Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 8th 2013 Contents A5
December 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Former sugar workers and cane farmers have
made a clarion call to founder and former leader
of the United National Congress (UNC) Basdeo Pan-
day and former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj to save the party.
This will be one of several issues Maharaj and Pan-
day are expected to discuss when the group known
as UNC supporters meet today at the Rienzi Complex,
Couva, at 2 pm.
Another matter Maharaj and Panday are expected
to address is the plight and concerns of former sugar
workers and cane farmers.
The Sunday Guardian was told that the former
sugar workers and cane farmers recently approached
Maharaj and Panday, asking them to try and help
revive the original UNC because the party was going
Maharaj and Panday are expected to respond to
the members call today.
Other listed to speak at the meeting are Nirvan
Maharaj, president general of the All Trinidad General
Workers Trade Union, Thomas Sotillio, secretary of
the former Cane Farmers Association, and Mickela
Sugar workers, cane
farmers call on Panday,
Ramesh to save UNC
From Page A1
Lum Fai s anguish is exacerbated
whenever she hears a child s life is
brutally ended by people they trust
and look up to for guidance, support
"The pain comes back fresh," she
said, trying hard to contain her emo-
The gruesome discovery of Keyana
Cumberbatch s body in a barrel at
her Maloney Gardens apartment
recently have opened up fresh
'I was left all alone'
Speaking at her home on Wednes-
day, Lum Fai opened several suitcases
which were stacked with Sean s
school uniform, book bag, shoes,
clothes, pictures and his pre-school
Lum Fai has refused to part with
They are her only memories.
She also read several letters she
had received from politicians, public,
religious bodies and NGOs encour-
aging her to keep strong after the
discovery of her son s body.
"These are just words. Nobody
has really helped me...nobody. I was
left all alone to fight my ordeal."
Fighting to hold back her tears,
Lum Fai said in 2010 her hopes were
lifted when the People s Partnership
Government was voted into office.
Lum Fai said she viewed the Gov-
ernment, mainly Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, as the sav-
iour and protector of abused, neg-
lected and abandoned children.
"To me, they were like a beacon
of hope. I gave them my seal of
However, after almost 43 months
in office, Lum Fai said the Govern-
ment had failed this country and its
"They are a big disappointment.
I expected better from them. They
are no different from the others."
She slammed the Government
for not making the Children s
Authority fully functional and Chil-
dren s Act not being fully proclaimed.
Memorial park for Sean falls flat
Lum Fai said even a parcel of land
in Couva, which former San Fer-
nando mayor Ian Atherly had advo-
cated for her to get, has been taken
A Sean Luke Memorial Park was
supposed to be built on the land for
children in the community.
In a letter dated July 5, 2007 then
local government minister Rennie
Dumas wrote to Uthara Rao, then
executive chairman of the Estate
Management Business Development
Company, advising him that his
ministry was ready to "proceed with
the park" and the project was being
implemented by the Sports Com-
pany of T&T.
Dumas had asked Rao for written
confirmation of the allotment for a
parcel of land of approximately
4,169.1 metres in size.
Rao indicated to Lum Fai that he
was certain that the entire Orange
Valley community would welcome
Caroni 1975 Ltd later informed
Lum Fai that the lands were now
owned by the State and referred the
matter to the Commissioner of State
Land for action.
Though the matter died a natural
death, in January, Lum Fai said, she
heard that the land had been ear-
marked for a housing estate.
"I am just in total shock."
Suffering in silence
Also, a Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) home which she
applied for through her Couva North
MP, Ramona Ramdial, has been slow
Lum Fai said the fact that Sean s
body was discovered in a cane field,
a mere two hundred metres from
her front door, which she sees every-
day, has only added to her grief.
"I just wanted to get out from
here and move on with my life. But
that never happened. They raised
my hopes promising to protect our
children, which never materialised.
All they give was lip service. It have
a lot of people out here like me suf-
fering in silence and frustrated, and
nobody doing anything."
Twice a month, Lum Fai seeks
The counselling is not provided
by the State, but paid for by a private
"I just have not been able to over-
come that loss...it is too much. The
counselling would help me to get
the bottled-up grief out."
For years, Lum Fai s doctor had
to prescribe tranquilisers to calm her
"It has not been easy. Every day
I heard Sean s voice as if he was still
alive. I felt as if I was going mad. I
could not function."
Recently, family members encour-
aged Lum Fai to join the Jehovah
"I have now found solace in God."
Ramdial: Trust me,
I am trying to help
Ramdial admitted that Lum Fai
had applied for a HDC house under
social welfare as an emergency case.
She explained that HDC had a
house available, but it was based in
South, which she turned down.
"She did not qualify for a single
unit. What she qualified for was a
duplex or a rental apartment. Those,
however, were not available in Cen-
tral. Trust me when I say I am trying
to help her. You know how the hous-
ing situation is in the country."
Ramdial said she also offered
another apartment to Lum Fai rent-
free, for a period of three months,
under the Ministry of the People,
as a short-term measure, but she
Ramdial said she knows that Lum
Fai has domestic problems.
"I understand why she wants to
get out. I will speak to HDC s man-
aging director Jearlean John and
Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal
on this issue again. I will continue
to push for her and see if we can
get her into a rental apartment in
the time being."
Told that Lum Fai was very critical
of the Government, Ramdial said,
she understands her position.
Ramdial said she was not aware
of the land for the park.
"I will do some investigation on
Atherly: I am disappointed
Yesterday, Atherly, president of
the Save the Children Foundation,
was also surprised that the land was
not yet conveyed to Lum Fai.
"I am disappointed to hear that.
Through my foundation I become
involved with Pauline. I did get
involved in procuring the land for
Atherly feels a park should still be
named in Sean s honour.
"I think this matter can be worked
Pauline suffering in silence
Pauline Lum Fai
"People say that time
heals all wounds. But I
want to tell you---time
is torture. Every day I
wake up and there are
reminders of Sean in
Ma Pau Members Club held their 17th Annual Christmas Party for the children of Sea Lots, where more than 400 children were
treated to snacks, food and toys from Santa Claus yesterday. In background are Ma Pau representatives, second from left, Dixie Ann
Mathew, Sherry Persad, director, Renise Boodoo and police officer, Keon Porter. The event took place at the Sea Lots basketball court,
Production Avenue. PHOTO: DILIP SINGH
MA PAU CHRISTMAS PARTY
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