy Bhoopaul, Munesh Bhoopaul and pionship, The Canadian Domino Champi- Mahendra Monilall from Team CarTech onship and the World Domino Team results Championship. He received a huge four foot trophy and a congratulatory letter from Canada's Prime 2nd Place Minister Stephen Harper at a special cere- Furry Seegobin mony held on January 12 at the Island Adrian Manahar Grove Restaurant in Brampton. Also re- Azam Ally ceiving trophies and letters were Miguel Parra, the 2007 Ontario Domino King, 3rd Place Calvin Traverse the 2007 Canadian Percy Mangra Domino King and Rasheed Abdool the Karamchand Persaud Rohan Singh 2007 World Domino King,
No 1. PREM SUKHOO No.2 MUKESH DYAL No.3 RAM SANKAR No.4 RUDY BHOOPAUL No.5 MIGUEL PARRA No.6 MAHENDRA MUNILALL No. 7 GOWKARRAN SINGH No.8 GOVIND JAGROOP No.9 DINANAUTH MANGRU No.10 CALVIN TRAVERSE No.11 ROGER MANOHAR No.12 MUNESH BHOOPAUL No.13 ODIT PERSAUD No.14 RAKESH BUDHRAM No.15 MILROY HOOSEIN The 2008 Ontario Domino Championships were also held on January 12, and Azam Ally was crowned the 2008 Ontario Domino King. Rudy Bhoopaul took second
The Top 15 domino players in the world were awarded medals:
4th Place Terrence Ferreira Roy Persaud Ken Dharilall 5th Place Childs Kishore Harold Chan Steve Singh
Players of all skill levels (beginners to advanced) are invited to participate. Tournaments held every month during the winter.
CHESS, DRAUGHT AND DOMINO TOURNAMENTS
The 2008 Ontario Domino Championship was sponsored, in part, by Eldorado Rum, and tournament judges were Fred Lall and Vishnu Singh. Upcoming tournaments for the Horizon club are the 2008 Canadian Domino Championship – February 09, 2008, the Pools Tournament – February 23, 208, and the 2008 Ontario Chess Master Championship – March 01, 2008 Please email Horizon Cricket Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 905-794-5423 for more information. or to register.
See schedule at www.horizoncricketclub.com or phone 905-794-5423. Also, adult and kids CHESS LESSONS (beginners to advance). Learn to play the world’s best board game. Registration information at www.horizoncricketclub.com
By Denesh Ramdin would like to start this week's diary by congratulating South Africa for a well deserved 2-1 victory in the Test series against us. That does not mean that I - like all the other Windies players - was not bitterly disappointed to lose (especially after our 1-0 lead in Port Elizabeth), just that I appreciate that they played the better cricket and seized the majority of their chances. The manner in which the Proteas executed their game plan and took us out of the decisive match in Durban was an example of the consistency and level of professionalism that is needed to be among the top teams in international cricket. After we lost the toss and were sent in to bat, it was always going to be a challenge to negotiate the lively pitch at Kingsmead. To make matters worse, South Africa bowled particularly well and we were dismissed very cheaply. Then, the pitch and conditions changed and batting became much easier and the opposition played us out of the deciding game with a massive first-innings score. It was always going to be a tough task to overhaul a deficit of more than 400 runs. As it was, we lost by an innings and 100 runs. I managed the top score of 30 in our inadequate first innings of 139 and then 25 the second time at the crease. It was again frustrating to get starts but not make a substantial impact. I'm not seeking to make any excuses for how we performed but I'm compelled to say that I think the losses of our captain Chris Gayle (through injury), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (through illness in the second innings) and stand-in skipper Dwayne Bravo (through injury which prevented him from bowling) hampered us tremendously in the final Test. I believe it could have been a far different issue had we been at full strength. Despite the circumstances, I know we have earned quite a bit of respect over here, both from the South African team and from fans. The latter enjoyed the fact that we challenged the Proteas in the first two Tests and, to some extent, showed a similar fighting spirit in Durban. Now, it's back to the shortened version of the game with five One-Day Internationals following the second Twenty20 International tomorrow. We are putting the Test series behind us and focusing on the upcoming matches. We would love to win the second Twenty20 as - having triumphed in the first game in December - it would mean we clinch that series. It would be great to return home with some trophies. I will be trying to continue improving and, if given the opportunity to bat higher in the One-Dayers, get some runs and post a big score for the team. I've been enjoying my time in South Africa. It's a beautiful country and we have been well treated. Some of us tried paintball shooting earlier this week and had a blast. Now, it's back to work on the field and we will be giving it our best shot as usual.
EIGHT-TIME Caribbean Cup champions T&T retained third spot in the region and the label as highest rated English-speaking Caribbean side in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) rankings yesterday. T&T made progress on the Fifa list, climbing three places to No 78. Cuba recaptured the No 1 spot. Fifa’s January ratings show the Cubans retaining their Coca-Cola world ranking of 71st while Haiti dipped four places to 73rd in the world, losing the CFU pinnacle position they held in November and December last year. Cuba, semi-finalists in the 2006-2007 Digicel Caribbean Cup a year ago, last held the CFU No 1 position in October last year. Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, who sank to an all-time low 103rd three months ago, are 98th in the world and stay fourth in the CFU, while Guyana displaced St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) at No 5. The Guyanese, who defeated SVG 1-0— on a Gregory Richardson goal—in a friendly international on Sunday, are 129th on Fifa’s list while SVG plunged 29 places—the biggest drop on Fifa’s world list for January—and are now sixth in the CFU.
Trinidad tops English speaking Caribbean ranking in CFU
India's beleaguered cricketers got good news on two fronts – suspended spinner Harbhajan Singh can play pending his appeal against a racism charge, and the umpire they complained vociferously about won't officiate in the next Test. International Cricket Council president Malcolm Speed told a news conference here Tuesday that a hearing into the Indialodged appeal of Harbhajan's three-Test ban would be held held before the next Test, which was scheduled to start on January 16. The Board of Control for Cricket in India had suspended its tour pending the outcome of Harbhajan's appeal hearing. Speed said if the hearing was not held before the Perth match, Harbhajan would be eligible to play in the third Test. Speed also said West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor had agreed to be replaced by New Zealand's Billy Bowden for the next Test. India had demanded Bucknor be removed from the third Test following his performance in the second Test in Sydney, where up to five questionable decisions went against them in the match they lost by 122 runs. Speed acknowledged some people would be unhappy because it looked like the ICC was bowing to pressure from India. Harbhajan was suspended for allegedly calling Australian fielder Andrew Symonds a monkey on day three of a controversial Sydney Test. Dr. M.V. Sridhar, India's media manager, said the BCCI objected to the fact that match referee Mike Procter took the word of three Australian players over that of Harbhajan and veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar when there appeared to be no other evidence.
Indian cricket tour of Australia to continue
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