Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2016 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
A Spiritual Baptist priest yesterday
called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
to call a national day of prayer to heal
the country from its current state of
decay, saying there was too much evil
roaming the land.
Father Wendell Jack, of the St Ann's
Healing Spiritual Baptist Church, made
the call during the funeral service for slain
schoolboy Mark Richards at A J Nella's
Funeral Home, Duke Street, Port-of-Spain.
He said he did not want to hear any
"ifs" or "buts", noting that gunmen like
the ones who had killed Jack and his Suc-
cess Laventille Secondary schoolmate
Denelson Smith were now running ram-
pant across the land.
"We must seek first the Kingdom of
God and all things shall be added unto
you. If my people, which are called by my
name (Jesus), shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from
their wicked ways; then will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will
heal their land. Heal the land of T&T,"
John said as he quoted from the Holy Bible.
He said it was high time for all young
men in T&T to get together and unite
instead of killing one another.
"Learn to live good. If you can't live
good, nothing can't happen. There is no
room in our hearts to tote hatred, covert-
ness and envy. Our hearts are too small.
You have to learn to control your emotions.
Why can't we all do that?" he added.
His call came even as the murder toll
rose yet again yesterday, pushing it to the
Richards and Smith, both of Laventille,
were pulled out of a taxi while travelling
along Picton Road last week Thursday and
killed in cold-blood.
They have been described as exemplary
students. Smith, who was a school prefect,
was known for his cricketing skills and
had copped many trophies and medals for
the sport. Richards was known for his
From as early as 10 am yesterday, Duke
Street, between Nelson and George Streets,
was blocked off from all vehicular traffic
by police officers.
The massive crowd of mourners later
spilled out of the funeral home's chapel
to the streets under the watchful eyes of
heavily-armed police officers from tactical
units of the T&T Police Service.
Amidst the haunting rhythm of African
drumming, one could hear outbursts of
screams coming from mourners, including
Richards' schoolmates and teachers from
the Success Laventille Secondary School.
"Mark! Why, why, why, Mark?"
screamed one student as she was hugged
by other students.
Another cried: "Why did you have to
go like this?"
Friday, January 29, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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JENSEN LA VENDE
A 28-year-old Mt D Or man was shot and killed
outside his home yesterday, reportedly in a dispute
over his 52-inch flatscreen television.
According to police reports, Keshan Burke, of
Spring Valley Road, Mt D'Or, was found dead by
residents who reported hearing two gunshots around
According to Burke's cousin, Sheldon Burke, the
gypsum installer had bought the television just
before Christmas and it was stolen.
He added, however, that his cousin retrieved his
television and made it known that he took back
what was rightfully his to all who would listen.
"He does work real hard and somebody take he
TV, he get it back. Around 8 this morning I hear
about this, he never interfered with anybody.
"Whoever do that have a nasty mind. Whoever
responsible will get caught. I sure about that. What-
ever the motive, they didn't have to kill him. He
ain't even get chance to drink his tea because it
still on the stove.
All he do was brush he teeth," Burke said, adding
his cousin was the type who would give food and
money to anyone in need.
Another relative, Akiesha Caballero, added that
Burke was a stubborn man who liked his own way.
She said the killers passed through the bushes to
get to her cousin before he got to work. They then
took back the television they originally stole.
In another incident, Gopichan Sookram, 60, was
found bludgeoned to death at his home at Endeavour
Road, Chaguanas, on Wednesday. Police said a rel-
ative of Sookram found him around 3.30 pm.
Speaking with the media at the Forensic Science
Centre, St James, yesterday, Sookram's son, David,
said his father was a well liked man in the com-
munity. He said his father had recently retired from
the Ministry of Food Production, where he worked
as an acting director of human resources.
"He was a public servant. He didn't have any
enemies we know of. Everyone in the village know
him well. He was a kind man and he used to help
out with people all the time.
"This is difficult for the entire family. No one
knows how to deal with this. It's sad and angry at
the same time," Sookram said.
The two murders took the toll to 44 for the year.
In an unrelated incident, the body of missing
Chaguanas businessman Azim Mohammed, 56,
was found yesterday in the mortuary at the Sangre
CrimeWatch host Ian Alleyne made the break-
through and took the man's relatives to the facility
where they identified him.
Mohammed had gone missing since January 18
and was reportedly found at Manzanilla beach and
taken to the mortuary where he was labelled a "John
Doe". An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Too much evil
GETTING IT RIGHT
A photo on Page A7 of yesterday's
paper incorrectly captioned Cecil Chin
as a structural engineer who was
touring the Las Alturas Towers site
alongside Las Alturas commission of
enquiry chairman Justice Mustapha
Ibrahim and geotechnical engineer
Derek Gay. The person was in fact Dr
Myron Chin, one of the commissioners.
Our apologies to Dr Chin.
2 more killings
push toll to 44
Priest feels day of prayer urgently needed
An unidentified woman, who spoke briefly
at the funeral, stood in front of Richards'
coffin and shouted the need for prayers, not
only in the home but in the schools. She also
scolded parents for failing to discipline their
"We need prayers. Children, pray before you
leave home for school. Hug your parents and
"Thank God you are living today. Parents,
do not let your children go down the drain too
fast. If their pants are under their buttocks,
pull it up. Watch the symbols they forming
with their hands, all this evil symbols. Tell
them about it," the woman pleaded.
"Children, buckle yourself up, you have
become too disrespectful. This here (referring
to Richards' demise) is a frightening scene.
Time for you all to know God, make that
change today and get yourselves in church."
During the eulogy, Richards was described
as a boy who adored and loved his family,
especially his mother Shurline Valdez-Phillips.
He was also described as a lover of football
Even Jack said he remembered seeing
Richards singing "Lean On Me", in the
church's choir last month.
Today, a funeral service will be held for
Richards' close friend Denelson Smith at the
Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Picton,
'CHILDREN TOO DISRESPECTFUL'
for 28TH JANUARY, 2016
Family members and classmates of
slain Success Laventille Secondary
School student Mark Richards are
overcome with grief during his
funeral service at AJ Nella's Funeral
Home, Duke Street, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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