Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Monday, September 1, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Thousands gathered at the Queen s Park
Savannah to look on as the 52nd anniversary
Independence parade proceeded from the
Savannah to St James.
Taking to the Port-of-Spain streets, citizens
outfitted in red, white and black watched the
military receive the traditional inspection by
President Anthony Carmona under the early-
Arriving to cheers and applause shortly
before 8 am, Carmona was escorted by Major
General Kenrick Maharaj, Chief of Defence
Staff, as he inspected members of the T&T
Defence Force, standing alert in crisp white
For the first time, a woman, Lieutenant
Commander Kele-ann Bourne, led the soldiers,
who were accompanied by music from the
Police, Regiment, Fire and Prisons bands.
At around 9 am, the protective services
marched from the Savannah along Frederick
Street, then onto Park Street before proceeding
along Tragarete Road en route to the Police
Training College compound in St James.
and black in
One member of the family of murdered
Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal says the family
has not "blanked" Seetahal s Chaconia medal
but will collect the award at a later date.
In a telephone interview on Saturday, See-
tahal s sister, Susan Francois told a reporter
she would not be attending the event, and
that she was disappointed as she felt Seetahal
deserved the nation s highest award.
The interview was covered on page A3 of
the Guardian yesterday with the headline
"Dana s family blanks award".
Francois is director of the Financial Intel-
In a statement on social media website
Twitter yesterday, Seetahal s niece Danielle
Francois, who is Susan Francois daughter,
said statements that the family was "blanking"
the National Awards were a blatant distortion
of the facts.
"The family remains appreciative of the
award bestowed (but) we re simply unable to
attend the event, however we will be accepting
the award at a later date," Francois wrote.
She said her mother had expressed disap-
pointment as she had been told that the group,
Powerful Ladies of T&T had nominated See-
tahal for the Order of the Republic of T&T
but was still appreciative of the Chaconia
Seetahal is being given the national award
more than three months after she was assas-
sinated on her way home just after midnight
on May 3. Her murder remains unsolved.
On August 20, David "Junior" Baker, 28,
was killed in a shoot-out with police. Senior
police officers directly involved in Seetahal s
murder probe said Baker was one of the key
suspects involved in Seetahal s well-planned
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, centre, looks on as former Police Service Commission chair Ramesh Deosaran, left, greets
acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams during the Commissioner's 52nd anniversary Independence cocktail reception at the
Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
In an unusual move, Reema Carmona,
wife of President Anthony Carmona was
forced to present a national award---the
Chaconia Medal (Gold) for community
service---to Rasheeda Ibrahim.
Ibrahim did not shake hands with Pres-
ident Carmona, who presented all the other
awards. Instead, she shook the hands of
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Sources say that was due to religious tra-
ditions and that such a situation never hap-
pened before in the country s 52 years of
Several awards were presented posthu-
mously at the national awards ceremony,
which took place at Queen s Hall last
Murdered Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal
was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold.
Although her family was not present to
accept it, a statement from a family member
yesterday said that they would collect the
award at a later date.
One recipient of a national award, Pastor
Clive Dottin, told reporters after that the
Seetahal family was still hurting from the
tragic loss earlier this year. Seetahal was
gunned down as she was on her way home
in Woodbrook on May 4. No one has been
charged with her murder.
"The killing of Dana Seetahal must not
be lost upon us," Dottin added.
"I think we have to pray for this family.
We have to not criticise at this point in
time about whether she should have been
awarded the Order of Republic (the nation s
highest award) or the Chaconia Medal
Gold," he added.
"I think that family is still hurting (and)
the mere idea that a legal luminary could
be shot and killed just like that and nobody
(charged) as yet shows that international
terrorists have violated the space of this
country. That is how serious it is."
Dottin was awarded the Chaconia Medal
Former government minister Dr Daphne
Phillips, who also received a national
award---the Medal for the Development of
Women---acknowledged Seetahal s signif-
icant contribution to the nation.
President's wife gives
award to Ibrahim
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