Thursday 24th November, 2005

 
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Put Bush, Blair before the ICJ

The Nuremberg trials in Germany 60 years ago represented Europe’s international kangaroo court “justice” and, at that time, set and continues to set dangerous precedents.

There was no jurisprudential precedent at the time that permitted the Nazis to be brought before an ad hoc tribunal and clearly there was no principle of law that permitted the allied forces to assume jurisdiction both in Germany and Japan to carry out trials for those people accused of war crimes during the hostilities of World War II.

The United States inter alia was foremost in the effort to “bring to justice” the accused Germans and Japanese yet today the same US refuses to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, which incidentally was created with the approval of the majority of the members of the United Nations and those nations have accepted the jurisdiction of that court.

That kangaroo court of yesteryear has now produced a bastard court in Iraq where Saddam Hussein is to be tried for war crimes.

I hold no brief for Saddam nor do I condone the alleged atrocities committed by him or in his name or at his direction but that impending trial is nothing short of a travesty of justice and an immoral use of the law.

Both George Bush and Tony Blair and their gang were mainly responsible for the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation and used lies and misrepresentations to convince their citizens to be part of an invading force. They should be made to answer for their war crimes before the ICJ.

Bush and Blair are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi citizens. Are these two leaders less blameworthy than the Nuremberg Nazis or Saddam and his generals?

It appears that you can be as hypocritical, deceitful and unjust as you want to be as long as you are victorious in battle. But the war goes on.

M Hotin

St James


Another record for Brian Lara

It was with sheer displeasure and utter disgust that I once again witnessed Brian Lara given another bad decision. In four innings of the two Test matches against Australia he was erroneously given out on three occasions.

Also in the first Test, Chanderpaul got a bad decision in the second innings, likewise Gayle and Powell in the second Test. That makes a total of six bad decisions against West Indies in the two Test matches.

I wonder how many bad decisions Australia got?

I remember distinctly Michael Holding complaining about this same scenario in our last Test tour to Australia when we were beaten 5-0.

These poor decisions are given especially against the West Indies and they are really depressing for the fans and discouraging for the players.

I guess Lara has another world record—the batsman with the greatest number of bad decisions in the history of Test cricket.

However, class is class, and Lara is blessed by the Almighty. The record for the highest number of runs in Test cricket will soon be broken by him.

Ramraj Gobindah

[email protected]


Costaatt must do better than that

Open letter to the Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education:

I was invited by a friend to attend the Costaatt graduation ceremony on November 12, and was a bit taken aback by the procedures followed with respect to the use of the presidential regalia at the commencement exercise.

The first thing that disturbed me was the carrying of the college’s mace by an officer (whom I later was informed is the organisation’s human resource director) who was not dressed in official or ceremonial wear as is the custom when carrying the mace in the public domain where students and invited guests are gathered. This should never have been.

You see, my thesis—which was a partial fulfilment of the requirements for the bachelor of arts degree with honours in communication which I pursued at the University of South Carolina—is entitled “The importance of traditions in the higher education community” and for which I did an in-depth study on the subject matter. Therefore, I was able to acquire much knowledge of the use of these ceremonial instruments.

My next shocker was when I enquired when was the president inaugurated and whether he or those in authority had received training on how these instruments are to be handled.

I could not believe it when I was told that the president had not been inaugurated into office. Are we serious? Do we know what these instruments represent? I do not think so.

An extract from my thesis is reflected hereunder for your guidance:

“Visiting dignitaries from local and far-flung colleges and universities attend the ceremony in a gesture that welcomes the newly-inducted president into the ranks of higher education’s elite. This ritual includes medieval regalia augmented with presidential seals, medallions and a mace as well as a section in the inauguration programme that describes the duties of the office. During inauguration, the president is vested with the power and authority of the office.”

How can someone who has not been inaugurated be allowed to hold a college’s mace as he did when he passed it to the marshal. Who robed him with the ceremonial chain/medallion? Was this done by a uniformed or ceremonially dressed officer?

It clearly shows that the college did not first obtain information on these two ceremonial items before introducing them into their college. Had it done this, it would have known that you cannot just use them like that before the necessary inauguration or installation of the president is conducted.

I beg the powers that be not to make the same mistake with the University of T&T as we will surely be the laughing stock of the world.

There is a belief that leaders of third world countries do not follow procedures or ignore protocol and it is situations like this that make us look unintelligent and lawless.

Please, Mr Minister, I wish to reiterate that we do not let this shoddy and slipshod scenario happen with the UTT.

Donovan Thomas Nichols

Mt Grace

Tobago


Speak up about govt wastage

It is good to see Minister of Works Colm Imbert taking a personal interest in taxpayers’ money and is willing to take a drive on the Lady Young Road that a contractor was paid to repave and to have him do it right (repair it or not get paid).

But aren’t there quality assurance personnel from his ministry who are supposed to ensure that the work is up to par? Why does it take letters in the Guardian from concerned readers to get the minister or his technocrats to ensure contractors do a proper job?

I suggest (if this is not the case) the Government includes stipulations in contracts on substandard work by contractors. This would allow the Government to inspect the work or other service provided and not pay the contractor if he does not meet specifications. Every contractor wants to be fully paid, so I am sure they will do a good job.

This is one way to ensure that people do the jobs they are being paid handsomely to do.

In the long run, we need more people to speak out about government waste and abuse and continue to write to the newspapers when they see taxpayers’ money being wasted.

Maybe it will cause more ministers and technocrats (either through embarrassment or responsibility) to get off their duffs, do their jobs and ensure that public funds are properly spent.

Kelvin C James, Sr

Via e-mail


Thanks, coach

Thanks to Dwight, our midfield attacker

Thanks to Jack, football’s financial backer

But with all the headlights, motor-car horn

Flagwaving, tassa drumming and so on

Let’s not forget coach Leo Beenhakker.

Jerome Audain

Curepe

 

 

 

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