Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 5th 2013 Contents JENSEN LAVENDE
Six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch was
remembered by her mother Simone Williams
yesterday as being the "knight in shining
armour in all her darkness" as she said her
final goodbye to her firstborn child.
During the eulogy for her daughter at the
Council of Elders Spiritual Shouter Baptist
Empowerment Hall, off the Churchill-Roosevelt
Highway, Williams thanked God for her daugh-
ter, who went missing last Monday and was
found dead in her home three days later.
Cumberbatch was hit in the head so severely
that her skull was cracked. She was then sex-
ually assaulted, an autopsy report revealed.
Her body was found in such an advanced stage
of decomposition that she had to have a closed-
"Keyana was not supposed to be here, but
she came, she came by the grace of God. It s
not I had her, but we all. She was a blessing.
She was the light of my life, her father s life
and her grandfather. She was the knight in
shining armour in all my darkness. She was
my bundle of joy and she would always be
my sweet little baby girl," Williams said, in
She recalled how her daughter was "mis-
erable" and didn t like the word no.
She ended her eulogy by saying, "Keyana,
the only thing Mummy could do for you is to
put you down in the hole this evening.
Addressing the mourners, who included
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Min-
ister of Gender, Youth and Child Development
Clifton De Coteau and National Security Min-
ister Gary Griffith, the officiating minister,
Archbishop Barbara Gray-Burke, said there
was evil lurking the land and a praying family
was the cure for it.
"Evil is stalking the land. Evil is stalking the
land. When I watch the papers today, three
children, only children. You know what that
remind me of? When those pitbulls began
killing people. Man turned himself into a beast,"
Not all men were bad, she said, adding that
there were good fathers, and all men should
not be placed in the same category. She urged
women to pray with their husbands and chil-
"Let us invoke family life. If you invoke
family life, change will come. Satan would
not be able to bombard our homes. Talk to
your children. Let them know the danger. Let
them know nobody is to touch them. Talk to
them what life is about. Don t be ashamed
to let them know touching in the wrong parts
is not right," she said.
"How come when I was growing up we
didn t have all these men raping? That s
because when you wake up you had to pray,
when you reach to school the principal invoked
prayers...in the evening, prayers again."
Burke said not every time there was the
killing of a child should the Government be
blamed. She said all the Government could
do was provide laws, but it could not be there
physically to stop criminal acts. She called on
Griffith to provide hope to the mourners and
nation at large.
Griffith told the mourners this was a trying
time and the country should stay together
and believe there is a God. He said his ability
to deal with crime came from God.
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister
read Psalm 103, which praises God and speaks
of his mercy and compassion.
After Griffith s speech, Burke presented
Williams with $3,232 that was raised from
the collection at the service, which was stopped
for a brief moment when a man identified
only as Earl collapsed.
While Earl was being attended to, mourners
bemoaned the police, saying had they acted
more swiftly, Keyana would have been found
much sooner. Some said it was because of
their place of residence that they were treated
with what they described as scant courtesy.
President of the National Parent/Teacher
Association Zena Ramatali encouraged
Williams to be strong and as a member of
the newly-appointed Child Protection Task
Force she promised to be part of the solu-
After the ceremony Cumberbatch was
buried at Crown Street Public Cemetery. (See
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From page A1
He said it was agreed an immigration officer had
a right to exercise his authority, but under the new
requirements of Caricom law this must be done with
discretion. He said it was agreed the new processes
must be put into a legal framework. (See Page A22)
In a telephone interview yesterday, however, Griffith
maintained that since the Immigration Department
fell under his purview, any changes dealing with
such issues, including directives to be given to immi-
gration officers, could only be done by either him
or the National Security Council.
"I want to remind everyone that the Immigration
Division falls under the National Security
Ministry...That has not changed," Griffith said.
"Immigration officers will continue to perform
their duty by thoroughly verifying all persons to
ensure they meet the full requirements, and if they
do not meet those requirements, they would not be
allowed entry into T&T. It s as simple as that."
He reiterated that there were some 30,000 illegal
immigrants in T&T, including Jamaicans, St Lucians,
Grenadians, those from other Caribbean islands and
from South Africa, who had abused the "CSME s
good faith," and they would all be immediately shipped
back once located.
"I have a job to do and that is to ensure the sov-
ereignty of this country and the security of its citizens.
There would be no elements of flexibility. This is
not negotiable. The buck stops with me."
Saying T&T would adhere to the ruling of the
CSME and would welcome all visitors, Griffith said,
nevertheless, those who desire to work in this country
must prove they have all relevant documents and
could satisfy the requirements upon landing at Piarco
He said the problem of illegal immigrants had
been a problem to this country for "far too long"
and had reached the point where it could affect the
country s credibility and also put T&T under the
scrutiny of its international partners.
"The ports of legal entry have been the biggest
problem for far too long and that is why we are in
the situation that we are now in," Griffith said.
Another dimension to the problem of illegal immi-
grants was the heavy financial cost associated with
deportation, he said. He said for the last year, the
Government had spent some $2.3 million on deporting
"Not only do we have to buy their ticket, but we
also have to send an immigration officer and a police
officer to accompany these people," he said.
Asked why he had not accompanied Dookeran on
the trip to Jamaica, Griffith said he was not invited,
but said he sent the chief immigration officer to
Jamaica with Dookeran.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Keyana laid to rest..
The photo from the docudrama Tobago 1677:
the Sea Battles of Tobago on Page 4 yesterday
was lacking its byline. It should have been
credited to Sylvia Krueger. Our apologies for the
$2.3m spent on
GETTING IT RIGHT
She was my knight in
Simone Williams, right, mother of slain six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch, right, passes
the casket of her daughter, followed by relative Denise Ann Robinson, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Bishop Barbara Burke during the Service of Thanksgiving for
the life of Cumberbatch at the Council of Elders Spiritual Shouter Baptist Empowerment
Hall in Maloney, D'Abadie, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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