Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, June 1, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
President of the National
Council of Indian Culture
Deokienanan Sharma says
Indians need to get their act
He made the statement on
Thursday night while speaking
during Indian Arrival Day cel-
ebrations at the Divali Nagar,
Chaguanas, on Thursday night.
He said while Indians in
T&T have achieved, staying at
the top was harder unless they
"Complacency and the
crab-in-barrel syndrome that
we suffer from are the greatest
threat as we ascend the ladder
of success," Sharma said.
"I have heard and seen prac-
tised in the Indian community
a philosophy that is so heartless
and cruel that it is hard to
believe that it could be true.
"When you hear that if you
see a fellow Indian drowning
you don t lend him a hand to
pull him out, but instead press
your feet in his head to hasten
his drowning, you know that
we have to take a harsher look
at ourselves and see how much
we are guilty of such acts."
Sharma said other groups
might accuse Indians of being
clannish but Indians rarely help
each other. He said the civil
courts are filled with matters
involving family disputes espe-
cially over real estate..."when
we fight for property as if we
are going to take it with us
when we leave this world."
He said Indians must refine
their behaviour and stop act-
ing uncouth. He said Indians
are criticised for how poorly
they dress, how they speak
and conduct themselves in
public. He said the Indian
youth in the guise of support-
ing culture behave in most
"When one person from our
group embarrasses us in any
way, all of us get tainted as a
result," he said.
(With reporting by
Head of Indian cultural council laments:
threat to success
Dancers from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural
perform for guests attending Thursday night's Indian Arrival
Day celebrations at the Divali Nagar in Chaguanas.
PHOTO: SHASTRI BOODAN
The spiritual head of Swaha, Para-
macharya Pundit Hardeo Persad, is call-
ing for T&T to be a more caring soci-
ety.Persad gave this message during his
feature address at Swaha s 20th anniversary
Indian Arrival Day dinner and awards cer-
emony held at the University of the West
Indies, St Augustine JFK Auditorium, on
He said Indian Arrival Day was a time
to reflect on both past and present. The
ancestors of T&T s Indian community
had struggled and sacrificed to give their
descendants what they had today, he
And although these ancestors had
crossed the kala pani---meaning black
water, a taboo in Indian culture---their
descendants crossed the kala pani everyday,
Persad said it was time to put an end
to divisiveness, self-centredness, vindic-
tiveness and hatred.
"There s no peace. There s no truth.
Where are the values that our ancestors
lived and died for?" he asked.
He said the kala pani that had to be
crossed today was more difficult to cross
because it was in the mind.
Persad also said Indian Arrival Day was
a time for everyone.
"Indian Arrival Day is not only for Indi-
ans to arrive; it is for everyone to arrive
in oneness with the creator itself. It is for
everyone who is a human being." Persad
also helped present awards to more than
40 winners from the 2013 Swadeshi Com-
petition. The annual competition is open
to all Swaha bodies, including schools and
ashrams. Awards were given for story-
teling, poetry writing, music, and musical
performance and composition. The cer-
emony also included performances by the
Spiritual head of Swaha, Paramacharya
Pundit Hardeo Persad, presents Vitra
Maharaj with the trophy for the winning
the most entries per category in the
Swadeshi competition 2013 during
Thursday's dinner and awards ceremony
at the JFK Auditorium, University of the
West Indies, St. Augustine.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Put an end
Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley has been reportedly
blanked from State functions to
be held in honour of President of
China Xi Jinping, who arrived in
T&T last night.
Public relations officer of the
PNM, Faris Al-Rawi, at a press
conference on Thursday, said as
far as he was aware, Rowley was
not invited to any of the events,
including a State banquet to be
Xi s visit comes days after the
visit by United States Vice-Pres-
ident Joe Biden.
Al-Rawi said as a result of this,
Rowley left on Wednesday night
to go to Tobago for the long week-
"He (Rowley) was not invited to
any of the events concerning the
president of China. He received an
invitation by fax from the Presi-
dent s office yesterday (Wednes-
day), but he had already left for
Tobago so he went on his business,"
He said Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar knew about Xi s
visit "for a very long while" and
Rowley was not invited because
this was the way in which the Unit-
ed National Congress operated.
"If this is the way they chose to
run the State that s entirely up to
them...We expect nothing from
them, " he said.
Rowley not invited to Xi engagements
UNITED NATIONS---Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon has announced the appointment of
Sandra Honore, of Trinidad and Tobago, as
his special representative and head of the UN
peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
Honore, a career diplomat, was T&T s ambas-
sador in Costa Rica until last August. She pre-
viously served in the United States, Brazil and
at the Organization of American States.
UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey
said yesterday that Honore is expected to take
up her new post on July 15, succeeding Mariano
Fernandez Amunategui, of Chile, who completed
his assignment January 31.
The UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti arrived
in 2004, following the ouster of then President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide and has helped provide
stability since. But tensions fester over accu-
sations that UN peacekeepers inadvertently
brought cholera to Haiti and engaged in acts
of sexual abuse. (AP)
T&T diplomat to head UN mission in Haiti
Mom of slain
Let the killing of schoolboy Renaldo Dixon
by his schoolmate serve as a lesson to young
people to put down the weapons and stop
violence in schools.
That message echoed throughout Dixon s
funeral service at his home at Bagna Trace,
Chase Village, Chaguanas, yesterday as mourn-
ers tried to come to terms with the tragedy.
With tears streaming down her face, Dixon s
mother, Camille Marsha Taitt, made a pas-
sionate plea to young people, including her
other son Ricardo, 16, also a student of Waterloo
She said: "Young ones I hope by Renaldo s
death you all take this as an example. We going
to school to learn. We not going to school just
for boyfriend or girlfriend.
"I sent him to school expecting him to come
back home, but here he is."
On Monday Dixon, 14, was stabbed to death
by a 16-year-old schoolmate at the Waterloo
school during an argument over girl.
Taitt urged Dixon s schoolmates to let his
death encourage them to do well in school.
"The hatred we have, we need to drop it.
Let Renaldo get his justice. He will get his
justice by the grace of God he will. I need
some kind of peace. I need closure. No parent
shouldn t have to be going through this."
She encouraged students to turn to their
parents or teachers if they have a problem.
Bus driver Beverly Moraldo, who transported
Dixon to school, said her daughter also attended
the school and was also a victim of bullying.
Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial said the
Education Ministry has set in place a series of
events to tackle school violence, including anti-
bulling campaign. However, as parents, teachers,
community leaders, she said, people must be
School principal Krishendath Basdeo said
at the school they try to mould children in
decent, law-abiding citizens. Saying it was a
challenging task to ensure that students arrived
and leave school safely, he hoped something
useful and positive would come out of Dixon s
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