Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 28th 2013 Contents RESHMA RAGOONATH
Do not seek revenge.
This was the appeal from
Archdeacon Roger Yearwood
yesterday, as he addressed
relatives of murdered father
of three Lance Cpl Rawle
Yearwood, speaking at
Fletcher's funeral at the Isaiah
Temple Shouter Baptist
Church in Preysal, urged
Fletcher's family to turn to God
and not to let his passing be
"This is not a time to hate.
This is not a time to take
revenge. Vengeance is not
mine. This is a time to come
together," Yearwood urged.
Fletcher, 34, of Polo
Grounds Road, Preysal, was
shot and killed last week while
liming outside the Sandy
Annan Bar, near Inshan Ali
Fletcher's best friend, busi-
nessman Mitra Maharaj, and
Anil Diram, a 19-year-old
National Energy Skills Centre
(NESC) student, were also shot
and killed in the incident.
No suspects have been held
in the killing.
The church was packed
inside and outside yesterday
as the 34-year-old lance cor-
poral, who was also a Defence
Force Football Club defender,
was laid to rest.
A gentle rain began as
Fletcher's casket, draped with
the T&T Regiment flag, was
carried into the church by mil-
During the service, Fletcher's
brother, Roston, who was being
consoled and restrained by
female relatives, broke free of
their hands and walked over
to his brother's casket. He
placed his hand on top the
casket, tapped it and turned
his eyes skyward. At this stage,
their crying mother, Margaret,
said, "I will sing and praise
when I see my son again. Why
you leave you mommy so?"
Yearwood, in his sermon,
urged mourners not to "rebuke
God for what has happened,"
saying God had a way of doing
things that "we will never
"Sometimes we need a
shake-down and God knows
how to shake us down," he
Yearwood also told relatives
not to lose hope, since they
had been given a gift.
"What it is wrapped up in
now is grief, sorrow, confusion
and anxiety, but we know in
the end of the day when God's
gift is revealed it is always a
blessing," he said.
Fletcher's uncle, Boysie, said
his nephew always stood up
for his brothers and was loving
towards his sisters. He had one
simple request for relatives,
"Do not seek revenge, but (to
be) closer to the Lord."
Archbishop Stephen Julien
also echoed Boysie's senti-
Julien told relatives of the
murdered soldier not to act
even if they were told who had
"Have no vengeance, have
no hatred in your heart. God
will take care of that," he said.
"Those who are shooting
people out there for nothing,
turn to God."
He also urged the mourning
family to turn to God because
Fletcher had promised that
"next year he would receive
Christ" and now it was too
Fletcher's sister Valerie, in
her eulogy, read notes from
Fletcher's son and daughter to
The son's note read that he
would remember Fletcher as
a "loving father" and no one
could replace him. His daugh-
ter wrote that her father was
"kind and generous."
Valerie said her brother was
the friend of many and enemy
"And it was those few who
took him away from us," she
Sub-lieutenant L Richardson
described Fletcher, who joined
the regiment in 2004, as a "live
wire" and an excellent foot-
Maharaj's relative, Ishwar,
said Mitra and Fletcher were
"They partied together,
played together and they even
died together. Rawle was an
inspiration," he added.
Fletcher was buried with full
military rites at the Preysal
Cemetery. The 21-gun salute
rang out as drops of rain fell
on Fletcher's casket while it
was lowered into his grave.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 28, 2013
Slain soldier laid to rest...
Priest: Do not seek revenge
Members of the T&T Defence Force form an honour guard as Lance Corporal Rawle Fletcher's
casket is carried out of the Isaiah Temple Shouter Baptist Church following his funeral service
yesterday. PHOTOS: RISHI RAGOONATH
A relative comforts Margaret Fletcher as she weeps for her
son Corporal Rawle Fletcher during the funeral service at the
Isaiah Temple Spiritual Baptist Church in Preysal yesterday.
Inset: Rawle Fletcher.
After nearly four months of ail-
ing, 24-year-old chutney singer
Rajin Dhanraj passed away at his
home around 12.45 am yesterday.
The Go Nah\ singer was hospi-
talised on September 2 after a sus-
pected case of pulmonary aspiration
resulted in brain hypoxia.
He was admitted to the Intensive
Care Unit at the Eric Williams Med-
ical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope,
and was being fed intravenously
until last Friday.
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Dhanraj's brother, Ancil, told the
T&T Guardian his family was still
at a lost over what really caused the
chutney star's death.
"From the time of his hospital-
isation, the doctors could not really
tell us what was wrong with him,"
Ancil Dhanraj said.
"He underwent 63 tests, inclusive
of MRIs, CT scans, ultra-sounds
and more, but none could ever reveal
what was really wrong with him."
He said although the doctors sus-
pected the brain hypoxia may have
caused some brain injury, hence
Rajin's inability to communicate or
respond to family, none of the tests
revealed the cause of the ailment.
"My brother had a meal of crab
and dumplings for dinner the night
this occurred. It was suspected his
food did not digest properly and
caused him to aspirate. That's all
we know... that's all we've been told,"
He said on the advice of the doc-
tors, consultants and the neurother-
apist working with his brother at
the hospital, his family took his
brother home last Friday for Christ-
"We spent almost $40,000 to
prepare his room for him with all
the machines and medical devices
he needed. He even had 24 hours
nursing care, but despite this he took
a turn for the worse," Dhanraj said.
The elder brother said around 11
pm on Sunday, Rajin began hyper-
ventilating and by 12.45 am he had
"It all happened so fast, and right
now our family don't even know
how to move on from this," Dhanraj
"We just left forensics as an
autopsy was ordered to see what
caused his death, not even the
pathologist knows what took him
from us. He said some tests show
that he may have developed pneu-
monia, but this is not official and
further tests have to be done."
He added that Rajin, the youngest
of three boys, was the family's light
and now that he is gone it will take
a lifetime to let go.
"I do not know how we are going
to move on without out him. He
used to take the bucket, build a
rhythm and sing for the family for
any birthday celebration.
Rajin, whose 18-day-old son died
in June from similar complications,
Ancil said, rose to fame when he
won Synergy's TV Chutney Star in
2008. In May, he also placed second
in the National Chutney Monarch
final. Rajin was also the owner of a
clothing and jewelry store in
Rajin was active as a performer
on the campaign trail for both the
United National Congress in 2010
and the Independent Liberal Party
(ILP) this year.
His funeral will take place tomor-
row, beginning at his home at
Williams Avenue, Welcome Road,
Cunupia, from 8 am, before his body
is taken to the Caroni cremation site
where it will be cremated according
to Hindu rites.
Yesterday, fellow artistes, including
Ravi B, of Karma, and representative
for Dil-E-Nadan and JMC 3veni,
Fareid Emameli, said the chutney
fraternity had lost someone who
really made a difference in chutney
Chutney artiste dies at 24
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