Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, March 30, 2015
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar says Trinidad and Tobago
can easily be described as the Mecca
for the Shouter Baptist movement in
She made the comment in a state-
ment yesterday, ahead of today s cel-
ebration of Spiritual Shouter Baptist
Persad-Bissessar said the faith played
a vital role in moulding the country s
social conscience and has proven it is
indeed here to help bring about positive
"Today, the Spiritual Shouter Baptist
community constitutes a most colourful
and vibrant part of our country s reli-
gious mosaic. Indeed, many of our sons
and daughters of this faith are highly
respected, not only among their own,
but in the wider society.
"Many of them are professionals who
hold substantive positions in both the
public and private sectors," Persad-
She also noted that the Spiritual
Shouter Baptist community played a
critical role in educating the nation s
children by proudly and effectively
managing their own primary school -
the St Barbara s Spiritual Shouter Bap-
tist Primary School in Maloney.
"The Government began construc-
tion of the school in 2011 and it was
completed and officially opened in 2012.
Indeed, it was a long road for the Spir-
itual Shouter Baptist community, but
they persevered and, with the com-
mitment of my Government, this dream
and prayer of having their own school
became a reality," she said.
She noted that it was under the lead-
ership of former prime minister Basdeo
Panday that the Baptist faith was hon-
oured with its own public holiday.
March 30 was chosen as the day of
observance as it marked the triumphant
repeal, in 1951, of the contemptible
Shouters Prohibition Ordinance, which
disallowed members to practise the
faith openly, she noted.
As the faith goes forward, the PM
promised her Government s continued
"My Government continues to give
support to, and partners with the Bap-
tist community, and all other faiths, in
building a better society and proudly
highlighting this nation as a beacon for
all other countries where every creed
and race does indeed find an equal
Acting President Reziah Ahmed, in
a statement marking the event, said
the celebration marked the freedoms
in the land enshrined in the Republican
"Let us be reminded that there are
people in 2015 who are still the subject
of persecution and the unjust applica-
tion of many a law, in many other lands.
A glimpse through the newspaper, or
a brief surf on any electronic news
media will recount communities in the
geopolitical space where oppression is
rife," Ahmed said.
"Let us be grateful for our freedoms,
and let us work to safeguard these our-
selves, but let us leverage the commu-
nications platforms to extend our reach
beyond our shores, for the world is
indeed a global village.
"It is our good works, our wholesome
efforts and our fair measures of personal
productivity that will positively impact
the minds and hearts of our young chil-
dren, and our teenagers. They are the
future and we are but the examples,
which they will follow, as sure as the
day follows the night."
Former Caroni (1975) Limited workers can feel
confident they will receive all the lands promised
to them under the Voluntary Separation of Employ-
ment Package (VSEP) which was offered before the
entity was shut down by the previous government.
The assurance comes from Trade, Industry, Invest-
ment and Communication Minister, Vasant Bharath,
following a march by the former sugar workers in
Couva on Saturday, where they called for settlement
of their outstanding issues.
Bharath rejected claims that lands were being used
for other land programmes.
"Over 13,000 lots of land have been allocated to
the Ministry of Land and Marine Resources, and
included in that allocation are over 8,000 lots that
are to be allocated specifically to former Caroni work-
ers," he said.
"The Land for the Landless programme is being
implemented using other lots, and not the ones
already allocated for Caroni workers. Any claim of
the lands for former Caroni workers being at risk is
"All former workers can feel confident that they
will receive their lands which formed part of the
Caroni VSEP package. It was a promise made by the
Prime Minister and as with other commitments, it
Police are calling on the public to
assist them in solving the murder of
Cepep worker Kent Nicholas, of Bar-
rackpore, who was shot dead on Fri-
Nicholas, 54, of Tin Pan Alley Road,
was on his way to work when he was
approached by a gunman who opened
fire on him, police said. He was hit
several times in the head and abdomen
and was rushed to the San Fernando
He succumbed to his injuries
around 11 am while undergoing emer-
gency surgery at the hospital.
Investigators said the men who shot
Nicholas escaped in a white car, but
witnesses were unable to give a full
description. Officers say they are yet
to determine a motive for the killing.
Nicholas was previously arrested
for possession of narcotics. Cpl Behar-
ry of the Barrackpore Police Station
Meanwhile, police said they expect
to charge a 34-year-old Cepep worker
for the murder of electrician Jude
Geoffrey, who was bludgeoned to
death at Turpin Trace, Harris Village,
South Oropouche, on Friday.
It is alleged that the duo, who are
neighbours, got into a squabble, fol-
lowing which the Cepep worker picked
up a large rock and hit Geoffrey in
the head and neck repeatedly.
Neighbours witnessed the incident
and called the police. The victim was
taken to the Siparia District Health
Facility, where he died while under-
going emergency treatment.
is a promise that will be kept."
He reminded that one of the first acts of the Gov-
ernment was to withdraw the appeal to the Privy
Council of the Justice Lennox Deyalsingh ruling.
"This appeal was made by the previous admin-
istration and effectively stalled the process. It was
when Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar instructed
her attorney general to withdraw the appeal that we
were able to move forward to the distribution process
for the lands," said Bharath.
He said through the Ministry of Land and Marine
Affairs, there are 12,387 available lots, on 30 sites,
with 8,855 lots allocated to the ex-Caroni workers.
The remaining 3,532 lots are being used for other
land distribution programmes, he said.
"So there has been absolutely no attempt to alter
or adjust the allocations that are being made to ex-
Caroni workers. And all outstanding lots which are
at various stages of the execution process will be
delivered before the middle of 2015." GA
PM lauds Baptists for achievement
T&T Mecca of
faith in region
Police make call for
help to solve murder
Vasant: Former Caroni
workers will get land
An ex-Caroni (1975) Limited worker displays a placard during Saturday's protest in Couva. PHOTO: SHASTRI
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