You are here
The rural village of Mammoral in Central Trinidad was shaken up this morning following the brutal murder of a six-year-old girl and her father.
Investigating officers are at this time still on the crime scene.
T&T Guardian was told that at about 4.30 am the bodies of Solomon Joseph, 36, and his daughter, Salisha Faith were discovered in their one room wooden shack where they both lived.
Police said they were stabbed to death.
T&T Guardian will update as soon as more information comes in.
Are you personally responsible for climate change?
The brutish and short answer is “yes.”
The question that follows, and is asked by David Hughes in his book, Energy Without Conscience, is: “Why don’t you care enough to reduce your contribution to CO2 emissions through your role as a waged or profiteering cog in the oil and gas industry or through your ceaseless and carefree consumption of its products?”After all, devastation is about to wreck the planet and future generations of all species, and barely anyone from Westmoorings to Moruga seems bothered.
The latter question is more of a mouthful and Hughes tries to answer it in the book. He suggests that from the expendable bodies of plantation labour to the later turn to fossil fuels, use of energy developed without a conscience or accountability in Trinidad. This created a society comfortable with its own complicity and lack of conscience today.
Hughes points to other sources of culpability. He highlights the kinds of maps and graphs petro-geologists use to think about oil resources and reserves, to deny possibility of peak oil (for unknown oil resources are simply not yet known or technologically accessible), and to argue that carbon sequestration is a solution rather than ultimately reducing both production and consumption.
In his view, petro-geology, governance and economics have melded into an overlapping impetus for business as usual, even while venturing into renewable resources like sun, wind and wave energy, in order to keep the global energy industry and its influence going.
For him, carbon sequestration is a mystification of the problem because too much carbon, which at this point is any at all, will continue to spew to the skies, its effects spilling everywhere, while more is generated from fossil fuels being taken from the earth in a genocidal and circular flow of effect back to our lives.
Interestingly, as small tropical islanders (including Tobago) subject to rising sea levels, intensified hurricanes, hotter temperatures and drought, we (in Trinidad) seem either clueless or in denial about the production of our own republic’s demise.
Depicting Trinidadians as irresponsible and backward, Hughes’ main concern is to point a judging finger.
He does so even at environmental activists whom he stereotypes as narrowly concerned with an obsolete, place-based pollution politics, rather than with planetary air conservation. Weirdly, for an anthropologist, he missed an opportunity to truly document concerns about climate change and fossil fuel dependence across the country. He didn’t have a clue, for example, that Hazel Brown sought to apply for a license to run the first solar-powered radio station decades ago.
We lament our climate change victimhood as a Small Island Developing State, but are actually a proud perpetrator, he accuses.
Rightly so. The fact that, by global standards, Trinidad produces a minuscule impact on climate change is irrelevant at this time for every molecule now counts. What matters is that per capita, each individual in this nation produces among the highest amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. We run cars and air-conditioners like gas is cheap. We use and dispose of plastics and agricultural fertilisers like excessive petrochemical use is our divine right.
It’s like God isn’t just a Trini. He’s a Trini petro-capitalist seer-man, all knowing and above morality. We all model ourselves in this image, to differing degrees depending on our levels of wealth or poverty and our will to get “off the grid,” recycle and lower our carbon footprint, or our inability to even think ourselves out of this pre-apocalyptic matrix. Plus, if we didn’t get the fossil fuels out of the ground, someone else will.
Surrounded by ecologically unaccountable Goliaths such as the huge multi-national oil companies, and the US as an increasing energy exporter (and suppressor of social movements which pursue alternatives), it’s a source of pride when we roll with the big boys like we are little gods too.
Public planning for sustainability (like bicycle paths or heat-reducing building construction) be damned. Thus, instead of treating them as sacred and to be used sparingly, we are enchanted with petrochemicals in the most immoral of ways: wastefully.
It’s time to act with carbon conscience. It’s not too late to care enough to take responsibility.
For him, carbon sequestration is a mystification of the problem because too much carbon, which at this point is any at all, will continue to spew to the skies, its effects spilling everywhere, while more is generated from fossil fuels being taken from the earth in a genocidal and circular flow of effect back to our lives.
As it stands, it’s proposed that relevant assessment officers will visit citizens’ residences and private businesses to verify the information they submitted on their forms in order to calculate the annual rental value of their property.
This may require a complete walk-through of your property.
While many may not have an issue with such official persons coming onto their premises, they fear that criminals, white-collar ones, imposters, con artists etc, may pose as such official personnel to gain illegitimate access to their premises.
As such, they’ll be able to see the layout of their house, the items therein, access ways, where valuables may be stored etc.
For businesses,they may be able to see where safes and certain stock items like jewelry, legitimate arms and ammunition, financial documents etc, are stored.
Are financial institutions and other corporations okay with this development?
There’s fear expressed that many homes have single persons more so, single mothers and women. How safe will they be when total strangers enter? Will this now increase their probability of being victims of crimes such as robbery and sexual assault etc? What about homes with elderly persons living alone?
People also fear that the information gathered from illegal assessors may be given or sold to others as well as used by them for future criminal activities.
Further, official assessors may be even blackmailed or threatened into giving such information to criminals. Such valuable information may also be stolen.
We also have the fact that residents and business owners are being asked to submit their building plans and a range of other personal building documents by depositing them into boxes in government buildings. Were these not all submitted in the first place to get approval? How safe is this new deposit system? How easy is it for such documents to be stolen, illegal photocopied, photographed etc, during and after working hours? Are these being stored in tamper-proof ways? What guarantees are there for citizens and businesses?
We must recognise that there’ll be ill-thinking persons who’ll be looking for ways to capitalise on this latest project. They’re right now plotting how to use this legitimate financial system to commit crimes.
In order to gain public confidence in this data collection system, citizens must be assured that their information and safety are well-taken care of.
Having only a badge identifying such persons is not good enough. We all know how easy it is to make false ID cards. Such crooks have been counterfeiting money, license number plates, cheques, official documents, deeds etc, for so long now that it’s difficult at times to distinguish between fake and legitimate ones. Letters of authorisation can be faked as well. What else will be provided to the public?
From the citizens’ perspective, the following are some ways in which they can take some basic precautions:
• Take a photograph of all persons claiming to be assessors before they enter their premises. Share these pictures immediately with family and friends. (This will obviously be a limitation to persons without such a device, but get a friend or relative to be with you)
• Those with home or business security systems will have a recording of this visit so ensure that it’s functioning well.
The following are some of the things that the government can do:
• Institute severe penalties for breaches by official assessors and imposters. These should be made public.
• Assessors should have at least two forms of identification: an approved, uniquely designed Assessor ID card with a photo and the national ID card.
• Assessors should also present an authorised letter on a uniquely designed letterhead and an appropriate watermark.
• All visits must be by appointment only and on an agreed date and time by both parties so that persons can have friends or relatives with them.
• If visits are done by geographical regions at a time, then appropriate law enforcement officials should conduct patrols in such areas.
Have a 24-hour hotline where residents can call to verify if Assessor X, who’s in front of his house, is the legitimate assessor assigned to that house or business on this date and time. This schedule must be known by the hotline personnel in advance. Assessor X must be able to give the house or business owner a secret code that can only be revealed when the visit is about to take place. If Imposter Assessor Y knows this code then it must be an inside con job.
Key to this data verification project is to assure the public that the information provided to the assessor and government remain safe and don’t get into the wrong hands as there’s an increased likelihood that potential criminals will be searching to maximise on this new opportunity to commit a crime.
Imbert made this clear yesterday along with OPM Minister Stuart Young, who said the reported the $500 fine is not an issue since people may not fall into the category of non-compliance on the submission.
Both Imbert and Young slammed the “fear mongering, scare mongering and misinformation” by the Opposition and others on the fine and other aspects of the property tax exercise, which has begun with the issuing of valuation forms. Deadline for submission of this is May 22.
At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Imbert acknowledged that the tax issue can cause disquiet.
“I know people don’t like property tax - I and all vex with myself because I have to pay. I don’t like it. But T&T’s in a very difficult position and we need everyone to contribute to its revenue,” Imbert said.
“Unfortunately, this is one of the measures we must continue with. But we’ll try to make it as simple, easy and humane as possible.”
He said a communication plan will be rolled out from today, when Finance officials will answer queries and clarify matters.
“I told them to hit the road and get out there for the next two, three weeks and let people know about the situation.”
On the $500 fine which detractors claim will hit home owners who don’t meet the May 22 valuation form submission deadline, Imbert said the fine is stipulated in the Valuation of Land Law - now being used to govern the current property tax process. But he said he aspect was never enforced.
“I’m not aware of any instance where the Commissioner of Valuations has initiated the process for that fine. The fine is imposed by the courts - not us - where a magistrate will have to determine if conditions exist for the payment of the fine,” he said.
“The Finance Minister isn’t going to fine anybody, neither is the Commissioner (Valuations). What the VOL act says is if you don’t submit your Valuation Return form, the Commissioner may initiate the process. That leads to imposition of this fine if you’re found guilty by the court.”
He added: “Even though it’s never happened, it’s in the books and I’d leave that up to the judicial system - but certainly Colm Imbert wouldn’t be fining anybody $500. I’m not part of the judicial system.”
Imbert said the current property tax exercise doesn’t flow from the 2009 Property Tax Act of 2009 but from the Valuation of Land (VOL) act, in force for years. He said the act stipulates filing of the Valuation Return form being requested.
Forms are to state the property owner, property size, its purpose, number of rooms, rental value estimate and other information to assist the Valuation Division obtain a final assessment value of a property’s rental value.
Imbert said the filing of the form is a precursor to obtaining the actual valuation of a property, which then determines the tax to be paid later. The current exercise of identifying properties already on the rolls and those which aren’t is very far from the stage of Ministry valuators having to inspect properties, he noted. Much later on - after processes are completed - he said notices will be sent to owners informing them of the assessment rental of the property and informing them to pay a property tax of three per cent of the assessed rental.
Deeds not mandatory
Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday that the current first stage of the property tax process involves residential properties that are on the rolls and those which aren’t. Out of T&T’s 400,000 residential properties, about 200,000 aren’t on the rolls, he added.
He said valuation return forms for commercial, industrial and agricultural buildings aren’t being sought yet.
Imbert explained the 13 documents home owners are asked to supply will be used to assist the Valuation Division identify properties - but all 13 - including deeds - aren’t mandatory for submission.
“I’ve asked public servants to explain the purpose of the requested documents and make the point that if you have a utility bill - TTEC, WASA, TSTT - that gives the address and your last (2009) Land/Building Tax receipt with the property’s assessment number, that will work to confirm the address once your property is already on the rolls,” he said.
“In many cases, the assessment number on that certificate will assist in helping place a value on the property.”
He said the additional documents requested are designed to deal with properties that aren’t on the system and never been assessed. He urged owners to provide as much material as possible, since if valuators feel additional information is necessary they’ll visit a property to examine it.
When the first batch of returns arrive, they’ll be matched against database information of TTEC, WASA, TSTT and Elections and Boundaries Commission as well as with aerial photos to see which owners haven’t submitted returns.
“Then the process will begin to determine such properties,” he added.
In the case of the impoverished who may be unable to pay, Imbert said he’s examining if to convert deferral of payment into a waiver so the descendants of the impoverished wouldn’t have to bear a tax burden later.
Scores of cancer patients in desperate need of chemotherapy are being turned away from the oncology centre of the San Fernando General Hospital because of staff shortages at the oncology’s pharmacy.
The problem started three months ago when a senior pharmacist in charge of mixing the chemotherapy drugs, resigned from the South West Regional Health Authority to take up a better job offer in Tobago. Since then only one pharmacist has been on duty at the Oncology Centre and chemotherapy services was subsequently curtailed.
A source who requested anonymity said only 39 patients are given chemotherapy each week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. More than 60 patients come to the oncology centre for treatment each day so the majority of patient appointments have to be rescheduled.
“For three days for the week, they are giving 13 people chemotherapy but this is really not enough. Too many cancer patients are not getting the treatment and every day they are closer to death,” the source added.
Lalchan Sirju, of Penal Rock Road, whose wife Ramdularie Sirju, 38, was diagnosed with cervical cancer, said he was very worried.
Sirju, who is self employed as a welder, said he spent more than $20,000 in medical bills since his wife was diagnosed in January. He said the hospital’s CT scanner broke down and he was told by a senior doctor that if he did the scan privately, Ramdularie will get the chemotherapy earlier.
“I had to fork out $4,000 from our savings to do the scan and since February we waiting and she has not received a single session of chemo yet,” Sirju said. He said that Ramdularie has to get three sessions of chemotherapy before getting a session of laser radiation at the St James Medical Complex.
“I come here twice a week with my wife and every time we getting the run around. I am really afraid I will lose her. I love my wife and I want her to be better,” a distraught Sirju said.
With their savings quickly dwindling, it was becoming difficult to make ends meet.
Another cancer patient, Deborah Gajadhar, of Princes Town, said her last chemotherapy session was in January.
“I was supposed to get the chemo every three weeks. It is a continual process since I was diagnosed with buccal cancer. It is so heart breaking. I got an appointment for next week but I am still not sure if I will get the chemotherapy,” Gajadhar said.
Saying she was surviving by the grace of God, Gajadhar begged the Government to send a trained pharmacist to the oncology centre as soon as possible.
“They supposed to be treating 26 people a day. I hope that the service could be on stream soon,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer of the South West Regional Health Authority Anil Gosine confirmed that the pharmacist resigned more than six weeks ago. He said the SWRHA was currently in the process of training two other pharmacists. He said full oncology services will come on three within the next three weeks.
Gosine said all patients will be rostered for chemotherapy. He said the full compliment of staff will deal with any backlog, adding that it was impossible to fill the vacancy earlier because the pharmacist had to be specially trained to use the bio-safety cabinet for the mixing of the chemotherapy drugs.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has asked for forgiveness from citizens for not repealing the proposed Property Tax, which she has now dubbed ‘poverty tax’, during her tenure as prime minister.
Admitting to flaws they would have made, Persad-Bissessar also said this is one of the reasons why they are in Opposition and not government.
Responding to a question from constituents Rampersad Seurage, as she presided over a Property Tax public consultation forum at her Siparia constituency office on Wednesday night, as to why she did not repeal it in the five years and three months she was in office or change some of the contentious clauses, Persad Bissessar said it was not a simple thing to do.
“I take the blame. Forgive me.”
“I don’t want to blame people today to say who did and didn’t do, or why and how and where,” she said, noting that she depended on a lot of people who disappointed her.
She said being in government for the first time she encountered a lot of bureaucracy as well as unfriendly people who did everything to put obstacles and stumbling blocks in their way.
Although her government did not repeal the Property Tax Act passed under the Patrick Manning administration, Persad-Bissessar said she ensured that no one paid a cent in property tax during her tenure.
“We brought two bills to Parliament during my time to repeal the Act. What we did do in 2015 we passed Act 11 of 2015 — which was to insert a new section 52 and 53 A into the Act. That was all we were able to do. To say that from 2010 to December 2015 a waiver of any of these taxes. That’s why for five years you didn’t pay”.
She told her audience that she would have gotten rid of the tax if her party had gotten another five year term.
Former Energy Minister Ramnarine said the implementation of the Property Tax is ill timed, is a disincentive to business and he is certain government is not ready to administrate the collection.
“This is not the correct time to introduce Property Tax for the simple reason that this country is buckling under a tremendous amount of pressure, government is out of touch with what is happening on the ground, fuel prices have risen three times while the Minister of Finance pokes fun that the country has not rioted as yet, the Green Fund levy has been tripled, the business levy fund has been tripled, affecting the top line - revenue line - of business throughout the country.”
He said the valuation division of the Finance Ministry is far from prepared to do the work as there are not evaluators and the Board of Inland Revenue is not resourced to administer this tax.
Ramnarine said he foresees the Tax Appeal Board being overwhelmed by challenges to the formal process from individuals and companies and an unpreparedness of the District Revenue offices for the long lines that will snake outside the various offices.
‘What will happen to people of TT, the sun is already hot, we have no water to drink, can you imagine lines snaking outside of District Revenue Offices,” Ramnarine asked.
A Laventille teen was fatally shot in downtown Port-of-Spain on Wednesday night.
Residents of Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, called the police after hearing gunshots at around 8 pm. When police arrived they found Shaquille Farrell, 17, of Eastern Quarry, Laventille, lying in a basketball court with a gunshot wound to his left eye. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a District Medical Officer (DMO).
Homicide detectives said Farrell was probably killed because of a dispute with gang members from the area.
At the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, the teen’s grandparents said he was the third member of the family to be murdered. His father was killed when he was a baby and his uncle was murdered years later.
Farrell’s grandfather, Standford Moses, said he and his wife raised him after his mother left him with them shortly after his father’s death.
He said while his grandson was always loving and kind to them, he began having behavioural problems and began smoking marijuana when he was just 12-years-old.
“Is since after that he change. He did not want to go to school because he say is weed have him acting like that,” Moses said.
With Farrell’s death the murder toll for the year has increased to 164.
Police are investigating the death of a five-month-old baby who reportedly drowned in a bucket of urine at his Laventille home sometime between Wednesday night and early yesterday.
According to reports, the baby’s parents went to sleep on the same bed with the child at their Picton Road, Laventille, on Wednesday night.
When the father woke up around 4.35 am, he found the infant lying face down in a bucket which was at the side of the bed. The house has no indoor plumbing.
The parents took the baby to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police detained both parents for questioning. The child’s mother was taken to the hospital after she collapsed while in custody.
An autopsy was performed on the child’s body at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, late yesterday.
Speaking with media outside the centre, relatives of the parents said that the couple’s other child, a three-year-old boy, was being cared for by his grandparents.
Detectives of the Region One Homicide Bureau are continuing investigations.
The inability of Caribbean governments to keep its commitment for the first time to help fund the The University of the West Indies can lead to peril for the regional tertiary education body.
This from Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles yesterday as he presented his report to he University Council, at Cave Hill, Barbados. The meeting was streamed live on the internet.
Sir Hilary said the university was “very concerned” about the situation and was moving to find alternative measures to raise the required capital.
“That is a damaging situation because without a budget there is no campus,” he said.
He said last year a company was contracted to look at the financial strength of the university.
The company reported that the university was facing financial challenges and there must be restructuring its internal operations and generate more revenue.
“They are saying that we are going to be in significant financial difficulty unless we are able to get an annual injection of US$75 million (TT$502m),” he said.
“That is where the rubber hits the road because at the moment the debt owing to this university by the Governments of the Caribbean is US$105 million (TT$703m).”
Sir Hilary said: “They are saying to us if we don’t collect these receivables, we are going to be in trouble as a university.”
He said during a recent meeting of the University Grants Committee with Caribbean Governments “and unfortunately all of our budgets were not discussed because not all Government were able to make commitments—an unfortunate development, that has never happened before.”
He said the university will have to engage new instruments to raise the required capital for the next five-year developmental plan. He said Caribbean Government’s were contributing less that 50 per cent to the overall operations of the University of the West Indies which operates campuses in Mona, Jamaica, Cave Hill, Barbados and St Augustine, Trinidad.
Police officers investigating a vicious assault of an elderly attendant at Unipet’s Service Station in El Socorro said that they have identified the attackers and arrests are imminent.
CCTV footage of the incident which was widely shared on social media yesterday showed an SUV pulling up at Pump 6 at about 11.26 pm.
The driver got out and walked away. Within seconds the gas attendant, who is said to be in his 60s, walked up to the vehicle and spoke to a passenger in the back seat.
Gas station employees said the attendant asked the man to put out his lighted cigarette. It was at this point the passenger opened the back door and came out of the vehicle where he confronted the attendant, whose identity was not released.
The man then began to push him and cuff him to the face and upper body. The attacker was then joined by the driver of the vehicle where both of them pushed the man on the ground and proceeded to kick him about the body.
The incident lasted just over three minutes. The video even showed one of the attackers arming himself with a windscreen cleaner. He was seen attempting to strike the gas attendant several times with it but was prevented from doing so by a man who intervened in aid of the gas attendant.
An employee at the station, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that they have never had a problem of that magnitude before.
“We are very pleasant with the customers and try to treat with every issue to the best that we can. My colleague went up to that guy and spoke to him very nicely to out the cigarette but the man took it to a different level. All of us could have been killed here last night with that cigarette had caused the place to explode. People living close by too could have also died. We just do our jobs to ensure all are safe and all do what they are required to do, no cell phones, no working ignition while fast ants are filling and no open flames of course, which includes smoking.”
Unipet’s chairman, Dr Afraz Ali said that the gas attendant received bruises and is said to be very traumatised over the incident. He, however, assured that he was offering all the support possible to him as well as the other employees at the service station. Security at the gas station has been increased, he said.
Ali said that a team from the Heath, Safety and Environment Department visited the station yesterday where they implemented certain measures.
“Customers have to be aware that if you do such a thing and have open flames, lighted cigarettes, et cetera that it is very dangerous to all. Gas is a very flammable substance and so are the fumes. The HSE people have already started an education campaign to bring more awareness to our customers,” Ali said.
Head of Corporate Communications at the T&T Police Service, Ellen Lewis yesterday said based on the video the police was able to locate the victim and record a statement from him.
“There is a lot of confusion being generated by people who know better,” Rowley said after attending the NGC Bocas Lit Fest at the National Library, Port-of-Spain, last evening.
However, he added that a massive public education campaign was expected to begin today via the Ministry of Finance and this would erase much of the, “misinformation and outright lies.”
Rowley assured, “With a little bit of effort, which the Ministry of Finance is going to make now, more than a little bit, some real effort to ensure that citizens understand what the tax is about, how it applies and this scare-mongering and scare-tactic will evaporate. It is as simple as that.”
Defending Government’s decision to reintroduce the tax, Rowley explained, “It is not what it is being made out to be. If it was that, then we would have to do something about it.
“There is a lot of scare-mongering and politicking taking place. Dead politicians are trying to resurrect themselves on it. We are doing what is required sensibly and humanely.”
Crediting the population with the common-sense to pick apart what was being fed to them from various quarters, Rowley said, “We have invested too much in simple education in this country and the population is too well educated to be made a fool of, so we don’t expect that the average citizen will eventually fall to those scare tactics.”
Revealing that he has been paying land and building taxes since the age of 17, the prime minister said he has always complied with the law.
“I inherited land in Tobago and I pay $1.44 a year in tax and I always knew that I had to pay that tax and the reason why I paid it and if I didn’t pay it, there were consequences, so that’s what it is.”
Pressed to comment about claims that squatters might be getting the better end of the deal which had many legitimate home owners up in arms, Rowley smiled as he said, “There is another side to that story. The tax applies to owners of property, so in so far as squatters identify themselves as owners of property, then they fall under the law.”
“If they don’t own property and say I am not the owner, you can’t be the owner when it is time to own it and not be the owner when it is time to pay the tax, that’s an interesting development in this country.”
Property owners have not paid taxes since 2009.
The T&T Stock Exchange announced last night that the First Citizens additional public offering of 48,495,665 ordinary shares at $32 a share attracted subscriptions totalling $1.025 billion.
This means that the share offering, which was expected to generate $1.5 billion to support the 2017 budget, was 31.67 per cent under-subscribed. Individual investors subscribed for 5,548,539 shares, spending $177.5 million in the process.
Each category of investors received 100 per cent of their application.
The transfer of the shares to the successful investors is “proposed” for today, subject to the approval of the T&T Stock Exchange and the Central Depositary, according to the statement which was issued at 9.14 pm.
Government’s hope of getting a vessel to replace the Super Fast Galicia soon has hit a major snag.
The tender which closed on Monday yielded only one response and at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, the Port Authority board led by Allison Lewis took a decision to discontinue the process and is now looking to the World Bank to assist with finding a suitable cargo vessel.
Guided by a Cabinet decision to hire a ro-ro cargo vessel, the PATT said it invited duly qualified brokers to tender for a vessel on a three-year time charter on April 1. Those tenders closed on April 24.
According to the port, it was “in the best interest” of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, that a decision was made “to terminate this tender process, and approach the World Bank,” which it feels can provide “the requisite expertise to determine the specifications for a suitable cargo vessel for the needs of the inter-island service.” The port said it is of the view that this approach will realise the “best option” in the long term and a resolution will be arrived at within the next three months.
Contacted yesterday, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan told the T&T Guardian that “while I would have been happy if they got a vessel, we did ask for three months, which is why we signed the contracts with the Atlantic Provider and the Trinity Transporter, so we are well within the time to get a vessel.”
He said “it was a sole tender process and while there was one tender from a selected tenderer, some were unsolicited and I do not want to go with unsolicited bids because that is what got us in this position in the first place. I would not want to put the port in that position. We want to get the perfect vessel.”
The local agent for the Galicia, Intercontinental Shipping Limited’s John Powell, told the T&T Guardian it was “unfortunate” that yet another tender had to be scrapped, but said he was not surprised.
“I have been saying this because we have been speaking to brokers worldwide and the market is tight.”
Powell said ICSL had given the Government “two offers and the vessels can be here in 15 days to 21 days.”
He said: “We are a professional company and over the last three years we have served the government, the Port Authority, the business community, traders, the marine industry and the travelling public very well. If called upon again we will be happy to serve the stakeholders in the same way. We stand ready to work with them if they so require.”
President of the Tobago Chamber Demi John Cruickshank meanwhile said “we hope the situation is not prolonged.” He said the chamber had a meeting with the port on Wednesday and a follow up meeting will take place next week as they continue to work out logistics of the barge, the Trinity Transporter.
Less than a week after taking the oath as a Judge of the High Court, Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday resigned and Chief Justice Ivor Archie simultaneously announced she will be reinstated as Chief Magistrate.
In a press release announcing her decision, Ayers-Caesar admitted she never informed the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) “of the full state of my list and request further time to bring matters to completion before confirming my readiness to assume duties as a Judge of the Supreme Court.” She said upon “mature reflection” she realised it would have been “preferable” to advise the JLSC of her list.
The Judicial fiasco unravelled on Wednesday after six prisoners on murder charges caused an uproar at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court after being told their matter, which was being dealt with by Ayers-Caesar, could possibly be restarted due to the elevation of Ayers-Caesar to the bench.
Ayers-Caesar was supposed to have ruled on a submission by the men’s attorneys before leaving for the High Court posting in the seven-year-old case which was near completion.
Only last week, Court Protocol and Information Manager Alicia Carter-Fisher had said many of the matters before Ayers Caesar were paper committals and there was no issue with the appointment.
But in her statement yesterday, Ayers-Caesar acknowledged the concerns raised, saying she had finally recognised the effect “that the failure to complete these matters will invariably have on the stakeholders in the criminal justice system, including accused persons, victims of crime and members of the legal profession.”
Ayers-Caesar said “after careful deliberation, prayer and consultation” with her family, she sought a an audience with Archie, following which she delivered her letter of resignation to President Anthony Carmona at 5.30 pm yesterday. She expressed “regret” at the effect “my actions have caused on the very persons whom I strive to serve,” and thanked Carmona and Archie for the confidence placed in her.
But Archie gave Ayers-Caesar a public scolding on the matter, saying “she had failed to manage the transition from the Magistracy to the High Court in a way which ensured that undue hardship was not placed on stakeholders.” He said while she was “selected for elevation” following a “robust selection process” by the JLSC, she had “departed from established practice whereby successful candidates ensured they have fulfilled all outstanding professional obligations before advising the Commission of their availability for appointment to the High Court.”
In his own statement to the media, the CJ said neither he nor the JLSC were made aware of the “full extent of her obligation before the Lower Court before his Excellency fixed the date for the swearing in of Mrs Ayers-Caesar.” However he said he was “fortified” in her “renewed commitment to place her duty and responsibility to the administration of justice ahead of personal interests, and has noted her willingness to attend to those matters which were pending before her in the magistrates’ courts.”
He said given her commitment to address those outstanding matters “and having regard to the hardships likely to be experienced by accused persons, witnesses and the legal fraternity should matters be restarted, the JLSC has met and agreed to restore Mrs Ayers-Caesar to the Magisterial Bench.”
But Israel Khan SC yesterday said he believes Ayers-Caesar is being made the “fall guy” in what he described as a “comedy of errors.” He said as a sitting magistrate the first question which would have been put to Ayers-Caesar would have been about the matters before her, so that before they inform the President she would have been told to finish off the matters.
Khan said he believes it was only because of the outcry from the Law Association and attorneys who have been speaking out that the situation was being reversed. However, he said he felt “sorry” for Ayers-Caesar, who was also the first woman to be appointed Chief Magistrate.
“She took an oath to serve and then have to resign, and have to go back to the Magistracy, how is she feeling?”
He said the entire JLSC should also resign and speak out on the issue and say what really happened. Khan said the CJ should also be impeached and called on senior attorneys, Criminal Bar Association and Law Association to begin the process to remove him.
The Law Association had also called for the process of selecting judges to be reviewed so as to allow for a more transparent process.
A similar call is coming from attorney Gerald Ramdeen, who first raised the issue about the appointment and the impact it would have on cases. He said as JLSC chair the Chief Justice “must be the first to go and I intend to begin that process to have him removed.”
He said the entire JLSC should also resign as “they have brought the administration of justice into disrepute by this appointment and they are the reason why a sitting judicial officer has had to resign. They should take responsibility for their action and they should all resign.” (See editorial on Page A20)
ABOUT THE JLSC
Five people comprise the JLSC, including the chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), one person who is a judge, and two people with legal qualifications. The PSC chairman is an ex-officio member.
The present members are:
Chief Justice Mr Justice Ivor Archie (chairman)
Dr Marjorie Thorpe, chairman of the Public Services Commission (ex-officio member)
Justice Roger Hamel-Smith
Justice Humphrey Stollmeyer
Former national Under-17 goalkeeper Kern Caesar of Maple FC was voted as the 2016 Northern Football Association’s Premier Division “Most Valuable Player” at its annual end-of-season awards ceremony held at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Thursday last.
Held under the patronage of NFA President Anthony Harford, Caesar won the award ahead of fellow “Top Five” Premier Division “Players of the Year” Kusiah King (New Millennium), Jabari Andall (St Francois Nationals), Hakim Gulston (RSSR) and Kareem Davidson (Belmont FC) after leading the Alistair Ramdoo-coached Woodbrook-based Maple FC to the Premier crown.
In the Championship Division, Christon Freitas of champions Cultural Roots United was voted as the “MVP” ahead of club mate Marcus Ashton, Isiah Irish (Malta Carib Alcons), Marlon Carrington (Malta Carib Alcons) and Kareem Charles (Miscellaneous Laventille United).
Reflecting on the 2016 season, Harford said he felt it was a solid one.
He added, “All our competitions were completed and the participation level was satisfactory with us being able to crown our winners in every one of our competitions.
“We also had a near perfect attendance by our referees and there was an impressive debut of the Savannah League with games played under lights at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Additionally our Youth Development Programme has been up and running and is one of the major focal points of the association and we were quite pleased to see ten of our players being selected on the national Under-15 boys team to go to Cayman Islands in May. All in all, our season was satisfactory and we will be aiming to build on this and make improvements in the various departments in 2017,” stated Harford,
The association also honoured three of its existing member clubs for its contribution over 50-plus years in Belmont-based St Francois nationals (50 years ) and Woodbrook duo, Malvern (75 years old) and Maple (100 years old in 2017.
For their distinguished service to the local game, Rolf Bartolo, Glenford Waines, Mervin Mercian, Aubrey Peters and the late Rudy Roberts, were all recognised for their contribution to the NFA.
This country’s senior women’s volleyball team will create some history when they host a four-team Group Three series in the eight-team 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix qualifiers at the National Cycling Centre, Balmain, Couva from July 14-16.
The World Grand Prix is the third highest level of competition of the sport only behind the Olympics and World Championship and for the 2017 edition, the 25th in its history, 32 countries will feature from 7 July to August 6 August with the Group One Final Round to be held in Nanjing, China.
Excluding Cuba, which withdrew from the tournament,the remaining 27 teams from the 2016 edition directly qualified.
The top 12 teams who will comprise the nine pools of four teams over the course of their three groups of Group One qualifiers include Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, Serbia, China, USA, Russia, Italy, Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Japan and Thailand
The 12 teams were drawn in nine pools of four teams and in each pool, all teams will compete in round robin format.
The results of all nine pools will combine in one ranking table and the hosts and the top five ranked teams will play in the final round in China while the last ranked team after the intercontinental round could be relegated if the winners of the Group Two Final Round in Czech Republic can meet the promotion requirements set by the FIVB.
The Group Two teams are Bulgaria, Germany, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Poland, Canada, Croatia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic, and Colombia.
The 12 Group Two teams were drawn in nine pools of four teams, and in each pool, all teams will compete in round-robin format.
The results of all nine pools will combine in one ranking table and the hosts (Czech Republic) and the top three ranked teams will play in the final round while the last ranked team after the intercontinental round could be relegated if the winners of the Group Three Final Round can meet the promotion requirements set by the FIVB.
And in Group Three, T&T, Australia, Mexico, Hungary, France, Algeria, Cameroon and Venezuela are the competing nations and the teams were drawn in two pools of four teams.
In each pool, all teams will compete in round-robin format and the results of all will combine in one ranking table after which the hosts (Australia) and the top three ranked teams will play in the final round.
But before, the Renele Forde-captained T&T women play before their home supporters, the Francisco “Panchee” Cruz-coached team will first come up against Australia, Mexico and Hungary in its Group Three Week One Pool A-3 series at the Olympic Gymnasium, Aguascalientes City, Mexico while Cameroon entertains France, Venezuela and Algeria in Pool B-3 from July 7 to 9 at the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex, Yaounde, Cameroon.
For the second week of Final Round matches, T&T then returns home to host France, Cameroon and Australia in Week Two at the National Cycling centre, in balmain, Couva in Pool D-3 while Hungary, Algeria, Mexico and host Venezuela clash in Pool C-3 from July 14 to 16 at Poliedro de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela.
Commenting of T&T’s impending involvement in the prestigious event, Mushtaque Mohammed, President of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) and a former T&T Volleyball Federation President said he was very delighted by the progress made by the reigning CAZOVA champions.
“Being a former President of the T&TVF and part of the development program me put in place to improve the women’s game it brings a lot of joy to me and from a CAZOA stand-points its show that the game in the region is on the improve and very encouraging to the other nations.
Neshmeya should be a ‘penalty-kick’ for a 3-yo Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over ten furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Sandown today; presumably trainer Charles Hills is convinced an extra quarter mile wont be a problem!
As a juvenile Neshmeya made a good, first-up, impression when second (of fourteen!)in a competitive Newmarket seven furlongs ‘maiden’ and we all know just how difficult they are to win; three weeks later this impeccably-bred Lawman filly disappointed and finished fourth over a mile on a ‘soft’ Yarmouth surface.
Paul Hanagan donned colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum both times.
Since then, 192 days ago, Paul has been sacked from one of the best jobs in racing and champion jockey, Jim Crowley, will be hoping Neshmeya can make it third time lucky, for him.
Realistically it’s just a question of Neshmeya replicating anything like her debut effort and I’m assured form, fitness, and well-being are not at issue. Our time-handicap leaves me in no doubt Neshmeya is unopposable.
Cunco, one of two declarations made by John Gosden for a five-runner Classic Trial over ten furlongs, is also clear ‘best-in’ but mount of Robert Tart; booked for stable-companion, Monarchs Glen, is Frankie Dettori.
Sixteen days ago Frankie partnered Monarchs Glen to a second success over a similar distance of Kempton polytrack; punters will view these bookings with due scepticism.
Once again the TH is our ‘measuring stick’ and Cunco, ridden by Robert Tart, is definitely worth supporting because championship-chasing Gosden is a man who never wastes a race; this Frankel colt will be 100% ‘off’ even though he hasn’t raced for 180 days; intriguing, eh?
Running in tandem will be an eight-race Doncaster programme on which Henry Candy-trained Beck And Call is strongly-fancied for her third outing in the Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over six furlongs.
Anytime now croquet enthusiast, Candy, will be ‘upping the ante’ and visiting winners’ enclosures; patience is his forte!
Annie Power appears on verge of retirement
Annie Power may have run her last race after she was not declared for the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown tomorrow.
The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old, who became the first mare in 22 years to claim the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March of last year, has not been seen in competitive action since following up in the Aintree Hurdle the following month.
Last week connections confirmed the great mare was in foal to Camelot, who won the 2000 Guineas and completed the English-Irish Derby double for Aidan O’Brien in 2012.
He was narrowly denied in his bid to become the first Triple Crown hero since the great Nijinsky (1970) when beaten by Encke in the St Leger at Doncaster.
Annie Power looked set for one final hurrah on the final day of the Punchestown Festival, but Mullins has decided against sending her to County Kildare.
He told Press Association Sport: “I thought she worked very well last week, but she was just not showing any sparkle this week and I didn’t feel happy running her. That is the reason we are not running.
“I don’t want to say anything about retirement yet as I need to have a discussion with the owner.
“We need to be respectful to the owner and we will be discussing it in the next day or so.”.
Nathaniel James scored a handful of goals to lead San Juan Jabloteh to a 12-0 mauling of Morvant Caledonia United when matches in the 2017 Flow Youth Pro League Under-13 Division resumed after the break for the Easter holidays last Sunday.
Playing at the Maracas Recreation Ground, St Joseph, James netted as early as the third minute from the penalty-spot and added further items in the ninth, 22nd, 35th and 70th minutes to carry his season tally to a league best 11 for the winners while N’Kosi Ambrose (34th & 35th) and Israel Joseph (64th & 68th) added two goals each.
The trio of Lindell Sween, Jaheim Faustin and Ezekiel Stapleton added the others for Jabloteh, now with 16 points from seven matches in second spot, five behind unbeaten leaders Police FC while Morvant Caledonia United remained without a point.
At the St James Police Barracks Ground, Long Circular Road, St James, Tyreke Harding scored a double, in the 15th and 35th minute to steer the host past Central FC 4-2.
Nathaniel Carrim and Jayden Moore were also on target for Police to cancel out efforts from Jakeem Lewis and Giovani Warner form Central FC.
In other matches, Club Sando edged Defence Force 2-1 to join W Connection on 13 points, after the latter fell 3-2 away to North East Stars while Pt Fortin Civic blasted St Ann’s Rangers 5-0.
In the Under-15 Division, Defence Force and Jabloteh are locked in a tight battle of the top of the table, both with 18 points from seven matches, three more than Pt Fortin Civic and Police FC, while W Connection is fifth with 12 points.
This after Defence Force got goals from Nicholas Smith, Marc Wharfe and Aidan Marcano to blank Club Sando 3-0 at Trinity College Ground, Trincity and Jabloteh got a similar win over Morvant Caledonia United courtesy strikes from Jael Mason, Terrell Wiley and Sherwin Mulzac.
At Long Circular, Police shut out Central FC 2-0 and Pt Fortin also won by the same scoreline over St Ann’s Rangers while W Connection came from behind to pip North East Stars 2-1 at the Arima Municipal Stadium, Arima.
However, in the Under-17 age-group, Jabloteh holds a commanding five points cushion at the top after a 1-0 defeat of Morvant Caledonia with Rivaldo Coryat the scorer two minutes from full-time to lift its points tally to 19, while W Connection is next with 14.
W Connection was held goalless by third placed North East Stars, a point further behind.
Flow Youth Pro League 2017 results
Round One Match Day Seven:
Police FC 4 (Nathaniel Carrim 5th, Tyreke Harding 15th, 35th, Jayden Moore 44th) vs Central FC 2 (Jakeem Lewis 25th, Giovani Warner 29th)
Pt Fortin Civic 5 (Justin Joseph 39th, Isaiah Thompson 45th, 69th, Simon Modeste 66th, 70th) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0
Jabloteh 12 (Nathaniel James 3rd pen, 9th, 22nd, 35th, 70th, Israel Joseph 64th, 68th, Lindell Sween 10th, Jaheim Faustin 17th, Nkosi Ambrose 34th, 35th, Ezekiel Stapleton 63rf) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0
North East Stars 3 (Tyrik Trotman 40th, Keshawn Diaz 47th, Terron Miller 68th) vs W Connection 2 (Jaden Grant 12th, 18th)
Club Sando 2 (Kaylon Ayres 41st, Anthony Williams 67th) vs Defence Force 1 (Darian Marfan 2nd)
Police FC 2 (Ajay Ward 65th, Malachi King 65th) vs Central FC 0
Pt Fortin Civic 2 (o.g 50th, Ezekiel Kesar 60th) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0
Jabloteh 3 (Jael Mason 29th, Terrell Wiley 30th, Sherwin Mulzac 24th) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0
W Connection 2 (Nicholas Dyett 52nd, Jamal Lewis 70th) vs North East Stars 1 (Isaiah Coxall 3rd)
Defence Force 3 (Nicholas Smith 32nd, Marc Wharfe 39th, Aidan Marcano 80th) vs Club Sando 0
Police FC 4 (Terrol Burgros 3rd, Zion Carpette 60th, Kareem Grant 68th, Zion Mc Leod 90th) vs Central FC 1 (Tyrique Mohammed 39th)
St Ann’s Rangers 3 (Jesse Williams 26th, Nkosi Salandy 50th, Che Benny 86th) vs Pt Fortin Civic 2 (Omari Cobham 24th, 37th)
Jabloteh 1 (Rivaldo Coryat 88’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0
North East Stars 0 vs W Connection 0
Club Sando 3 (Dillon Yarewood 22nd, Ronaldo Mc Intosh 67th, Isa Bramble 88th) vs Defence Force 1 (Alexi George 7th)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
Police FC 7 7 0 0 22 5 21
Jabloteh 7 5 1 1 39 8 16
Club Sando 7 4 1 2 30 8 13
W Connection 7 4 1 2 23 9 13
Defence Force 7 3 1 3 22 10 10
North East Stars 7 3 1 3 14 14 10
Pt Fortin Civic 7 3 1 3 12 17 10
Central FC 7 3 0 4 26 22 9
St Ann’s Rangers 7 0 0 7 1 41 0
M.C United 7 0 0 7 3 58 0
Defence Force 7 6 0 1 23 6 18
Jabloteh 7 6 0 1 15 5 18
Pt Fortin Civic 7 5 0 2 18 4 15
Police FC 7 5 0 2 13 3 15
W Connection 7 4 0 3 8 9 12
St Ann’s Rangers 7 3 0 4 11 11 9
Club Sando 7 2 1 4 8 14 7
North East Stars 7 2 0 5 9 14 6
M.C United 7 1 1 5 7 28 4
Central FC 7 0 0 7 2 20 0
Jabloteh 7 6 1 0 16 1 19
W Connection 7 4 2 1 10 4 14
North East Stars 7 4 1 2 15 10 13
St Ann’s Rangers 7 3 2 2 16 8 11
Police FC 7 3 2 2 12 6 11
M.C United 7 3 0 4 17 10 9
Club Sando 7 2 2 3 12 18 8
Pt Fortin Civic 7 2 1 4 11 13 7
Central FC 7 1 0 6 3 24 3
Defence Force 7 0 1 6 7 25 1
Sunday April 30:
Under-13 Division: 10am
Under-15 Division: 2pm
Under-17 Division: 4pm
Central FC vs Club Sando, New Settlement Ground, Chaguanas
W Connection vs Defence Force, Union Recreation Ground, Claxton Bay
Jabloteh vs North East Stars, San Juan North Secondary Ground, Bourg Mulatresse, San Juan
St Ann’s Rangers vs Morvant Caledonia AIA, Maracas St Joseph Recreation Ground, St Joseph
Police FC vs Pt Fortin Civic, St James Police Barracks Ground (outside field), St James
Due to an overwhelming demand for game tickets, US Soccer was forced to add additional seating for the June 8th World Cup qualifier against this country’s senior men at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Tickets were sold out early and an additional 1000 were sold on a first-come, first-served basis through ussoccer.com on Tuesday where Individuals were allowed to purchase a maximum of four (4) tickets.
Bleacher seats are being added at the North Endline and other feasible spaces at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Beyond the newly-added seats, a small number of tickets remain available currently for the Midfield & Sideline Tables, as well as some limited-view seating. In addition, Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official US national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before the game, and other unique benefits) are available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the US Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs.
The Hyatt Place Denver/Downtown will serve as the official FanHQ Hotel and is designated as the premier accommodation spot for fans looking to get the most out of the USA-Trinidad & Tobago experience.
T&T plays Grenada on Saturday in St George’s in a warm up before traveling to Colorado next month for a residential training camp ahead of the World Cup qualifier on June 8th. They face Costa Rica in San Jose on June 13th
Women’s Team duo enjoying Morace experience
National senior women’s team duo Patrice Superville and newcomer Ranae Ward says they are both enjoying the intense level of training with the team under head coach Carolina Morace and her assistant Nicola Williams.
Both players were speaking at a recent training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo after returning from a short break following the two warm up matches against Venezuela.
Supervilee has been a regular member of the squad for some time and was involved in the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign.
“I think the mood is good in the camp. The training has been intense, it’s been different and we are learning every session,” Supervise said.
“The two games (against Venezuela) I think were tough. We are learning what she is teaching us and we are trying to play her game and I think this has been shown in the games and we will develop in the further games,” she added
Ward meantime made her senior debut against Venezuela.
“I was nervous obviously but as the game continued I got in the groove and I got more confident on the ball. It was a good experience overall. It is a great opportunity to train with one of the best coaches in the world and among the best players in the country so I am embracing this opportunity. It is always a fun environment to be in,” Ward said.
The national team continues to train up to five days per week as they prepare for the France 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Molino should be fit for weekend
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath says he expects Kevin Molino to be fit for this weekend’s MLS clash with Cordell Cato’s San Jose Earthquakes. Molino hasn’t trained this week due a minor knee issue.
“We think they will all be available — certainly Burch and Molino will be available — for the weekend, but we don’t want to aggravate it early on in the week,” Heath said.
If United beats the Earthquakes on Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium, the Loons could enter May among the Western Conference’s top six teams. In November, after the remaining 75 per cent of the regular season is played, those teams will advance to the playoffs.
“After the start that we had, people wouldn’t have thought would be possible at this stage in the season, so it’s a big game for us,” coach Adrian Heath said.
Flow ties up deal with CONCACAF
Earlier this year, Flow signed a partnership with CONCACAF to give customers a front row seat at server marquee CONCACAF football events.
Fans can tune into Flow Sports, Flow Sports Premier and Flow 1 to watch all 25 live matches as 12 teams from the Caribbean, Central America and North America vie to lock down their spot in the U-17 World Cup. That CONCACAF U-17 qualification is currently taking place in Panama City.
Along with the live segments, Flow Sports will also produce a pre, post and halftime show for the final on May 7th. Hosts of the show include former professional footballer and Flow Sports Premier Weekly host Terry Fenwick, along with T&T’s U-17 coach Russell Latapy. Together they’ll serve up detailed match discussions and provide fans with an expert perspective on tomorrow’s Caribbean football stars.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Shaun Fuentes is the communications manager for the TTFA - [email protected]
As a famous Indian cricketer, the name Tendulkar in a T&T stadium might encourage some of the many Indian billionaires in the cricket leagues to come scouting for the talent we have in this country. Sachin Tendulkar’s name is free advertisement. Until we can assess what is the bigger picture, we really are not going to get anywhere. Young talent could be invited to train and get employment in India. The West Indies cricket teams benefitted handsomely by being allowed to reside and play for clubs in England for many years. What is wrong with getting cricketing experience in India if conditions are right? Young talent will not have to wait on the square minded WICB to give them a chance at making some millions.
All that is necessary, really, is a nice big bronze plaque bearing the names of all our famous cricketers to be put up on a wall in Tarouba. It is not that we do not care. We need spectators from all over the world coming to look at cricket. A fraction of the millions of spectators from India and Pakistan will full up the coffers.
Those who are wealthy enough to come to the Caribbean will visit and possibly do business.
Why make the Brian Lara Cricket Academy at Tarouba a political football? Instead think about Sport Tourism.
A symbol of T&T’s cricketing excellence
It seems to me the disagreement over naming of a stand in the Brian Lara Stadium stems from trying to determine what the stadium should represent and what narrative to place this symbolism in. Should we have determined that the stadium should stand as a symbol of T&T’s cricketing excellence, then surely Tendulkar’s name would not have arisen. If it is true that Mr. Lara is the one who chose to honour Tendulkar in this way, that is more a tribute to Lara’s magnanimity and suggests that he sees the stadium as symbol of cricketing excellence on the global stage.
But is there only one unambiguous symbol being proposed here?
In T&T, where everyone is quick to put on their tinted glasses, some are seeing racial pandering. I don’t know if that is such a bad idea and in fact, I would say it adds somewhat to Mr Lara’s approach- Afro-Asian unity on the 47th anniversary of the Black Power marches! Oh, but I think there is a name more appropriate to the task but let me first say that while there can be no dispute over Tendulkar’s greatness as a batsman, I daresay that Sachin himself has never really resonated with the Indian diaspora in these plantation colonies, in marked contrast to say a Sunil Gavaskar. And worse, Tendulkar was granted a platform for his farewell Test on the humiliated back of the West Indies.
Not his own doing but surely it hurts us fans of Lara’s own Mr Dependable who stood like the Atlas of his generation but was given a virtual “mash, dog” by the region’s cricketing heads. Chanderpaul, playing in his third Test in 1994 with what seemed like borrowed pads and gloves held resolute the other end while Lara made his way past Sir Garry Sobers’ longstanding record.
For two decades Shiv “Chanders” Chanderpaul honed his village-derived technique till he surpassed all West Indian bastmen except Lara in run aggregate. He certainly saved the West Indies from abject humiliation on innumerable occasions but instead of a send-off Tendulkar style, he gets a mean spirited “good riddance.” Chanders was on the global stage, and was on par with the greats, Tendulkar included. I wasn’t the greatest fan of his technique but there was never any doubt as to his commitment to the West Indian cause. Neither should there be doubt as to his greatness. And guess what? He is from a village called Unity.
Sachin Tendulkar Stand a good idea
I write in support of the idea to name a Stand in the new cricket Stadium after Sachin Tendulkar.
Now I am aware of the lack of a sense of selfhood inherited from our colonial experience. This translates into a lack of working knowledge of our history on the part of the population, a lack of sense of commitment and responsibility for promoting the development of our country on the part of all citizens, as well as a disdain for the built heritage of the society as is obvious when elected officials wipe out historic buildings as part of a “clean up campaign”.
The campaign for self hood however remains a work in progress and is a civilizational process.
In this process the development of “the local” has to be married with an eye to the global. A lot of us do not like the nationalist patriots like Donald Trump, Marie Le Pen, Nigel Farage etc. But then we behave in the same manner.
We have to be able to display a different magnanimity that is more inclusive especially when it can redound to our self interest. The key to this balance between the global and the local is the confidence and ability to interpret the world from our own perspective and interests.
If we wish to use this venue to promote international games and events the idea of the Sachin Tendulkar brand in combination with the Brian Lara brand would definitely enhance promotion possibilities and will be good for combining the local and the global.
West Indies Cricket fan