Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 25th 2014 Contents A10
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 25, 2014
An online petition has been
started calling on the UWI Vice
Chancellor, Prof Nigel Harris,
to apologise for the dismissal
of Prof Brendan Bain.
The petition was launched
Wednesday night by a group
calling itself "Citizen Stakehold-
er," in Kingston, Jamaica, com-
prising UWI lecturers, students,
scientists, medical doctors and
ordinary citizens, on
More than 2,300 have signed
the petition since yesterday.
The group said, "Jamaicans
and other citizen stakeholders
are very disappointed that the
vice chancellor of the University
of the West Indies unjustly dis-
missed Prof Brendan Bain as the
Head of the Caribbean HIV/Aids
Regional Training Network
(Chart) and we therefore
demand a public apology.
"Empirical scientific research
and confident researchers are
too important in the fight against
HIV/Aids to have them threat-
ened and dismissed because of
the political ideologies of a few
"Regardless of your religious,
moral, or political beliefs, we
can all agree that it is wrong to
dismiss an expert for giving an
expert's report to a court of law."
Citizen Stakeholder said
protests have begun at UWI,
Mona, Jamaica, by medical pro-
fessionals, students, researchers,
lecturers, and other citizen
stakeholders who are deeply
concerned about the threat to
academic integrity at UWI.
In addition to an apology, the
group said it demanded that
Harris address 14 points of clar-
ification, including whether Cit-
izen Stakeholder and govern-
ments should expect that the
public policy suggestions by
UWI and/or Chart will be based
on empirical scientific research
or based on the political ideolo-
gies of certain interest groups.
A new foreign exchange allocation system intro-
duced by the Central Bank of T&T (CBTT) last
month has changed the amount of foreign exchange
each bank---and by extension its specific clientele---
has access to.
While the CBTT has confirmed the new system,
it has refused to divulge any further information on
what triggered the changeover or how the new system
is expected to improve access to foreign exchange.
This secrecy surrounding the new system comes
even as Finance Minister Larry Howai has described
it as being less effective than originally anticipated,
and on Friday announced an immediate injection of
a further US$200 million (TT$1.2 billion) to buoy
the failing system.
In an e-mail exchange with the Sunday Guardian
on Friday night, Howai directed all queries to CBTT
governor Jwala Rambarran.
"You should get the details of the new system
directly from the CBTT who formulated the system
and who manage the system on a daily basis.
The CBTT also relates directly with the banks, so
the governor would be the one who can best discuss
this matter," Howai said.
Secrecy over new foreign
exchange allocation system
The Sunday Guardian learned that while
the CBTT was responsible for meeting with
bank chiefs and other stakeholders to
discuss and address the foreign exchange
imbalance, Howai stepped in because of the
"urgency" of the situation.
"The ministry would not usually meet
with the banks. Due to the urgency of the
matter, I did discuss the matter this time
with the bank CEOs, but this was an
exception," Howai said.
He said despite speculation of a falling
out with Rambarran, there was no rift
"I don't know about a 'rift' with the
governor. We have been in constant
contact over the past couple of days
regarding the injection of US$200m," he
Howai once again directed any further
questions to Rambarran.
"You should perhaps contact the
governor regarding all of the foregoing.
He'll be able to expand further," he said.
The Sunday Guardian attempted to
reach Rambarran via his mobile phone and
while there was no response from him, the
Sunday Guardian received a call from
CBTT's corporate communications
manager Charlene Ramdhanie, informing
the paper that the governor would not
respond to questions from the media and
that all questions should be directed to her
However, when posed with the same
questions regarding the new allocation
system, the CBTT said that it "could not
discuss those issues."
"(The) Foreign exchange distribution
system is a combination of an auction and
non-competitive system, which is adjusted
based on current and future market
conditions. This combination allows the
bank flexibility in its forex distribution," the
Prof Brendan Bain
WE CAN'T DISCUSS THOSE ISSUES
Thousands sign petition
against Prof Bain's dismissal
Larry Howai Jwala Rambarran
Links Archive May 24th 2014 May 26th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page