Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 16th 2018 Contents news A3
Monday, April 16, 2018
Guardia Nacional fail to deliver fishermen
STORIES BY RADHICA DE SILVA
Heermatie Sanker collapsed in grief
yesterday after getting disappointing
news that Venezuela’s Guardia Na-
cional had failed to deliver her hus-
band Awardnath Hajarie, son Nicholas
Hajarie and friend Shammi Seepersad,
She was seen clutching her chest
while running towards a Coast Guard
boat at Cedros Bay yesterday.
The three fishermen were detained
by the Guardia Nacional on April 5 and
were supposed to have been dropped
off at Soldado Rock at 11 am yester-
day into the custody of the T&T Coast
Guard. This was the same area where
they were chased and detained. The in-
cident was recorded by an oil worker
on a nearby rig.
The three fishermen were charged
with fishing in Venezuelan waters and
reprimanded by a magistrate in Tucu-
Public Relations Officer of the TT
Coast Guard, Lt Sheron Manswell con-
firmed that the men were scheduled to
be brought home yesterday, but when
the TT Coast Guard left to make the
pick-up, they were informed that the
Guardia Nacional could not make the
delivery because they had no fuel.
Sanker, who has been waiting for
15 days to be reunited with her loved
ones, said she did not know what to do.
With tears streaming down her face,
Sanker sobbed, “Why are they keeping
my husband and son there so long. My
husband is a sick man. He was in the
Venezuelan hospital in a critical condi-
tion. He suffering from heart disease,
cholesterol and high blood pressure.
He had a surgery on his neck, his two
foot not good. They not telling me any-
thing. I wish they could tell me so I can
know they are okay but nobody telling
She said her house had no food and
despite his condition, this was why Ha-
jarie left home on April 5 to go fishing.
“Who going to mind me? It real
hard. I have no money, not even a
dollar. A fella give me $10 this morning
and I used that to buy a sweet drink
and a cake,” Heermatie said.
She added that on the day they left
for fishing she told her husband not to
“He was not feeling well but he said
if he don’t go to fish how will we get
money to live.”
She said on Easter weekend, the
Guardia Nacional chased another
group of fishermen into T&T waters
but did not apprehend them.
“They threw some fishermen on the
winker and took their boat and engine.
I tell my husband don’t go and he said
he don’t feel to go but he have to go,”
Heermatie and her husband are ex-
pected to wed in a civil ceremony on
Councillor for Cedros, Shankar
Teelucksingh said up to 8 am yester-
day, Lt Hernandez from the Cedros
base confirmed that the men were due
to be brought home by the Guardia
Nacional. However, at 11 am, when
the pick-up should have been done,
Teelucksingh said they were told the
vessel had some problems.
“The T&T Coast Guard vessel is still
anchored out there waiting. Our rep-
resentative from the T&T Embassy in
Venezuela has not given the instruction
for our vessels to go into Venezuelans
waters to get back our citizens.
One phone call from the Ministry of
National Security authorising the T&T
Coast Guard to go Venezuela to enter
their waters could have prevented the
suffering of this family,” Teelucksingh
He said Hajarie was sick.
“We don’t know their health, their
whereabouts. Conditions there are
harsh and today is 12 days in a deten-
tion centre with no food, medication.
The Government must intervene now,”
Calls to the cellular phone of Minis-
ter Edmund Dillon went unanswered.
PM off to London, nationals facing UK deportation threat
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley left for
London yesterday and is expected to
meet with representatives of the UK
diaspora who are eager to discuss Brit-
ain’s impending deportation of thou-
sands of West Indians who have not
been naturalised in the UK.
The West Indians, including T&T
nationals, known as the Windrush
generation, went to Britain on the Em-
pire Windrush cruise ship in 1948 to
rebuild the UK after World War II on
Many went with their parents, using
their parent’s passports, and have
lived in the UK for most of their lives.
Despite being invited, the UK govern-
ment is now considering deporting all
those who did not get naturalised.
Reports from the UK Guardian
newspaper and Chronicle Live gave
detailed accounts of people who lost
their jobs on the basis that they were
illegal immigrants even though they
were citizens of the Commonwealth.
Conservative MP for Tonbridge and
Malling, Thomas Tugendhat, tweeted
yesterday: “The news that #Windrush
kids are finding it difficult to establish
legal status is very serious. I look for-
ward to @ukhomeoffice sorting this
problem quickly so those who helped
build our country get their rights con-
The editor of online publication Pol-
itics Home, Kevon Schofield, tweeted:
“This is extraordinary. No10 appears to
be politically tone deaf ” and attached
a copy of the UK Guardian article enti-
tled —No 10 refuses Caribbean request
to discuss children of Windrush.
Another UK publication, the Daily
Mail centrespread screamed “What
an outrage! They came in their thou-
sands from the Caribbean to help
rebuild post-war Britain. Today after
decades of paying taxes, they’re being
denied NHS care and even threatened
with deportation. What a scandal in a
country that can’t even kick out for-
In a Facebook post, the Office of the
Prime Minister said the Prime Minister
will attend the Commonwealth Heads
of Government meeting in London
which begins this week and will also
speak to members of the UK diaspora.
Rowley said he will engage in several
meetings related to energy and secu-
Minister in the Office of the Prime
Minister Stuart Young will accompany
Rowley along with Minister of Foreign
and Caricom Affairs Dennis Moses
and Minister of Energy and Energy
Industries Franklin Khan. Minister of
Finance Colm Imbert will act as Prime
Minister until Rowley returns on April
Commonwealth representatives of
12 Caribbean countries had hoped to
raise the issue of the Windrush genera-
tion at the CHOGM meeting. However,
the UK government rejected a formal
diplomatic request to discuss the im-
Barbados high commissioner Guy
Hewitt told the UK Guardian, “We did
make a request to the CHOGM summit
team for a meeting to be held between
the prime minister and the Common-
wealth Caribbean Heads of Govern-
ment who will be here for the CHOGM
and regrettably they have advised us
that that is not possible.”
He said some of the affected West
Indians had been denied access to
healthcare, lost jobs or been made
homeless because they do not have
sufficient paperwork to prove they
have the right to be in the UK.
The UK Guardian quoted Hewitt as
saying the numbers of people coming
forward to say they were affected by
the immigration anomaly were “in-
Satbir Singh, the chief executive of
the Joint Council for the Welfare of Im-
migrants ( JCWI), said dozens of peo-
ple had contacted the charity seeking
help after publicity around the issue
last week, the UK Guardian reported.
Since the issue was raised, a petition
calling for an amnesty for anyone who
arrived in the UK as a child between
1948 and 1971, has been circulating.
Activists have been requesting that
the UK government lower the level
of documentary proof required from
people who have lived in the UK since
they were children. The petition has
been signed by 100,000 people in six
days, triggering a possible debate in
the Commons, the UK Guardian said.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, right, chats with Finance Minister Colm Imbert, left, at the Office of the Prime
Minister yesterday ahead of his departure to the UK. Others in photo, from left, are Works and Transport Minister
Rohan Sinanan, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Minister in the Office of the Prime
Minister Stuart Young.
PICTURE PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Kidnapped fisherman, Awardnath
Heermatie Sanker cries for her husband Awardnath Hajarie and son
Nicholas Hajarie yesterday in Cedros.
PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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