Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 21st 2017 Contents tendance.
Boodan, in his address, said it was
an honour for Chaguanas to have been
chosen as the home for this significant
"I am delighted the Indian Diaspora
Council has chosen to commemorate
this remarkable event here in Chagua-
nas, a Chaguanas, which was built on
the strength and blood of our ances-
Boodan said the centennial anniver-
sary of the abolition of Indian Inden-
tureship celebrates the contribution
made by Indians to the social, polit-
ical, economic and intellectual life in
countries across the world.
He said the Chaguanas Borough
Corporation had commenced work
on a heritage building and tourism
park, which will house the history of
Chaguanas and showcase the build-
ers and profilers who contributed to
President of the Indian Diaspora
Council of the USA, Ashok Ramsaran,
said their aim was to put markers in
every country to say "yes, we've been
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 guardian.co.tt
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Commemmoration of abolition of Indian indentureship:
South African introduced as
Zulu prince in Chaguanas
Ishwar Ramlutchman of South Africa was in-
troduced at the unveiling of a plaque at Saith
Park, Chaguanas yesterday commemmorating
the 100th anniversary of the abolition of Indian
indentureship, as "a Zulu prince."
He is the first Indian member of the Zulu tribe and
has been given the additional names "Mabheka Zulu"
"Greetings from South Africa, the land of Maha-
ma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela," Ramlutchan told
the people gathered in the bandstand in Saith Park,
including members of the local and international In-
dian Diaspora Councils, schoolchildren, Chaguanas
Mayor Gopaul Boodan, business people and residents.
"We feel part and parcel of each other," Ramlutch-
man said in an African accent.
"The ocean separates us but it cannot separate the
Indian-ness among us."
Ramlutchaman, 41, grew up in a weather beaten
tin house on KZN, South Africa where poverty and
apartheid united African and Indian neighbours.
He educated himself and worked his way up to
become a businessman and author and is also de-
scribed as a humanitarian for his work among the
It was this work that earned him the respect of Zulu
king, Goodwill Zwelithini who appointed Ramlutch-
man a "Member of the Trust of the Royal Household"
and anointed and adopted him as a son.
King Zwelithini, in a message commemorating the
100th anniversary of the abolition of Indian inden-
tureship, said, under apartheid, "Indians, like their
African counterparts, endured decades of racism and
He said South African Indians today, who number
1.3 million "not only work hard in ensuring consolida-
tion of South African democracy but also contribute
to the country's economy"
Former governor of New Zealand, Sir Anand Sat-
yanan, and other Indians of international prominence
spoke at the event.
Former government ministers, Suruj Rambachan,
Dr Bhoe Tewarie and Chandresh Sharma were in at-
Prakash: Move to
inquiries is poison
Rather than being a "sweet" anti-crime
solution, Government's legislation to abol-
ish preliminary inquiries is "poison" for de-
mocracy since it removes Constitutionally
enshrined rights for the public and gives
Government unopposed powers,Opposition
MP Prakash Ramadhar says.
Ramadhar and other Opposition members
warned against Government's anti-crime leg-
islation- specifically meant to unclog the crim-
inal justice system---while speaking at a media
briefing in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
They're concerned the legislation may instead
set the stage for dictatorship.
"That's the bigger picture rather than being an
anti-crime initiative," Ramadhar added.
He said he saw signs when Government start-
ed deeming those who disagreed with them as
"Therefore if we remove checks and balances
enshrined in the Constitution, it's a pathway to
dictatorship," he said,
Ramadhar said the Opposition didn't support
the law to remove PIs since it was bad law which
removed judicial oversight of the prosecutorial
He said PI's were important since in some cases
that process had revealed the people involved
were innocent before proceedings reached trial.
He said Government should not play games
with the Constitution and use a simple majority
vote for passage of legislation to remove peo-
He said: "Cloaked as an anti-crime mechanism,
this aims a dagger at the heart of the Constitution.
"So the script to dictatorship is being writ-
ten, and it's up to everyone to determine how
the page turns."
Ramadhar said since the legislation shifted
the duties of a judge in the PI to the Director of
Public Prosecution (DPP), Government appeared
willing to start removing the judiciary.
"And that's the only thing standing between
people and abuse of their rights. So smart-
man-ism is happening," he added.
Ramadhar expressed concerned an "elitist
group" would determine people's fate.
Opposition MP Rodney Charles said the leg-
islation was awkwardly placed since crime de-
tection and prevention was first needed to deal
with crime and this would unblock the criminal
"The detection rate of five per cent is so low,
it won't deal with 95 per cent of the criminals---
increase detection levels rather than present bad
"Prevent crime before developing poor systems
to jail people,"
Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen, querying
Government's move to try to resume hangings
said the past PP administration had brought
amendments for this, but the PNM--- then the
Opposition---had opposed it. See Page A9
President of the Indian Diaspora Council Ashook Ramsaran, second from left,
congratulates Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan during the unveiling of the
Indian Diaspora Council International & Partners commemoration monument
which marks the 100th anniversary of Abolition of Indian Indentureship, at Saith
Park, Chaguanas yesterday. Also in photo is Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie.
PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Ishwar Ramlutchman of South Africa.
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