Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 29th 2014 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 29, 2014
In the Ramayana story, Queen Kaikeyi yields to the selfish
wiles of her maid and as a consequence, her lord King
Dasaratha lost his life. Rama who she regarded as her
very life-breath was exiled into the forest, and Bharatha
her son, disowned her for the very same act! She drew
on herself the condemnation from all the people in the
Kingdom of Ayodhya. The story is an allegory. Dasaratha
is the human body with the five senses of perception and
the five senses of action - the ten chariots or
Dasha-ratha. He wedded the Queen, the Mind, and the
mind yielded to the servant and caused the downfall.
This clearly teaches us the legitimate role of the mind as
the master of one's senses. If the master serves the
servants, then, he or she loses their self-respect and
falls in the esteem of all.
- Divine Discourse, Nov 20, 1982.
Your endeavor must be to bend the body, mend
the senses and end the mind.
Limited Time Only at
#8 Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Macoya
Tel Nos: 645-4438/645-8697
As an advocate, it is the worst
mistake that can be made to
expect that the other party will
either agree with you or lie down and
play dead, especially if they have much
to lose. Expect that they will mount a
rigorous defence and even offence.
Scepticism is the hallmark of effi-
cient and accurate conclusions. It
makes for better decision. This is why
I urge that the present dismantling and
restructuring of the Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ) be the subject of public
scrutiny and debate.
The World Bank defines good gover-
1. Governance by rule: Decision-mak-
ers decide, not pursuant to the deci-
sion-maker s intuition or passing fancy,
but according to agreed-upon norms
grounded in reason and experience.
2. Accountability: Decision-makers
justify their decisions publicly, subject-
ing their decision to review by recog-
nised higher authority and, ultimately,
by the electorate.
3. Transparency: Officials conduct
government business openly so that
the public, and particularly the press,
can learn about and debate its details.
4. Participation: People affected by
potential decisions---the stakeholder---
have the maximum feasible opportunity
to make inputs and otherwise take part
in governmental decisions.
Before this story was made known,
none of the stakeholders, and certainly
not the press or Caribbean citizens,
were aware that there was a disman-
tling and restructuring of the CCJ
This is not GraceKennedy or a pri-
vately held company; this is govern-
ment. But even GraceKennedy, as a
publicly held company, is subject to
good corporate governance, which
means that its shareholders must be
made aware of significant changes and
Only when it is your private domain
that you can do as you please.
Therefore, this is a wonderful oppor-
tunity for the public to look at the
structure of the CCJ that is being rec-
ommended to them and internal insti-
tutional power distribution that makes
for the functioning of the institution,
especially with regard to judicial inde-
Let me be quite clear. I am not at all
personally invested in what the ulti-
mate outcome might be. I was only a
temporary "outsider" at the CCJ with
the ability to view the operations with
an objective eye. There was always the
intention of returning to what I enjoy---
But I am interested in the process
and procedure---that is actually what
As a Caribbean citizen and an aca-
demic lawyer, I am interested in good
governance as defined above. This is
the only tried and true methodology of
democratic governance that averts
despotic rule, respect for human rights,
and ensures the involvement of all the
citizens in the creation of the institu-
tional framework for development.
I am aware that our history of slav-
ery, indentured servitude and colonial-
ism has put us in a dysfunctional rela-
tionship with power, not only the ruled
but also our rulers.
Good intentions and honourable
motives do not replace the rule of law,
accountability, transparency and partic-
ipation as the key road to good gover-
I, like most people, do not like to be
in the spotlight or have my name
bandied about. I have avoided it for
most of my life. Indeed, I tried to
leave the CCJ in January when I realise
that I am in moral opposition to the
process and the issues that were taking
place, but was convinced to return.
However, at some point one must
speak out, not to say one is right, but
to ignite the debate that will return us
to looking closely at the structures and
the methodology of this important
As a lawyer, and a law lecturer, I
should caution that a conclusion can-
not be based solely on the status of an
individual, however eminent. That is a
fatal mistake. It also excludes from
participation and debate the ordinary
citizen who cannot lay claim to such
We need evidence, objective evi-
dence, and I am happy that The
Gleaner has, in fact, called for objective
proof, despite its seeming call for
reliance on the reputation of Dr Lloyd
Barnett, one that is truly earned.
We are on the right track at last to
expose this restructuring to public
scrutiny and to insist on good gover-
nance in our institutions.
Let us see what the promised state-
ments from the president of the court
and the commission are and if they
will provide the proof. The citizens of
the Caribbean, the ultimate arbiters,
We should withhold judgement as to
whether the case is "unconvincing"
until all the evidence is in.
Leighton Jackson is a senior law
lecturer, UWI, Mona
Eid Mubarak to all of T&T. Let us understand the
teachings of the Great Prophet and spread peace,
respect, brotherhood and love to all citizens.
To those who misunderstand Islam, I quote an ex-
cerpt from Paramahansa Yogananda's poem, Come to
Me as Mohammed: "O Mohammed, inspired Prophet of
God! Thy lighthouse, the Koran, directs endangered soul
ships around the lethal rocks of sin to safety in the Ulti-
mate Harbour...Thou warnest thy flock not to follow mi-
rages in deserts of sense pleasures, but to browse in
rich pastures of inner joy..."
We live in a time where Islam is misunderstood. My
wish is for that misunderstanding to leave the shores of
our country. The real battle is within each of us. For
every individual. A fight with one's own ego---soul ver-
Let us use this day to introspect, meditate and pray
for showers of blessings onto our country, families and
the world. Let us be the captains on our ships of change.
Can someone please explain to me why, in this day
and age, we are still experiencing this nonsense with
transport to and from Tobago during the July/August
Almost every day there is some issue with aircraft
breaking down or a backlog of passengers for some rea-
son. Not to mention the poor service by staff.
It is not rocket science that measures should be put
in place to facilitate the increase in passenger numbers
at this time, such as larger planes or more of the
smaller ones, not to mention longer working hours for
airline staff. Also, back-up planes to use during break-
This constant headache is an unnecessary stress to
anyone wanting to travel, not to mention loss of income
for Tobagonians as well.
Measures should be put in place to shuttle passen-
gers to and from the aircraft since currently passengers
are still being made to walk to the terminal from the
planes and vice versa. This process is very unsafe and
becomes slow and inconvenient, especially if it rains,
further delaying the boarding and disembarking
I am a regular visitor to the island during this period
and nothing about this situation has changed for years.
This is unacceptable.
Minister of Transport, please fix this.
Varun D Persad
RESTRUCTURING OF CCJ MUST
BE SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY
Pray for showers of
blessings on this day
Year after year, same
poor airbridge service
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