Indian Arrival Day (May 30) is a period when the Hindu community
and all Indo Trinidadians reflect on the difficulties, deprivations
and discriminations that our ancestors endured and the methods
they used to overcome.
It is also a time when we celebrate our ancestors triumphs.
We remind the younger generation through our cultural pageants
and speeches of their religious and cultural inheritance.
We also remind the national community and ourselves of discriminations
that are yet to be removed.
On May 30 I delivered the Maha Sabhas Indian Arrival
Day message on the grounds of the Parvati Girls Hindu College,
Trinidad and Tobago is aware of the recent cases of discrimination
against the Maha Sabha. Our quest for a radio licence and
a change of the Trinity Cross as our highest national award
are matters that have been in the public arena.
We wish to now draw your attention to Devant Maharaj, Feroza
Ramjohn, Ganga Persad Kissoon and Khemraj Bissessar who are
victims of racial cleansing!
Permanent Secretary Ramnarine of the Ministry of Education
and Permanent Secretary Seeram of the Ministry of Legal Affairs
have been moved in what is described as widespread shifting
in the Public Service.
School Feeding director Ken Emrith has been terminated!
At WASA, the terminated include CEO Kanchand Khanhai, engineer
Tota-Maharaj, Asgar Ali Hosein, Narine Ramtahal. And at Petrotrin
Kelvin Ramnath, Sharma Maharaj, Ali Hosein and a host of other
Indian employees were all listed to be demoted or to be terminated.
As governor of the Central Bank, Winston Dookerans contract
was not renewed. At the state-owned media CEO Curtis Manchoon
was removed and popular television host Hansely Adjoda effectively
barred except for cameo appearances.
At MTS, CEO Terrance Kalloo has also been removed. What is
also equally startling is that these persons are not being
replaced by any Indo-Trinidadians. The list is long and frightening!
The Indo-Trinidadian community is witnessing a shock
and awe programme with this state-sanctioned policy
that directs significant state resources to one ethnic group
to the exclusion of other groups.
The lowering of qualifications for state employment, house
padding, the establishment of the University of Trinidad and
Tobago, the elevation of criminal elements to community leaders,
the proposal of a political union with other Caribbean islands
without national consultations and state-sponsored projects
such as Cepep and Hype are all examples of the programme conceived
to push the Indian out of the space that is shared in Trinidad
Article 14 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights declares: All persons shall be equal
before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any
criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations
in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and
public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal
establishment by law.
The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha has now intervened in the impasse
between Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Chief Justice Satnarine
Sharma. Although we have a constitutional separation of powersthe
legislative, the Executive and the judiciaryefforts
are being made by the Executive led by Prime Minister Patrick
Manning to interfere in matters of the judiciary.
Using the police force to raid the Chief Justices office
and seize sensitive legal documents while the Chief Justice
himself was representing our country in Czechoslovakia is
viewed by us as a clear violation of the separation of powers
The Maha Sabha has written a number of international agencies
about what we consider attempts to terrorise the judiciary
and control the judicial system.
The Hindu religious organisation has invited a delegation
to visit T&T to observe and investigate what we consider
the subversion of the judicial system.
The International Commission of Jurists based in Geneva, Switzerland,
is linked to the United Nations and is the centre for the
independence of judges and lawyers. This Commission of Jurists
deals with governments, in particular with cases of harassment
of jurists, observes trails which impact upon judicial independence,
or where lawyers are targeted.
It conducts fact-finding missions to countries where the functioning
of the judiciary is under serious threat.
For public information we detail a list of international agencies
we have invited to investigate the political attempts in T&T
to frighten and control our independent judiciary:
1. The International Commission of Jurists, PO Box 91, 33
rue des Bains, 1211 Geneva, 8 Switzerland.
2. The International Bar Association, 10th Floor, 1 Stephen
Street, London W1T 1AT, United Kingdom.
3. International Law Commission, Secretary of the International
Law Commission, Rm. S3460A, United Nations Plaza, New York,
NY, 10017, USA.
4. The Carter Center, One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway,
Atlanta, Ga. 30307.
5. Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, Gopio
Inc, PO Box 1413, Stanford, CT 06904, USA.
MAHARAJ is the Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha